Rooster Tails: A Guide to the Best Lure for Trout Fishing

When it comes to trout fishing, selecting the right lure can often make all the difference. Rooster tails are one of our favorite lures for targeting trout. In this article, we will explore what rooster tails are, why they are effective for trout, what colors work best, and how to use them to catch different species of trout.

What are rooster tails?

Rooster tails are a type of fishing lure that have been used by anglers for decades to target trout in streams, rivers, and lakes. The lure consists of a spinning blade attached to a weighted hook, which creates a “rooster tail” of water as it moves through the water.

Many anglers (including myself) prefer using lures over live bait. The constant casting and reeling needed for lure fishing is more fun.

Why rooster tails are so effective for trout

The effectiveness of rooster tails for trout lies in their ability to mimic the movements of small prey that trout naturally feed on. The shiny spinning blade creates a flash of light and sound that imitates the movement of small baitfish or insects, which can trigger a trout’s predatory instincts and cause them to strike.

In addition to their visual and auditory cues, rooster tails also create vibrations in the water that can be felt by the trout through their lateral lines. This further adds to the lure’s effectiveness, as it can appeal to the trout’s sense of touch and further entice them to bite.

Best rooster tails for trout

Here are some of our favorite rooster tails for catching trout.

Yakima Bait Rooster Tail Spinner Kit

Yakima has been making rooster tails for longer than I can remember. These our the first lures I used as a kid, after moving on from worms or corn. These spinners are highly effective at attracting fish. The Spinner Box kit comes with a variety of different sizes, including 1/6 and 14 ounce, which are perfect for trout.

FouceClaus In-line Spinners – 10 piece kit

The FouceClaus in-line spinners are highly effective and affordable, making them a great choice for anglers. With a variety of sizes (1/13 oz , 1/8 oz , 3/16 oz), you can experiment to see what works best for you. These spinners also have good action in the water, making them even more attractive to fish. And, at an affordable price, you won’t be too upset if you lose one in the bottom of the river.

What size rooster tail for trout

When it comes to choosing the right size of rooster tail for trout, there are a few things to consider, including the species of trout you’re targeting and the size of the stream or river you’ll be fishing in.

For rainbow trout, a 1/8 or 1/16 ounce rooster tail is often a good choice, especially in smaller streams or rivers. However, if you’re fishing in a larger river or lake, you may want to go up to a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce lure to reach deeper water.

For brown trout, a slightly larger rooster tail can be effective, such as a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce lure. These fish tend to be more aggressive than other trout species, so a slightly larger lure can help catch their attention.

For brook trout, a 1/16 or 1/8 ounce rooster tail is usually a good choice, especially in smaller streams or rivers. These fish tend to be smaller and more skittish than other trout species, so a smaller lure can be more effective.

Does the color of the rooster tail matter?

When it comes to color, the best rooster tail for trout can vary depending on the conditions of the water and the specific species of trout being targeted. Silver, gold, brown, and black are popular colors, as they can mimic the colors of small baitfish or insects that trout commonly feed on.

Brightly colored rooster tails, such as chartreuse or orange, can also be effective in murky or stained waters, where they can help to attract the trout’s attention. I haven’t found one color that works better than others, so I just pick bright ones.

How to use rooster tails for trout

To use a rooster tail for trout, it’s best to cast it upstream and allow it to drift downstream naturally. As it drifts, the spinning blade will create the rooster tail effect, which can attract the attention of nearby trout. Once it reaches the desired location, begin reeling it in with a steady, slow retrieve.

Varying the speed and depth of the retrieve can also help to trigger more bites from the trout.

Which trout species like rooster tails?

While rooster tails are effective for a variety of trout species, they are particularly popular for rainbow trout and brown trout. These species are often found in streams and rivers, where the rooster tail’s natural movement can mimic the currents and flow of the water. However, they can also be effective for other species, such as brook trout and cutthroat trout, in both streams and lakes.

Rooster tail treble hooks

Rooster tails use a special hook, called a treble hook. A treble hook has three points that branch out from a common shank. They are commonly used in many types of fishing, including freshwater and saltwater.

Treble hooks work well with rooster tails because they provide better hooking potential than single hooks. Rooster tails are often used for targeting fish that are feeding on smaller baitfish, and the multiple hooks on a treble hook allow for a better chance of hooking the fish. This is especially true when a fish strikes quickly or is not fully committed to the bite.

The downside I’ve experienced is the treble hooks are more likely to get snagged on underwater branches. To avoid this, don’t let the rooster tail sink all the way to the bottom of the water before you start to reel.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, rooster tails are a versatile and effective fishing lure for targeting trout. By mimicking the movements of small prey and appealing to the trout’s natural instincts, they can help to trigger more bites and increase your chances of a successful catch.

When using rooster tails for trout, experiment with different colors, sizes, and retrieval techniques to find what works best in your specific fishing location and conditions.

Frequently Asked Rooster Tail Questions

What is the best knot for rooster tails?

The improved clinch knot is one of the best knots for tying a rooster tail to your fishing line. Its simple and reliable design creates a strong connection between the lure and line, ensuring that the rooster tail stays securely attached and ready to catch fish.

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