Top 10 Best Crankbaits (Aug. 2019): Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
- Immanuel Baranov
Crankbait is a type of fishing lures/plug, and you'll need new crankbaits whether you're fishing for saltwater species, bass, pike, or walleye. Anglers need reliable weapons that can pull fish off the water, and take advantage of other fishermen during bass tournaments. There are different types of bass fishing crankbaits in today's market and in this article, I'll show you how to rig these lures effectively.
As a beginner angler, I struggled with cheap lures while trying to catch bass quickly. As I began to deepen my bass tournaments skills, it became easy to find versatile lures that could travel thirty-five feet below the sea level.
Regardless of the type of fishing lures you choose, a few key factors like body materials, rattles, color patterns, weights, and lips can have an impact on your angling success. Keep reading to know how to find the best crankbaits ever made.
What You Will Get Here
- Why Should You Trust Us?
- What Exactly Are Crankbait Lures?
- Things to Consider When Buying Crankbaits?
- How Did We Pick These Products?
- Our Top 10 Product List
- For Bass Fishing: wLure Minnow
- Top Medium Diving Choice: Strike King Square Bill
- Top Shallow Diving Choice: Strike King KVD 1.5
- Top Deep Diving Choice: Strike King Pro-Model 5XD
- Top Lure Set: Plusinno Fishing Lures Baits Tackle
- A List of 5 Other Crankbaits We Reviewed
- A List of Other Products We Tested
- Final Thought
Why Should You Trust Us?
There are hundreds of online review sites on almost every topic. It's very natural to feel bewildered when distinguishing between fake and real reviewers. That's why we came to your rescue and are giving you reasons to believe us.
We have 5 years of experience in using, testing and reviewing different fishing gear. We underwent a rigorous learning process during this time. Now we know what we do and how you can be benefitted from our knowledge. We gathered hands-on experience and striving to spread that to our readers.
All of our reviews are unbiased as we share no financial relationship with any manufacturers. Our sole aim is to promote only the deserving models in terms of performance, features, and price. Thus, we bring the top rated products along with a comprehensive buying guide to you to help choose the right one for your needs.
What Exactly Are Crankbait Lures?
Crankbaits are hard-bodied fishing lures with either underside diving lips (bib) or a tow points, and they come in rounded shapes. Usually, they have bright colors that help imitate the swimming actions of bait fish and they exist in different forms. However, all crankbaits wobble from side to side using water resistance.
You can get unique body designs that are also mid-to-shallow divers. In murky waters where visibility is poor, the perfect crankbait for bass fishing should be bright enough to cut through the gloom and attract the target. The types of crankbaits are as follows.
Unlike conventional models, this category is designed without diving lips. The absence of metal poking out from the crankbait's underside increases its vibrating actions and the speed of traveling through underwater vegetations. Lipless crankbaits' wiggling actions are seen during fishing when they deflect after hitting underwater obstacles. Jerkbaits, floater divers, minnows, broke-backs, and wakebaits fall into this category.
2. Shallow Diving
Shallow diving crankbaits have little water resistance when anglers retrieve them, and these small fishing lures can dive to a depth of four feet. While maintaining their wobbling actions, these crankbaits can run shallow, and attract topwater bass. Also, shallow diving crankbaits are suitable for shorelines with gradual slopes.
3. Medium Diving
Usually, bass goes deeper in water during sunny days to find cooler water and hide from sunlight's intensity. Medium diving crankbaits have more water resistance and are used by attaching lines to their lip. Usually, these medium divers are bigger than shallow diving baits and can reach underwater depths of between five to nine feet. Medium divers work great when they scrape along the bottom rocks, sunken timber, and grass beds for largemouth bass.
4. Deep Diving
Deep diving crankbaits are more improved types that can reach underwater depths of thirty-five feet. At such a depth level, anglers need fish finders to track bass and complement their deep divers. Usually, deep divers come with powerful rods, big lips, and have high resistance in the water.
So you'll need extra pulling powers after making long casts with deep diving crankbaits. During summer, bass tends to go deeper into the water to enjoy the cool water. However, anglers find deep divers effective because bass rarely sees these types of lures in deep water.
