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Rooster Tail For Trout

The Rooster Tail has been around since the fifties and during that time has landed thousands of trout. It has been a go to spinner for trout for many fishermen. Read on as we help you choose the best Rooster Tail for trout.

The best Rooster Tail to use is generally carefully selected to match the current feeding patterns of the trout on your particular fishing spot or stretch of river.

When they are feeding on natural insects there is no point in putting one of the flashier varieties in front of them. And conversely if the water is murky or running quite high then you should not be using a dull or olive type pattern.

Rooster Tail lures are basically spinners with a dressed hackle on it’s treble hook. The hackle not only helps to hide the hook but it also give the lure a more natural looking tail section.

The blades as with all spinners give out a pulsating vibration in the water and also a flash from the reflect metal.

These types of lures can be very effective when trout are ignoring natural bait for some Reason. Trout will often strike out of a predator instinct so the key is getting the Rooster Tail to move across their feild of vision.

What Color Rooster Tail for trout?

Rooster Tails come in a very large selection of colors including fluorescent, metallic and natural like patterns. 

The blades colors have a big variety also. You can have silver, brass/gold or painted. Some of the range also have Mylar inserts. Some days a silver blade will be will be killing it other days it will produce nothing.

Getting the blade color right is probably half the battle for any Rooster Tail lure choice. 

Rooster Tail Lure

The pulsating hackle is what Rooster Tails are probably best known for. The hackle seems to provide an edge over normal trout spinners that don’t have it.

Hackle color can help imitate the natural attributes of trout food and when in darker colors can really work best on days when the trout are really picky.

Top color Rooster Tails

  • White: Perfect early in the season.
  • Firetiger: Great in darker or stained water.
  • Chartreuse: great choice in turbid waters.
  • Black/Dark Green: Great in clearer waters or when natural insects are hatching.


On rivers the smaller sized Rooster Tail trout spinners will generally work best so you would be looking to fish with the 1/32, 1/24 and 1/16th of an ounce versions.

On lakes and larger rivers you can move up a few sizes depending on the need.  

How to Fish a Rooter Tail for trout

Rooster Tail trout fishing is the same as fishing any artificial trout lure that has a spinning blade. On smaller rivers and streams they can be used to work banks and any overhanging trees. You can cover a lot of ground and features of the stream in a short space of time. 

On larger rivers it can be bounced along the bottom to great effect. To do this you can cast across stream and let the current move it down stream. Occasionally raising your rod tip will allow the lure to swim correctly just off the bottom where trout might be lying.

As it rises the blade will spin and flutter, this can be when you will get the most strikes. Be sure to keep the rod line under a slight tension the whole time so that you will detect any strikes otherwise you might miss them.  

Top 5 Rooster Tails

1. Black/Silver

Great on those stretches of clear waters when the trout are feeding on small natural insects. This is my go to lure when starting out of a clear day and in very clean waters

2. Chartreuse

When the rivers are full of hatching nymphs this pattern can be great. For some anglers it is actually the best producing color to use.

3. Brown Trout

Good in deeper waters or when fished over pockets and pools. It also preforms quite well on small lakes in particular where there is a natural stock of brown trout.

4. FireTiger

Works best in murky faster moving waters, particularly good after a lot of rainfall. Firetiger is a very un-natural looking color pattern and it is likely to scare smaller trout away in clear waters.

5. Rainbow Fry

A great rainbow trout imitator than catch river trout even when there are no rainbows naturally present.


Although the Rooster Tails have a bit of weight in them for casting you would still need some pretty light trout fishing gear to get the best out of them on small rivers and streams.

6 lbs line at a maximum and a nice fast action spinning rod with a light weight spinning reel.

On bigger rivers and lake using the larger sized Rooster Tails means that a normal spinning set up is sufficient.