What is crankbait?
A "CRANKBAIT" is a broad classification of manufactured lures designed to imitate the natural foods fish eat. Generally a crankbait has many or all of the following characteristics; * a wood or plastic hard body * one or more treble hooks distributed along the body * a head section/front (that includes an eyelet for tying on the line, and may or may not include a lip/bill, or hardware that imparts action, vibration, flash, or sound) and * a tail section (where usually one of the smaller treble hooks is attached). * painted/imprinted features that resemble the eyes, gills and other body parts, or contours of the targeted fish's natural prey. Crankbaits come in a wide assortment of sizes, weights, shapes and colors. They may be a) cast and recovered using a variety of retrieves employed by the angler, or b) trolled behind a moving boat. The design or body style of some crankbaits creates a particular action, vibration or sound when retrieved steadily, while these features on others models depend upon the practiced skills of the angler to impart the artificial allurement that imitates the natural movements of a fish's favorite prey. Crankbaits are generally designed to attract fish in a specific depth range (topwater, shallow, medium, and deep divers), therefore an assortment of crankbaits must be acquired if an angler is to successfully cover all levels of the water column.
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A spinner bait is made of led with a thin steel wire embedded in it along with a hook. The wire may be straight or bent like a safety pin. On the wire there will be one or two… spinners shaped like a tear drop or willow tree leaf. At the hook end there will be attached a skirt of rubber stranded material, a hair tail usually made of squirrel tail hair, or in some cases feathers. These baits of course do not float, but can be used at or near the surface of the water by rapid retrieval of the reel. Some anglers also use a trailer and hook of some kind. This is a small plastic grub or worm slipped over the hook of the bait and gives the bait a larger appearance to the fish. The trailer hook helps the angler to set the hook when a fish is slow to strike as in the late winter and early spring. It is a bait that can be used at all depths and near and through all types of cover like dead trees, grass, lily pads and submerged brush piles. Crankbaits come in a wide variety of forms and as their name implies are meant to be "cranked" or reeled in from splash down to rod tip. This does not mean to throw it out and wind it in however. It means the action imparted to the bait is caused by reeling. Sometimes a slow steady retrieve works, sometimes fast while at other times a stop and go retrieve works best. They are made of plastic or wood moulded or carved in the general shape of a small bait fish. Floaters generally have a lip on the front which causes it to wiggle side to side mimicking a swimming bait fish. The size of the lip determines the depth these baits will dive. Short lips dive shallow while the longer lips dive deeper. The diameter (test) of the line will also effect the depth of the dive. Sinkers may or may not have a lip and sink to a desired depth by counting down. A rule of thumb is after the bait lands is to count by thousands to the desired depth. So if an angler wishes to fish around a rock pile 10 feet deep, they would count "one one thousand, two one thousand and on to ten. This will put most baits in the 10 foot range. Crankbaits can be fished in the same areas as spinner baits by exercising a little caution. Both baits are very productive and fun to use.
I have heard WD-40 works in two way's. 1 is to clean and polish the lure. 2 it "the smell" also acts as an attractor to the fish.
The term for a fishing plug or lure is one word, crankbait .