Things to Consider When Buying Crankbaits?
Apart from color selection, there are other basic features you must consider. Hard or soft baits could come with Red Eye Shad, 3D eyes, and realistic motion. They should align with your fishing environment (clear and stained water).
They vary in sizes and interior architectures. The size of a bait determines what type of bass you can target. Generally, the rule of the thumb in bass fishing suggests that mini crankbaits will fail to catch very big bass.
Usually, ABS plastic materials are often used to make these lures look like real fish. But you'll find wooden lures too that are painted to appear like small fish.
Generally, heavier crankbaits sink deeper than the lighter types in the water. When anglers use heavier fishing lines with more water resistance, it could prevent crankbaits from diving deep the water. However, lure manufacturers often design them with metal balls to help them vibrate and twitch in the water.
4. Diving Depth
These fish catching tools have different levels of diving depths based on the fishing technique. However, anglers must know the depth of their fishing environment and the cover they intend to. A fishing line's diameter can also determine the degree of water resistance of any crankbait and can affect the lure's diving depth.
Also, the speed of retrieving a bait during bass fishing and the inclination of a rod's tip can affect the diving depth. Normally, the possible range of depth is indicated on its packaging box for users to make good decisions.
Before you cast, it's important to know that you can't fish with your favorite color all the time. You've to consider the clarity of any water condition before determining what color pattern will increase your chances. Crankbaits with bright and contrasting colors are ideal for darker waters, while lures with cool shades work well in clear waters. Water clarity could also vary with depths, seasonal changes, and temperatures. Usually, bass feed on certain types of forages, which is why the color of your crankbait should match the forage. You can also use custom painted crankbaits.
6. Floating, Sinking, Suspending
The primary aim of the lip is to enhance its swimming action. Naturally, they'll either float or sink and allow for skimming underwater surfaces. Lipped crankbaits have conspicuous diving lips that help lures push against water, wiggle, or dive downwards. It's their buoyancy (floatation) that enable these lures to stay on water surfaces.
During retrieve, lipped models run their tails ups with their noses pointed down. However, the lipless ones need gravity to sink water depths because they don't have diving lips. Usually, lipless baits are designed with mounts for lines at the top of their slim, flat-sided bodies.
Usually, the treble hooks that come with new baits are substandard and can be a big challenge in getting bass hooked. So, you need to change these stock hooks to well-sharpened hooks when you buy them new. And, don't forget to use a compatible eyelet with the hooks.
8. Wobble: Wide vs. Tight
Lures with hard-body styles have wobbling actions; they are either tight or wide wobble. It's the position of the line that's tied to wobbling. Baits with a tighter wobble has their line tied closer to the body and are ideal for colder water game.
Tighter wobbles are anglers' sure bet during fall or spring bass fishing and are perfect for clear waters. However, those with wider wobbles work better in murky waters and during summer. Usually, wider wobbles are more erratic; they create more vibrations in the water and increase anglers' chances of striking their targets.
How Did We Pick These Products?
After hours of extensive research and comparison, we finally shortlisted 35 crankbaits to conduct the physical tests. It was hard for us to put them to the test all by ourselves. That's why we engaged our experienced volunteer team in the task.
After using the baits in practical situations, we collected the reposts from the volunteers and collated the data with our findings. Thus we listed the top-performing models. Some models performed so close that it was difficult to determine the order perfectly.
Then, we contacted other industry experts in our locality and sought their opinions. Their cooperation helped us finalize the list perfectly making it foolproof. Thus, we came up with the best reviews and buying guide. We hope it will help the readers make a well-informed decision when choosing the best model for one's needs.
Our Top 10 Product List
What is the best crankbait? Well, our shortlisted choices are a mix of lipped and lipless lures with impressive swimming actions. They are produced with long-lasting colors that help these bass fishing accessories retain their shines. They are durable and anglers can reuse them for a variety of fish species.
These high-quality crankbaits from Lure Minnows can dive deep at 12 feet. After a series of extensive tests, these six lures with different color patterns were guaranteed by the manufacturers to attract different game fish species. Let's share some exciting features that make this set of crankbaits unique.
