Aqua Dream Spoon Vs. Johnson Silver Minnow [Experiment Results]

By: Luke Simonds on September 5, 2019
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best weedless spoon

It’s Saturday morning and you’re heading out to your favorite honey hole…

It’s got mangrove islands, seagrass and an oyster bar where you can always find hungry redfish and snook.

Of course, you don’t want to get snagged, so you want to use a weedless spoon.

Which spoon are you choosing?

The Aqua Dream or the Johnson Silver Minnow?

To help you decide, I put together this lure experiment.

I rigged up each of these spoons on identical setups (same rod, reel, line and leader) and over three trips I would cast each one three times and then switch to the other.

Want to know which spoon performed best?

Check out the video below for the results.

Note: We are not affiliated with any spoon or other lure company, so you can be sure this is a totally unbiased review.

Aqua Dream Spoon vs. Johnson Silver Minnow

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Conclusion

big redfish on weedless spoon

Here are how these two lures stack up against one another based on what I saw and felt during the 3 days of testing:

Total Catches: Advantage: Aqua Dream

    • Aqua Dream: 3 redfish, 3 snook
    • Johnson Silver Minnow: 3 redfish, 1 snook

Casting Distance: Slight advantage to Silver Minnow (most differences came when having to cast into the wind)

Skip-ability: Advantage: Silver Minnow

Weedlessness: Tie

Vibration: The Silver Minnow puts out more vibration, which I would say is a positive in cloudy water, but it’s a negative in clear water.

Twist Factor: Advantage to Silver Minnow. The Silver Minnow seemed to twist the line a little bit less than the Aqua Dream.

Both spoons work well and can catch fish!

When I first got into fishing I was so concerned about which lure to use.

I was constantly wasting money buying new lures and wasting time switching them while I was out on the water.

But an experiment like this that proves you can catch fish with a number of different lures, so the most important thing is to find the feeding zones!

Now here are my questions to you:

Have you experienced different results than I have with these two lures?

Or found a certain situation where one of them really performs well?

Have any suggestions for making this a more accurate test?

Let me know in the comments below!

The benefit of us being funded by the Insider Club (and not brand sponsorships) is that we have the freedom to do these tests and give you unbiased feedback and recommendations.

And speaking of the Insider Club, if you want to find the best local fishing spots, get access to exclusive gear and discounts, and know what and where the fish are biting now, click here to join us.

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Joe SheafferMel BledsoeJoe FilesWesley WileyWilliam Woodhouse Recent comment authors
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Joe Sheaffer
Member

Luke, great info. It is awesome to see the pros and cons with each spoon. I agree, areas are way more important than a certain type of lure. Good work.

Mel Bledsoe
Member

Up in nw. FL. A couple of friends and myself use the copper colored ones. Both in Cajun thunder and Johnson. Work great, give em a shot.

Joe Files
Member

I live on a small river and was thinking about trolling one of these lures. Could that be effective and could you do it without a planer board?

Bill Woodhouse
Member

I started out many years ago with the J. SS for largemouth bass. When I got back to NC and saltwater in 1976 I found that here the gold version was the gold standard for red drum (no snook here). I heard about the AD on CA’s show and have had success with several colors, but have not done any controlled experiments. Excellent video!

Robert Glassen
Member

Great video, Luke!

A few comments:

You’re right. If you’re not putting the lure in front of fish, it doesn’t make any difference what lure you use. I let the water I fish (hopefully with fish in it) drive my lure selection. So, if the water you’re fishing has a lot of weeds, the best choice isn’t a Mirrodine / Treble Hooks. That’s good water for a weedless spoon. If the fish are on oyster bars, maybe the deep diver with treble hooks isn’t the way to go.

I found that I get a lot less line twist when I use a good ball bearing swivel AND use a LOOP KNOT. I know that you’re tying to a split ring on the swivel, but for some reason I get a lot less twist when I use the loop knot. I’ve also found that the Silver Minnow is less likely to twist my line trolling behind a kayak. Also, check a used swivel to make sure it’s not locked up. When you twist a line trolling from the kayak, there’s no way to untwist it, so goodbye line.

When casting I like to reel both of them slowly — so they just nick the bottom now and then.

I’d be interested in what everyone’s experience with different AquaDream colors is. I’ve caught fish on all of them… I never know if I would have done better with another color.

Ben Skinner
Member

This was a really nice comparison video and one short segment summed up most fisherman’s problems. ” I was focused on the lure and not as much on the spot”. That is the key and so easy to forget. Thank you again for a great video series.

Marvin Puckett
Member

Great Job Luke! I Really enjoined watching!

Charles Phillippi
Member

When in doubt, carry both. I use terminal tackle called “fast snap” it allows me to change spoons quickly if ones not working well. Plus other lures for that matter. Basically it looks like a mini paper clip. Just a thought..saltstrong4life

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks for making time to leave the helpful comment Charles!

William DeWeese
Member

Pretty cool comparison. I do agree with your conclusion to that the When and the Where regarding the patterns of your fishing choice is much more important than the What you use.

I did long ago pick up one of the aqua dreams in chartreuse. I think it did increase the number of juvie Snook that would hit it. It might be that it just fools them into thinking it’s a greenback versus say a pinfish or some other bait. It also could be dependent upon turbidity of the water.

So many factors but finding fish when they are feeding is always the key factor.

Excellent work as usual.

