This post is about spinnerbait skirt design and will hopefully assist you in picking the skirt that serves the intended purpose. There are two main skirt designs for spinnerbaits. The first and more common design has all of the strands running through a small band which slides over the hook and around the neck of the spinnerbait. The second design is an all-in-one approach where the skirt and band are fused.
Skirt material will determine your presentation and retrieve. The body profile and action varies depending on the skirt design. Skirts are made from different compositions of live-rubber, vinyl, or silicone. Some skirts are a mix of the two or are made of rubber and coated with silicone. The quality of either material also varies. I have read that silicone skirts do well in clear water and rubber skirts should be used in stained to muddy water. In low water clarity, the vibration from a rubber skirt is more prominent and in clear water, silicone offers some level of translucency and lifelike appearance.1 The thickness of the skirt material can vary as can the shape. For instance, many skirt strands are flat while some are round. You can even find skirts with strands that are wavy as opposed to straight. Sometimes glitter or metal flakes are mixed in with the silicone. The material the skirt is made from will determine how much action it will have or whether or not individual strands stick together. So will the number of strands. You will find that lure companies often mention the strand count which usually varies from 20 to 50 strands depending on the size of the lure. Skirt colors are only limited by the imagination. You can find skirts in every shade of color and in so may combinations it boggles the mind.
Skirts with a single collar around the middle are far more common, but I will add that they are more difficult to manage. Heat and UV both cause many skirt collars to deteriorate over time. I have been told that colored (black) bands hold up to UV better than white or tan bands. See my post called "Skirt Bands Break" for more on this issue of durability. Should the collar break or the skirt need adjusting, this design is far more difficult to repair. Working individual strands through a skirt collar is one of the most difficult tasks I've faced in bass fishing. I still don't have an effective way to fix these kinds of skirts. A firm pair of tweezers can be used to hold the collar wide open and a second pair of tweezers aids in feeding each strand through the collar. It is a very tedious procedure.
All-in-one skirts are also an option. These skirts are far more durable and either made of silicone or vinyl. They slide right over the hook and onto the lead head of the spinnerbait with ease. There is a right way to slide the skirt on and those of you who think nothing of it will be surprised to know some anglers have mistakenly threaded the skirt on backwards. If you hold the skirt and the strands hang straight down, you're holding it the wrong way. Turn it around so all the strands extend out like a flower. That being said, even sliding the skirt on backwards draws strikes. I'm always an advocate of trying something different than the norm.
You can read more about spinnerbaits at the following link.
Skirt Bands Break
Replace/Fix Jig, Spinnerbait, or Buzzbait Skirts
1. Sternberg, Dick. The Ultimate Guide to Freshwater Fishing. Chaska, MN. Publishing Solutions, LLC. 2003.