Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Lure Review

When nature calls for a natural presentation, look to the Clear Water Lures

Date: 5/15/03
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Clear Water Lures
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.0

Introduction: For many years now inline spinners have been among the most popular trout lures. Clear Water Lures introduces a new Beadhead Spinner Fly that has performance of an inline spinner plus attraction of a natural looking fly. The combination is designed to work wonders when it comes to subtle presentations in the clearest waters.


Beadhead Spinner Fly Specifications

Type Inline Spinner
Material Metal blade and various fly materials
Colors/Patterns 12+ available
Size Fly size 6
MSRP $16/dozen

About Clear Water Lures: Clear Water Lures, located in West Virginia,  was started by John Lanham and Lorrin Pickens, two avid anglers who love fishing mountain streams and lakes for trout. After years of fishing they decided to create a lure that is different from what's on the market today, one that would satisfy their needs to catch more fish in even the toughest conditions. Today as interest for their products grow, they continue their line of lures by introducing new and unique patterns for anglers.


Impressions: My first impression of these spinners is that they are a blend of what a spinning angler and a fly angler might come up with if they merged their two lures. And that's pretty much what it is. The Beadhead Spinner Fly is exactly what the name suggests. This lure has a gold or silver Indiana blade and a large sized beadhead fly all attached on a wire. Many similar products you see usually use smaller sized flies like 3 or so, but Clear Water Lures decided to use only size 6. Their reasoning, to make the trout believe that it is going to get a mouthful, and the idea that the larger fly would attract larger fish. The addition of a trailer treble hook attached to the fly hook makes absolute sense because the fish usually strikes at high-speed and then dart away, the treble hook maximizes your chances for a hookup. The trailer hook will ensure more hook ups, and if you're not allowed to use multiple hooks at your location, it is simple enough to remove the trebles with a pair of clamps or pliers.


A size 6 Beadhead Woolybugger fly on a spinner


The Beadhead spinners come in different patterns and there are ones that are made especially for targeting a specific types of trout.  Clear Water Lures offer a rainbow, brown, and brook trout specials along with other patterns.


Complete Rig for Clear Water Lures Test

Rod St. Croix Premier Traveler(PS60LF4)
Reel TICA Cetus SB500
Line 2lb. Maxima & 4 lb. Sufix DNA

Real World Tests: If you're an avid trout fisherman, then you know how effective inline spinners are, especially in mountainous rivers and streams.  Sometimes finicky trout will only bite the more natural looking lures. The Beadhead Spinner Flies was tested on both wild and stocked trout in rivers and reservoirs.


The Beadhead Flies: Taking a closer look at the beadhead flies, the colors/patterns used were carefully selected to insure they will work in many regions. I find that out of the dozen that I have tested, they have all worked in a variety of situations. When the trout are not hitting one pattern, there will be one from Clear Water Lures kit that will prove to be effective.


The construction of the spinner is simple and well put together. The blade and its assembly is in good quality. The flies, like any others, are hand tied and are first-rate in terms of appearance and quality.


The Beadhead Rainbow special is a killer for stocked and wild bows, and even steelheads


Casting: The distance you can reach will be determined by the fishing line you are using, and if you want to toss the lures with or without split shot. Casting the Beadhead spinners using 2lb. test without any weights attached to it is possible, even on the windy days. With heavier line, one or two BB split shots can be added to the line to make it easier to cast.  Since the flies are large and not designed to be all that aerodynamic, they do create more air resistance thus limiting your casting distance, depending on the wind conditions at the present time. But for fishing in streams and rivers, you won't need to cast that far to get to the fish. Accuracy is your primary goal, as placement of the lures in front of the strike zone is key. In rivers most of the time you cast, then let it drift in the flow and wait for the strike.


