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Crankbait : the best crankbaits, diving lure

Crankbait is a floating lipped lure designed to fish at every depth in freshwater. A crankbait is equipped with small balls that help with weight transfer to help reach the target. This gives the lure the best casting performance. To fish well with crankbaits we would suggest using a baitcasting setup.

This choice of fishing equipment is dictated by the fact that a crankbait is a lure that pulls in the rod. It is, for this reason, much more comfortable to fish for hours with a baitcasting rod. Choose a regular or moderate fast action. It offers sufficient flex to dampen the vibrations of the crankbait in the rod. For this reason, it is advisable to use a monofilament, to keep this important flexibility and stretch. A crankbait is effective for big perch, black bass, zander but also for pike in winter when they live in deeper water.

There are many types of crankbaits in a tackle box, it can be a little intimidating to pick and choose the right one. Shallow diving crankbaits, deep diving crankbaits, flat sided crankbaits or lipless crankbaits. Initially designed for bass anglers they are now used for many species of fish to trigger strikes at any depth in the water column. We'll help here if you want to learn how to fish them to catch fish in any condition with crankbaits.

What diving depth?

To begin with, there are many models of crankbaits of different sizes, weights, and types of lips. They allow facing any fishing situations. To remain coherent, we talk about crankbaits from the least diving ones to the most diving ones that are the deep divers.

The first model encountered, evolves on the surface of the water or slightly subsurface, ie under the water surface. This lure is called shallow crankbait. There are different sizes, the largest models are considered to be in the wakebait category, which moves only on the surface of the water. In this range we find small models from 30 to 60 millimeters, bill excluded, made for fast fishing.

We include in this category wakebait and shallow crankbait. The latter is used in shallow areas or anywhere else during the summer when the fish are suspended. Secondly, there are various medium divers, which are designed to fish between 50 cm and 1.80 meters. These have a similar angle of the lip. What differs on the medium diving crankbaits is the shape of the lip.

The medium diver crankbait is excellent in ponds, lakes, rivers, and in rivers current break. The last category of crankbaits, the deepest ones, are called Deep divers. They are excellent for cranking fishing (linear retrieve with pause), which allows you to feel the bottom. Indeed, the bill protects the hooks from any snags but also lifts sediment, from the bottom, at each contact of the bill.

This retrieve is called bottom taping, it mimics perfectly a small roach feeding on the bottom. To conclude with different specimens of these categories we always manage to unlock the right clue to fishing success.

Fishing with a crankbait: retrieve speed and lure type

First of all, with a crankbait, you can fish at any speed, with or without pauses.
It is the most versatile of hard lures, it allows you to fish all water depths without ever getting snagged. The crankbait is the best hard lure you can use for freshwater predators.
With a crankbait you can target big perch, you can stay effective in winter on pike and you can regularly catch zander!

To fish in an optimal way the plan is to use three casts with a different speed retrieve. I would suggest having at least two rods rigged and ready. Each one is rigged with a crankbait, with a different diving depth. This way, with only three casts, with each model, at different retrieve speeds, you are sure to get the most out of the spot.
We start with a shallow or medium diver crankbait, depending on the water depth.


A shallow crankbait is a model that can be retrieved at fast speeds without ever "stalling". It is the fast linear retrieve that gives the best results in the heart of summer for pike, perch, and black bass fishing.
The first cast is used to probe, to define the topography of the fishing spot (grass, sand, rocks, ...).

We retrieve the crank at medium speed, marking a mini pause when the lure touches the bottom or an obstacle. This allows you to define the depth of the water and to know that you are fishing correctly.
The following cast, with a slow linear retrieve, allows you to exploit all the possible hiding places where the predators could be.
Finally, the last cast is made with your deepest crankbait, the long bill lure. The retrieve is fast, giving the impression that the prey is escaping.

Most of the time with a crankbait you can do a quick survey to locate active fish. One trick is to dip the rod tip, which allows the crankbait to exceed its maximum diving depth.
To conclude, the water temperature increases with the metabolism of the fish it is time to use medium to fast retrieve speeds. We keep for the winter season the slow retrieve interspersed with pauses.

The best crankbait: silent or noisy (with rattles)?

Firstly, transfer of mass to gain casting distance or fixed mass not glued, the internal balls produce a sound. In addition to the masses slamming on the wall of the crankbait, there are balls whose function is to emit a sound. There are different sounds among crankbaits. The one caused by a single large steel ball produces a low tone, recognized as the most effective on the largest fish. The medium tone is obtained with several small steel balls, mixed with other tungsten balls: this is the most versatile vibration.

In the last position, we find the high-frequency vibrations, associated with a sharp and even crystalline sound. This sound is obtained with a mixture of several glass balls. All the noisy balls are called rattles, from rattlesnake for the sound that characterizes this animal.

A Japanese study shows that the fish memorizes and associates as a danger the sound/vibration of any lure that has already captured it. The fish keeps this memory for 2 years after release! Rightly, on the lakes with high fishing pressure, the advent of the catch and release favor the education of the carnivorous with the lures noisemakers. For this reason, it is advisable to have an assortment of noisy but also silent crankbaits.

Two or three rods, on which different models are rigged, including at least one silent crankbait, will allow you to fish different places with efficiency. In conclusion, a panel of crankbaits and a handful of silent models allow you to shine in any condition, don't forget it!