Can You Use a Spinning Reel for Crankbaits? (Detailed Guide You Need To Know)

To start bass fishing, and more particularly, crankbait fishing. The only issue is that baitcasting tackle is the best method to utilize cranks, but all you have is a spinning reel. Continue reading if this describes you or if you’re interested in using spinning gear with crankbaits.

You can use spinning reel parts to catch crankbaits, but you’ll want to utilize your spinning tackle selectively. Use a spinning reel for your small crankbaits and a baitcasting rig for your heavier lures if you have the option. Most crankbaits should be able to be fished with a spinning reel. If you’re serious about fishing, you’ll need baitcasting and spinning gear. However, this article focuses on the best methods to utilize crankbaits with a spinning reel.

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What Is Crankbait?

For bass anglers who need to cover a lot of water fast and explore different depths, crankbait fishing is the way. Crankbaits today come in a range of body shapes and widths, but the lure’s bill is the main element that distinguishes a crankbait as a shallow-, medium-, or deep-diving plug. Crankbaits with square bills work best in shallow water from 1 to 4 feet deep, whereas a plug with a 1-inch bill will sink to around 10 feet deep. Longer-billed crankbaits may dive to depths of up to 30 feet. Crankbaits catch bass all year, but the best seasons to use them are spring, summer, and fall.


What Exactly Is Finesse Cranking?

Finesse cranking is the technique in which you gently reel in your lure, allowing it to dive, wriggle, and bounce against the structure slowly. This technique works well when the water temperature is colder and the fish are sluggish. Light lures, light lines, and spinning gear are used in finesse cranking.

What Crankbaits Should You Use With Spinning Gear?

The Rapala Shad Rap made finesse cranking famous, so we’ll start with that. The Rapala Shad Rap 05, made of balsa wood, is the size recommended; it’s 2.5″ long and dives two to six feet below sea level. There are many various color options to select.

A naturally colored Strike King Lucky Shad may work miracles in chilly water when the fish appear to have shut off. This wild diving crankbait with minor internal rattling can entice bites even when the fish aren’t switched on. This lure will begin to work its magic when the water temperature drops under 55 degrees. This is particularly common in the fall and spring.

Balsa hard bait, which may find in the Shad Rap, is used by anglers. However, you don’t have to buy a Rapala to acquire a beautiful balsa hard bait. Balsa wood provides the ideal attributes for making a lure, as it is robust and lightweight. Bagley Balsa in Sexy Shad color is a great option. 

The Strike King KVD 1.0 square bill crankbait is another option. Square-billed cranks are shallow divers who don’t get as hung up as you assume. Cast your square-billed crankbaits near docks, grassy areas, and submerged timber. One of the finest times to receive a hit from a fish is when your lure bounces off a piece of structure, such as a log. Square bills work well in less than six feet of water.

Related post: What Are The Different Types Of Crankbaits? 

What Line Should You Use With Spinning Gear For Crankbaits?

You’ll want to select a line that matches your technique because you’ll be skillfully cranking with your spinning gear. There are benefits and drawbacks to employing various sorts of lines.

  • Fluorocarbon is practically transparent in water.
  • Monofilament offers stretch and forgiveness.
  • The braided line provides the most excellent biting sensitivity.

Finally, monofilament should work well with crankbaits on spinning gear. You don’t want to jerk the lure up before the fish has entirely eaten it since they are more sluggish in cooler water and won’t bite as forcefully. Because of the flexibility afforded by monofilament, you will have greater forgiveness when setting the hook and a higher chance of catching bass.

In addition, monofilament has a broader diameter than other lines. While this can impact casting, it is less concerning for finesse cranking. The increased diameter creates more drag in the water, assisting sluggish stir fish.

What Is Spinning Reel Best For Crankbait?

The Abu Garica Revo is a well-known reel. It now comes in a new IKE style. The Abu Garcia Revo IKE reel is undoubtedly one of the most excellent reels you can get for the money. You may choose between a 20 and a 30 size, with the smaller 20 being more suited for finesse skills.

This reel and rod combo has a great appearance. The carbon fiber handle is brand new. The grip is designed with a unique flair for maximum finger comfort. Another design element is a little clip on the side of the handle that may be utilized as a drop-shot holder.

There are ten ball bearings on the interior. For the finest possible gear functions and endurance in a reel, nine HPCR stainless steel and one roller bearing are used. You’d expect to find a high-end Abu Garcia reel also there. A Carbon Matrix drag mechanism is included. AMGearing, Rocket line management, K-Clutch anti-reverse, and a Rocket Spool Lip Design are all included.

Related post: How To Use A Spinning Reel

Cast Cold Water Cranks With A Spinning Reel

Spinning gear improves where baitcasting reels fail due to cold and windy conditions. It is now feasible to throw these lures using a baitcasting reel. However, spinning gear will perform far better with cold water crankbaits if you have the option. A Baitcaster’s spool spins on its own, and it’s tough to build up enough velocity when casting a lightweight lure like a crankbait.

In addition, the advantage of utilizing spinning reels with crankbaits is that they can cast the cranks further than baitcasting reels. Because crankbaits tend to dive down, a more extended cast lets your lure move in the water and attract fish.

The 25 is the most popular spinning reel size, but you can go up to a 30 or 40 for a little more power if you’re casting crankbaits. You might consider going up a size or two with your spinning reel.

Additionally, ensure your drag is adjusted low enough to provide massive fish with lots of room to run. While spinning tackle may catch giant fish, a baitcasting reel has an edge. When you need to keep the big fish on the line, it’s best to keep it safe and reduce the drag.


A spinning reel can be used for crankbaits, but it is also suggested if they are tiny or the circumstances are chilly and windy. The correct rod, reel, and line will make you have a fantastic journey cranking for bass on the water.