If you’re going to catch that giant bass, it’s going to be an old bass. This isn’t a jab at your fishing ability. It’s just a fact that only the oldest basses have been around long enough to get huge.
And old bass behave like a lot of older creatures; they get slower and less aggressive. This doesn’t mean they never bite. When they’re hungry, they’ll still bite. But if they’re not hungry, they’ll just sit around, ignoring most lures. You’ll need to do something to get their attention.
The best crankbait is designed to pique a bass’ predatory instincts, so it just can’t help but bite. There are different varieties, shaped to look like different species, and they can be designed to swim at a variety of depths depending on what kind of cover you’re working.
We’ve chosen fifteen of the most popular crankbaits on the web, and reviewed them. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each, as well as the main features and who it might be useful for. When making our selections, we chose from a broad range of sizes, weights, and prices. We’ve also answered a few of the most common crankbait-related questions.
Ready? Let’s get cranking!
Best Crankbait Available Online
Spro Aruku Shad 75
- It is the most weedless lipless crankbait on the market
- Uniquely made to lock on it's nose on the bottom
- Great for bedding Bass
- Designed to run nose down
- Super loud rattles ans Gamakatsu hooks
The Spro Aruku Shad 75 is designed to look like its namesake, the North American shad. This is one of the best crankbaits for bass that you’ll find, because it’s incredibly versatile. This is thanks to its unusual, bill-less design. Instead of connecting to a bill, you tie your line to the top of the head, and the nose pulls the lure downwards. You can run it at any depth, easily.
The hooks on this lure are manufactured by Gamakatsu, and are incredibly sharp. It has loud rattles inside to attract the attention of a large fish, and because it doesn’t have a bill, it doesn’t snag on trees or grass as easily. It’s on the more expensive side, but you can catch a lot of fish with this lure. The Spro Aruku Shad 75 is available in 18 colors.
- Won’t snag easily
- No bill
- Very sharp hooks
- Available in 18 colors
- Loud rattles
Why it’s recommended: You can do anything with this lure. You can twitch it side to side, move it up and down, and run it deep or shallow.
Tackle HD Hi-Def Craw Bait
- Realistic crawfish bait designed from 3D scans of real crawfish with high definition detail and quality appearance
- This crawfish bait is a smart alternative to live bait that you won't have to worry about pinching your fingers
- Offered in 3 inch and 3.75 inch sizes, the soft bait moves like its live counterpart to tempt fish to try a bite
- Long lasting soft plastic withstands days of use without losing color so you don't have to replace your favorite soft bait
- Choose the color that best suits you from 7 options; the crawfish are two-tone injection poured and hand painted
The Tackle HD Hi-Def Craw Bait isn’t technically a crankbait. It’s still fantastic for catching bass, though. This is a summer bait, perfect for dragging along the bottom until you get a bite. It’s available in 7 colors, so you can choose one that looks like your local crawdads.
This lure is on the pricier side, but it looks very realistic and is durable enough to last through several hook-ups. It doesn’t include hooks, but it’s inexpensive, and there are five in the box.
- Very realistic crawdad
- Perfect for catching bass
- Very durable
- Not technically a crankbait
- Doesn’t include hooks
Why it’s recommended: Sometimes the best crankbait isn’t a crankbait at all. The Tackle HD serves the same purpose, and is great if crawfish are local to your area.
Rapala Original Floater
- Fire Tiger
The Rapala Original Floater has been around for decades, and shows no signs of going away any time soon. It’s the most popular shallow diving crankbait on the market, and it’s not hard to see why. To begin with, you can get it sized for just about any fish. It comes in 5cm, 7cm, 9cm, 11cm and 13cm lengths. It’s also available in 13 different colors to suit any conditions. Not all colors are available in all sizes, though.
The treble hooks are crafted from solid nickel, and are corrosion resistant. This lure is pricey, but it’s well worth the money.
- Classic design
- Comes in 13 colors
- Available in 5 sizes
- Sharp treble hooks
- A bit pricey
- Not all colors are in all sizes
Why it’s recommended: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Rapala Original is a classic that gets bass as excited today as it did 83 years ago.