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks for the kind words Bill! Yes, there are a ton of factors at play every day, so it’s pretty much impossible to get 100% clear results from the catch comparisons of the two lures after a few tests assuming both lures are at least good. But I’m sure there will be one in which a bad lure goes up against a good one and gets totally owned… more reviews coming soon:)

Dave Otte
Member

Hey Luke, thank you for this excellent review! I get my Silver Minnow spoons at Wal-Mart and they’re not that expensive. What is the price and availability like for the Aqua Dream? Is it only available online?

Thanks again for this useful information!!

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks Dave! The aqua dreams are tougher to find and more expensive. Some tackle shops carry them, but many don’t. I got mine at a store in Tampa (Southeastern Tackle), and I believe it was $5.

Wesley Wiley
Member

They’re on Amazon, but about double the price of a Johnson. Of course, better to buy locally if available! 🙂

Jerry Bergeron
Member

I have used both extensively in Florida and Louisiana. The catching ability was virtually the same in both, at first. The main factor that you did not cover is that once a Johnson catches a few reds, it’s hook tends to loosen at the spoon/hook juncture, rust and eventually the hook fails. The only thing you can do is throw it away. With the Aquadream when the hook rusts, change it out! Hands down, Aquadream every time!

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks for sharing your experiences using the Silver Minnow and Aquadream spoons Jerry!

Richard Fiorentino
Member

What was the weight of the spoons?

Luke Simonds
Admin

Both of them were 1/4th oz

Richard Fiorentino
Member

thank you – I see you are an early riser!

Luke Simonds
Admin

5 am:)

Dusherring@gmail.com
Member

What sizes did you use for these spoons? 3/8 oz 1/2 oz etc.

Luke Simonds
Admin

Both spoons were in the 1/4th oz size.

Mason
Guest
Mason

Johnson splinter spoon all the way! I haven’t caught snook on them but lots of trout and reds.

Dennis Wheelus
Member

Does a swivel O.k. to use? If not, what kind of knot?

Luke Simonds
Admin

I do believe it is ok to use swivels with spoons.

Dennis Wheelus
Member

Did you use a loop knot?

Luke Simonds
Admin

I did use a loop knot for the silver minnow. But I didn’t use one for the aqua dream spoon because it came with a split ring.

Pat Ogletree
Member

Thanks Luke I was really interested in seeing these results. I’m not a spoon guy but I’d be willing to try them out, I just need to gain some confidence in them. One thing that sticks in my mind, if you were to ever try this again I would like to see the same color used on both just to eliminate that variable. Thanks for sharing

Luke Simonds
Admin

Hey Pat, I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this weedless spoon experiment. Yes, the color factor was an added variable that made it tough to determine which one catches the most fish. My core goal was to get the more measurable items like casting distance, skipping ability, line twisting, etc. that can be gathered after just a few short trips.

David White
Member

Try the mogan spoon next. Works great.

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks for submitting the spoon recommendation David!. I’ll keep an eye out for the mogan spoon on future shopping sprees.

John Caprice
Member

Great Back to back video on the spoons. I never heard of the AquaDream company before, Live and learn.
They were 2 different colors, may have been a factor.

There are many spoon lures available. I’ve fished with most of them over the years. The Johnson Silver minnow was one of my first for large mouth bass as a kid. Funny though. I never caught a bass on one. Can’t blame the spoon, the plastic worms had just been introduced and the the bass crushed them. They were sold from “candy jars” at the tackle shop. The best killer lure was a 5″ eel imitation. We just impaled them with a size 2 eagle claw bronze hook and twitched them for the best results. Now I am going back 55 years…Jeez! I still have one of those original eels in my original Plano tackle box….filled with fishing token memories.
Good Job Luke….and Otis of course.

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks for the kind words John! Yes, the fact that the spoons were different colors was surely a factor in the fish caught during the time using them. There are so many other factors at play with getting a fish to strike that I was more focused on documenting the other factors that are more measurable like casting distance, skipping ability, vibration, line twists, etc… the fact that fish were caught was mostly just to prove that both spoons actually can catch fish.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Agua dream was created by Captain Mike Hakala out of New Smyrna years ago and is the best spoon imo..Use a quality ball bearing swivel and throw all day with no line twist..Grwat test Joe

John Campbell
Member

Test the ability to sharpen the hooks. I do not know about the Aqua Dream, but the hook on the silver minnow has been and remains TERRIBLE. I do not understand why they cannot use a better quality hook. I had to throw away two musky sized minnows this year because I could not get them sharp. They are plated after being assembled, and I do feel they need to be sharpened.

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks for sharing your findings about the hooks on the Silver Minnow spoons John!

Glenn Acomb
Member

Luke: Thanks for another helpful video comparison. I was very interested because I have not been comfortable that the Aqua Dream spoon would be as good, especially that the weed guard seems flimsy. That is good to know because the Aqua Dream colors are much more varied. Bravo. Has anyone painted their Johnson spoons to get more color?

Luke Simonds
Admin

Thanks Glenn! Yes, I was very surprised at how effective the flimsy weed guard on the Aqua Dream spoon proved to be. I believe that Johnson is now selling spoons of different colors too… but I have yet to see them in any store (just on their website).

Steve Thomas
Member

CA has some random colors on his site as well…latest is pink. Not sure that I’ll be grabbing one of those, but definitely has some interesting options.

robert leon harke
Guest
robert leon harke

as always something to learn or evaluate your skills against your un skills as to new ways of doing things beyond what you assume you already know.

Luke Simonds
Admin

One of the best things about fishing is that it’s a forever learning adventure!