Fishing the Rooster Tail® Spinner the “Countdown Method”

by: Jarod Higginbotham

Successful fishermen all have one thing in common. Those who routinely catch fish are the anglers who are skillful at finding fish. The art of finding fish has many facets, but selecting lures that do a good job of covering water efficiently is one of the most important.

Iconic lures like the Worden’s Rooster Tail spinner are exceptional for not only the ability to cover water quickly, but these in-line spinners are also deadly effective at attracting fish and also triggering strikes. Rooster Tail Spinners cast like a bullet making them ideal for covering water. Avid spinner fishermen routinely use longer rods and light line to maximize their ability to make long casts.

The Rooster Tail blades are manufactured featuring genuine silver, gold and copper plating which provides the maximum amount of fish attracting flash. These lures also come in a host of painted finishes making them ideal for nearly any fishing situation or water clarity.

Last, but certainly not least the Rooster Tail can be fished literally anywhere in the water column, making it exceptionally versatile for catching just about any species and at any water depth. Because Rooster Tail spinners come in sizes ranging from 1/32 ounce all the way up to one ounce models, these lures can be used to target all common fishing depths and popular species.


Lures such as the Rooster Tail spinner sink at a rate of approximately one foot per second. Knowing this an angler can make a long cast, then pause and count “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three,” etc., until the spinner has reached the desired depth. Once the spinner is at the desired depth, a quick sweep of the rod will get the blade spinning, putting out flash and fish attracting vibration. A slow and deliberate retrieve helps to keep the blade rotating and the spinner in the desired depth throughout the majority of the retrieve.

This simple strategy can be used to target fish near the surface, fish that are suspended in the water column or fish that may be holding belly to bottom. The count down method makes it easy to control the depth a spinner is working, much like the way a line counter reel is used to help monitor lead lengths and lure depth when trolling.


Generally early and late in the day, I like to fish my spinners near the surface using a modest four or five second count. As the day progresses and the sun rises in the sky, fish often move deeper in the water column making it necessary to fish deeper. On heavily overcast days fish are also likely to be high in the water column. Windy weather that creates disturbance on the water surface and reduces light penetration will also cause fish to use the upper water column.


Rooster Tail spinners are available in a wide variety of blade styles including the iconic modified willow leaf blade on the original Rooster Tail. Anglers can also choose from a French style blade on the Sonic Rooster Tail, an in-line style blade on the Vibric Rooster Tail and also a prop style blade on some ultra light models.

Collectively between the different sizes, blade types and color and blade finish options, no one makes more or better fish catching spinners than Worden’s.


Rooster Tail spinners are available with clean treble hooks, hackle dressed treble hooks and hackle dressed single hooks making them ideal for every fishing situation. The pulsating hackle gives life to the spinner and is also ideal for absorbing and holding a fish attracting scent such as the new Rooster Tail Spray Scent. This new spray scent will not mat down the hackle and gives off an attractive and long lasting scent stream in the water.

Currently Rooster Tail Spray Scent is available in eight scents including Trophy Bass, Crappie/Panfish, Garlic Plus, Garlic Nightcrawler, Shad, Shrimp, Trout/Kokanee and Trophy Trout.


Catching fish is all about finding them and then determining what depths are producing the most bites. Casting spinners using the count down method is the ideal way to cover water and quickly determine where the most active fish are holding. Besides being efficient, casting spinners is a ton of fun and one of the best ways to get “your string stretched” on that next fishing trip.