Cotton Cordell Red Fin
- Effective lure when trolled or worked with a slow "twitch-twitch-pause" retrieve
- True-running V-wakes for heart-stopping topwater strikes
- Hollow head adds action when twitched
- Also effective on speckled trout and redfish
- It's a no brainer for striped bass and big largemouth
The Cotton Cordell Red Fin is designed to run just below the surface, no deeper than 2 feet. It has a squarebill design, and the bill is fixed, not adjustable. This is a really nice feature, since the bill will never need tuning. The three treble hooks are solid nickel, and reasonably sharp.
This lure comes in three sizes, and five different colors. The pricing across colors and sizes is wildly inconsistent. This can either be a budget lure or a very expensive one, depending on which version you buy. It floats easily, but is very lightweight. As a result, it’s difficult to cast long distances.
- Fixed bill
- Three treble hooks
- Hooks are solid nickel
- Available in three sizes and five colors
- Inconsistent pricing
- Doesn’t cast very far
Why it’s recommended: The Cotton Cordell Red Fin is a well-designed squarebill lure that’s ideal for spring and summer bass fishing.
Rapala X-Rap Jointed Shad
- The exaggerated action of the jointed body allows a slower retrieve to trigger sluggish or finicky fish.
- Running Depth: 4-8 ft
- 1.625 Oz
- Near neutral buoyancy, with a slight rise, provides a very natural "wounded-minnow" action.
- Combine it with the X-Rap finish, and no fish is safe.
The Rapala X-Rap Jointed Shad is a heavy, nickel crankbait with near-neutral buoyancy. It’s a medium diver, with an arc of 4-8 feet in depth. The jointed body moves from side to side, and twitches when you jerk the line. This makes it perfect for a slow retrieve, since it will continue to move realistically even at low speeds.
This lure is available in 7 colors for a variety of fishing conditions. It’s more expensive than most lures, but its durable construction means you’ll get plenty of use out of it.
- Realistic, jointed body
- Durable nickel construction
- Simulates an injured shad
- Available in 7 colors
- Great for a slow retrieve
Why it’s recommended: If the bass just aren’t biting, the Rapala X-Rap might be just what it takes to tempt them. It’s perfect for medium depth, slow retrieve fishing.
Alilure 4-Segment Multi-Jointed Crankbait
- SINKING LIFELIKE BAIT：Multi jointed body connect with more tougher textile fabrics, move flexible, simulation fish tail. Pull at a constant speed to shows a swim action. Makes it a prime target for hungry fish.
- MATERIALS：Made by durable ABS imported from Japan, textile fabric, environmentally friendly and odorless. 3D holographic eyes and verisimilar body make it a lifelike fish.
- RATTLES TRAPS: Gravity balls inside, to keep balance of the fishing Lure, for the furthest distance casting.
- QUALITY HOOKS: Equiped with high quality hooks, anti-corrosion, stronger power, durable, freshwater seawater universal.
- TARGET FISH: such as bass, yellow perch, walleye, pike, muskie, roach, trout, etc.
The Alilure 4-Segment Multi-Jointed Crankbait is possibly the most realistic lure you’ll ever find. The body is jointed in three places for a side to side motion that can be smooth or erratic depending how you twitch the rod.
It has 3D eyes that catch the light just the right way, and even has a tough textile shell to cover the joints. While this increases the realism, we aren’t sure how we feel about using fabric on a fishing lure, even high-grade material like this.
This crankbait comes in 2 sizes: 2.3 ounces and 3 ounces. It also rattles as you reel it in, to really get those fish biting.
- Solid nickel treble hooks
- Realistic jointed motion
- 3D eyes
- Inner rattling balls
- Available in 2 sizes
- Textile Outer shell
Why it’s recommended: If you want the most realistic lure on the market, you’ve found it. It’s ideal for summer, fall or winter fishing at medium depths.
Diawa Salt Pro Minnow
- Made using the highest quality components
- Used by professional fishermen worldwide
- Tested for durability and quality
The Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow is designed specifically for larger fish. As you can guess from the name, this includes ocean fish like terns, strippers and blues, and the saltwater-grade hooks are more than up to the task. It’s also a tough enough lure to handle very heavy largemouth that would destroy other crankbaits. That said, it’s too big for smallmouth, or for any other lake fish smaller than a pike.
