Are Mepps spinners any good? (How do they compare with the competition?)
I can not say that a Mepps spinner was the first lure I caught a trout on, but it was close. To save money, I actually started my trout fishing journey assembling my own inline spinners.
Then one day, I discovered a little Mepps Black fury hanging from some overhead willow branches, and being 6’4” tall I was able to recover it with little difficulty. That little Black fury went on to catch many good fish, and I believe I still have it stored away as a memento.
What convinced me to move away from my own inline spinners, and start fishing Mepps was partly because my supplier closed down, and I did not want to order parts in bulk, but also for convenience. Mepps spinners are expertly made and perform extremely well.
I honestly, do not believe there is a better made, or more durable spinner than the Mepps, and ever since the competition started to move their production offshore, the quality gap between them and the rest has only increased.
If I have to describe the Aglia in just a couple of sentences it will be durable, dependable, and finesse. When I buy a Mepps, I know the quality that I am going to get. They are also very finesse and relatively lightweight so they do not create a lot of disturbance as they move through the water.
Pros and Strengths of Mepps Agilia
The blade of the Mepps Agilia spins into action almost immediately, even a very slow retrieve will have it buzzing around.
This fast start makes the Agilia an excellent option when fishing pocket water, or other tight spots. When the fish are holding in an area only a few feet wide, I want my lure to spin immediately, not half a second later when it is already beyond the strike zone.
Durability and build quality
In my fishing, Mepps spinner’s build quality is second to none, the wire has enough tensile not to easily bend, and whatever the coating is seems to be extremely chip resistant. I have fished some Mepps Agila for several seasons and the coating still looks like new.
Mepps Agila are not loud lures, yes they do buzz around and vibrate, but they are nowhere near as loud as Vibrax or Panther Martins.
A finesse lure is sometimes good for trout, because they are not always aggressive fish, if a lure is too loud, or ‘scary’ chances are they will ignore it. I feel the more graceful, quiet retrieve of the Mepps Agila is what makes it such an effective trout catcher in all but the loudest of water.
I like this more restrained retrieve when the trout are wary, and the water is crystal clear.
They sink slower than most other inline spinners thanks to the increased lift created by the design of the French blade.
This extra lift allows for very slow retrieves. Meaning more time in the strike zone, and less time catching slime on the bottom.
Cons of Mepps Agilia
No, trout lure is perfect, these are the weaknesses of the Mepps Agilia.
- Due to the extra lift generated by the french blade, it can be difficult to fish deep in stronger currents.
- French blade based spinners like the Agilia, do not spin quite as slowly as a colorado blade. For extremely slow speeds, I prefer a Colorado blade.
Situations I do not fish Mepps Agilia
While I believe the Agilia are an excellent spinner, there are some situations where I feel other spinners and lures work even better.
Deep and fast water
As I mentioned above, the french blade creates quite a bit of lift causing the spinner to raise up in the current. In shallow water, this can prevent it from snagging.
But in deep, fast water it can be very difficult to sink them to the bottom where the trout often hold out of the current.
Sometimes, I will cast to a trout that just refuse to bite. It is probably not hungry, so no matter how tempting my spinner will be it will not respond.
When targeting such trout, I like to make them angry, I want my lure to be the most annoying thing in the pond. I want the trout to attack it out of aggression just to get rid of it.
When I want to make a trout angry, I feel a louder spinner like a Panther Martins and Blue Fox Vibrax works a lot better.
How do Mepps Agilia spinners compare against the competition?
Agilia vs Panther Martin
I have a whole article, comparing these two fan favorites. Basically, fish the Agilia in shallow, slow water to wary trout.
Fish the panther martin in deeper, faster water where a louder spinner is more noticeable.
Mepps Agilia vs Vibrax
These are my two favorite spinners. But like with the Panther Martin above, the Vibrax is much better in fast deep water. It also creates slightly fewer line twists.
I also will fish the Mepps, if the water is very cold because I feel the action is better at a slower retrieve.
Mepps Agilia vs Roostertail
I have never been a big fan of Roostertails. I know they are popular but I have had durability issues with them.
The Roostertail sinks faster, but I do not think it is that good of a trout lure. The Vibrax and panther martin are better because the willow leaf blade on the rooster tail requires quite a fast retrieve to get it to spin.
Most of the time, trout prefer a slow retrieve. Leave the Roostertail in the box, unless you are targeting Salmon.
Mepps Agilia vs Joes Flies
Two of the best finesse spinners head to head. They are very similar lures.
The main difference (other than the trailing fly) is that the Joe flies spinner is even lighter, and harder to cast. But that does increase hang time in very shallow water. I also will note the colorado spoon on the joe flies allows for even slower retrieves.
My three favorite Vibrax colors
In general, I feel all lure colors can and do catch trout, and by far the most important advice regarding color I can offer is to fish what you have confidence in, and to bring along a selection of contrasting patterns.
Anyway, here are my favorite colors. I will also note, that plain silver or gold are timeless colors that work well, but I find them a bit boring.
Mepps Black Fury with yellow dots
I like the Black Fury Mepps variation early morning or at dusk when the trout are chasing bait in the shallows. I probably should not hear, that Black fury is slightly different from the classic Agilia, it swims a bit shallower. Why do I like yellow dots, to be honest, it was the first color I used and I had luck with it, so I continue to use it and have caught plenty of fish.
Blue / Platinum
No matter the brand of spinner, when the sun is out, I find the combination of silver and blue to be extremely effective. Works better in slightly deeper water and over gravel.
Fire Tiger Platinum
I most like this pattern because I love this shade of orange when targeting trout in cloudy or silty water. I feel the brightness of the orange is highly visible to the fish.
Not much to summarize, I really like Mepps Agilia spinners, they are a very classic design, and to my knowledge are still made in the United States / France. Their quality is excellent.
- For more information about other inline spinners check my guide here.
- Want to know if Blue Fox Vibrax lures are any good check here.
- To read my views comparing Mepps Agilia and Panther Martins check here.
Well, I’ve been catching trout in streams for 65 of my 75 years. I agree with all you’ve said here.
Thanks for the confirmation. You must have gained a wealth of knowledge in your 65 years of trout fishing.
Nothing can beat a Joe’s due to the ability to slow retrieve or burn. You can always add a split weight or two for deep water but they do make heavier options which are generally good enough
Thanks for the comment.
I do like the colorado blade on Joe’s for very slow retrieve.