There are so many different types of crankbaits, jerkbaits, and stickbaits on the market you can get lost on what you need to get, or distracted by all of the different colors and styles that it’s hard to make a decision on just the right ones. Each style has it’s own unique purpose. Whether it’s to cast farther, or to get down deeper, or get some more action out of the lure, they all have a purpose, and chances are you will select many different styles so you are ready for different fishing situations and type of fish you want to target. Crankbaits and jerkbaits are very popular among bass fishermen. They are made to imitate prey for predatory type fish. They can be made of plastic, a composite material like foam, or wood, with the wood lures being more expensive. To me, I catch fish on every type of crankbait, so I do not have a preference. What I’m looking for is the shape, and motion of the lure, and the bill or lip shape and size of the lure. But let’s walk through each of the different types real quick.
Rapala Rap-V Blade Hard Bait Lures
Rapala’s New Rap-V Blade Hard Bait Lure has a great combo of metal, and plastic that provides an instant vibration on the lift, or on the retrieve. It can be fished in various depths when casting, trolling, or jigging. It has two line tie positions, with one towards the front for a slower fall swimming action. As well as one towards the rear line tie for a faster fall, with a more head down action. The Rapala Rap-V Blade hard bait lure gives your lure presentation the right action with plenty of attitude for all types of predatory gamefish.
Hard Bait Lures Materials
Wood Hard Bait Lures
Wood crankbait type lures are a risk, unless you go with a name brand that you know and trust. Some of the problems with buying wood crankbaits is that they can sometimes crack and split, on the lower end brands. I have had it happen to expensive ones too. If you buy six lures, chances are that one of them won’t work very good, except for the really good brands. I wouldn’t discount them entirely, however, as there are really good brands out there, and there are a lot of really awesome ones made by fishermen that build them out of their garage as part of a small business. Read the reviews, before buying any wood lures, to make sure that you don’t see a problem with other customers having issues with the quality or durability of the lures. Wood obviously come from trees, and trees have different density and aren’t all the same, so they are all going to be just a little bit different in their motion as they are pulled through the water.
Plastic Hard Bait Lures
A lot of crankbaits made today are made from different kinds of plastics. The advantage of using plastic is that they will be the same weight, well balanced, running attitude and vibration, and usually are less expensive to make. They also work really great with added rattles in many of the models on the market today. The extra rattles can draw in the fish from a distance and entice them to strike. They can also crack or split, like wood lures, but instead of cracking under normal use, they will crack when you hit them against a rock or hard surface while casting. This doesn’t happen too often, so it is my preferred choice of material for my crankbaits, jerkbaits, and stickbaits.
Composite Hard Bait Lures
Composite materials can consist of a lot of different materials, but the most common material is compressed foam. Foam is super tough and will last through just about anything. My biggest complaint about foam baits is that even though there is a lot of capabilities with the use of foam, but most of the companies that start up to make foam baits don’t spend a lot of money on research and development, or investment in the product at all for that matter. There are a few companies that are better at it than others, but read the reviews before buying from a lure brand that is previously unknown to you, or not recommended by a trusted source. If you find one you like, they are usually cheap enough to take a risk, but buy one or two before you invest a lot of money into them to make sure they do what you want them to do in the water and don’t swim all funky.
Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, Stickbaits Bills or Lips
The crankbait bill, or lip, is an important feature for the lure. It can change the action, or wiggle of the lure, and change the depth of the lure dramatically. Some of them are even lipless, or have no bill.
Types of Hardbait Lures Bills or Lips
•Square Bills•Diamond Shaped or Wedge Bills•Rounded Bills•Lipless (No Bill)
Diamond Shaped or Wedge Shaped Bill Hard Bait Lures
The diamond shaped bill on a crankbait is very similar to the square bill crankbait. It will deflect off of submerged objects and heavy cover, and it will also run shallow, but it can dive deeper than the square bill when it is retrieved at a faster pace.
Rounded Bill Hard Bait Lures
If you are looking for depth, and not fishing in a lot of cover, then the round bill is the way to go. The bigger the bill, the deeper it will go. Some round bills can dive up to twenty feet deep, and the really big bills can dive up over forty five feet. The round bills will run true right out of the box, with no adjustments needed.
Lipless Hard Bait Lures
Lipless crankbaits dive very shallow, and are used to cast up into the shore lines, or up along the shore from the bank without getting snagged. Striper fishermen also use these in the delta in areas of shallower water that the big hogs are hiding.
Body Style for Hard Bait Lures
The true purpose of a crankbait, stickbait, or jerkbait can be seen in it’s body style. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
Crankbaits Hard Bait Lures
Crankbaits are shorter, and have a much fatter body, while jerkbaits and stickbaits have a long and slender body. A crankbait usually has two treble hooks, while jerkbaits and stickbaits will typically have two or three. A crankbait is meant for bass of all types, as they will dive deep with tightly contained but rigorous action. Sure to entice a big bass to come up out of the structure and weeds that they hang in, to strike. They are small to medium sized to mimic a nice snack for a predatory fish.
Jerkbaits Hard Bait Lures
Jerkbaits don’t have as much of a variety in the types and lenghts of the bills, because of that they are more for casting, and fishing in the top three feet of water. They work great in shallow water, and along the shoreline of creeks, ponds, and lakes. They allow you to not dive deep and get hung up on vegetation and structures in the water.
