What Are The Different Types Of Crankbaits? (Explained For Beginners)

In today’s world, using crankbaits is not only a recommendation but also a necessity. Crankbaits are one of the most popular fishing lures available, and they reliably catch fish for beginners and experienced fishermen. On the other hand, Crankbait fishing might be overwhelming for beginners due to the significant number of varieties, sizes, and shapes available (not to mention colors, which are even more diverse). 

This article explains the different types of crankbaits for beginners and how you should use them to catch more fish. 

What Exactly Is A Crankbait?

A crankbait is one of the well-known fishing lures in common sense. It is made of rugged ABS plastic in the appearance of baitfish or crawfish with one or more hooks. A diving bill may not be included, but it must include something for your fishing line to tie. The popularity of crankbaits results from their different variations, which give them the ability to fit in many situations. However, as an angler, you must find out which type of crankbait will work the best in a particular case. 

What Are The Different Types Of Crankbaits?

Crankbaits are divided into three main types:

  • Round bill crankbaits
  • Square bill crankbaits 
  • Lipless crankbaits

In the list above, crankbait types are classified by lip form. 

  • Deep diving crankbaits
  • Shallow diving crankbaits
  • Medium diving crankbaits

What Are The Differences Between A Jerkbait And A Crankbait?

Jerkbaits are longer and thinner than crankbait and have three treble hooks instead of two. Compared to jerkbaits, crankbaits are often smaller and stouter and come with only two treble hooks.

While it may appear to be a slight distinction, the long and thin body of a jerkbait provides a great advantage of much tighter wriggling movement in the water than a crankbait’s broader wobbling action.

Also, with three treble hooks, jerkbaits suspend with more balance than crankbaits, which can be beneficial in some fishing applications when you want to halt the lure frequently during retrieval.

How About The Differences Between Crankbait And Swimbait?

The fundamental difference between hard swimbaits and crankbaits is that swimbaits are usually more realistic imitations of a certain baitfish species, while crankbaits are usually less realistic. Additionally, unlike crankbaits, most swimbaits have several joints and no lip, giving them a different swimming action in the water.

Types Of Crankbaits Based On Driving Behavior

The depth to which different crankbaits dive in the water is a handy technique to categorize them. Those types of crankbaits are described below.

Shallow Diving Crankbait

Crankbaits that descend to a depth of 2 to 5 feet are known as shallow diving crankbaits. One of their notable characteristics is the position of the line tie, which is at the nose of the bait. They also have a little short plastic bill positioned at an angle to their long axis. As a result, the lure swims at a shallow depth (nearly always floating on water) and has a wider wobble.

Areas that are ideal for shallow crankbaits include: 

  • Shallow rock
  • Laydowns near the bank
  • Submerged grass beds
  • Tops of standing timber
  • Floating harbor tires
  • Docks
  • Bridge pilings
  • Spawning flats

Shallow diving crankbaits are available with either a square or round bill. Round bills are better for open water, whereas square statements are better for fishing in and around cover. 

Medium Diving Crankbait

Medium diving crankbaits have a round bill slightly larger than shallow diving crankbaits and can be defined as baits that dive to approximately 5 to 15 feet.

Areas that are ideal for shallow crankbaits include: 

  • Along shaded sides of vegetation
  • Outer and inner bends of channel swings
  • Along shady sides of a steep shoreline
  • Shell beds.
  • Parallel to a rip-rap dam
  • Standing timber

They are ideal for catching bass or walleye held in medium depth near the shallows when you use a baitcaster with flipping and pitching techniques. This is especially true for bass during pre-spawn when they prepare to go into the shallows for the spawn.

Deep Diving Crankbait

Deep diving crankbaits have the most significant bill length, about 3 to 5 inches. They are big and heavy crankbaits and are meant to sink to 15 to 25 feet. They fall downhill at a steep angle during recovery because of the size and grade of their beak. Some deep-diving crankbaits will have rattles, while others are silent running.

Areas that are ideal for shallow crankbaits include: 

  • Bluff ends
  • Main lake points
  • Deep channel swings
  • Bases bridge pilings
  • Main lake humps

These crankbaits are often made to sink in the water, and some anglers add extra weights to help them drop more quickly. Deep diving crankbait is excellent when bass retreat to deeper water, especially in the winter and summer. But remember to cast the bait as far as possible with a rod typically made for crankbait fishing because it can help you gain extra casting distance, diving depth, and greater hooksets.

