What is The Best Setup for a Crankbait

Rods and reels have been specially manufactured specifically for cranking-type fishing rods that have to bend the right way, along with reels have to have the right low gear ratio with a fishing line that has strength and stretch but not too much stretch. All these components, working with the best crankbait in the area and time. What is the best setup for a crankbait?

Crankbait Line-fluorocarbon is stronger than mono-sinks for deep diving-better action & stretch than braid
Crankbait Rod-between 7-8 ft. long-crankbait rods should have a relatively slow action
Crankbait Reel-4:1 or 5:1 gear ratios to slow down the bait & provide more power for cranking heavy fish

Crankbaits are one of the most commonly used bass lures. Crankbaits come in all shapes and sizes and in an unbelievable spectrum of colors, but they all have a few things in common. To make them different the setup becomes even more important.

What is the Best Setup for a Crankbait


Having done a lot of fishing with Crankbaits most of the talk and advice is written about the crankbait itself like size, color, and dive type, and little, almost no information on setup rod type, and reel type is found with all information on the lure. Does setup even matter? Yes, it does.

There could be arguments for every detail I have written down here and the information is based on my experience and information I’ve used but the point is that fishing crankbait should include the complete setup from fishing line to rod size and action to the gear ratio on the reel.

Anglers today, use crank baiting rods and reels developed especially for cranking. The crankbait reel you use should have the capacity to hold enough lines and still have a shorter gear ratio to give better cast distances.

Crankbait Line


The smaller the diameter of the line, the deeper the lure will dive. So, the diameter of the line determines the depth to which the crankbait can dive. Monofilaments and braids float, and fluorocarbon line sink.

Braided lines are less strained and less attractive to crankbait fishermen because they have no stretch. The lack of stretch pulls the hook from the fish’s mouth, just as a stiff fishing rod would. Monofilaments and fluorocarbon are the best choices for crank baiters.



 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..……………………………………… Read more

Crankbait Rod


So when fishing crankbaits you want to use any rod, spinning or baitcasting, that is crafted with a slow or moderate taper as this will produce a slow or medium action. The benefits? In no particular order, there are many. A soft or medium action rod will do a better job of keeping a crankbait-hooked bass hooked!

Ideally, the rod is 7ft or more prolonged and could be up to 8 feet long. Most of your modern crankbait rods have slow and soft tips on the fishing rod to let fish have the chance to take all of the bait before feeling you on the other end. However, one of the biggest No, No in cranking is using too stiff of a rod.

If you don’t have a cranking rod, select a medium-action rod or a fiberglass rod that will have enough power to cast the big lures and handle heavy fish. Avoid a stiff, heavy rod and don’t use one that is too wimpy, because you will need to get a good hookset on fish that may be far from the boat and a rod that has no backbone won’t get the job done for you.

A good crank bait rod should have a relatively slow action. In other words, the rod should start to bend down about halfway down only after moderate pressure is applied to the top section. Fast action means that just the top third will bend with the same pressure.


Crankbait Reel


A lower fishing gear ratio reel is ideal for big baits that pull a lot, such as deep crankbaits. These reels have the highest amount of torque, allowing you to put less effort into retrieving the bait and more energy towards finding the fish.

I like that a 5.5:1 gear ratio or lower is ideal for all cranking because it forces anglers to fish slower. It also allows for more incredible speed during the reentry of your next cast. Your crankbait rod length must provide enough leverage for more casting distance and to help you reach the maximum dive depth possible.

Reels are a little less critical for effective cranking but many experienced anglers select reels with 4:1 or 5:1 gear ratios to slow down the bait and provide more power for cranking in heavy fish. Make sure the reel has plenty of line capacity since you will often be making long casts.


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 .……………………………………………………………………………….. Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor

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