Rooster Tail vs Panther Martin vs Mepps Spinner

If you fish for trout then you probably already know that the spinner is one of the most effective lures out there. There are a good number of options to pick from but in this post, I’m going to be comparing the Rooster Tail to the Panther Martin and also the Mepps.

Out of these three spinners, the Mepps has been the most consistent for catching trout over the years. The Panther Martin is a close second and our least favorite is the Rooster Tail. All three of them will definitely catch fish but the reason we have the Rooster Tail ranked #3 is that they don’t spin as well and don’t have as much vibration. The number of bites was slightly better with the Mepps and Panther and the hookup percentage was also higher.

Obviously, it wasn’t this way 100% of the time but it was more often than not. The way we fish them is by simply casting out, letting the spinner sink down just above the bottom, and then slowly reeling in. Very very simple but it’s a great way to cover water. I’ll get into the key differences and my favorite colors in the next section. Let’s get started.

Rooster Tail Spinner

Rooster Tail

My least favorite of the three (but still effective) is the Rooster Tail. It’s still a great option and I’d have no problem using it, but there are a few things I didn’t like as much.

The first thing is that they don’t seem to be as durable. The hooks and the eyelets are completely fine but they’ll actually bend pretty easily. If they bend easily you’ll probably get some weird action and not-so-good spin. You can bend them back but it’s just a hassle.

The second thing is that they don’t seem to spin as well. Sometimes when you bump into something or get bit, you’ll need to jerk the rod to get it spinning again. This still happened with the other two but it was less common.

That being said, there still are some good things with the Rooster Tail. They don’t sink as deep as the Panther Martin and they don’t seem to get snagged as much either. The blade does do a good job of avoiding sunken logs or weeds.

My favorite size to use is the same as the other two. I’ve found 1/16 or 1/8 oz to work well in all conditions and I’ve caught a number of different species on them. Smaller will probably catch you more numbers but if you want the big land, try giving the slightly larger lure a try.

As for color, my favorite would have to be silver or silver and green. These colors don’t always work the best but it’s normally what I start with. If you can get all the basics (silver, black, gold, chartreuse) then I think you’ll be able to land fish anywhere.

Overall, they’re a really solid fishing lure that’ll catch fish. There are a few negatives about them but that’s pretty much the case for everything. It’ll just take a bit of practice to really master the Rooster Tail.


  • They work well in cover (don’t snag as easily).
  • Pretty buoyant.
  • Lots of sizes and colors.


  • Might need to re-engage the spinner.
  • Takes some practice to master.

Get a Rooster Tail spinner on Amazon.

Panther Martin Spinner

Black and gold panther martin

The Panther Martin is a close second behind the Mepps and I still do use them often. I actually like using them in different situations and think they both have their pros and cons.

The time I’d prefer to use a Panther Martin is when I need to fish a bit deeper or when I want a bit less vibration. PM spinners tend to sink a bit deeper and my guess would have to be because of the blade design. This is why they’d be perfect in deeper water areas.

They also seem to vibrate a bit less than the Mepps and that could be a good thing in certain conditions. Sometimes you want to be a bit more subtle with your presentation and that’s when you’d want to throw this guy.

My favorite size for trout would have to be 1/8 or 1/16 oz. It really depends on what species you’re going after but I’ve found these two sizes to catch the majority of fish out there. You’ll also be able to land a bass, crappie, salmon, and other panfish on them.

There are a bunch of different colors to pick from but my favorite would have to be the black and gold or the silver blade with a yellow and red body. Again, they’re natural colors and seem to work really well in all water conditions.


  • Pretty compact size.
  • Heavier than the other two.
  • Sink the deepest.
  • Spinner engages right away.


  • Get snagged easily.
  • Not as effective in shallow water.

Grab a Panther Martin spinner on Amazon.

Mepps Spinner

Silver and red mepps

The Mepps has been my personal favorite for a number of years now and I’ve caught a number of different species on them. The main difference I’ve noticed between the three is that the Mepps won’t sink as deep and it has more vibration.

If you need to go deep then you might want to use one of the other two, but for shallow ponds, lakes, and creeks, the Mepps will be perfect. They also seem to flash the most and that should catch the eye of more fish.

You can pick from a range of colors and sizes and the best thing to do would be to get the assortment kit. It’ll come with 6 different spinners and they’ll all be different colors and sizes. I found the smaller spinners to work better in lakes and ponds while the bigger ones are good in streams.

My favorite color overall would have to be one with a silver blade and a red bead. I like silver because it’s natural-looking, flashes a lot, and is visible in clear and dirty water. They’ll also catch other species of fish as well.

As I said, you can purchase them individually but I’d recommend getting an assorted kit. They sell either a colored or plain kit and I’ve had the best results with the plain one. Test both if you want to though.


  • Most buoyant of the three.
  • Spinner engaged pretty well.
  • Decent at avoiding snags.
  • Vibrates well.


  • Doesn’t go as deep as the other two.
  • Not as many sizes and colors.

Get the plain Mepps kit on Amazon.

Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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