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McAlpine

Crankbait Depth Documentation?

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So I have this problem...I love crankbaits. Therefore I have a ton of them, considerably more than I really need. And when I look in my box I have little idea how deep each runs other than a SWAG. Long straight bill...deep 10, 15, 20?, short square bill..maybe 4ft. standard short round bill 5ft? etc... So yeah you can get a rough idea but all of these baits come in a nice little box with an average diving depth printed on it when you buy them. If your like me though, space is limited and the box gets ditched asap. Does anyone do anything to mark their baits or put a note in your box or the slot where you keep each crankbait to denote what the advertised average running depth is? Seems like it would be awfully helpful when out on the water and you know you want to hit say 15ft.

Any ideas?

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This question has come up before. Many of us use permanent ink sharpies to mark the rated depth (range) on the bait. Some mark it on the bill, some on the body of the bait. Some folks have electopencil etchers and mark the bill. Some folks will reply that all this is unnecessary and that they just look at the crank and the size of the bill and sorta just know what it will do...

Of course the rated depth is only approximate - actual depends on your type and diameter of line, casting distance, etc. I use 10lb test for cranking and seem to usually get close to the rated depth on a long cast. I know for sure when the sonar says I'm casting to X feet of water and I'm bringing back dead leaves from the bottom... :lol:

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Since there are many other variables, like speed of retrieve, length of cast, line diameter, etc, I don't rely on a specific measurement. I keep changing baits until I find the one that goes where I want it to be. That sometimes means a 15' diver in 8' of water, or a 4' diver in 20' of water.

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I do the same as J Francho

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Hmm, I get that "try until you get the right one" and to me that makes sense when you are fishing a point or bank etc, traditional "run into something" type of cranking. However what if you are fishing midlake structure, suspending fish etc. If you go over and mark something on your sonar and you want to get to X depth. You back off and start casting but how do you know your even close if you dont know where to start? I could be dragging that bait right over the top of the school or strucutre like I want or I could be 5 or 10 feet off. I like the idea of the electropencil on the bill, that's a good one.

I generally use 10lb for larger cranks and will go down to 6lb for smaller ones and I do fish cranks quite a bit. So I get a good general feel for where the bait is going to run but...it's that mid water stuff where I get stumped.

Getting away from the bank is one of those skills I really want to work on this next year.

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how do you know your even close if you dont know where to start?

You should be able to see your crank in wide angle mode on your graph. It'll be a thin line that runs up to the boat. It's pretty easy to see about how deep most shallow to medium baits go without any help, though. As far as line goes, I don't go below 10# diameter. There are other, better ways to get a crank to run deeper than it's stated max depth....do a little research on walleye fishing.

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You should be able to see your crank in wide angle mode on your graph. It'll be a thin line that runs up to the boat. It's pretty easy to see about how deep most shallow to medium baits go without any help, though. As far as line goes, I don't go below 10# diameter. There are other, better ways to get a crank to run deeper than it's stated max depth....do a little research on walleye fishing.

Well that's a good idea. I didn't think that my sonar would reach out to the side enough to see a crankbait coming in from the side. I'll have to try that.

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Put it in 83 kHz mode, if it has it. That's about a 60° cone.

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With all these cranks you got not knowing depth, you have to also remember if their sinking, suspending or floating too.

The marker on the bill works, you can also use a scratch awl or other needle thin device to scratch in the claimed depth

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