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Why do we throw a smaller variety of Crankbaits

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A while back I posted on here that I was going to stab the bait monkey in the back and analyze all of my TW purchases;) What I found was very interesting.

 

I have purchased soft plastics the most and it really isn't close. I have also tried 70% of the soft plastics I have purchased.

The second most I have purchased is Crankbaits, but I have only used 30% of them.

 

This intrigued me, because I use cranks a lot, especially when I fish lakes. At first I thought it was because I have bought more colors of cranks vs soft plastics, but looking at the list I have probably bought a wider variety of colors in soft plastics.

 

Here is what I have figured out. With soft plastics that last anywhere from 1 to 12 fish, I will generally try another color to see how the fish react to the change before settling on the color of the day. For example last year a copperfield ugly otter got the most bites, but the florida five o ugly otter got fewer but more viscous hits and bigger fish.

 

When it comes to cranks this year I used 2 1/2 ounce RES and 1 1/4 ounce RES not trying out all the different colors I have bought to see if they work better, or heck if a different brand works better. This has been a consistent theme with my crankbait fishing over the years.

 

So it seems to come down to how often I am forced to change lures as to trying new colors when one works. My dilemma is do I start limiting the colors I buy or even say standard RES vs RES 2 tap (never tied this one on even though I really wanted to try them) due to how I fish crankbaits? Or do I start switching out crankbait colors or styles every 5 or 6 fish to see if I am missing out on anything?

 

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I do the same thing with all types of lures . A bait gets hot , I keep tying it on . This year I had a buzzbait  that was just killing it until one day the line snapped on a cast .

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Limit your color selection but maintain different sizes and depths.

 

I have chartreuse cranks, translucent shad patterns, a bluegill color, and a couple craw colors.

 

Basically 5 different colors of Spro cranks in all their styles.  Almost always use the translucent shad patterns

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I am going this direction.  I am looking to get one shad solid color, one clear like clear water minnow, and a flash in silver like American shad.  I think color matters the least and depth action and sound or silent being more inportant.  I try to make things simple.  I try and get the clear silent and one of the other two colors with rattle.

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This is one of the reasons that I keep a log on a spreadsheet.  Some of my crankbaits have caught hundreds of fish, while others have caught less than 10.  My best colors are shad, craw, firetiger, and chrome.

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11 hours ago, Montanaro said:

Limit your color selection but maintain different sizes and depths.

 

I have chartreuse cranks, translucent shad patterns, a bluegill color, and a couple craw colors.

 

Basically 5 different colors of Spro cranks in all their styles.  Almost always use the translucent shad patterns

Moving forward I am going to do this, but I have a few cranks to lose lol. It is amazing though how readily I change plastic colors, but I can think of a couple of vacations that I just left the same crank tied on because it produced without thinking would something else work better. 

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I use to be that guy that had to have every color available. Now I limit cranks to pretty much some kind of shad pattern for clear water and something with chartreuse for stained water. I also get both colors in silent and rattling versions. 

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First you need to use acronyms I can relate to; 2 1/2 oz and 1 1/4 oz RES crankbaits for example? 

Tom

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28 minutes ago, WRB said:

First you need to use acronyms I can relate to; 2 1/2 oz and 1 1/4 oz RES crankbaits for example? 

Tom

2.5 oz and 1.25 oz Red Eye Shad.

 

 

 

 

I use a green worm and a shad crankbait, white spinnerbait and black buzzbait. I keep it that simple.

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OK, RES means Red Eye Shad, got that. I believe 2 1/2oz is 2 each 1/2 oz or 2 1/2" and  maybe 1 each 3" or 3/4oz, I don't see a 1 1/2" or 1/4 oz on TW?

 The OP is talking about lipless crankbait only and bought a few colors and sizes. It's difficult to make a evaluation on 1 type and brand of crankbait.

Tom

 

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LOL...yeah, I think it's two each at .5 oz....a two and a half ounce lipless would be for ...IDK...but, something other than black bass

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18 minutes ago, WRB said:

OK, RES means Red Eye Shad, got that. I believe 2 1/2oz is 2 each 1/2 oz or 2 1/2" and  maybe 1 each 3" or 3/4oz, I don't see a 1 1/2" or 1/4 oz on TW?

 The OP is talking about lipless crankbait only and bought a few colors and sizes. It's difficult to make a evaluation on 1 type and brand of crankbait.

Tom

 

2 each of the 1/2 oz and 1 of the 1/4 oz RES. My issue is that I have many colors of the RES, styles, and sizes along with Xcal lipless, Bill Lewis, Rapala lipless, etc that never see the water once I start catching them on a particular bait.

 

Same happens with square bills, deep divers, etc. It is like prying teeth from me to get me to change color or brand once I hook into fish, even though I have the other options in the boat with me.

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Did someone mention RES ?

 

58a321c354536_RESBox.thumb.JPG.6c6e2133396e92801e196e10de48f9ea.JPG

:smiley:

A-Jay

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So now that I know what the question is more about color choices then lure choices using hard baits verses soft baits.

For me I use a good quality snap to change crankbaits so It's easier to change them. Another factor is I don't put the trolling down and start cranking blind hoping to find active feeding bass. My search tool is my sonar unit so I know how deep the bass are and where they should be located before starting to cast. I select a lure that runs a little deeper then the bass are and select a color I believe represents the prey the bass are targeting and a second lure and color that is different. Examples are Shad colors and crawdad colors, this helps to reduce having too many choices. I fish the area with darker crawdad colors in low light and Shad colors in bright light to start with. If I catch bass no reason to change. If the first color doesn't work, then try the other color in the same area to determine if that works. If I know bass are in the area, then it's soft plastics or jigs fish in the same area before moving on.

My bait monkey issue is never buy 1 crankbait in 1 color, always buy 2 to start with. This practice will double your inventory quickly of lures you use and don't use.

Tom

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

I use a good quality snap to change crankbaits

not to hijack but I've always been leery of snaps, which brand do you use?

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When I fish lakes with just largemouth I will use a dark or light color crank, most of the time it doesn't matter. When it comes to smallmouth, that is a different story, and before going to a different style of crank or a different lure altogether I'll often just go to a different pattern first. When the water is clear in my area a chrome color rattle trap will do well, but with smallmouth I have had many days when a chrome/blue back wouldn't get as much as a follow and then we'd switch to chrome/black back and have 7 fish in 10 casts.  A lot of what I use depends on conditions, if water temps, time of year, baitfish activity, etc. merit the use of a crankbait then i'll use a type of bait I think will work and from there I'll switch color or size, or both before going to something different. Square bills are funny, I was out back in September and I was fishing with a KVD 1.5 in chartreuse/black back and wasn't doing well and it looked to be perfect for square bills. So I went with a 6th Sense 50X square bill in the same color and the first cast with it yielded a 4lb 7oz largemouth followed by a 3lb 3oz smallmouth 3 casts later and I ended up catching 11 fish on that bait over the next 1.5 hours. I think it helps to change up hard bait colors and styles as well as size, sometimes you don't need to but I have had good days on baits that didn't seem to be working but a simple switch of patterns made all the difference.

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4 hours ago, riverbasser said:

not to hijack but I've always been leery of snaps, which brand do you use?

Berkeley Cross Link size 3, the last 2 years Owner Hyper weld 33 lb Quick snaps.

Both are very strong, Owners are shorter but $, good snap.

my go to lipless now is Yo- Zuri 3DB 1/2 oz prism shad silver and gold w/black back the last few years, everything eats it.

Tom

 

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