Best Fishing Lures: 21 Lures Every Angler Should Own

You’d be forgiven if you have ever seen professional anglers’ tackle boxes and bags. It’s all about collecting as many lures as possible.

If you look closely, however, you will see that most lures are variations of a few basic themes. While a pro can have every type of color, pattern, shape, and size, there are only a handful of different lures that can be used with the same design.

While fish can be very specific, it is also true that some lures catch more fish than others.

Do you want to see what’s on the list? You do, of course!

Here’s a quick look at the top fishing lures.

In-line spinners

  • Worden’s Original Rooster Tails
  • Double-Blade Aglia with Mepps Dressing

Spinnerbaits

  • Strike King Finesse KVD
  • Booyah Pond Magic
  • Booyah Pike

Crankbaits

  • Rapala Original Floater
  • Strike King Red Eye Shad Lipless

Jigs

  • Eagle Claw Crappie Jig
  • 6th Sense Divine Swim Jig
  • Booyah’s Boo

Soft plastics

  • Berkley Ice Fry
  • Mr. Crappie Slabalicious
  • Bobby Garland’s Mo’Glo Baby Shad
  • Strike King’s Rage Tail Bug
  • Yamamoto Senko
  • Strike King’s Rage Swimmer

Spoons

  • Johnson Silver Minnow
  • Dardevle Spoons

Topwater

  • Lunkerhunt’s Lunkerfrog
  • Torpedo Heddon
  • Heddon Super Spook

The Best Fishing Lures: A Must-Have for Every Angler

In-line spinners

These classics can be used on trout and pike alike, and they are my personal favorite.

Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spinner Lure, White, 1/4-Ounce

This combination of silver and white is deadly for everything, from pike to trout.

This basic formula is made with a long wire, weighted body, and a twirling knife. It’s available in almost any color and skirt combination.

Mepps BD3TSBLP-W Double Blade Aglia Dressed Treble In-Line Spinner

This Mepps has two blades and a trailing, red fringe that grabs the attention of hungry fish.

They are a powerful combination of flash, vibration, and action that will drive fish wild.

This pike struck a huge rainbow Rooster Tail.

Worden’s Original Rooster Tails are among my most effective lures. Also, there’s a legion Mepps Dressed Two-Blade Alias. My favorite colors are rainbow, black, and white. I usually tie on white first. If that fails to produce a hit I switch to rainbow and then black.

On the smaller sizes, I have caught crappie, bluegill, and trout. This is my most productive muskie/pike lure in the 1/2-ounce size.

Big bass will eat big Rooster Tails!

Spinnerbaits

Similar to in-line spinners but with a slightly different design, spinnerbaits achieve a similar effect.

Strike King Lures FSB12WW-538SG KVD Finesse Spinnerbait Lure, 5/0 Hook, 1/2 oz, Chartreuse Sexy Shad, per 1

A skirt to match the hatch and plenty of flashes are a winning combination.

The 90-degree bend in wire places the skirt and hook opposite the spinning blades. This gives the wire a more attractive presentation than its inline counterparts.

These lures are popular among anglers who hunt large predators such as largemouth and pike. They work best when there is a gentle breeze that creates just a little chop.

Spinnerbaits are a popular lure for bass fishing, and that’s not surprising!

For the best spinnerbaits, check out our buying guide

These can be ordered in a variety of different blade and skirt combinations. They are available in colors that match the hatch or stand out against murky, muddy water.

It is important to know that there are two types of blades: the Colorado and Willow. The Willow blades are longer and more narrow than Colorado but produce a lot of vibration. However, they have a bait-like flash. Colorado blades, on the other hand, thump like mad but don’t flash nearly as often.

The water clarity and light level will determine which option you choose. If visibility is limited, go for more thump.

You’ll find my most trusted lures among them: Strike King Finesse KVDs and Booyah Pond Magic.

BOOYAH Pond Magic Small-Water Spinner

This Booyah is deadly when the bass is eating crawfish respawn.

The skirt and blade combination is a favorite of both largemouth and pike. If you spend an hour fishing one, you will see why they are so popular among pros.

