Single nanoantenna spectroscopy was carried out on realistic dipole nanoantennas with various arm lengths and gap sizes fabricated by electron-beam lithography. A significant difference in resonance wavelength between realistic and ideal nanoantennas was found by comparing their spectral response. Consequently, the spectral tunability (96 nm) of the structures was significantly lower than that of simulated ideal nanoantennas. These observations, attributed to the nanofabrication process, are related to imperfections in the geometry, added metal adhesion layer, and shape modifications, which are analyzed in this work. Our results provide important information for the design of dipole nanoantennas clarifying the role of the structural modifications on the resonance spectra, as supported by calculations. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.