Types of Crankbait

I just returned from a freshwater fishing trip on a small lake where I used a Crankbait with a round bill lure, considered a shallow depth diver that fished in around 6 to 8 feet of water with orange and red color that produced Crappie, Largemouth, and Northern Pike. All Anglers should have an assortment of Crankbait in their tackle box. 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


Swivels can be used with crankbaits to make it faster to switch between lures. BUT Using a swivel will affect the action of your crankbait. It will also make your lure look a little less natural. This may or may not be an issue depending on water clarity and how finicky the fish are. Tie a Crankbait with Clinch or a Non-Slip Loop Knot directly to the lure.

Types of Crankbait


The Crankbait is a popular fishing lure made from various materials, in the shape of a baitfish or crawfish, which may include one or more hooks, may or may not include a diving bill, and lastly will include something to tie your fishing line to. There is an assortment of Crankbait types separated into three easy-to-understand categories. Diving depth, the sound produced, and the lipless crankbait lures.

  1. Diving depth – Crankbaits are classified as wake baits, shallow divers, medium diving, deep diving, and extra deep diving crankbaits.
  2. Sound production – Crankbaits are made to make a sound called “rattling”, or if the crankbait is made to stay quiet it’s called “silent”
  3. Lipless crankbait – Lipless has its own category

So if you want to fish 10 feet of water, there is a billed crankbait that dives to that depth of water, 15 feet of water, same thing, all the way up to like 25 to 30 feet of water. They have crankbaits with large bills that can dive to those depths now in the market.

So you have your three types of Crankbaits that all dive to different depths of the water column that will go where fish go in different seasons. The length and overall size of a Crankbait’s bib will determine how deep it dives as it’s retrieved.

  • Standard Round Bill Crankbait
  • Square bill Crankbait
  • Lipless Crankbait



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

Standard Round Bill Crankbait


Ozark Trail 1/3 Ounce Shad Crankbait Fishing Lure - Walmart.comA round bill is the most common-shaped bill you will fish on crankbait because of how versatile it is. You will discover rounded bills on crankbaits designed to dive anywhere from 0-25ft deep. The wider the bill is on a crankbait, the wider wobble it will produce. This wider action is great in a post-spawn environment and when the water is warm and fish are active.

  • A round bill is the most common-shaped bill you will find on a crankbait because of how versatile it is. You will find rounded bills on crankbaits designed to dive anywhere from 0-25ft deep.
  • The wider the bill is on a crankbait, the wider wobble it will produce. This wider action is ideal post-spawn and when the water is warm and fish are active.
  • Thinner bills produce a tighter, more compact wobble. This makes them more popular in colder water or when you need a more finesse presentation. In general, the colder the water the thinner you want your crankbait’s bill to be.

Some newer crankbaits are now coming with weight built into their bill to help them dive to their target depth faster. This helps the bait get and stay at its target depth longer and faster.


What is the Best Knot to Use When Tieing a Crankbait?

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  .………………………………………………….. Read more


Square Bill Crankbait


Strike King Magnum 8.0 KVD Square Bill Crankbait 1oz Black Back Chartreuse 7 FT for sale online | eBayThe structural differences between medium- and deep-diving crankbaits and shallow-diving square-bill crankbaits are small, but the biggest difference is also the most critical. Square-bill crankbaits are made in all sizes, shapes, and colors. They can be silent or can contain knockers or BBs to create even more disturbance in the water. 

Like most crankbaits, they can be made to mimic shad, bream, crawfish, and other bait fish. Variety is the name of the game when it comes to crankbait fishing. The key to effectively fishing a square bill is maintaining bottom contact or deflecting it off cover where fish might be set up. The erratic action of the plug, when it deflects, is what triggers the fish to react.

Lipless Crankbait



Amazon.com : 6th Sense Quake 70 Lipless Crankbait (4K Bluegill) : Sports & OutdoorsLipless crankbaits are simple-constructed lures that can be fished effectively by fishermen of all skill levels. Beginners can cast one out and reel it back and expect to see results, while more advanced anglers know that bouncing them off bottom rocks and alternating retrieve speeds can generate even more bites.

It all starts with choosing the best lipless crankbait for the job. One that works in super-shallow water might not excel when bass are suspended deeper, and one that’s great in submerged grass might not be as good around timber or rocks. 

Lipless crankbaits are unlike the other types of crankbaits. As the name suggests, they don’t have a lip that makes them dive. Instead, lipless crankbaits sink and their diving depth is controlled by their weight and your retrieval speed. This makes them super versatile, they can be used in 1ft of water or super deep in 70ft of water. Lipless crankbaits are great for bouncing along the bottom or fishing in or around the grass.


How do You Rig a Crankbait for Bass?

Crankbait Line Setup-tie the main line directly to the 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 .……………………………………………………………………………………………….Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor



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