Do I need a weight with a crankbait? Answered!

There are many different fishing techniques and all require their own set of terminal tackle – things like hooks, weights, and swivels. So when just beginning to learn different rigs and lures, it can be really hard to know exactly what you need.

A fishing staple for every species you may target is the crankbait. It’s a very simple lure – usually designed to look like a fish with two sets of treble hooks on the front and back. But what else do you need to fish with it? Is a weight required for a crankbait?

The answer is no. There is no need to use a weight or anything else with a crankbait. Just tie it on to the end of your line and you’re good to go!

For a little more information on how a crankbait works and what you do need to buy with it, keep reading!

How a crankbait works

Because there are so many kinds of crankbaits, this can be a complicated topic. Let’s try and simplify it as much as possible.

The biggest difference between types of crankbaits is if they are lipped or lipless. Most crankbaits come with a plastic bill on the front where you should tie the fishing line to. This plastic lip makes the lure dive into the water and usually keeps it at a certain depth.

There are many different types of crankbaits in this category, but the simple thing to remember is if it has a plastic lip or bill, that reeling the crankbait will make it dive into the water and have it’s action. The bigger the lip, the deeper it goes into the water. Look at the packaging and almost all will tell you the depth they go.

lipless crankbait weight
crankbait no weight

A separate type of crankbait is the lipless crankbait. As you can probably guess, it does not have the plastic bill on the front. So what makes it dive into the water?

Well it is naturally heavier than other crankbaits and sinks all by itself. In fact, if you don’t reel it, it will just sink straight to the bottom! So reeling a lipless crankbait is different in that it actually lifts it up in the water and makes it wobble.

With either type of lure, you can see why additional weights or terminal tackle aren’t necessary. The lipped crankbait has a plastic bill that puts it down into the water where it should go without a weight. The lipless crankbait is naturally weighted to sink without additional weights. So an additional weight is never needed.

What do you need to fish a crankbait?

Really all you need to fish a crankbait successfully is a pole, a reel, and fishing line. That’s part of the beauty of  crankbait! It works with minimal investment.

The pole isn’t extremely important, but should be long enough that you can cast the crankbait a good way. As mentioned, lipped crankbaits are very light and naturally float. So a rod over 6 feet will help you get greater distance and catch more fish.

Any fishing reel will work as well, but because fishing with a crankbait involves a good bit of reeling a higher gear ratio will help. With gear ratios just remember the higher the number, the more line it takes in with each crank. A spinning reel in the 3500 size is good for crankbaits. 

If you want a combo I would recommend that can handle all crankbaits, this is a great option.

Fishing line is more important than the pole or reel. Crankbaits often bounce into things and can really fray a line easily. At the same time, most fish won’t bite a crankbait if they have a thick, noticeable line coming from the front of a crankbait as it swims by. 

For most applications the best fishing line for crankbaits, especially for beginners, is 8 pound test monofilament. If you’re interested in learning more about why I like this line so much, read the article here which explains it much more in depth.


That’s really all the information you need on setup to get out and start fishing with crankbaits. Simply put a crankbait never requires additional tackle like a sinker or weight to be fished properly. Instead, just get a good pole and rod, 8 pound test monofilament line, and tie the crankbait on the end. And go fishing! You can catch fish with just that!

But if you want to learn more about crankbaits, consider reading this article which goes much more in depth into tricks and tricks that can help you catch more fish! Or this article which tells you about all the different kinds of fish you can catch with crankbaits and which one to pick for the species you’re after.

One Comment

  1. I appreciated what you said about crankbaits working with minimal investment. I think I found some of these in my grandma’s old stuff? I’m not sure exactly what they are but I know she used to fish a lot.

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