Eagle Claw Shape: wLure Minnow bats have built-in treble hooks that are 125% sharper than regular brands. With sharp and strong treble hooks, bass, and giant walleyes can be retrieved from water easily. Additionally, eagle claw treble hooks allow the bass to stay at the end of your lines as the fish fights for freedom.
RealSkin Technology: The color patterns of these lures are unique because they don't fade quickly. So, anglers can reuse them to attract a range of fish species in murky waters. Also, durability is sure when you use using these impressive life-like lures designed with RealSkin Technology.
Corrosion-Resistant: These plastic products are resistant to corrosion and ideal for saltwater use. Even when they hit underwater rocks and obstacles, it hard to see cracks on them.
Options of Colors: The choice of manufacturing crankbaits in a range of color patterns gives anglers the options to use them for different water environments. However, this wLure model is very realistic and offers high visibility in the water.
- Length: 3 3/4 inch
- Weight: 1/3 oz
- Depth: 12 feet
- Quantity: 6 Lures
- Brand: wLure
With about half an ounce weight, wLure Minnows will catch bass that swims in the right places. These plastic lures are approximately four inches long and have sharp treble hooks. Anglers in need of good looking, and tight wobble baits will be impressed with wLure's RealSkin technology.
Do you need mid-diving crankbaits with bigger lips? The Square Bill Strike King has an erratic swimming action that helps it wander in water constantly. Let's share some features about this bass fishing lure.
Diving Depth (3 to 6 feet): This Square Bill lure has an impressive design that allows it to dive from 3-6 feet with more resistance in the water that what you might expect.
Highly Buoyant: With your fishing line attached to the lip, it can wander through the water with ease. Also, it's ideal for shallow water power fishing because the crankbait can get around underwater debris and target deep covers.
Medium Diving: It retains its erratic swimming action while still running true, and can entice strikes. Naturally, this medium-diver lure sinks to its specific depth to generate bites.
KVD Baits: The KVD creates an attractive disturbance without internal rattles. Also, it casts longer when you add a little weight to the tail. This lure's silent approach ensures its effectiveness in stained and clear water lakes.
- Length: 1.5 and 2.5 inches
- Weight: 1.5 and 2.5 oz
- Depth: 3 to 6 feet
- Brand: Strike King
Strike King offers a huge selection that can wander in shallow waters with erratic swimming actions. This series can entice strikes in clear and murky waters. We recommend this to anglers that need silent-approach designs.
You don't need to go after expensive models when you are in need of effective lures for shallow waters. These KVD 1.5 Square Bill models are for you if you are on a tight budget. These run in shallower waters than most mid-diving models. They come in a variety of designs to help anglers enjoy bass fishing expeditions. Here are the reasons why this product made our picks.
Affordability: This KVD-1.5 is ideal for dirty or stained bass fishing, and it's one of the most affordable products from Strike King. As a crankbait that offers real value for money, it runs true with sticky, sharp hooks and offers a tight wobble.
For Bass Competitions: Anglers the need to get ahead of their competitors will find this model is a necessity for bass competitions. This lure was designed lure according to the winner of the Bassmaster Classic Competition's specifications. It can target bass and other fish species in the shallowest conditions.
Maximum of 3-feet Dives: This lipped bait is intended to promote shallow dive of three feet, and comes in a range of colors. However, it has very low resistance against stained waters during the retrieve, and its maximum diving depth is 3 feet.
KVD-1.5 Baits: The Square Bill has erratic swimming actions while running true and can bounce off-cover to attract strikes. Like regular KVD baits, this model has great wobbling action. It has been designed without any mechanism for internal rattles but works with silent movements in water.
- Weight: 0.3 oz
- Depth Range: 0 to 3 feet
- Quantity: 4 lures
- Brand: Strike King
The KVD-1.5 is great for shallower waters competitions. Avid anglers will be confident during bass fishing because their preferred crankbait was recommended by a four-time winner of Bassmaster Classic Challenge - Kevin VanDam. So, this model is a necessity for anglers that need to target game in very shallow water environments.
