Bass Fishing Crankbaits (The Beginner’s Guide)

Currently, Crankbait is increasingly popular among anglers. As a beginner, how can you use crankbaits effectively? This article will help you distinguish the different types of crankbaits and how to use them, as tips for mastering using the crankbait for fishing.

The differences in crankbaits

Types of crankbaits vary in shape, size, color, action, depth, and other things. Distinguishing this difference will help you choose the correct crankbait for you. Below we will show you the differences between different types of crankbaits.

Lipped versus lipless

Each crankbait can be lip or lipless. Lipless crankbaits are usually available in sizes from ¼ ounce to 1 ounce. They create movement by the straps on the back of the bait, and when water passes over the sides of their slender bodies, it creates a vibration. They’re also filled with bbs for loud rattling sounds. However, in recent years, anglers have also discovered lipless orcas that make similar sounds in clear water. Lipless crankbaits are typically used for fishing between 1 foot and 50 feet of water. Remember that you should roll them faster or use lighter lures in shallow water; you do the opposite for deepwater.

For crankbaits, lips are graded based on their depth. Furthermore, using the lure will run on a 10-pound nylon or fluorocarbon monofilament. Most manufacturers also rely on the crankbait’s diving depth to determine. The angle into which the appeal will dive and s depth depend on the line’s shape, position, and angle. This also affects how the crankbait swing can be broad or tight. The crankbait top lip also helps keep the hooks from getting caught in stumps or branches, as they can help deflect. The lips will hit something and send the lure flying around, so you can fish without worrying about them getting stuck.

The shape of a crankbait

Shape affects wobble or wiggle

The action of a crankbait is influenced by its shape. Round body types will swing wider, while flat body lures will swing more tightly. For wider swingers suitable for hunting aggressive, competitive bass species, usually in warm water. The tight swing type may be relevant when the water is cold, and the fish is not responsive to the vigorous movements of the wide swing. Because of this, Rapala Shad’s Rap is often chosen for cold waters, while Strike King 6XD, Spro Fat Papa, and Bomber Fat-Free Shad BDS7 are used for warm waters in summer.

What Size of Crankbaits to Throw

Crankbait has sizes from 1.0, 1.5, 2.5, and 4.0; the largest is 8.0. The size selection should be suitable for the food of each type of fish. If the fish eats small bait, you should choose a size of 1.5 or smaller than 1.0. When the small types work, you gradually increase the size to 2.5 and 4.0, or the large type used to hunt big fish is 8.0.

For fish whose primary food is crawfish, a 1.5 is recommended, and if deeper diving is required, there is a model that can dive up to seven feet with the label as a deep dive crankbait. It is suitable in the rocks, where small fish often hunt for crawfish. This also affects our choice of colors for the crankbait.

Running depth created by lips

Shallow crankbaits are called square bills. There is also a short bill with a flat edge, which can deviate slightly but does not create much movement with the water. Over the years, this bill has become very popular and used to attract bass fish around rock and wood areas. However, other types of crankbait are also made with rounded stubby lips, and this crankbait’s sharp corners are often the bait’s tip.

You’ll work at a more medium depth with a 5-10 feet starting distance. These baits are usually 2-3 inches long and can cover water wells from 0-12 feet deep. These lures will have a more extended lip than shallow crankbaits and a more protruding lip tip.

With a depth of more than 12 feet, when you start fishing, you should use larger crankbaits, ranging in size from 3 to 5 inches, depending on how deep you feel. As you throw and collect the lures, you also need talent, as giant lips are usually more resistant to water, leading to arm fatigue. Theoretically, you could use a deep dive crankbait in shallow water, but in practice, this can get your bait caught in more obstructions and raking the bottom, which will tire you out.

Matching line and diving depth

As for us, we usually like our crankbaits marked at the bottom. We typically achieve this by matching the line’s size with the crankbait’s depth. If you want to bait, not dive, use a 20-pound line instead of a 10-pound fluorocarbon. If you want an average dive with this deepest, use a 10-pound fluorocarbon. And those who want to get as deep as possible often use the 8-pound fluorocarbon. Usually, good anglers will have different rods with different line sizes to reach depths effectively. Kevin VanDam is also one of the best and has had his share of his crankbait system. Accordingly, the rule is that the shallower you throw, the stronger the line should be. In less than 3 feet of water, 15 pounds of fluorocarbon should be used, and in 4-7, 12-14 pounds; if deeper, 12 pounds.

