Best Crankbait Rods Review
If you love fishing, then you know that different kinds of fish require the use of specific tools. Some kinds of fishing only require a rod, anyone would be alright, but that doesn’t apply to crankbait fishing. For each technique or style of fishing, there are specific lineups of equipment designed to deal with the task.
Owning a crankbait rod for fishing is vital because crankbaits require specific rod features to perform well. If you use the wrong rod with a crankbait, you won’t be able to lure in a lot of fish. Being equipped with the best crankbait rod will assure you of a successful day of fishing. A good quality crankbait is one that will compliment your fishing setup perfectly and offer you the best fishing experience.
WHAT IS A CRANKBAIT?
A basic crankbait is a plug shaped like a fish; it can be made from either plastic or wood; it comes with two treble hooks hanging from the bottom. Most crankbaits come with a bill which is also known as a lip attached to its front. The bill or lip is an important component; it pushes the bait into the water as you reel; it also contributes to the lure’s action and helps the bait jump off of any cover.
Crankbaits come in different sizes and shapes. Some are fat with round sides, while others come with flat sides. The shape of the lure’s body and the shape and size of the bill will all determine the lure’s ability. Some have a wide, wobbly action, while others have a tight and vibrating wiggle. Crankbaits are made to hit all parts of the water; small square bill models can reach 3inches depth while large-billed baits reach depths of 25 inches.
Crankbaits are most effective when you let them run into something, even if it’s the branches of a downed tree or the bottom of the main lake point. When the bait is forced to deflect off cover or a structure, it often triggers a strike.
There are two main things that make it possible for you to fish with these baits near a structure or cover, they include;
- The lip of the bait deflects off of objects as you reel in. square bill baits are better at deflecting off wood covers, while round billed baits are great at deflecting off bottom structures.
- When you wait to retrieve, the baits buoyancy makes it come out of the cover. except it’s a suspending model, which is a lure that’s neutrally buoyant; your crankbait will float and slowly rise up to the surface once you stop reeling.
However, there are also lipless crankbaits. These types of baits have similar features to regular crankbaits, except they don’t have any bills, and most of them sink. They are also flat-sided. They come with a tight wiggle action at moderate retrieve speeds, but they can be slowed down or sped up to change the action.
Lipless crankbaits are best suited for open water or on the edge of a grass cover; they aren’t as snag resistant as their counterparts. They also run at a depth of 6 inches, depending on the weight of the lure and the retrieve speed. All its features make a lipless crankbait an excellent lure to use when you need a search bait. A lipless crankbait allows you to cover a lot of water.
As we mentioned earlier, crankbaits some in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you aren’t familiar with the category, then do a little window shopping to get a sense of the available lures. Advanced manufacturing processes and modern materials allow lure makers to make some of the most realistic and effective baits out there.
WHO NEEDS A CRANKBAIT ROD?
Anyone who wants to try using crankbaits for fishing will benefit from a good quality crankbait rod. These rods are designed for this specific type of fishing. Using the right rod will provide you with better results. Specialized rods work best with the technique they were designed for. Crankbait specific rods will offer you the following benefits;
- Improved casting: Because of the way the rod loads and unloads, it takes little effort to cast a bait.
- Better lure time: Once you have located a fish, you’ll be able to keep the lure in that zone for a longer period.
- Reduced snags: The rod has a softer action tip which loads and unloads along rocks much slowly. It allows the fish to reach the bait a lot easier as they’re moving around.
ARE CRANKBAIT RODS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RODS?
Crankbait rods have a different compared to traditional rods. These types of rods have specific power and action, which makes them better suited for use with crankbaits. If the rod has too much imposed on it, you may rip the bait out of the fish. However, if the rod doesn’t have enough power, you may be unable to pull the fish out of the water body. Action and power are what determine the specific use of the rod.
A regular crankbait rod comes with a moderate action for stability and accuracy. The light action placed on the hook set keeps the lure in the fish’s mouth; that way, you would be trading a bit of sensitivity for more casting range.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD QUALITY CRANKBAIT ROD?
Anyone that enjoys fishing may have a few rods suitable for catching fish with crankbaits, but you’ll simply be learning the hard way. It is common for a beginner to cut the worms from his fast action worming rod and attach a crankbait; it is a terrible move.
A fast action rod may be perfect for fishing plastic worms, but it isn’t good for crankbait fishing. The worming rod has a fast tip that pulls a crankbait out of the fish’s mouth before the hook can set. A rod with moderate to slow action gives fish more time to suck in the bait; there is little resistance from the rod’s tip, so the action is a little slower and softer when you’re using a worm rod. A softer action rod helps you cast further and makes it easier to handle your fish once it’s hooked.
