How to Rig a Crankbait for Bass

There are a couple of tips that I provide to fellow anglers that are included in this article but what I don’t mention is the inevitable close encounters with a treble hook that is located on the bottom and the tail-end of a Crankbait, but if you use a crankbait for bass you have to rig it properly so that it moves how it was engineered to move. How do you Rig a Crankbait for Bass?


  • Crankbait Line Setup-tie the main line directly to split ring using a Clinch/Loop knot.
  • Test the Crankbait-by dragging it through the H2O to see if it moves straight or left/right
  • Make adjustment-if needed by bending the ring on the lure to the opposite side it pulls
  • Be careful of Cranbait treble hooks

Crankbaits are engineered and manufactured to mimic the real-life action of a baitfish, crayfish, or most other prey that largemouth and smallmouth bass love to hunt in different depths of the water column

How to Rig a Crankbait for Bass


If you love Bass fishing as much as I do you’ll find that rigging Crankbaits for Bass largemouth or smallmouth can heighten the fishing experience. In fact, I’ll go one better and say using Crankbait beats everything I’ve tried for excitement and sometimes even success depending.

When you fish largemouth with a Crankbait you need to make sure you are using all the right tackle besides the type and color of crankbait. The most important thing to remember here is no way that this way is the only way. I fish with half a dozen people and everyone has their own recipe for success.

There are a few rules that everyone can agree on when it comes to Crankbait and Largemouth/Smallmouth Bass

  • Make sure your crankbait has a snap ring on the metal eye. Most crankbaits will come with it already attached, so you shouldn’t have to buy a snap ring.
  • Use your favorite knot to tie a 12-pound fluorocarbon line to the crankbait.  As long as it’s a quality knot, it will work. The best fishing knots to use tieing crankbaits are a standard Clinch knot along with a Non-Slip Loop Knot (Kreh Loop Knot) both knots are strong, easy to tie, & allow the crankbaits or any artificial lures to be tied directly to the lure allowing it more life-like action & presentation underwater
  • Test your crankbait to ensure it’s moving straight by dropping it in the water and pulling it with your rod. If it tries to turn too much on its side, looks awkward or skips across the water. If it’s not moving through the water right, take a pair of pliers and lightly bend the metal eye connected to the snap ring in the opposite direction the lure wants to turn. 
  • Crankbaits are designed to maintain contact with the bottom. That’s why a long cast is crucial. The longer the cast, the more time the lure will bounce along the bottom of the water column in the strike zone, which means you’ll get more bites. A slow-speed reel works well with crankbaits because you want to reel the lure as slowly as possible while still feeling the crankbait come in contact with the bottom.

What are the Types of Crankbaits?

Crankbaits are lures made in the shape of a baitfish separated into 3 types:

  1. Diving depth-depth depends on size & bill shape-dive on retrieve-shallow, medium, deep & extra deep.
  2. Sound produced-crankbaits make sounds called “rattling”, or staying quiet called “silent”
  3. Lipless-Lipless-have no diving bill .………………………………………………………………………………………Read more



How Do You Fish Crankbaits?

Lipless Crankbaits (no bill)-12 ft.+ depth-use slow retrieve in Spring & Fall
Lipped Crankbait (have a bill)-2 to 12 ft. use “twitching” motion-snap lure side to side in place with a slow retrieve
Square-shaped bill Crankbait-run along bottom-through grass & weeds shallow & close to the shoreline-0-5 ft. ..………………………………..Read more

Crankbait Bass Tips


During the spring, flat-sided and lipless crawfish-colored crankbaits work best because lipless crankbaits don’t wobble as much as a billed crankbait (which looks more natural in the cooler water), and crawdads are one of the primary food sources for bass during the time of year.

In late spring and early summer, when the bass is in shallow water, a shallow diving bluegill-colored square bill crankbait works best because bluegill are public enemy number one for bass guarding beds and fry during and after the spawn.

During the hottest time of the year, bass move to deeper, cooler water. This means deep-diving shad-colored or chartreuse crankbaits are the key.

If the water is clear, go with a natural shad or baitfish color, and if the water is murky or stained, go with a bright color.


What is the Best Color Crankbait?

The most important seasonal parameter for Crankbait is Color:
Spring-Crawfish red-Shad color-Chartreuse
Summer-Citrus Chad-Spooky Nasty-Homemade Shad
Fall-Go with a bone (white) color in overcast conditions
Switch to a chrome or silver color when the sun comes out.
Winter-.……………………………………………………………………………….Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor



Feature Image from Karl’s Bait & Tackle


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