It has 3D eyes for realism, and is designed for a fast retrieve. When reeled in quickly, it will have an arc of 4-8 feet in depth, and will move erratically from side to side on its own.
- Large enough for the biggest largemouth
- 3D eyes
- Saltwater-grade hooks
- Moves erratically on a fast retrieve
- Too big for most lake fish
Why it’s recommended: The Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow is a beast of a lure. It’s a full six inches long, with heavy gauge hooks that will bring in record-setting bass.
Norman Deep Little N
- Classic medium diver lure
- Hits the 9-12 foot sweet spot quickly
- Various color to target fish in different conditions
- Deep Little N has posted wins in the biggest tournaments in the nation - including a Bassmaster Classic
- Dimensions: 2 1/2 inches long, 3/8 ounces, #4 treble hook size
The Norman Deep Little N is a 2½-inch long multicolored crankbait with a 1-inch bill. That much length gives it lots of diving power, and it will go down anywhere from 10 to 14 feet. The further you cast it and the faster you retrieve it, the deeper it will go. It’s perfectly sized for smallmouth bass, but is a bit small for caching a full-grown largemouth.
You can order this lure in 51 different colors, and it has solid nickel #4-gauge hooks that will sink right in and not let go.
- Available in 51 colors
- Nickel treble hooks
- Sturdy bill
- Ideal for medium to deep depths
- Too small for very large bass
Why it’s recommended: The Norman Deep Little N is great for catching smallmouth bass, particularly when they go deep in the water during the summer.
Rapala Husky Deep Lure
- Deep Diving Lip
- Loud Rattles
- Premium VMC Black Nickel Hooks
The Rapala Husky Deep Lure is made for one purpose: catching big lake fish when they’re in deep water. If you cast it far out and reel it in quickly, it will dive as deep as 20 feet. If you retrieve it more casually, it will run in about a 12-16 foot arc. Either way, the internal rattlers will cause enough vibrations to attract nearby bass.
This lure is available in both a 4-inch and a 4 ¾-inch version. Both sizes are available in 21 different colors, and they all have a pair of solid-nickel treble hooks. Pricing is inconsistent, though, with some colors costing almost ten times as much as others.
- Runs as deep as 20 feet
- 2 solid nickel treble hooks
- Internal rattler
- Available in 2 sizes and 21 colors
- Inconsistent pricing
Why it’s recommended: The Rapala Husky Deep Lure will go to depths other crankbaits won’t. And it’s big enough for largemouth.
TRUSCEND Topwater Crankbait
$18.98 in stock
- 【8 SEGMENTS LIFELIKE LURES】Designed with 8 segment multi-jointed body, TRUSCEND fishing lure can sink slowly and move flexible in water. In addition, life-like swimming actions make it attracting more catches and provoking predator fish to strike.
- 【HIGH SIMULATION】With 3D realistic looking eyes and pearl powder coating, this swimbait appears very delicate and vivid that looks like a real fish. A perfect fishing bait that easily cheats the target fishes.
- 【BASS VIBRATION】Made of high-quality ABS material and equipped with built-in rattle, this vibe lure can continuously emit the fish sound wave to during the swimming to provoke the feeding urge of the fishes and induce them to attack.
- 【WIDELY FISHING SPECIES】This bass fishing lure can be widely used to catch bass, yellow perch, walleye, pike, muskie, roach, trout, snook. salmon etc. This swimbait is quite suitable for both saltwater and freshwater and functions well in all water layers.
- 【100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE】Our fishing baits offer 12-months quality assurance and lifetime professional customer service. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Our friendly and reliable customer service will respond to you within 24 hours!
The TRUSCEND Topwater Crankbait is a surface-level crankbait that’s jointed in a whopping 7 places. That’s enough for it to oscillate in an S shape if you twitch it from side to side. The 3D eyes reflect light realistically, and it moves best when cast far out and reeled in quickly.
The rust-proof, Mustad hooks are tough enough to catch an hold a heavy largemouth, and the rattler ball inside will help get their attention, as well as adding some weight for a longer cast. This lure comes in a 3-pack with different colors. Our only concern is that the segments are joined together by a textile strap. It’s durable material, but it’s still fabric.