The acceptable weight for crankbait rods varies from medium to heavy depending on the type of crankbait fishing you’re interested in. crankbait rods need to be at least 6.6 inches long, while 7 inches is the preferred length. The extra length allows the line to move fast, both on the hook and cast set. When buying a crankbait rod, ensure it has a moderate to soft action.
FACTORS TO TAKE INTO THOUGHT WHEN SELECTING THE BEST CRANKBAIT ROD
When you’re making a decision on the best crankbait rod, you need to note some factors in order to choose the best option; you should also see different reviews. This section will highlight all the factors that make up a good quality crankbait rod. Below are the features/factors you should note when making a choice.
TYPE OF CRANKBAIT
It’s smart to choose a crankbait rod based on the type of lure you intend on using. Crankbaits require a moderately slow action rod, but there are other factors that need to be noted.
Round Bill Crankbaits
These kinds of crankbaits tend to go deep, which makes them ideal for open water use around points, humps and drop-offs. You will need a long rod to make the required long casts. Also, when you’re setting the hook with a lot of lines left out, which is the case with most times when fishing in deep waters. The extra length aids with hooksets. As far as the rod’s weight goes, you can successfully fish with a medium-weight rod because you wouldn’t have to steer the fish away from cover in open waters.
Square Bill Crankbaits
Sometimes a short rod helps to make more accurate casts around the cover. Square billed crankbaits work well around shallow wood cover; when using this type of crankbait, a short rod would be most suitable. The agility of a shorter rod allows you to perform underhand flips or other trick casts to place your bait in the right spot. However, you may have to opt for a medium heavy rod because you will need power to quickly move the caught fish out of the wood cover.
Just like with round bill crankbaits, lipless models also need long casts. You’ll be looking out for fish and need to cover a lot of water quickly. You’ll also need a medium-weight rod for lipless crankbaits. When a fish hits this type of bait, a subtle pressure is required to reel the fish back to the boat.
A rod’s action is the most important feature of a good quality crankbait rod. The action describes the part of the rod where the length begins to bend under the weight of a load. Fast action rods are rather stiff for most of the length; they only bend near the tip. On the other hand, slow action rods begin to bend closer to the handle and reel seat; it curves over a higher percentage of its full length.
A fast action rod offers great sensitivity at the tip, which helps you detect strikes more easily, but a slow action rod offers more cushion on the hookset. Faster isn’t better than slow; neither is slow better than fast. It’s best to get a rod with an action that matches the technique you intend on using.
To use a crankbait, you need a moderate to slow action rod. A fast action rod would not perform well for this kind of lure. The weight of a crankbait rod is less important; a medium or medium heavy action would be alright
The reason why crankbaits need a moderately slow action rod is because it makes it easier to cast lures and results in better hookups. When a rod is able to flex at the moment the fish strikes, the treble hooks are able to dog in, but if the rod is stiff, it may rip the bait out of the fish’s mouth.
The weight of a rod describes how easy the rod bends, while the action describes where the bend occurs on the rods length. There are two main options that can be described as the weight of a rod; the actual weight of the rod and the lure’s weight capacity. Both of them can contribute to making a great rod. A rod that can withstand the weight of a heavy lure would be better if you prefer to do deep water fishing. It’s not really necessary if you plan on fishing in shallow water such as rivers and small lakes.
The weight of a rod also plays an important role in how your fishing goes. A heavy rod will put unnecessary strain on your body over the course of a full day of usage. But, it would provide you with the ability to tackle larger fishes without worrying about breaking your rod. A heavy rod usually means more robust materials were used to make it.
A rod always has a designated line and lure weight marked close to the reel seat. These numbers can be exceeded, but your rod’s performance will suffer. These weights vary from the rod’s action and power; it tells you what would cast and fish better with a specific blank.
The power of a rod describes how much force is needed to bend a rod. Along with the action, a rod’s power will tell you a lot about how it will perform. A stiff blank will increase the power of your hookset and allow you to tackle stronger and larger fishes. The point where power really affects a bass rod is in the ability to turn a large fish around when it’s heading for cover or trying to run around a tree or stump. You need enough backbone to have control, and that usually means a heavy rod. A good quality crankbait rod should be between medium to medium heavy.
For crankbait fishing, you’ll need a long rod. 7 feet to 7.6 feet are the two most common long sizes. The extra length helps achieve long casts and moves a lot of lines at a fast rate when you need to perform a large, sweeping hook set.
