In bass fishing, most bass anglers keep a loaded stash of both jerkbait and crankbaits, as they prove to be extremely helpful in catching bass. But what exactly is the difference between jerkbait vs crankbait?
Crankbaits are often chunkier and more massive in their appearance, whereas jerkbaits are on the more slender side. However, their physical differences are just a small part of their differences as lures.
Here, we explain all the differences between the two and which one will be best suited for your situation.
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Difference Between Crankbait and Jerkbait
When it comes to jerkbait vs crankbait, one main difference is in their physique.
Crankbaits are generally shaped to look short and fat and are made with two treble hooks. Jerkbaits, on the other hand, are relatively slender and longer with three treble hooks attached.
Their usage also depends on the season you’re fishing in. While this rule isn’t hard and fast, it’s generally practiced that crankbaits are useful in summer while you can get more use out of jerkbaits during winters.
Running depth and swimming action also bear significant importance in the jerkbait vs crankbait debate, and here we comprehensively break them down.
As mentioned previously, one significant difference between crankbait and jerkbait is their physical appearance.
Crankbaits portray a shorter and fatter lure, whereas jerkbaits are slender and more elongated.
They’re generally manufactured out of balsa wood; however, they’ve recently been produced with rigid plastic.
There are three treble hooks attached to jerkbaits, whereas only two are connected with crankbaits. Crankbaits are often preferred in most situations due to their immense size being more appealing to fish.
However, both lures have different plus points when it comes to various locations and seasons.
At first glance, it’s often assumed that the crankbait will run deeper due to its relatively massive size. However, that’s not always the case when it comes to comparing the two.
With the bill, variety has more control over the depth at which your lure is sinking. In this case, crankbaits are far more versatile as they offer a wider variety of bill sizes, whereas jerkbaits provide bills for half an inch.
However, the type of bait also affects the sinking level of both the lures. For example, the sinking jerkbait will reach more in-depth than a floating crankbait. Similarly, when comparing their neutral buoyancies, the jerkbait will be more fit for shallow depths than crankbaits.
While dive bills are commonly found in the same size across various models, crankbaits offer an extensive range of bill sizing to choose from.
The swim action and retrieval depths of the crankbait are dependent on their size, shape and the downturn of the diving bill. In this aspect, crankbaits offer more control to the angler with their ability to cater to a broad range of purposes.
Since the jerkbaits are longer, they provide more surface area, so they have three treble hooks attached to them.
The shorter stumpy crankbaits often have two hooks attached to them. Most manufacturers provide these lures with relatively low-quality hooks, so most anglers prefer to switch them out, with more durable hook attachments.
However, while replacing the hooks, you need to be mindful of the fact that the weight difference of the hooks can affect the characteristics of the crankbait or jerkbait itself.
This can change the depth retrieval or swimming action to some extent.
Both baits provide different experiences when it comes to tackling the fish.
While using the jerkbait, you will be adding the “jerk” or twitch the bait movement to make it seem alive. You will need to master the “twitch and pause” technique with your preferred crankbait rods and reel attachments.
Using a crankbait is the easiest way to lure any fish, specifically the bass. You need to cast it out and wait.
If your bait is bumping into some stone structure, that will add to the effect that the lure itself is dead. Their lifeless nature is what attracts bass the most.
The swimming action is arguably one of the most significant features of any lure. Both baits display themselves as fish running away or seemingly lifeless.
Jerkbaits and crankbaits have very different merits and demerits based on the water’s depth and we explain how.
While shallow water bodies such as ponds and creeks are great for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass, the lure is the only factor that determines your catch rate success.
Fishing with jerkbait in shallow waters is ideal due to its low retrieval depth. They stay relatively close to the surface, and due to its jerk and pause action, they prove to be a great tool while fishing in shallow waters.
Angling in shallow waters with crankbait can be a difficult task. They often go more in-depth than jerkbait and this might result in catching vegetation or simply getting snagged at the bottom.
The best choice for crankbaits in these situations is the use of lipless crankbait or a fish lip gripper. They float instead of sinking, proving to be great lures in shallow waters.
However, if you feel that your crankbait has one deeper, reel it back in slowly and steadily to prevent it from getting snagged.
Crankbaits take the cake when it comes to angling in deeper waters. Their variety in bill size and their depth retrievals makes them the best choice while angling in deeper waters.
Floating crankbaits are great for trolling, and casting the crankbait near some structure is a guaranteed ticket to making your big catch.
When assessing the difference between crankbait and jerkbait, it’s important to keep your preferred fishing area in mind.
Both baits are extremely helpful when used in the right situation with different merits and demerits.
We hope that this article was helpful for you in choosing between jerkbaits and crankbaits.
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