- 7 joints
- Comes in a 3-pack
- Rust-proof hooks
- Gravity/rattler ball
- 3D eyes
- Held together by fabric
Why it’s recommended: The TRUSCEND Topwater Crankbait is ideal for surface fishing. If you’re trying to catch bass during spawning season, this is the way to get it done.
Arbogast Triple Threat Lure
- Legendary top water Lure pack
- Top selling color patterns
- Irresistible to surface feeding fish
- Three classic Arbogast topwater lures
- Two Hula Poppers and one Jitterbug
The Arbogast Triple Threat Lure is a 3-pack of classic crankbaits: two Arbogast Hula Poppers and one Arbogast Jitterbug. These little guys pack a big punch. Smallmouth and largemouth bass alike will swallow them, and the heavy-gauge hooks aren’t going anywhere once that happens.
These lures are designed to run just below the surface, and to be retrieved relatively quickly. They’re lightweight, so they won’t cast as far as a heavier lure, and they’ll lose momentum if you reel them in slowly. This package comes at a very reasonable price. The three pack is less than some of the individual crankbaits we’ve reviewed.
- Classic design
- Good for smallmouth or largemouth bass
- Reasonably priced
- Heavy-gauge hooks
- Too light to cast very far
Why it’s recommended: This 3-pack of classic Arbogast crankbaits is perfect for spring fishing. You’ll already have extras for your friends, too!
REELDICULOUS Surface Cast Crankbait
- The BEST DEAL in the Jigging World - 6 JIGS FOR THE PRICE OF 5 Plus FREE Heavy Duty Canvas Lure Bag with DOUBLE-PLY PUNCTURE PROOF Clear PVC Sleeves ($20 VALUE) | Quality Protection for Quality Lures
- ALL 6-Pack Jigs Have MUSTAD STRONG FORGED STEEL Treble Hooks | Each Jig Comes Standard with an OWNER Double Ultra-Wire Split Ring
- Our 7x Multi-Coat Coloring is SCIENTIFICALLY DESIGNED to Enhance Appearance to Attacks from Below - Our Dark to Light Color Contrasts & 3D Geometric Patterns Create Multi-Angled Downward Light Reflection to Maximize Visibility from Below the Surface. New 2020 REVISED HYDRO-DYNAMIC Mold Allows for More Natural Movement on Any Water Surface.
- Tested and Proven to be the STRONGEST SURFACE CAST IRON JIG in the Industry
- PALOMAR is the ORIGINAL USA Jig Company That Inspects Each Hand Crafted Product | We Ensure Quality by Exclusively Manufacturing and Selling Our Own Products & Never Using 3rd Party Sellers
The REELDICULOUS Surface Cast Crankbait is made for surface fishing only. Unless you’re reeling it in quickly right across the surface, it will start to droop and won’t look natural at all. Other than that, there are no drawbacks to this lure.
It’s available in three sizes (1.4, 2.1 and 2.8-ounce), and there are four color options. If you’re not sure which one you want, there’s also a six-piece variety pack available. This crankbait is compact enough to have some heft to it, and casts further than all but the heaviest, most streamlined lures.
- Available in 3 sizes, 4 colors or variety pack
- Insanely long casting distance
- Durable Mustad hooks
- Very affordable
- Only good for surface fishing
Why it’s recommended: The REELDICULOUS Surface Cast Crankbait has enough options to be useful for any surface fishing situation. And it’s inexpensive.
Steady Essentials Fishing Tackle Beginner Kit
- 183 piece fishing kit (including bonus hook pack)
- One-stop shop for your kid's first fishing trip
- Specifically designed to provide everything needed for a fishing trip (with the exception of beer and a fishing rod)
- Extensive variety of bait, lures, jigs, and spinnerbaits - suitable for fresh and saltwater fishing
- All-around kit for expert fishers and beginners alike
The Steady Essentials Fishing Tackle Beginner Kit is a 183-piece set with six crankbaits, twelve standard lures, two spinners, and a whole mess of hooks, rings and baits. It’s inexpensive considering the amount of stuff inside the box, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality. The crankbaits and lures are also on the small side, so you won’t be fishing for largemouth with it.
This is not a kit for serious anglers. It’s a beginner’s kit for kids. As long as that’s what you’re expecting, you’ll be more than happy with it.
