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Tie 'em on, throw in water, retrieve, repeat. Nothing to it. :lol: First thing, learn the Rapala knot. It lets the cranks have better movement. Second, what kind of fish are you going for? For smallies, get it down to the bottom and bounce it off the rocks.
 

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That is tough one to give a short answer too That is what i fish the most with and i would be here a long time trying to help you,i will think of some tips and get back to u on this and a lot of the guys here can help you also
 

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I am not cranking expert, soft plastics are my forte, but i will tell you what works for me in a a few short sentences (the basics)

Diving depth - there are many different depth ranges available, from 1" - 20+ feet. Determine what water depth you will be fishing, and get a few different models covering that from top to bottom. Don't rule out the 1"-1 foot baits, (manns minus 1, bandit footloose, etc). Sometimes those provide hellacious action, and it is like fishing a topwater. You'll be able to notice a the difference in the bill of each lure, this is what determines diving depth. The length and the angle of the bill determine that.

My general rule of thumb is to fish a bait that runs deep enough to hit the bottom, or to tick the weeds if fishing over weed cover. Now something can be said about suspended fish, but no need to over complicate right now. So, try to make contact with the bottom or tick the tops of the weeds. A pretty simple cast and reel retrive will be good to get you started. Then you can incorporate variances into the retrieve, stop and go being my favorite. Especially if you hit bottom, pause and let the bait rise a few inches, and start again, repeat. If you tick the weeds, you may need to rip the rod to clear them, and many times that draws the strike.

Colors, i usually choose natural patterns in clear water, dark patterns or bright patterns in dirty water, as a general rule. Expanding upon that based on sunlight, etc...

The above is basic, but it will get you going. I vary my presentations taking this much further by choosing a wide wobble of a tight wobble based on water temp, and I like to weight many times to suspend rather than rise on pauses, etc...

Bait casting rod and reel by far a better choice, if you don't already have one. I still have my first combo from when I was 14 (quite a few moons ago).

Good luck, and I'm sure somebody will give you more detailed info than I can, but when you are ready to talk about Texas vs carolina riggin, look me up! :wink:
 

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Nice info Darren. And here I though you were just a plastics guy :p

Too add a little to what Darren said, I would keep it simple and experiment. Don't overdue it and buy a ton of baits. Have just enough to cover the water columns you want to fish and practice with those. Experiment with your retrieves and find out what works for you. Like any type of bait, confidence is key. Here are some baits I would recommend trying out.

Manns -1 and Bandit series cranks for shallower water. These are very good fatbody cranks and easy to work. A stop and go or burning retrieve retrieve can be deadly.

Rapala DT series- These range from shallow runners to deep runners and are excellent fatbody cranks

Rapala X-Rap- Just an awesome slash bait. Work this bait erracticly with snaps and twitches and hold on

Rapala Husky Jerk and Simithwich Rattlin Rogues- 2 more very good jerkbaits. They do not have the same side to side action as an X-Rap, but they are great as snap, pause baits.

Rattletraps- There are a million different models out there, so pick your poison. Normally just a moderate to fast retrieve over the grass in the Spring is all you need to hook up.

Again, I would not recommed buying more then 1 or 2 of each bait to start off with. You may really like one type of bait and find that you have no interest in another. Pretty much all the baits you see at a tackle store look great, and most work if used properly. There is some truth though that some baits are designed to catch more fishermen then fish :p Be wise in your selections until you figure what works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really apreciate the tips.I was at the rosemont show yesterday with my dad.Great people there trying to help me out.So the basic way to work it is cast it out there and just reel in slowly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BigJim said:
Tie 'em on, throw in water, retrieve, repeat. Nothing to it. :lol: First thing, learn the Rapala knot. It lets the cranks have better movement. Second, what kind of fish are you going for? For smallies, get it down to the bottom and bounce it off the rocks.
I will be targeting bass.
 

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Yes, a slow steady retrieve is a good way to start, and as you gain more confidence, and get the feel for it, you'll soon see that there are many other ways to retreive as well. Start/stop, burning, jerking, twitching, yoyo (with sinking baits like rattle traps), etc...