These lures have eye-catching color patterns and are intended for deep diving and can reach strike zones of deep water predators with ease. Interesting, these small lures come with unique features.
Xtra Deep Diving Version: The Pro-Model 5XD Series has a special curved bill that helps it sink when in the water. Naturally, they require fewer actions of gravity as deep divers when at rest in water.
A Range of 15 Feet: They can achieve dives of about 15 feet. Sometimes, anglers will find them going to a depth of 20 feet. These long-nose crankbaits work better in deeper waters with fish finders!
Options of Colors: Citrus shad is one of the most eye-catching colors that attract deep-water bass. Also, chartreuse shad is appealing and attracts big fish species. You'll find the blue and black models are as effective as the other shades.
Supports Longer Casts: The distance to castability range of this medium-body bait is impressive. The longer anglers cast the bait, the deeper it travels in water. So, you can use this for bass fishing competitions and compete with other baits successfully.
- Weight: 1/2 oz
- Depth: 15 feet
- Brand: Strike King
The Series 5XD dives deeper than regular models with its type of bill design. As an 'Xtra Deep Diving' model of Strike King Series 5, anglers should expect these lures to track well at the bottom of deep waters. You'll find these lures coming in a range of colors like the Chartreuse, Citrus, Blue and Black shads. This accessory is made for avid anglers that love deep-diving crankbaits.
Do you need fishing gear and lures as gifts for your man or woman? The PLUSINNO Lures Kit Set offers anglers a collection of different types of baits and fishing gears. This set includes a variety of baits like crankbaits, plastic worms, spinnerbaits, topwater lures, jigs, and tackle boxes. Here are some exciting features of these high-end products.
Aesthetic Beauty: These fishing accessories are designed with bright colors to attract bass easily. Also, they are coated with high-quality paints that are aesthetically beautiful.
102 Units of Fishing Lures: Arguably, this is one of the widest variety of baits that comes as lures' kit set. You'll find 18 units of plastic worms, six units of crankbaits, and ten units of metal spinning lures. Other accessories in this fishing tackle set include 4 units of spinnerbaits, 2 units of topwater frog lures, and they come in a portable bag.
Ideal Gift: This fishing kit has all the basic bait accessories that can serve as gifts for anglers. The tackle box comes handy as a great fishing kit and gift for beginners. It's designed for anglers that want to try different bass fishing techniques.
Portability: Do you need portable fishing gear kits and lures set that are portable? This PLUSINNO tackle comes in a portable bag for bass competitions and expeditions. It's convenient to carry these lures in backpacks and transport them to shore.
- Dimension of Package: 5″ X 7″
- Quantity: 102
- Brand: PLUSINNO
Do you need a variety of superior fishing lures that can help you to attract more catches? These PLUSINNO fishing tackles are portable and can provoke different fish species. They are packed in a double-layer box that offers protection from all weather conditions. I'll recommend these fishing accessories for beginner anglers that need hard baits to rely on year round.
A List of 5 Other Crankbaits We Reviewed
The Rapala Ike DT comes in a combination of bright colors. These fast-diving baits have nice movement in the water as well-made products. They are versatile and display their flashy appearance in clear and murky waters. Our expert anglers picked this Rapala Ike's Custom Ink series as one of the top 10 picks because of the following features.
Custom Ink Baits: The high-quality, time-tested design of these (Dives-To) Series lures are realistic. It's easy to imitate little fish species and attract bass with the life-like crankbait. Also, these original DT lures have custom designs from Rapala pro-Michael "Ike" Iaconelli.
Wooden Craft: Naturally, wooden baits have the ideal internal weight that doesn't require anglers to add more and allow them to dive fast. Unlike ordinary baits, they are made from special balsa woods. They have tapered bodies, thin tails, and can stay in strike zones for long.
DT (Dives-To) Series: These Rapala products are available as 2-inch DT04, 2-1/4-inch DT10, 2-inch DT6, 2-3/4-inch DT14, and DT16 models respectively. The diving depth range of this Dives-To Series is between 4 to 16 feet.
Sun-baked: Unlike plastic lures, the Rapala Custom Ink DT has a natural, pearly finish. Their sun-baked subtle color patterns are effective at attracting bass at pre-determined depths. Also, these baits come with SureSet tail hooks that are sharp and firm.