- 183-piece set
- Very affordable
- Great for kids
- Low-quality material
- Relatively small lures
Why it’s recommended: The Steady Essentials Fishing Tackle Beginner Kit is a great starter kit for kids who are just learning how to fish. There’s nothing impressive about it, but it will get them familiar with all kinds of lures.
RUNCL Anchor Box
|Color||Shallow Running Crankbaits SC120 (2-3/8in, 3/8oz, pack of 4)|
|Package Dimensions||Height: 160; Length: 910; Weight: 25; Width: 700|
|Product Type Name||SPORTING_GOODS|
|Title||RUNCL Anchor Box - Shallow Running Crankbaits SC120, Wobbler Fishing Lures, Hard Fishing Lures (Pack of 4)|
The RUNCL Anchor Box is a set of four colorful crankbaits. They range in size from 2 inches up to 4 ¼ inches, and are available in a squarebill configuration for surface fishing, or a deep dive design that goes as deep as 14 feet.
This is an inexpensive set. The hooks leave a bit to be desired. They’re made of stainless steel, not nickel, and are more prone to breaking as a result. All in all, though, it’s a great value for the price.
- Several multi-packs available
- 3D eyes
- Internal rattle
- Squarebill or deep diving design
- Hooks are regular stainless steel
Why it’s recommended: If you’re looking for an affordable set of crankbaits, these are better than most inexpensive choices.
Booyah Bait Company Pad Crasher
$5.00 in stock
- PAD CRASHER TECHNIQUE: Hollow-body frog perfect for throwing in the slop and weeds
- BODY CONSTRUCTION: Body is structured enough to keep the bait 100% weedless to come over and across sloppy weedbeds, yet soft enough to ensure a solid hookset with a bass strikes
- TOPWATER LURE: Mocks the frog apperance for hungry topwater bass eaters
- HOOK STRUCTURE: Features a super-strong double hook and spinnerbait-style legs
- INCLUDES: 1 Pad Crasher fishing lure
The BOOYAH Bait Company Pad Crasher isn’t a crankbait, but we included it because it’s perfect for catching bass in heavy weeds or lily pads where a standard crankbait will get tangled. Simply cast it and reel it in quickly. It will skip over the surface like a frog, attracting any nearby bass.
It also looks like a frog. Depending on your local species, you can choose from 12 different lifelike patterns. This lure is very inexpensive, and has specialized hooks that are designed not to snag weeds.
- Available in 12 patterns
- Great for fishing in weeds or lily pads
- Weedless hook design won’t snag easily
- Not a true crankbait
Why it’s recommended: If your bass are hiding in heavy weeds or under lily pads, you don’t have many options. The Pad Crasher will get you home with a successful catch.
Key Considerations When Choosing Crankbait
Unless you’re experienced with this type of lure, you probably have a few questions. Crankbait is an unusual beast, and requires its own set of techniques to use properly. It’s impossible to answer every conceivable question, but there are a few things that everybody should know before they make an investment.
Do Crankbaits Float?
Yes and no. Most crankbaits will float if you let the line go slack. They do this so you can free them up from reeds or other growth. Typically, they’re not designed to be used as floating lures, although there are some exceptions, which we’ve noted in our reviews.
Crankbaits are designed with a downward slant on the front, and oftentimes a plastic bill. When you crank your reel, the lure is pulled forward, but the water going over the front pushes it down. It dives deeper until it’s about halfway retrieved, then surfaces as the upward pull of your rod overcomes the downward pressure.
Because they travel in an arc, crankbait depths are typically measured in ranges. For example, particular shallow diving lure may have a depth of 2-8 feet. That means that it’s going to be between 2 and 8 feet deep in the middle portion of its arc.
The shallowest crankbait are called squarebills because their bills are very short. These lures typically range from 0-2 feet in depth, even shorter than shallow divers. Deep divers, on the other hand, can go as deep as 20 feet depending on the design and how far you cast them. Medium divers fall somewhere in the middle, usually around 8-12 feet.
The Right Depth For The Season
Bass tend to lurk at different depths depending on the time of year. These are just rules of thumb, and may be off by a bit depending on your location and the species of bass.
- Spring: Spring is spawning season for bass. They’ll tend to congregate near the surface, so squarebill or shallow diving crankbait are most effective.
