How to tune a crankbait

Plugs that don’t track true aren’t destined for the garbage any longer

When it comes to fishing with crankbaits, bass pro David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., is about as good as it gets. He would rather fish a crankbait than any other lure, and he has one tip that he said can make everyone a better crankbait angler.

“I often hear people complain that they have a half dozen identical lures — same brand, same model, same color — but that only one of them catches fish. The reason is simple. That one came out of the box tuned properly, and it’s the only one that runs properly,” Fritts said.

The solution, he said, is also easy, as long as it’s done properly. All it takes is a pair of needle-nose pliers and a steady hand.

“The best way to tune a crankbait is to lay the body of the pliers flat on the bill of the crankbait, then just move the eye left or right. Make sure the pliers are gripping both the front and back of the eye, otherwise, you’re just going to bend one piece of it, which won’t give you good results,” he said.

“The important thing is to make sure you have those pliers laying flat on the crankbait’s lip when you tune it, and that your pliers are gripping the front and the back of the eye. Once it’s tuned properly, it will run straight, and it will just feel right when you’re reeling it in. Try tuning a few while you have access to a swimming pool and watch how straight you can make them run. I guarantee you will catch more fish on properly tuned crankbaits.”

About Brian Cope 194 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.

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