- Items’ Weight: 5/16 to 3/4 oz
- Depth Range: 4 to 16 feet
- Length: 2 to 2-3/4″
- Brand: Rapala Ike
The Rapala DT (Dives-To) Series are high-quality wooden crafts. A good choice for bass fishing, they are made from balsa woods and sun-baked wit muted and subtle colors. Beginner anglers that need to excel at catching short-striking fish should use this bait from Rapala.
Do you love shore fishing and need shallow-diving crankbaits? The Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow has a variety of colors. They come in different body designs that include; the Chartreuse, Bluegill, Hot tiger, Sexy Chad, and Holographic. They are available in 17 colors and here are their unique features.
Minnow Crankbaits: The Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow's body has more buoyancy in shallow waters. While using the 2-3/4 inch models, anglers can cast and fish from shore. They work with tight lines, and can also sit in and around cover in murky waters.
Suspending Twitch Bait: During retrieve, these lures create suspending and slow-rising movements. As part of the 3DS series, their long profile body design enhance the suspending action swims at specific depths.
Maximum Diver Depth: They have a maximum diving depth range of 2.5 feet. In both freshwater lakes and saltwater, these baits can attract a variety of fish species.
Painted Finish: Our Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow lures are available in 17 colors, and designed with molded-in pectoral fins, and diamond lip. They appear real like small fish and are coated with 3D prism finish
- Items’ Weight: 1/4 oz, and 9/16 oz
- Maximum Depth: 2.5 feet
- Length: 2-3/4-inch, and 4-inch
- Brand: Yo-Zuri 3DS
The Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow Suspending Shallow Diving lures are recommended for anglers that need suspending twitch baits. Fish will find the erratic swimming motion of this Yo-Zuri 3DS minnow crankbait irresistible in murky waters. Also, this product comes with options of lures for landing small and large games during bass fishing competitions.
LiveTarget presents floating lures for freshwater game fish. They come as two crappie imitation models of metallic and gloss color variations. This set of small crappie baits from Live Target is very realistic. Let check other impressive features of these lures.
Floating Lures: These crappie baits are floating lures, and are sold in options of two sizes as 2-1/2, and 2-1/4 inches. As floating lures, their diving lips enhance their wiggles and downwards dives.
High Buoyancy: The two Crappie models are designed as rattlebait and flat-side crankbaits respectively. Naturally, these lures can float in freshwater lakes with the support of their circuit board lips.
Color Patterns: They comes as metallic/gloss and natural/matte crappie imitation models. Generally, freshwater contains both white and black crappie fish, and these lures' profile and color variations match real fish.
Versatility: The rattlebait model has a quick drop that' suitable for deep grass bites in deeper water. However, flat sided models are favorite forages to freshwater game fish. Their versatility ensures fishermen can have successful catch in both types of water bodies.
- Style: Floating
- Items’ Weight: 1 lb
- Maximum Depth:
- Length: 2-1/2, and 2-1/4 inches
- Brand: LiveTarget
Crappie fish are sure to catch bass in deep freshwater bodies. These LiveTarget lures of both white and black Crappie have circuit board lips and are very realistic. As floating baits, it's easy to free these lures from underwater obstacles when you relax the tension on your line. Our experts recommend these models for anglers that need flat-side crankbaits and rattlebaits.
The KVD 1.0 crankbait by Strike King is smaller and lighter than KVD - 1.5 and 2.5 versions. It has a small body profile and can attract bass in freshwater lakes. Like the KVD-1.5 model, this KVD 1.0 dives deep in stained waters. Also, this bait is in a different class of its own. Here are some exciting features that make this model a must-have model for anglers.
Ideal for Bass Fishing Competitions: As one of the cheapest options, the KVD 1.0 Square Bill bait has a unique design that helps it wandering through the water with ease. Its natural bream color is helpful during competitions because the contrast causes bass to come from far away to eat it.
Maximum Depth of 6 Feet: Its small profile supports shallow dive of six feet. Also, it's unique bill design helps to keep this lure in strike zones to attract bites.