Crankbaits

A crankbait against a log or piling or rock, or ripped from the top a weed bed, is as effective as any other species that will eat it.

Rapala Original Floater 07 Fishing lure (Perch, Size- 2.75)

Rapala Original was designed to imitate an immature perch and is extremely effective when it is ripped through weed beds.

Novice anglers may be tempted to use a crankbait in the same way as a spinner and rip it through the water straight. But that’s wrong!

Monster walleye won’t eat wriggling crankbaits.

You want to force them into structure and cover, creating unpredictable impacts and zig-zagging bounces. This technique is what shows their true potential. Predators will often strike prey immediately after an impact.

Rapala is the most famous name in crankbaits, and Original Floaters have caught countless fish in size 07!

This lure is caused by the plastic lip, which makes it easy to dive. Its irresistible wiggle, especially post-impact, is simply magical.

Remember that the goal is to hit structure, cover, and not retrieve a crankbait straight up.

Strike King’s Red Eye Shad, a lipless crankbait, is also renowned. This lure is essential for any angler. It can be used to match hatches or stand out in low visibility situations.

Red Eyed Shad/Chrome Sexy Shad

The Red Eye Shad is a popular crankbait with plenty of wiggles.

Jigs

Jigs are one of the most basic lure designs. They’re a simple lead head and hook combination that can be customized in many ways.

There are many styles of jigs, from small, fluffy Marabous to catch trout and crappie, to large, heavy swim jigs to catch bass, there is a style for every fish.

CIRCLE SEA SHARK RIG

When suspended under a slip float, marabou jigs can be extremely effective for crappie.

One of my favorite methods for fishing crappie is to tie on a Marabou and rig a slip float. I also like to work on some submerged trees. Crappie likes to hang out in vertical cover. The Marabou’s attractive skirt and color combinations help me choose the best option for them.

Eagle Claw’s Crappie Jig is one of my top picks. You can choose from sizes 1/8-, 1/16, or 1/32-ounce. Simply match the jig with a properly weighted slip float and you are good to go.

Bass fishermen also know the value of a jig.

Swim jigs offer a new evolution to a basic design.

The swim jig was created when anglers noticed that large females were hitting their jigs while they were bringing them in to fish. It’s a crankbait-like design that you use to work the jig through cover and into structures, looking for impacts or erratic bounces.

6th Sense’s Divine Swimming Jig is a favorite of mine, especially in clear water.

6th Sense Divine Swim Jig Fishing Lure (Dark Water Gill, 1/2 oz)

Clearwater is a great place to use this 6th Sense swim jig, “Bluegill Fire”.

Booyah’s Boos is my favorite cover. Their upturned heads really reflect the thick stuff.

BOOYAH Boo Jig - Black/Blue - 1/2 oz

Booyah Boo is a master at punching through thick covers.

Soft plastics

There are so many sizes and shapes of soft plastics that it is impossible to list them all. Soft plastics can be used on almost all species.

Soft plastics can be used to rig on ahead jig or sweeten a spinner or chatterbait.

Micro-baits such as the Berkley Ice Fry are only 3/4 inches long. Hard-water anglers love swimbaits that catch dozens of fish with a tiny jig head.

Berkley PowerBait Ice Fry Soft Bait - Chartreuse - 3/4in | 2cm - Ice Fishing

Only 3/4 inch of the wiggle!

Crappie loves small soft plastics in the 2-inch range. I reach for Strike King’s Mister Crappie Slabalicious, Bobby Garland’s Mo’Glo Baby Shad because they are so easy to catch. Both provide incredible action and a variety of colors that will get the job done season after season.

Strike King Mr Crappie Slabalicious Electric Chicken (MRCSLC-60)These can be deadly for crappie and big bluegill.

Bass fishermen often throw lots of soft plastics. Many are Texas-rigged to run unwilted. They are looking for larger sizes and more action.

Strike King’s Rage Tail Bug is a great option! This soft plastic is almost unfair because pre-spawn, females are eating crawfish to fuel their bodies.

