Let’s put two of the most iconic inline spinners head to head. These two lures both share a long history, and both have caught countless trout. There is no denying that both are highly successful lures.
In this review, I am going to compare them head to head. See which areas they are similar and how they differ. Now, I am going to save everyone time. They are both great lures, and I am not going to declare an outright winner between the two. But, I am going to share my experiences on what trout fishing situations might favor one over the other.
Colors and styles
Both lures come in a wide range of different colors, weights and styles. They also come with either dress or undress, single or double hooks.
The classic Panter Martin does come in more different finishes. The classic construction also comes in hammered, holographic and UV designs. While Mepps does not seem to offer UV finishes on their classic Aglia.
Overall, I do feel Panther Martin does have a larger selection of colors and patterns within their more classic designs. But Mepps does have a wider selection of different inline spinners. Taking all their lures into consideration there will be a color combination to suit any trout angler.
How do they perform on the water?
The main difference between Panther Martins and the classic Mepps Aglia seems to be in their sink rate. Panther martins are made denser, they sink faster about one foot every second. This is faster than the Mepps Aglia and most other inline spinners. This makes Panther Martins a good option for fishing deeper pools, or reaching the bottom in a fast current.
Because the Panther Martin sinks fast, that also makes it more snag prone. They spend more time close to or on the bottom.
Mepps aglia on the other hand is quite buoyant, they sort of flutter towards the bottom. They spend more time in suspension and hence more time in the strike zone. This buoyancy, makes Mepps a great choice for shallow water. Ideal for small streams.
Mepps also start to spin at a slower retrieve speed, they also give off a stronger vibration. I like a strong vibration when fishing through moving water. While the quiet panther martin might have the edge in still water, where a loud lure might even spook fish. Some days vibrations seem to attract trout, other times I am sure it frightens them.
Are Panther Martins or Mepps Aglia easier to cast?
There is not much difference between them, but because the panther martins are more compact they do trend to be slightly easier to cast. But, if you need extra distance. I probably will suggest using a slightly heavier lure rather than simply changing the brand. There are many other factors which influence casting distance more so than the differences between these two lures.
There is really not one best color. There is so many variables.
I like to choose my colors based more on contrast and visibility rather than imitation. An inline spinner is never going to accurately represent a baitfish or insect. So why try? I want trout to see them, and hopefully bite them.
I do like plain silver and gold, these two simply colors reflect a lot of light making them quite visible in the water. There is a common saying silver when its sunny, gold when its cloudy.
I also like brightly colored spinners, esepically if the water is a bit cloudy. My favourite is a black / high visibility orange but any bright color seems to work well enough. I do not believe there is one secret color which will catch all the fish. Just take a selection, and keep trying them until something works.
Well, Panther Martins are denser. They seem to have an edge in deeper water. While Mepps Aglia are more buoyant, making them a better option for shallow streams.
For more information on inline spinners, I have a more comprehensive guide here which also compares inline spinners from Blue Fox, Joe flies and others.
With the right skills, and practice. Both lures can be fished over most types of water. It really comes down to personal preference,
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