However, there is one exception to the rule of using long rods for crankbaits, and it’s when you’re using square bill crankbaits. They tend to reach a depth of about 3 feet, which makes them great for dissecting shallow wood cover. Fishing in waters with that kind of cover requires precision casting, and a short rod comes in handy. But do not choose a rod shorter than 6.6 feet, or you won’t have the control you need to tackle the fish out of the cover after they strike. If you fish in areas with cover, then opt for a rod that’s a bit short, but if you fish in open water, a longer rod would be ideal.
Most modern-day fishing rods can be made from various materials, including graphite, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. Some come with composite build, which uses more than one material to make the blank that provides their backbone.
Graphite is an ultra light, strong and stiff material. Due to its stiffness, it is quite sensitive and makes a durable option for a fishing rod. Manufacturers now have modern production techniques that allow them to make graphite stronger by subjecting it to high heat.
Graphite rod blanks are made by taking parallel graphite fibers and joining them into sheets with resin. A rod that has more resin and fiber material will be stiffer than one with less of those materials. Layers upon layers can be added to improve the blank’s performance; fiberglass is a common secondary material that is often used. The stiffness of graphite is not what you need in a crankbait rod, but combining it with fiberglass can give you the action you need. However, there are exceptions, and a crankbait rod made with a graphite blank is a great option.
Fiberglass is much heavier than graphite and less expensive. It is not as stiff or sensitive as graphite, but it is incredibly strong and has the ability to flex, which makes it a great material option for crankbait rods. Rods made entirely from fiberglass are very popular, but the material is known to be too heavy. Manufacturers have found a way to make modern fiberglass more lightweight; there are now rods made completely from fiberglass. Glass rods and rods made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass make great crankbait rods because they have a slower action than rods made completely from graphite.
Carbon fiber is a strong, stiff, and light material, but it is the most expensive option to use for manufacturing rods. Its performance is excellent, but it has a high price point. While the material is great, it is not the most suitable option for a crankbait rod, except it is mixed with fiberglass. That way, the rod will be lighter by complimenting the weight of the heavier material.
Guide quality is an important feature of a good quality rod, and barely adequate guides will make you lose more fish than cheap lines and dull hooks combined. As you struggle with a fish caught on your line, the guide handles the strain by dividing it by their numbers. As they do this, the friction between the line and guide can get very intense, and except the guides are made from the best quality materials and designed to withstand strain, they’ll wear out your line; they can compromise even the strongest of braids.
To test the guide quality of a rod, try sawing the line against a large guide, and if the line quickly snaps, then you’ll know not to choose that rod. Keep in mind that more is better; an increase in guide count means that each guide takes less strain which in turn creates less friction at any particular point. The rule of thumb is one guide per foot, plus one.
Choosing a handle depends on personal preferences; what’s comfortable for one person might be uncomfortable for the next. There are two main basic handle materials; cork and EVA foam.
- Cork: This material is warmer and more attractive, but it doesn’t withstand rough treatment well.
- EVA Foam: This material, on the other hand, is softer and cool to touch, it is also very durable.
One vital information to note is that a longer handle offers you the option to snap cast, thus increasing your range. This is important for open water crank baiting, so note if it’s something you would like to do.
Crankbait rods cost between $50 to $150 for a good quality option. Other rods are made from premium build materials, which makes their price point reach $200. Crankbait rods aren’t cheap, but you do not have to break the bank in order to get one.
Some of the features that make one rod more expensive than the other are the nice features they have, such as a high-end cork handle or a beautifully dazzling finish. When you’re looking for the best crankbait rod for the money, remember the material used to make rods have to go through a long process, but rods are easier to make than before, which means that manufacturers can put interesting features on their low and medium-ranged rods.
Now that you know what features to note, it should be easier for you to choose the best crankbait rod available on the market. To make it easy for you, we have compiled a list of the best crankbait rods along with a detailed review stating all their features. Let’s take a look at the list.
The Best Crankbait Rods Are Reviewed Below
Below is a comprehensive list of the best crankbait rods.
St. Croix Rods Legend Glass Casting Rod
The St. Croix Legend series is made up of rods well known for their excellence and top-notch performance. The glass casting model is one of the best rods for crank baiting. It has a 7’4 moderate action and a medium heavy power model. It is long enough to cast really far, but it’s still flexible enough to make accurate casts and also lightweight.
This rod comes with a fiberglass blank that loads well, allowing for great casts and offering the hooksets and pressure you need to keep your fish on the lure. The rod is interesting to fish with; it immediately improves your performance with crankbaits.
