It has been a while since I have done a head to head comparing two popular lures. Well today, I decided to write about two of the biggest names in Spinners. Panther Martin and Rooster Tail.
These lures have been around for quite some time and both are extremely popular. Although I personally believe one is much better suited for trout fishing than the other. Despite many similarities, each have their own unique features and characteristics. So, let’s get started and explore the strengths, weaknesses, and niche applications of these trout spinners.
|Large inline blade
|Long, slender willow blade
|Strong vibration and plentiful flashes
|Pulsating hackle feathers and subtle blade movement
|Relatively heavy construction making for easier casting
|Casts well and is quite aerodynamic.
|Fast sinking, well-suited for deep water
|Fast sinking, effective for reaching deeper depths quickly
|Challenging in shallow streams due to quick sink rate
|Excellent in snag-prone areas, the long blade can deflect the hooks from snags.
|Loud and noticeable, this is both a positive and a negative.
|Subtle, suitable for deep, still water where trout might be spooky
|Effective at various retrieve speeds
|Works best with a fast retrieve
|Potential drop in durability with recent production shift
|Fragile wire shaft, may require occasional straightening
|Most popular in Europe and the American Northeast
|Popularity seems widespread, is a great option for faster swimming species than trout.
|Deep pocket water fishing
|Snag-prone areas and deep, still water situations
Panther Martin Review:
Panther Martins are true attention-grabbers when it comes to trout fishing. These lures are loud as the blade rotates through the water. Their large in-line blade creates a strong vibration and produces abundant flashes, ensuring that trout take notice.
Now, how the trout responds really comes down to how the fish are feeling. The vibration might just be enough to trigger an aggression fueled strike from actively feeding fish, on the other hand the same vibration might be enough to spook a wary, cautious fish. When dealing with stubborn trout, a Panther Martin dragged past their mouths often triggers strikes fueled by pure aggression, but I will shy away from using them in heavily fished water with flightily fish.
How to know when to fish a loud spinner or a stealthier one? Well, there is no golden rule, but generally speaking if the trout are less pressured or feeding in moving water a louder lure does better. While a stealthy quiet lure works well when the water is still, or when the trout are wary. With that said, it is often just trial and error to figure out what style will work best on the day.
Let’s break down the pros and cons of this classic spinner.
Pros and Strengths of Panther Martin:
- Inline-Blade: The large blade of Panther Martins creates a strong vibration and sends plenty of flashes through the water, effectively attracting trout.
- Easy Casting: Thanks to its relatively heavy construction, Panther Martins are easy to cast, allowing for accurate and effortless presentations.
- Fast Sinking: These lures sink quickly, making them well-suited for fishing in deep waters where you need the spinner to reach the desired depth rapidly.
Cons of Panther Martin:
- Challenging in Shallow Streams: The quick sink rate and loud vibration of Panther Martins can make them difficult to fish effectively in shallow streams where trout tend to reside.
- Potential Drop in Quality: With the recent shift of some production to East Asia, there has been a noticeable decline in durability and overall quality compared to the original Italian-made versions.
Rooster Tail Review:
Now, let’s turn our attention to Rooster Tail trout spinners. While they may not be quite as popular as Panther Martins they certainly have plenty of fans.
Rooster Tails is best known for their pulsating hackle feathers, but the standout feature, in my opinion, is the long, slender willow blade.
The willow leaf blade is rather streamlined, they cast well and sink quite rapidly. They also do not tend to rotate on the drop. All these combines to a fast-sinking lure. Idea if you need to reach the bottom quickly. So can be effective in fast water where the trout are holding near the bottom. They are less likely to draw strikes on the drop.
Pros and Strengths of Rooster Tail:
- Snag Resistant: Rooster Tails excel in snag-prone areas. The long willow blade, when retrieved at an adequate pace, can help deflect the hooks away from snags such as logs, reducing the risk of losing your lure. This is still far from guaranteed.
- Fast Sinking: Similar to Panther Martin, Rooster Tails sink quickly, allowing you to fish deep waters efficiently and effectively.
- Subtle Vibration: Rooster Tails produce less vibration compared to lures like Blue Fox or Panther Martin. This makes them an excellent choice for fishing in deep, still water, where trout may be more wary of loud lures.
Cons of Rooster Tail:
- Fast Retrieve Required: Rooster Tails work best with a fast retrieve, which may not always align with the feeding habits and preferences of trout. This can limit their effectiveness in certain situations.
- Slow Starting Blade: The willow leaf blade of a Rooster Tail usually requires a fast acceleration during retrieval. This means it does not rotate on the drop or at slower speeds, times where trout are more likely to strike. The wire shaft is also more fragile compared to some other brands, such as Blue Fox and Mepps, this can hinder the blade’s ability to spin properly.
In conclusion, both Panther Martin and Rooster Tail trout spinners have their merits and limitations. Panther Martin’s loud and vibrant design appeals to aggressive trout and excels in deep waters but are a good option in most water conditions, while the usability of Rooster Tails as a trout lure is hindered by the fact they require a fast retrieved for optimal performance.
Ultimately, the choice between these spinners depends on your fishing style, the specific conditions you encounter, and the behavior of the trout you’re targeting. It is not a bad idea to have some of both, but I have a personal preference towards the Panther Martin. Happy fishing.
Check out similar comparisons below.
- Top-rated Inline Spinners for Trout: The Ultimate Review of Best and Worst Picks
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