Stickbaits Hard Bait Lures
Stickbaits are typically longer and can be slender or thick. These can be shallow or deep diving, and work the best for trolling for big lake trout mackinaw, or stripers, as well as brown trout, rainbows, and many other species of fish. Stickbaits are made to look like medium sized fish that predatory fish will go after for a larger meal, and because of their aggressive nature will also go after them when they are angered by them. The jointed types of all styles provide more back and forth action to get more attention, and added rattles inside the lure will get more attention in murky waters.
Which Hard Bait Lures Work the Best?
Shallow Waters: JerkbaitsShallow to Medium Waters: Jerkbaits and Smaller or Lipless CrankbaitsMedium to Deep Waters: CrankbaitsTrolling Shallow, Medium, or Deep Waters: StickbaitsIf you are new to stickbaits, jerkbaits, or crankbaits, it’s a good idea to just pick up a couple of different styles in different colors to find the ones that you like the best for the type of fishing that you do. Most fishermen will fish both shallow and deep waters during the course of the year. Using the rights lures at the right location at the right depths will ensure your fishing success, and limit the frustrations and cost of constant snag ups.
Headbanger Lures - Cranky Shad
The Headbanger Lures Cranky Shad is the ultimate hard bait fishing lure. It combines an erratic side to side action that Headbanger is known for. This lure has powerful low frequency vibration that displaces lots of water to make it easily detectible by predatory fish. The Cranky Shad lure has built in rattle balls, ultra realistic looking eyes, and internal holographic foils with transparent outer body paints that give this lure some depth and a life like natural look. The Cranky Shad hard bait lure is excellent for targeting many types of predatory game fish species, thanks to the lure’s constant change in the directions that it’s moving in. This erratic movement makes it look like real moving prey. It makes for a great trolling lure as well. It comes in both a 2.5" and a 3" length, with a 1/3 oz and a 1/2 oz wegith option. This lure ranges in depth from one to five feet, and comes with super sharp and strong VMC hooks.
YoZuri Hydro Minnow LC Hard Bait Lures
The new Hydro Minnow LC (long cast) is the ultimate lure for surf fishing for stripers and white sea bass. This lure is made for long casting, and comes in two sizes. The 6 inch Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC weights 1 ¼ ounces, and the 6 ¾ inch Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC weights 1 ¾ ounces. Both have the extra weight needed for long casting out into the surf where these tough hitting surf predators lie in wait. Unlike other stickbaits used for surf fishing for stripers, the Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC is 30 to 40 percent cheaper. The Hydro Minnow LC comes with ultra strong 3x strong treble hooks and stainless steel split rings. The Yo-Zuri name is well known, and well proven in the trolling for stripers world, but the new Hydro Minnow LC is a game changer for surf fishing.
Shimano World Minnow Hard Bait Lure
The World Minnow 115SP suspending jerkbait, and the World Diver 99SP suspending jerkbait, both have Shimano’s Flash Boost technology built right in that emits a fish enticing flash for targeting big fish in clear water. They have an erratic side to side darting action to imitate a wounded baitfish that’s is sure to trigger aggressive stikes. The World Minnow 115SP casts up to 22% further than similar lures from other brands, and it dives down from four to six feet. These World Minnows are the newest best thing coming out on the market and are sure to be a big hit for Bass and Striper fishermen. Some colors have holographic scale patterns, that are amazing. This new jerkbait is getting a lot of chatter in the markets, and is getting ready to take the market by storm. Click the image to the left to shop at one of our favorite fishing supplies superstores, FishUSA. They have a huge selection, great prices, fast shipping, and great customer service for all of your fishing needs for your next family fishing adventure. Get yourself some new hard bait lures for your next fishing trip!
Mystery Tackle Box - Fishing Lure Subscription
With Mystery Tackle Box, you buy a subscription of either regular, pro, or elite and select the species of fish that you want to target. They will send you between 4 to 7 or so excellent quality lures, hooks, hard bait lures, of soft bait lures. You will get a new box, with different lures, each and every month for as long as you maintain a subscription. It’s a very simple process, and will give you a variety of lures to use on your next fishing trip. I have been happy with every lure I have received so far, and when I open the box each month it’s like opening a present on Christmas morning. It’s exciting and fun. Most of the lures I am immediately impressed with as soon as I see them, most of them are exactly what I would have bought if I picked them out individually myself. Surprisingly, my favorite lures so far were the ones included in the box that I wouldn’t have selected myself. But it forced me to use them, and I was pleasantly surprised, and it has opened up my fishing experience to trying new things.
MonsterBass Monthly Fishing Lure Subscription
The MonsterBass Monthly Lure Box Subscription is another great monthly fishing lure subscription service that is perfect to buy for yourself, or as a gift for that fisherman in your life. You, or they, will look forward to receiving their new box of lures each and every month. Prices range from $20.00 per month up to $39.00 per month. A great price for the number of, and quality of, lures that you will receive. Each month you will receive the ultimate selection of softbait, and hardbait lures, spinnerbaits, and more. Makes for a great gift idea for the ones you love. About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Hard Bait Lures Fishing Experience Awaits!