Color of crankbaits

Which Color Squarebill

The colors don’t always match; however, for the KVD line, I think you can. It should be noted that the clearer the water, the more realistic the patterns must be. There are realistic shaded colors of the medallion, and they are considered representative colors. With crawfish, you should first talk to a local aquatic biologist about changes in the color of the water lines with the seasons or with the temperature of the water. And you’ll realize blue isn’t a far-fetched color.

Colors matter most of the time.

Nowadays, crankbaits come in a wide variety of colors. However, this doesn’t require you to have a case of all crankbaits colors. A few crankbaits commonly recommended by professional anglers are bright shad patterns, matte patterns, bluegills, collectibles, and some contrasting colors to camouflage the bases when fishing for bass.

For the shad patterns, the Bomber’s Dance’s Citrus Shad and Strike King’s Sexy Shad are the main patterns used for targeting bass in the sun. On clear and cloudy days, muted shad patterns from Rapala and Bandit are more recommended.

It would help if you did not go wrong with Spro’s Spring Craw or a black back for dirty water environments. We usually have a collectible fish pattern tied on the rods in the spring. The old Wiggle Warts and Flat, A crankbait crawling model for crawfish-eating bass, are also popular. Alternatively, bluegill patterns can also include the time and place when you are aiming for sea bream-eating sea bass.

Related post: Best Senko Colors For Bass (Top 10 Must-Have Colors)

Where and how to Throw Crankbaits

Usually, the place to throw this bait is in shallow water with lots of tree stumps, rocks, or mud. However, that is not the only place. You can also throw this bait in deeper water with grass below the surface. If 10-14 feet deep the grass is 3-4 feet below the surface, bait the square bill along the top of the surface, and this will attract bass that won’t get caught in the grass like traditional crankbaits. You can throw a square bill every time you locate a tree and rock and fish in water more than 4 meters deep because these fair bills depend on action, deflection, and retrace, not scratching the nose down the ground to attract attention like regular crankbaits.

Retrieving is something you need to keep in mind. The recovery rate should be appropriate for the time of year and the fish’s type of food. The shad type is faster than bluegill. With a regular school of fish, I marked and took the KVD 1.5 line at a medium and steady speed. If you feel a collision with something, stop for about 2 seconds and then continue to retrieve. You can’t run too fast in summer and should run slower in winter. For transparent or grassy waters below the surface, use the roll and pause technique, typically ten spins and a 2-second pause. Then reel and repeat.

What Rod Should I throw a Squarebill On

A rod of moderate weight with a Moderate taper is suitable for square bill types. Larger fish need to ensure a more robust frame, but the Moderate taper also allows for a slower pull-up, which helps the bait stay longer in an area where the fish can attack. My favorite rods are usually 7′ to 7.6′. My two favorite rods for the square bill are the MH Shimano Curado 7’4 ″ ($159) and the Daiwa Tatula XT Crankbait Rod 7 ′ Med Hvy Glass ($ 99) because both rods do not break and are suitable for bait and surface fishing.

What Reel Should I Use?

The reel brand is something people are usually interested in; however, pay attention to the gear ratio. For deep cranks, the balance is often chosen to be 5:1. For square bills, the ratio should be between 6 and 7:1. I like the Shimano Curado 201 K with its 6.2:1 ratio because it allows me to use it with square bills and can be swapped out for a six or 8XD on the same rod if desired.

Related post: Can You Use a Spinning Reel for Crankbaits?


With practice, you will quickly get used to it and get better. Everything will soon become familiar to you. And if you’re still wondering what color to choose, try the chartreuse with a black back, a sexy shad, and a red craw color pattern. Those are the standard colors. Try the crankbait, and I believe you will understand it pretty quickly.

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