KVD 1.0: This KVD 1.0 lure comes with sticky, and sharp treble hooks. It runs true with its big lip giving more resistance in the water. In cold seasons when bass come to the water surface, anglers can cast their lines with this crankbait from the shore.
- Weight: 0.2 oz
- Maximum Depth: 6 feet
- Brand: Strike King
Do you need a KVD crankbait with great wobbling and erratic swimming action? You can save some money for other fishing accessories when you buy these inexpensive models. It offers silent movement in water because it was not made with mechanisms for internal rattles. Also, the KVD 1.0 has sticky and sharp treble hooks to help you win your bass fishing competitions.
This set of LotFancy comes with 30 pieces of fishing lures. These light crankbaits have varying sizes of between 1.5 to 3.6 inches. You can make special gifts with this product for fishermen on Christmas, anniversaries, Thanksgiving day, and birthdays. Let's share other important features about these LotFancy baits.
Wide Range of Use: This set of LotFancy fishing baits include a variety of colorful plastic lures that will attract both freshwater and saltwater bass. Also, anglers can use them for other species of fish like walleye, salmon, and trout.
Gravity Ball: These fishing lures have internal gravity balls that resonate low-frequency rattles. The built-in gravity ball enhances imitation of real-life baitfish and attraction of fishes.
High-Quality Materials: The unique body designs and high-quality materials of these fishing baits make them valuable. You can gift this LotFancy lure set beginner and avid anglers. They have sharp stainless steel treble hooks, impressive colors and 3-D life-like eyes.
30-Piece Fishing Lures: Anglers love to own collections of plastic fishing lures with vivid colors. The high-resolution body design of these 30-piece lures boosts the attraction from different fish species.
- Length: 1.57 to 3.66 inches
- Maximum Depth:
- Quantity: 30 lures
- Brand: LotFancy
Are you in search of fishing lures that are more efficient in attracting fish of different species? Try these 30-piece LotFancy fishing lures to have a memorable session. They work like real bait fish and can attract game in both freshwater and saltwater.
A List of Other Products We Tested
- The SPRO Rock Crawler 55
- Bomber Model A Fishing Lure
- Rapala Glass Fat Rap 05, 2 -Inch, Perch
- Strike King Rattling Diamond Shad Bait
- Rebel Super Teeny Wee R Lure
- Sea Striker 7077R Cedar Plug
- Rapala X-Rap Jerkbaits XR10
- Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap Lipless Crankbait
- Spro Fat John 60 Bait-Pack
- Rapala Jointed Shad Rap 05
- Storm Original Purple Wiggle Wart 05
- Reef Runner 600 Series Deep Little Ripper
- Lucky Craft LV-500 Crank Bait
- Cordell Wally Diver Triple Threat
- Frenzy Floating Flicker Fire Tiger
We reviewed these fishing tackles not only to help you buy the best crankbaits, but to teach you how to use them successfully as well. Usually, during the summer months and on sunny days, bass settles for cool water at the bottom of lakes. You'll need deep-diving, lipped crankbaits that can dive down and wiggle to attract your catch.
There are choices for all types of bass fishing in this review. We'll recommend the KVD-1.5 (Shallow-water) Square Bill (by Strike King) for anglers that are preparing for shallow water bass competitions. The KVD-1.5 square bill baits are designed according to recommendations of a four-time winner of the Bassmaster Competition (Mr. Kevin VanDam).
Additionally, PLUSINNO Fishing Gear and Lures Kit Set is perfect for beginners. It's a durable product that's designed for starters to try different bass fishing techniques. Also, you can reuse these lures without thinking of replacing them soon.
Apart from the mentioned products, no model from some other prominent brands like Norman, 6th Sense, Musky, Zoom, Ozark Trail, Booyah, Lindy, Xcite, Mann's, Crappie Maxx, Brian's, Megabass, Live Target, River 2 Sea, Decathlon, Xcalibur, Jackall, Livingston, Daiwa, H20 Express, Suddeth, 6th Sense couldn't make it to our final list.
You might also like other fishing equipment that we reviewed right here on Fisher Reel -
a) Fishing Rods