How to Make Crankbaits

Making a crankbait may take skill and patience, but with these instructions it shouldn’t be hard. The tricky part lies in creating the lip.

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Crankbaits are an efficient way of quickly covering water, and are also great for finding schools of baitfish suspended in suspension. When used properly they can help quickly locate productive areas – submerged grass beds, concrete piers/bridge abutments/brush piles/bluff walls etc – much faster than other lures can.

Crankbaits are typically equipped with one or more metal weights to add ballast and increase action of the lure. Bait can be made of wood or plastic; which material to choose often depends on where it will be fished. Balsa wood is often preferred due to its affordability and durability; although some manufacturers make baits from an assortment of materials.

Once anglers appreciate the power of crankbaits, they often want to customize and customize their lures further in order to find out which conditions or species of fish best respond. There is an infinite number of colors that could work, yet certain shades should always be present in an angler’s tackle box.

Balsa Shad Rap is now available in 52 unique colors, and bass anglers often go to great lengths to achieve photo-realistic finishes that mimic natural fish colors more realistically. Some bass pros even carry around an entire crayon box of crankbait hues!

Custom-crafted crankbaits typically consist of wood materials such as balsa, which is then hand air-brushed by an artist; some even feature translucent paint finishes so an angler can see through and observe its internal structures. Other models are manufactured from plastic using machine molds.

No matter its material, a quality crankbait should feature metal hooks and rattle to enhance its action in the water. Hook count on crankbaits is up to you; most pros suggest at least two hooks.

When selecting a rod for crankbait fishing, medium action is of primary importance, meaning the rod bends about halfway down with moderate pressure to create natural action that mimics wounded baitfish and prompt strikes.


Crankbaits are one of the most versatile lures available to bass anglers. Ranging in colors and sizes that replicate various forage species found in lakes, their versatility makes them immensely popular among bass fishermen. Their wide array of conditions where crankbaits can be fished has also contributed to their widespread usage among anglers. Yet getting maximum mileage out of crankbaits requires understanding their functionality as well as potential limits – otherwise anglers risk only getting limited results from using one effectively.

Crankbaits play an integral part in being effective fishing tools, as their appearance must accurately represent the species it imitates. Many factors impact its aesthetic; these include lip design and size, body shape, color choice, action capability and buoyancy.

Some crankbaits feature lips designed to produce specific diving action. This can be accomplished by creating an imbalance in pressure that makes the lure dive, such as when an aerofoil on a sports car creates downforce. Furthermore, their size and shape can be adjusted so as to set depth at which a crankbait runs; lure companies may adjust its buoyancy accordingly for this effect.

Crankbaits can generate reaction bites by imitating wounded baitfish. This can be achieved either through deflection off cover or structures, or the angler giving extra action while retrieving. Some effective actions might include pausing or jerking to simulate wounded baitfish and generate reaction bites.

Crankbait sound can also play a vital role in attracting fish. While some crankbaits produce loud, high-pitched tones, others may produce less noticeable yet still audible noises that serve to mask noise from other fish in the area or attract bass that might otherwise not have shown interest in your lure.


Crankbaits are one of the most effective lures in any bass angler’s arsenal, working almost year-round and in various conditions. But if thrown incorrectly or under unfavorable conditions, they can become baitfish magnets and lose effectiveness quickly. To maximize the use of your crankbait fishing experience, here are five factors you should keep in mind when using it:

A crankbait is designed to wobble, displace water and generate vibration. This movement imitates a distressed baitfish and triggers bass’s instinctual reaction of striking out in response; additionally it causes its movements to veer from side-to-side mimicking fleeing prey fish causing bass to attack it more aggressively than ever. These movements may be enhanced further with vibrating rattles which increase its appeal among bass.

Making your own custom balsa crankbait offers several distinct advantages over store-bought versions, particularly if the baits consist of balsa wood which is stronger and more durable than plastic. Furthermore, anglers can customize these homemade lures according to specific conditions or situations by painting with various hues on them.

Crankbaits come in various body styles, with lipless or standard lip models being among the most commonly used options. Both varieties are highly effective for shallow waters since they float easily if caught up on rocks or logs and can also be slowly retrieved to tempt even reluctant fish into biting.

Flat-body baits are another popular style of crankbait body. These thin baits feature flat sides with pointed tips and tails and work particularly well when fishing rocky or grassy lakes, often being referred to as “countdown” baits since their drop rate when reeled quickly is one foot per second.

Deep-diving crankbaits offer another great tool for transition periods when bass transition from shallow water into deeper waters or when searching deeper for shad. These baits range in depth from 10-25 feet. These lures work especially well during transition periods when fish transition between shallow and deeper waters or hunt deeper for prey such as shad.


Crankbaits are one of the most versatile, effective lures in any bass angler’s tackle box, yet there’s much more to using them effectively than just casting them around. Gaining knowledge about their components, categories and applications is key in unlocking their full potential and taking your fishing prowess to new levels.

Crankbaits are fishing lures equipped with plastic lips that dive when pressure is applied, mimicking wounded fish or crustaceans and encouraging predatory fish to bite. Crankbaits come in any color imaginable; often matching those of prey in lakes or to attract specific species in specific regions.

Plastic lips on crankbaits are designed to target specific depths. Their length and angle determine how deep a lure can dive, with longer, less-angled lips sinking deeper than shorter sharp-angled lips. Furthermore, these lips may also be tailored for specific actions, such as hard wiggles or more elastic and natural-looking movements.

Crankbaits and jerkbaits can be extremely effective tools for bass fishing. Available in an assortment of sizes, colors, depths and designs that allow them to cover an abundance of water quickly, these baits can also be fished in different conditions like clear or stained waters with windy or calm weather conditions.

Though crankbaits may have an unfortunate reputation among some anglers, when used effectively they can be an extremely versatile and effective fishing tool. Crankbaits are particularly good at targeting bass because when retrieved in such a manner that triggers their instinct to strike. A crankbait can also be fished to jigheads or on bottom near rocks or structure or even shallow grass areas for maximum effect.

Jointed crankbaits are lures that feature two pieces connected by a single joint for maximum flexibility and ease of use, often used to attract bass fishing schools chasing small shad schools. You can rig them with either a worm hook, snap swivel or split shot; most anglers prefer split shots due to their ease of attachment/detachment from the lure.

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