All will work, and many times, most will work in a given scenario. General rule for me seems to be making contact with something gets me bit more often than not. Bottom, rocks, wood, and weeds.

Also, one thing we failed to mention - Crankbait depth is not only determined by the bill size and shape, but also line diameter plays a large role! The thicker your line, the shallower the bait will run, and vice versa. I usually use 10lb mono. That seems to get most of my cranks down deep enough.

I like the rapala DT series baits as well. They make it real easy to know the max depth of the bait...a DT 10 has max depth of 10 feet! Nice and easy to figure out, as many other cranks have no indication on them as to their diving depth. No big deal when you first take it out of the package, as it is fresh in your memory from the label, but 2 years down the road, you gonna remember the depth? I sure don't, so the DT series is marked on the bill, so dumb bassess like me don't forget what depth the bait is made for. Now you can guesstimate based on bill size and angle, but I like hard numbers. Of course the max depth usually require long casts and thin line to achieve, but at least that number give you a starting point.
 

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FishinMat's got good tips, A good intro crankbait to try would be the Bandit, Foot Loose, its a little crank that runs only a foot deep. In spring, bass just unload on em. I use the green bass color, and it rocks in spring for both huge bass and any dinker in the area. Cast shorelines before the spawn and during the first water warmups, fish it relatively quick and im am very confident you will catch some. P.S. the bandit outfishes the mann's baby one minus about 3 to one for me and my friends. Also too theese baits arent super durable, I chewed up two of em last spring, though I caught ALOT of bass on em. Works particularly well in ponds, and smaller lakes. This is an easy bait to gain you more confidence in crankbaits. You can get em at Basspro. Fishinmatt is also right that it is easy to get caught up in buying too many crankbaits, a large variety of "maybes" isnt as good as a select few that you know work and have confidence in.

Also try the shallow shad rap in similar situations, the Shallow shad rap is HOTHOTHOT! They catch big bass, big walleye, and northern like to bite em off, so be careful in northern territory. The SR7 size is my preferred. BIgJim had it right, the Raplala Knot is particularly important on this crank. Its a loop knot that give the bait more freedom to swim as it should.

Another Fail-safe crank for me has always been the Bomber Model 7a, in shad color.
This is one of my primary cranks for fishing lakes and covering area. Any time your fishin deeper than six or seven feet to about fifteen this bait can bring great results, especially over weed beds and Drop offs. best thing about all bomber lures is that they are super durable and always run true, rarely ever have to tune em more than once.

Another very important tip for learning about the great world of crankbaits is knowing how to tune the bait to track perfectly straight. Slighty bend the wire on the bill of the bait that holds the "o" ring until the bait runs perfectly straight, Dont bend it much it barely takes much to change the action of a bait, And if ya mess wit it too much you might not be able to re-correct it. If your bait runs crooked it is much less likely to trigger strikes.

Try some of theese suggestions and you will catch fish for sure.

Speaking or rattle traps, who else picked up the new CLACKIN RAP? supppose to be hot, i havent let mine hit the open water yet though. I hope its al that it "CLACKED" up to be.
 

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Going to assume your shore fishing and your casting out into the lake and not catching,any lakes with rip-rap like the cooling lakes,that is the going to not work out well The shore is the area you want to fish and you are putting your crank in the strike zone for a short time and you are waving your arms in the the air spooking fish This is how you work cranks in this situtation, first i donit stand up and cast along the shore in the shape of a fan and then i may change cranks to deeper ones as my casts move forther from shore.
Have a set up to make the longest cast possible,so you are at the cranks rated depth the longest Cast length also will determine crank depth Now to get your cranks down as deep as possible for as long as possible my pole goes in the water
On geneva i use poles in the 10-12 range i got the pole down in the water with the reel just above the water,and i start to crank My lure gets down fast and stays down longer and os course holding the long rod up i can get deep diving cranks too stay shallow Got to get back to work understand this stuff it is important
 

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great tips guys. i would also suggest giving plastics a try. you'll be losing a LOT of crankbaits and they aren't exactly cheap.
 
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