Choosing a Crankbait

A crankbait for every occasion.

Cast it out; crank it back. Like the name implies, that’s fundamentally how you fish a crankbait. But lip shape influences wobble, speed and running depth. Understand these three designs and raise your score.

Square Action: Water displaces evenly across both sides to make the bait dive and retrieve straight. What's lost in lure action is gained by depth.

Depth: Down to 20 feet.

Best Bet: For summertime bass, you'll get a workout cranking over current-swept channel ledges. The payback is reaching overlooked, big fish.

Round Action: The surface goes from narrow at the nose to wide at the midpoint. That makes the body wobble and rattle. You get less depth but more action.

Depth: Down to 15 feet.

Best Bet: Have no fear of hangups. Crank using a steady retrieve to make the lure deflect off wood and rock. When there's contact, be ready for the strike.

Narrow Action: Less water resistance makes the bait knife through the water. You get tight vibration without much depth.

Depth: 5 feet or less.

Best Bet: Spooky fish along calm, clear-water banks. Not meant for speed-cranking, since the bait tends to blow out if retrieved too fast.