Lip Types Of Crankbaits

Lip types are the best method to tell what kind of crankbait you’re looking at. Crankbait lip type determines the crankbait’s driving behavior when retrieved and is the best indicator to utilize when selecting the correct crankbait for your needs. These crankbaits are best used with the baitcaster when fishing for basses.

Related post: Bass Fishing Crankbaits (The Beginner’s Guide)

Square Bills Crankbaits

The ideal approach to fish square bills is to let them bounce off the cover as they go, which frequently results in bass hits. If the crankbait does get stuck on the surface, pausing your retrieve and letting it float free often helps.

Round Bills Crankbaits

All deep diving crankbaits have a round bill because round bill crankbaits are suitable for diving deep into the water. On the other hand, round statements are less effective at deflecting when they hit cover, so you must be more careful to avoid snagging them.

Lipless Crankbaits 

As their name implies, Lipless crankbaits lack the diving lip and are intended to be fished deep and slowly. Their slime shape and flat sides create their swimming action because they do not have a lip; therefore, it is a very tight wiggle, which works great for deep water bass during winter. 

Vibrating produces a very tight wobble, unlike the vast swimming movement of diving or floating crankbaits. This vibration is intended to create high-frequency sonic waves similar to those produced by baitfish. 

Lip Size Of Crankbait

The size of a crankbait’s lip is equivalent to how deep it dives in the water. The lip on the deepest diving crankbaits is about the same size as the body of the crank.

During retrieval, a big crankbait lip adds additional resistance to the water, pushing the crankbait down as it is made through the water.

Lip Angle Of Crankbait

Crankbait diving behavior is also affected by lip angle: a slight lip angle allows a crankbait to dive deeper into the water. In contrast, a large lip angle causes it to dip shallower.

Variations On The Crankbait

In addition to the sorts of crankbaits mentioned above, there are a few other construction variants. 

Flat Sided Crankbait

When viewed from the front or back, flat-sided crankbaits have a deep profile from top to bottom yet are slender.

They have a tighter wiggling movement than full crankbaits, which appears more natural when reeled in and is highly successful in the fall and winter when bass are chasing schools of shad.

Jointed Crankbait

A jointed crankbait comprises two sections joined by a single joint located in the middle or back of the crankbait. A jointed crankbait’s swimming action is more elastic than an unjointed crankbait’s severe wobble, appearing more natural. However, crankbaits need not be highly realistic to attract fish in most circumstances, so this is just something to try.

Minnow Crankbait

Minnow crankbaits are longer and thinner than ordinary crankbaits, with short diving lips and a slow-rolling movement, and they are painted grey or silver to look like minnows. Weights have been added to the tails of minnows to give them a wounded fish appearance (nose up/seat down). If you see that the fish you are attempting to capture (bass, trout, crappie, etc.) are currently eating on minnows, minnow crankbaits are absolutely what you need.

Floating Crankbait

Most shallow and medium diving crankbaits are floating crankbaits, meaning they can only dive into the water with the help of their lip when you reel them in. When you pause recovery, they will float upwards in the water, which can be a valuable tactic for avoiding a snag.

Sinking Crankbait

Deep diving and lipless crankbaits are typically sinking crankbaits, allowing them to reach the target depth as quickly as feasible. Some bass anglers (including KVD) like to add extra weights to their deep diving cranks to fish them even further in the winter.

Rattling Crankbait

Rattling crankbaits are hollow crankbaits with glass or metal beads inside that rattle when you retrieve them. This is an excellent approach to assist bass in detecting the crankbait in stained water, but it can frighten finicky fish, so don’t do it all the time.

What Is The Deepest Diving Crankbait You Have Seen?

Most crankbaits have a hard, flat, and thin construction extending from the bait’s nose. This is referred to as the ‘bill’ and serves various purposes.

  • The first enables the bait to dive to a certain depth.
  • They also help the trick move realistically.
  • Third, the bill will induce the appeal to deflect away from a submerged structure, preventing it from becoming tangled.


This article provides information about the different types of crankbaits for beginners. I have some recommendations for you here. The Salmo Free Diver is the deepest diving crankbait, capable of plunging to a maximum depth of 40 feet when trolled and 17 to 30 feet when thrown and retrieved. Many other fishing lure makers, on the other hand, make deep-diving crankbaits that can dive to depths of 22′ to 27′, so you have a lot of options if you want to fish crankbaits deep.

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