How To Tune A Crankbait

Got a crankbait that runs sideways?  Here's how to fix it!

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Hi, guys. This is Gene Jensen with BassResource.com. I'm going to do a real quick video on crankbaits today. This has happened to most of us who fish crankbaits. You get them out of the package and some of them don't track straight. Or you bump it up against a rock or bang it against a dock post, and the crankbait comes back swimming a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right.

   Well, I'm going to show you real quick how to tune your crankbait to swim straight. Okay. Say it's swimming to the left, and it's digging to the left and it's swimming this way. Well, when you bring it in, you got this little line tie right here. Not the split ring but the line tie. Okay? So, if it's tracking to the left, you want to take your pliers and you want to very slightly bend your line tie to the right. Okay?

   So, if I'm doing it and it's swimming to the left, I'm going to grab it and I'm just going to very slightly tweak it to the right. Same thing if it's swimming to the right. Bring it in, grab your line tie and you very slightly tweak it to the left. Cast it out, make a little short cast. Reel it back in to make sure it's tracking. If it's not tracking, make the adjustment.

   Okay. That's one with a big bill. Here's one with a square bill. Notice that the line tie is actually coming out of the bait itself. But it's the same type of deal. If it's swimming to the left, you grab hold of your line tie and you very slightly tweak it to the right. Now, with a big bill you tweak it this way. Hopefully you can see it. With a big bill you tweak it like this. With the one that's coming out of the bait, you tweak it this way. Okay? Just a little bit of difference.

   But anyway, you get those crankbaits tracking straight and you can absolutely wear them out. For some odd reason, in one way or the other, if you're not hitting anything - you're swimming in open water or you're just digging along the bottom - you get a lot better results by a crankbait that swims straight.

   Now, there are times when you're going to want it to swim a little bit off one way or the other. I do it when I'm fishing docks or fishing grass lines or things like that, and I want it to just swim just barely under the dock and bang up against the dock post and get that nice reaction strike. Same thing with the grass, I want it to swim into the edge of the grass. Get hung up and then I pop it out and get that instinct strike. But that's the only time that I would want it just swimming a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right.

   So, like I always say, visit BassResource.com for the answer to all your questions about bass fishing and have a great day.


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