Fishing Lure Hacks: Crankbaits

Fishing Lure Hacks: Crankbaits

Crankbaits are very popular lures that can be used to catch a wide variety of species. They are available in almost limitless shapes, sizes and color variations. They will all catch fish under the right conditions, but there is a lot that can be done to tweak these lures in order to increase their fish catching potential in specific situations.


Crankbait with various hook sizes

Change the Hooks

The most common modification that is made to crankbaits is to change the hooks. Upgrading to sharper and stronger hooks increase the likelihood of getting a good hookset. Increasing the size of the hooks can also help with this, but be careful of the effect that it has on the action of the lure. For this reason, it is a common practice to only increase the size of the hook on the belly of a crankbait. This will minimize the changes to the lure's action.

When fishing around cover, some anglers will cut off the bottom barb from the front treble hook so that it can easily bounce over brush. Using short shank hooks will also help to prevent snags.

Bending the eye of a crankbait with needlenose pliers

Bend the Eye

Use needlenose pliers to bend the eye of a crankbait. This modification will make the lure steer to one side during the retrieve. This can be useful to make the lure steer under docks or other cover.

Add a Split Ring

Many crankbaits come with a split ring attached to the eye of the lure. If it doesn't, then try adding one. It can give the lure a wider action when retrieved.


Modifying the bill of a crankbait

Modify the Bill

Be careful with this modification because it is permanent. You can change the action and depth of a crankbait by modifying the bill of the lure. Use a file to shave down the bill. Do a little bit at a time and check the action often.

Another option is to heat the bill with boiling water and bend it. Use needlenose pliers and oven mitts so you do not burn your hands.

Coloring a crankbait with a marker

Change the Color

You can use permanent marker or spray paint to change the color of crankbaits. Some touring bass pros even go as far as taking an air brush with them so they can make color adjustments on location.


Add Weight

Most crankbaits float when the retrieve is paused. Adding the right amount of weight can make them either suspend or sink. Weight can be added by using adhesive strips that you can find at tackle shops. An alternative is to wrap lead wire around the shank of the belly treble hook.

More Fishing Lure Hacks

  1. Introduction
  2. Spinnerbait Hacks
  3. Crankbait Hacks
  4. Jerkbait Hacks
  5. Jig Hacks
  6. Topwater Hacks
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