It comes with 11 high-end Fuji guides that protect your line, so it is clear that the manufacturers are not cutting corners with this rod. It comes with a long split cork handle that is comfortable and has enough space for snap casting, even if your hands are large. The recommended line and lure weight for this rod offers a lot of options, and its blank loads incredibly well, even with the lightest of crankbaits. The rod is a great option for both precision and distance, but be willing to pay for all its features.
- 100% linear S-glass build
- Integrated poly curve
- Fuji K-series
- Split grip
- 15-year transferable warranty
- Brand: St. Croix
- Model: Legend Glass Casting Rod
- Line weight: 10 to 20 lbs
- Lure weight: 3/8 to 1 Oz
- Action: Moderate
- Power: Medium-heavy
- Material: Fiberglass
- Handle: 16 inches split cork
- It’s sensitive and loads easily
- It comes with an incredible blank
- The guides are great
- It has a high-quality handle for comfortability
- It offers long and accurate casts
- It is one of the most expensive rods
Lew’s Fishing Crankbait (Speed Stick Series) Rod
This David Fritts speed stick is made by Lew’s, and it comes in different sizes but in one color, black. The rod comes with stainless steel frames with an aluminum oxide build. This provides the rod with a smooth and easy line flow while you’re casting. The reel seat comes with cushioned hoods for comfortable casting.
The rod is said to be great with crankbaits, and it has the right amount of flex which makes it impressive. However, the rod is a bit on the heavy side.
- 42 million modulus graphite/glass composite build
- Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts
- Graphite reel seats
- Cushioned hoods
- Brand: Lew’s Fishing
- Model: Crackbait (Speed Stick Series) Rod
- Color: Brown
- It has a good flex
- It is ideal for crankbait use
- It is lightweight
- It is much heavier than other rods
- It has a sharp edge at its tip
Dobyns Rods Fury Series Casting Fishing Rod
The Fury Series FR 705CB is manufactured by Dobyn’s and comes in one size and color. The rod has a medium heavy fast action and is suitable for crankbaits but can also work with sammys, jerk baits, and more
Customers who have used this rod and found it lightweight and comfortable to hold. The tip of the rod is sensitive enough to feel every tick, bump, or wiggle from below the water. The action of the rod makes sit easy to retrieve bait and set a hook. However, the reel threads are quite short.
- Modulus graphite blank
- Fuji reel seat
- 14” cork split handle
- Brand: Dobyns Rods
- Model: Fury Series (FR 663C) Casting Rod
- Color: Brown
- Material: Graphite
- It is durable and versatile
- It is incredibly sensitive
- Its quite short
- It has a low parabolic action
Buying Guide Questions
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
What size rod is best for crankbaits?
Crankbait rods need to be about 6’6” long but, 7’ is the best length. The extra length allows you to move fast with the cast or hook set.
How do I choose a crankbait rod?
A good crankbait should have a relatively slow action; a fast action rod wouldn’t be suitable.
What is a medium-heavy rod good for?
A medium heavy rod that has a fast action offers a great balance for spinnerbaits up to half an ounce.
What’s a good gear ratio for crankbaits?
A slow reel is the best choice for crank baiting. A gear with about a 5:1 gear ratio will aid your bait in reaching maximum depth and allow you to know what’s happening with your lure.
Should I get a medium or medium-heavy rod?
If youre using bait with lots of hooks, then a medium rod would be suitable, but if you’re using something that doesn’t have an exposed hook, then a medium-heavy rod would be suitable.
How long should a crankbait rod be?
A crankbait rod should have a length between 6’6” to 8’.
What action rod is best for jerk baits?
A jerk bait rod needs to be a fast action rod and have a length of about 6 ½ inches with a light to medium power rate.
What are fast action rods good for?
Fast action rods are suitable for anglers with a fast casting stroke; those who need to tackle wind and make long/heavy casts. They are also great for use on drift boats.
How can you tell how deep a crankbait will go?
The first thing that’s noticeable about crankbaits is the lip or bill situated at the front of the bait. It is made to cut through the water and get the lure down into the water column. The diving depth of the lure can be determined by the size of the bill. The longer and bigger, the deeper it would go.
When shopping for a crankbait rod, make sure you do your research in order to get the best possible option available on the market. All the rods on our list are made from high quality materials and allow you to have a fun day fishing on the water. Before you make a choice, we recommend that you note all the options open to you and get used to the terminology used when looking for the best crankbait rod.
Use the buying guide as a reference when making your choice, or you could choose any rod from the list provided above. No matter the rod you choose, it will serve you well and for a long time.