Walleye Harness Blade Basics: what do you need in your arsenal to get the job done


Some of the most popular “vintage” posts are about walleye blades; shapes, sizes and colors.  All these things are important when buying blades and building your own walleye catching rigs.  For this article let us take an approach for the first timer, that guy or gal who wants to build their own walleye harnesses for the first time, and create a shopping list to help them get started.

Big Eye Custom Lures.com

Big Eye Custom Lures.com


Selection is the key when building up your own arsenal of walleye catching blades.  You need to cover your bases, but for the sake of argument let us stay with the most popular and basic sized blades to get started.  The most popular size right now on any big body of water is a #6 Colorado blade,  a #5 will work, but so will a #8 blade, and you can break down into a #4 later as well, but the #6 is the best all around fish catching size right now.

Setting the size aside for now, now we get to the blades themselves; copper, gold and silver …oh my!  Well it is getting harder to find gold blades, although they are still out there is some good quantities, silver and copper are readily available.  Copper is the most popular by far, but some colors “pop” better on a silver blade.

To truly cover your bases, you need a color plan of attack when purchasing your first blades when getting started.  With so many patterns to choose from these days, you want to make it as simple as possible.  This is the way I would break it down if I was starting over tomorrow.

1)  Purples

2) Pinks

3) Chartreuses

4) Oranges

5) Blues

6) White base

7) Anti-freeze

8) Buggy

Big Eye Blue Perch

Big Eye Blue Perch


Now, let’s discuss why I broke down my choices, in a very random manner that is….

Notice how the blue really pops or shines coming off this silver blade from Big Eye Custom Lures .  Love this type of pattern when there are tons of shiners in the water, mixes right in with the bait and catches the attention of the walleye in the area. Purples and pinks can be metallic or over a base paint to give them a different look.  When the water becomes clear, think the metallic look is best, same with the anti-freeze type blades.  No matter what is going on under the waves, it seems like an orange or chartreuse colored blade will always catch fish.  A blade with a white base falls into that category as well. Panties, eriedescent, emerald shiner, are all patterns that produce throughout the year, with some periods of producing the hottest bite of the year it seems.

Of all the colors I mentioned though, buggy might need the most explaining.  Buggy is a very specialized bite that occurs during a two to four-week bite when the mayflies hatch off the bottom of the lake.  Although I detest terms that have been said over and over again, in this case it is true, it is good to “match the hatch”.  The first thing I look for in a buggy blade is it has to be copper 90% of the time.  It is a high percentage, so for starting out, get your copper on!  A metallic purple works on copper really well during this time.   Fishlander used make a confusion blade that rocked the mayfly bite, but unfortunately they are out of business now, going on some six years already if not longer.


Never fear though, if you want a Confusion blade, I have a guy.  If you order a dozen or more of the pattern, you can have a guy too.  Don from Big Eye Custom Lures will paint them up for you, you can save the pic and email it to him from the email available on the website.  He also makes a couple of patterns now that I consider really “buggy;  Copper Oriole and Halloween.



Why spend so much time on these buggy patterns, because right now in the walleye world, the mayfly hatch is in full swing and the bite is on.  Do not ignore the other suggestions on getting started, every blade has a time and place. Before the hatch started, pinks and oranges were rocking Erie and putting a lot of walleye in the boat for us. At the start of the year it was blues and purples, the bite comes in cycles just like the weather, and it is a good thing to be, like the Boy Scouts say……prepared!

Copyright, 2014


About Mason

Born off the Detroit River, raised in Ida and on Lake Erie. Anything fishing holds my interest from Walleye, Pike and Muskie to a 10 year run on the Ice Fishing Circuits around the MidWest.
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