How To Set The Hook On A Crankbait (This Works!)

Crankbait Fishing Techniques and Tips
The secret crankbait hookset technique used by the pros is finally revealed! This is the best way to set the hook on a crankbait. You'll never lose another fish!



Hey folks, Glenn May here with And today, I wanna talk to you about setting the hook on crankbaits. There's an actual technique to this, and it might not be what you think. And if you've been fishing crankbaits for a long time and think you got it down pat, you might wanna watch anyway, because I've got a few tips for you, as well.

Crankbaits, by their nature, have these little tiny treble hooks. They're not very big. They're thin wire, so if you set up on a fish like you would if you're jig fishing or worm fishing where you just reel down and boom, pop them as hard as you could, you're probably gonna lose that fish. For two reasons, one, you can bend the hooks out potentially. And I've done that on big fish. I've bent the hooks on them. And also you can just rip the hooks right out of their face, okay? They don't have a whole lot of grip. They're not very deep. They're not very long. They're small hooks. And you can just rip it right out. So don't set them up that way. I'm gonna tell you how to do it, and then I wanna teach you a little bit how you can train yourself to get this technique down.

So first, the right way to do it. When you're reeling and there's a fish, bites, all you do is, it's a quick, kind of, a snap set. It's not square up, set down, and reel back, and lean into it. Don't hit it that hard. You're reeling, and you just kinda lift up, like that. It's a quick lift. It's, kind of, a quick snap, almost a snap, just a quick pull, kind of, a hard pull like that. That's all you need. You don't need it any harder than that. And sometimes the fish slam it so hard they hook themselves. If you feel a really hard bite, you may not even need to set the hook. But that's all that is, all right?

Now, the problem with trying to learn a new technique, especially with a hook set is, we've come conditioned. As soon as we feel the bite, bam, cross his eyes. Hit it as hard as you can. It's a reflex. So, how do you train yourself to get the right form down? You've seen videos. You've watched plenty of them. You know what you're supposed to do, but how do you actually learn how to do it?

So here's my advice for you. Cast your lure out, and you're reeling it in, think to yourself, "If a fish bites, don't set the hook." Yeah, you heard me. That's what I just said, "If a fish bites, don't set the hook." Keep reeling, reeling, reeling, that way just keep telling yourself, because that reflex is gonna kick in as soon as the fish bites. It will, unless you keep telling yourself, "Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it." Keep on yourself, mentally and finally when a fish will bite. Resist the urge to set the hook. Just feel the fish at the end of the line. What's gonna happen is you're gonna learn how long the fish will hang on until he lets go.

Now, granted, some fish, like I said, will hook themselves. You'll actually land a few doing that. That will happen. And some people say that's the way to fish crankbaits. I don't believe that because I've lost fish with not setting the hook like the way I told you.

But what's important is for you to experience how long it is between the strike, and when the fish lets go. That is important, because when you do that a few times, now you've kinda trained yourself, "Hey, I got a little time. There's a window in there, so I don't have to automatically knee jerk, reflex, boom, set the hook right away." Now, you have time to stop and think, "What's the proper technique now for setting this hook?"

So now what I want to do, after you've done this three or four times, you've got the feel for it, cast out there. When you feel that fish bite, wait a second. How am I supposed to set the hook? Oh yeah, that's right. Glenn said, "Kind of a quick pull-up." That's what it is, not hard, hard hit. It's a quick pull. That's what I should be doing, okay?

That's how you train yourself. You've gotta reset, kinda start over on setting the hook, and how that fish bites. But that is what's gonna help you learn how to set the hook better on crankbaits. You're gonna land more fish that way. You're gonna catch a lot more fish. I hope that helps. For more tips and tricks like this, visit