Strike King Rage Bug/Falcon Lake Craw, Multi, 4-inch (RGBUG-135)

The Rage Tail Bug is a pre-spawn option that looks like a crawfish.

The Senko from Yamamoto, the infamous worm, is one of the most dangerous ever created for drop shot rigs. Every tiny ridge captures air bubbles and gives the worm unbeatable movement.

Soft plastic swimbaits mimicking prey like shad can be a good option whether you are chasing pike, pike, or walleye.

Soft plastics are my favorite for pike.

Strike King’s Rage Swimmer is one of my favorite. This paddle tail moves like mad and draws out strikes in 3 3/4 inches or 4 3/4 inches.

Strike King Rage Swimmer Ayu, 3 3/4-Inch

Rage Swimmers offer plenty of vibration and shapes and colors that work like a charm.

Spoons

Salt or fresh, spoons have been proven effective against aggressive species such as reds and muskies.

The spoon’s design is a simple asymmetrical hunk made of metal. It has the wiggle and thumps that it imparts. Some models have a single hook, while others have a triple. Both models catch fish as you’d believe.

Reds love a big spoon.

The Johnson Silver Minnow has been a reliable choice for years. It’s also caught a lot of fish. There are many sizes available, including 1 3/4-inch to 3 3/4-inch, and many different colors. If you want monsters, go big!

Berkley Johnson Silver Minnow Gold 2in - 1/4 oz

The Silver Minnow is a winner whether it’s cast or rolled.

Have you ever wondered what the big spoons are used for?

As generations of pike- and muskie hunters have proven, daredevil spoons work. You can catch fish whether you use the original red and blue or any of the other colors.

Original Dardevle Spoons (Red/White, 1/8 Ounce)

The original is just the best!

Topwater

Topwater sports include plugs, poppers, and frogs. They come in a variety of designs, but all have one thing in common: explosive action.

These predators are big and bad and will eat anything that isn’t displaying the right type of action.

Expect an explosion when the water is warm and you flick a frog through lilies.

Lunkerhunt’s Lunker is the pick of mine. Although the legs may not last as long as tasseled designs the hyper-realism and authenticity of the Lunkerhunt win my vote. It can float all day, runs straight, and has two large hooks that are almost weedless.

This frog should not be thrown out in the open. You need to throw it into the bad stuff and then hop it out. After the cast, pause. It will get many hits sitting there, as the ripples subside. If you have to move it, make sure you do so with lots of pauses, slow cadence, and plenty of pauses.

Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog, Bull Frog - Fishing Lure with Realistic Design, Legs Extend and Retract in Use, Great for Bass and Pike, Freshwater Lure with Hollow Body, Weighs 1/2 oz, 2.25

Deadly on pike, bass, and muskie

Heddon’s Torpedo can be used to catch big bass, monster musky, and predatory pike. The Baby isn’t too big. The clear color and the prop work together to create some magic. Once you have learned how to walk your dog with the lure, you will be amazed at its effectiveness.

Heddon Tiny Torpedo 1/4oz Clear - Single Lure

The effectiveness of the Baby Torpedo in clear has amazed my fishing friends.

The Heddon balance is towards the back, where it should. It makes your nose rise to aid you in walking it well.

You will want to keep this guy in your tackle box, I promise.

Heddon’s Super Spook is a true legend. This was thrown where baitfish were swimming to the surface and each cast scored a bass. The Super Spook is a great tool for catching big fish. It can be used to walk along the edges of grass, plants, or lilies and then cast back into the breaks in the shoreline vegetation.

Heddon Super Spook Topwater Fishing Lure for Saltwater and Freshwater, Bone/Silver, Super Spook Jr (1/2 oz)

Super Spook produces amazing results.

Last Thoughts

Many other lure designs work very well, such as chatter baits and poppers, but we had to make hard decisions to reduce our list to the essentials.

Regardless of the lures that are in your tackle bag, you will be able to fish for bluegill, pike, crappie, and bass.

We’d love to hear about your favorite lure, even if it’s one we haven’t tried.

Leave a comment below

Lewis
Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.