RetrievingThis is the part of the test that I enjoyed the most and that's because retrieving the Beadhead Spinner Fly can be done in multiple ways with completely different results. Unlike other spinners or lures such as Kastmaster where you would normally use a steady retrieve, the Clear Water Beadhead is a lot more fun and has unique actions produced by both the blade and the fly itself. In lakes and low flow streams and rivers, twitching the spinner fly during a slow retrieve can be very attractive and can entice more strikes from trout. If a constant steady retrieve is called for, slow is the key. Working the Beadhead too fast will minimize the actions, but you will still hook up. Another way is to retrieve, stop allowing the spinner to fall, then repeat. Usually the strikes occur during the drop.


Since the spinner is light in weight and the fly decreases the sinking rate, retrieving in shallow streams is ideal with the Beadhead.  With other spinners you would have to downsize to the smallest lures, but with the Clear Water lure you are able to cast out, retrieve slower, and won't have to worry about it sinking too fast and snagging on rocks, vegetation, or anything else, and all this is done with a size 6 fly on a spinner.


The Red Comet is one of the patterns available for trolling


For those anglers who wish to troll using the Beadheads, they can simply attach enough weights on the line to get the spinner down deep enough, or they can purchase the weighted Beadheads used for trolling.  Again, slow is the key here. Troll just fast enough to get the blades spinning for the best results.


Durability: Flies, as many know, don't last forever.  It all depends on the materials used, how well it was tied, and how much you fish it. The flies attached to the spinner are well constructed, but certain Beadheads are more durable then the others. Like the Black Woolybugger, which will last a long time due to it's design and probably one of the most tightly tied. But the Rainbow Special is not as durable.  The feathers have a greater chance of being ripped apart by trout that miss the hooks instead grabbing the "wings" of the Rainbow Trout Special. The good thing is that trout will normally attack the spinner from the rear and hook the fish on the lip, keeping the body of the fly from being torn up.


The trailer hook is attached to the main hook and can be easily removed if needed


Final Notes: The Clear Water Beadhead Spinner Flies are great fun to fish and they really produce in clear water where trout are normally very shy. The trailer hook that is attached to the fly hook has it's pros and cons. If the trout misses the fly, the trailer hook will increase your chances in catching it. But if you do get the trout on the fly hook, then the trailer hook can provide a obstacle when removing the lure from it's mouth. If the trailer hook needs to be removed, simply cut the line that attaches the hooks together and you're good to go. As with any flies, you should definitely be careful and do your best to keep them in good shape after each use. Blow on the lures to spread the feathers or materials and let them dry before storing. This will help prolong the life of theses lures and keep the flies in top original form.

Beadhead Spinner Fly Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The overall construction is good and will be appealing to anglers using spinning gear.  The flies can always be tied better or use better material, but it's already good enough 8
Performance Great action when retrieved correctly.  Blades spin well and does not tangle up.  To be comparable to other spinners, casting the Beadhead will require adding weights 8
Price Good price for an inline spinner 8
Features Features are in the patterns, colors, and appearance of each fly on the spinner.  Each fly mimics something that's in the wild and one will produce fish if the others will not.  Also an added trailer hook provides more hookups for when the trout strikes short 8
Design (Ergonomics) Designed to mimic a more natural fly in a spinner is great for both wild and stocked trout.  The flies aren't exactly aerodynamic and can limit casting distance 7.5
Application Great for trout in rivers, streams, and lakes.  Can be used in streams that are just 4 inches deep.  It has also been used for other species such as bass, crappie, and others 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great action L Needs additional weight
J Works good in shallow waters L Not exactly the most durable
J Mimics a natural prey L Difficult to find

Conclusion: From time to time people hear and ask about ways to attach a fly to a spinning rig. They would use methods like bobbers/floats to keep the fly in depths needed, afloat, and more. Even though there are other companies out there that produce spinners with a fly-like fuzzy thing on the hooks, anglers who use spinning tackle can now benefit from a truly hybrid lure. The Beadhead Spinner Flies by Clear Water Lures have the attractiveness of a spinning blade plus the action and appearance of a large natural fly. The Beadheads exhibit good results in rivers, streams, and lakes. One of the advantages of these lures are that they can be used in extremely shallow water when fished weightless. If you fish for trout and inline spinners are your thing, don't pass on a chance to try this new and exciting hybrid spinner.









Copyright 2000-2023 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information