- Summer: With warmer water and more sunshine, fish are as active as they’ll be all year. Bass take advantage of this extra energy to feed in cooler, deeper water. These conditions are ideal for deep diving lures.
- Fall: Most baitfish are most active in the fall, scrambling to eat as much as they can before winter. This is when bass are at their most aggressive. Any depth bait will work, and a shad crankbait will be best of all if shad are local to your area.
- Winter: A medium depth crankbait is ideal for winter, because bass won’t be going into cold deep water, or coming up to the surface to spawn. You’ll need to use a lot of action at this time of year, since the fish will tend to be lazy.
How Do I Fish With a Crankbait?
Good crankbait technique means making the bait move as much as possible like a fish. Think about it. The whole point of using a crankbait is to provoke a lazy bass into biting. You’ve got to really sell this, and a lure that’s drifting by or shooting forward in a straight line isn’t going to do the trick.
The best technique is to hold the tip of your rod just above the surface after your cast. This will give your line the ideal angle for getting your lure to dive. As you reel it in, change your pace up. Most small fish move in erratic bursts, so try and imitate that. You’ll also want to twitch your rod from side to side as you reel, to imitate the side-to-side flutters of a baitfish.
It’s easy to start casting the same way every time, especially if it’s one of those days where you fish for hours on end and nothing seems to bite. Stay focused, and change up your technique constantly. The fish are out there.
Once you’ve got one on the line, you don’t want to set the hook right away, like you would with most lures. Instead, you want to let the fish tug it a few more times, to really get the whole thing into his mouth. If you try to set the lure too soon, it will only snag him, and won’t have enough strength to hold up as you reel him in.
You’ll also want to set the hook a bit differently than you’re used to. Instead of tugging straight up, tug to the side. Due to the unique shape of a crankbait, this will be more effective, and will sink the hooks deeper.
What Kind of Rod Should I Use With a Crankbait?
The best rod for a crankbait is a medium weight, and possibly even a medium-light. This is because crankbait technique requires more flexibility in the rod. Stiff rods can make setting the hook difficult in particular, since they’ll often overreact to the first tug, which is something you don’t want when you’re using a crankbait.
What Are The Best Crankbait Colors?
Believe it or not, bass have almost identical vision to humans. Because of this, you’ll need to choose a bait that looks as realistic as possible, including the color.
On sunny days with clear water, it’s best to use a natural, light-colored lure. On the other hand, on cloudy days or in murky water, you’ll want to use very bright or very dark lures. These will have the most visibility.
When in doubt, choose a lure that looks like a local fish. Your bass will already be familiar with it, and will be eager to scoop up your bait.
There’s a lot more to crankbait than just a simple lure. As we’ve seen, you need to know what you’re doing to use one effectively.
First, you’ll need to fish at the right depth for the right time of year. You’ll also want to be aware of local species, like minnows or shad, that the bass may be used to eating. This will make sure you’re getting the best possible bait at the best possible depth to go right past that big lunker’s face.
Even if you’re using the right lure at the right depth, you’ll need to use proper technique to simulate a real fish, and set the hook appropriately for a crankbait’s unique configuration. Finally, it’s important to use a medium or medium-light rod for plenty of flexibility.
Ultimately, the best crankbait is the one that works best for you, your rod, and your favorite fishing hole. Try a few of them out, and see which one is your favorite.
We hope our reviews and buying guide have been helpful. Since we chose a wide variety of crankbait, we think that at least one of these choices will be best for somebody. Even if you choose a different lure, we hope our pointers have been helpful.
Top 15 Best Crankbaits
Here are the top 15 best crankbaits available in 2019 reviewed.
- Spro Aruku Shad 75
- Tackle HD Hi-Def Craw Bait
- Rapala Original Floater
- Cotton Cordell Red Fin
- Rapala X-Rap Jointed Shad
- Alilure 4-Segment Multi-Jointed Crankbait
- Diawa Salt Pro Minnow
- Norman Deep Little N
- Rapala Husky Deep Lure
- TRUSCEND Topwater Crankbait
- Arbogast Triple Threat Lure
- REELDICULOUS Surface Cast Crankbait
- Steady Essentials Fishing Tackle Beginner Kit
- RUNCL Anchor Box
- Booyah Bait Company Pad Crasher