While tying on a lipless crankbait and giving it a toss may sound simple enough, a few gear and lure tweaks will help you the most out of your experience.
A common complaint among fishermen is that lipless crankbaits fall too fast in the water column, making it difficult to maintain the desired depth. Bass and many redfish anglers remedy the problem by going to a high-speed baitcasting reel: a 6.1:1 gear ratio or greater. Not only will it speed up the retrieve, it will get it moving more quickly once it hits the water. Floating or suspending models of baits can be used if fishing in extremely shallow water or at a particular, desired depth.
Many fishermen also prefer stout rods for ripping their baits free from weeds and cover, but guide Mitchell Blake of Fish IBX Charters in Chocowinity, N.C., said going heavy kills some of the bait’s action and renders it less effective.
“You want to have a soft tip,” Blake said. “If you go with too stiff of a rod, you take too much away from the bait. You want it to have some give, so when the lure banks off stuff, it looks natural. You can overpower it if you’re not careful. I fish them on a 7-foot, medium-action rod with 20-pound braided line and a 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.”
Once in a while, the extra-loud rattle of a lipless bait can be detrimental to attracting fish — such as spooky fish in super-clear water or fish that have been pressured and heard too many rattles. In these instances, Rat-L-Trap offers two solutions. The first is a Stealth Trap, which offers a higher-frequency rattle barely audible to human ears. The second is the Knock-N Trap, which puts out a lower-frequency rattle by using fewer, but larger BB’s.