Crankbaits aren’t for everyone, but if you’re anything like us, there are boxes and boxes of all depths, sizes and colors stacked up in the garage waiting for their moment.

That moment of glory when they are chosen for Valhalla…or fastened tidily to a brush pile. We won’t mention the ones yeeted into a tree.

In this article, we’re going to focus on what makes a good cranking rod. Since we are particular and can’t just pick one, we are breaking it down into three categories.

Typically these categories will overlap a little, but the goal is to make you a more effective crankbait fisherman. So let’s get cranking!

Category #1: Tiny Peanuts

These crankbaits are your 1.5 Scamp, 8 ft deep-running Cliff Banger or any Gordito in our line up. These would all compare to a series 3 Strike King or Rapala size 1.

To start, you don’t need a ton of length to chuck these baits. In your rod, the supple tip section and load are going to be more important.

Next focus on a rod with the right lure weights. This is where the 6’10” to 7′ rods with a lure rating of 1/4-1 oz. with some wiggle room on either end come into play.

Lure rating is more important than line rating these days as it will tell you what baits the rod is built to optimally load up and huck. A moderate action is key.

A Defy Black 7′ Cranking action is a great option here on a budget. If you’re looking for upped performance, the Omen Black 7’1″ Cranking is a tournament-ready rig.

Anytime we’re talking about crankbaits, barring a few odd exceptions, we’re talking about trebles. Look for some forgiveness in these rods so they don’t rip the lure out of the fish’s face before it can get to the boat.

Category #2: Middleweights

This category has the widest range of depths and options. These can be anything from a wake bait to a 15′ diving crankbait. A good example is the 15′ Troll Hunter in our line up or a DT14. 

Rod length is going to be in the mid 7′ range. Most likely anywhere from 7’3″-7’7″ with a lure rating of 1/4-1 1/2 oz. A lot of times you can be fishing this type of rod around deep grass.

The Fate Black 7’4″ Cranking is an exceptional option that can also be great for fishing lipless crankbaits. Tournament anglers may opt for the Envy Black 7’4″ Cranking which provides higher-end components and materials.

A stiffer rod is going to be able to snap a larger, more resistant lure out without having to reel in the cabbage patch you snagged and ruining the cast.

Category #3: Big Bois

This series covers anything above the middleweights. The 18′ Troll Hunter or any bait claiming to dive 18′ plus is an excellent choice.

The upper reaches of a 7′ rod with a long rear section is important for providing leverage to get those girthy lures out there.

The biggest focus will be on supporting the cast and preventing the rod from folding over like a spaghetti noodle. It needs to have forgiveness, but balance that with keeping a moderate taper to make sure you get the distance. Without that you’re casting with a pool cue that won’t go anywhere.

A suggested lure rating is loosely between the 1/2-2 oz. range for most manufacturers.

The Omen Black 7’11” Cranking rod is a great selection with the added length and a powerful handle section to hurl heavier and less aerodynamic baits.

Just Chuck It!

Chuck it out and wind it in. Don’t overthink it and don’t overcommit to the crankbait bite. These lures are great at searching for active fish, so if you’re not getting a bite in an area where you can see them on the graph, switch it up! This is also a great way to cover water and the column. So get out and after it.

And as always, if it doesn’t work…you can blame me.

Written by Reid Miller: 13 Fishing Marketing Coordinator