Lipless Crankbaits

The Ultimate Shallow Running, Reaction Strike Baits!

Lipless Crankbait Variety

The diamond shaped, vibrating, lipless crankbaits are one of the many freshwater fishing lures that stand out as consistent bass catchers.



What Is A Lipless Crankbait?

Classic Lipless Crankbait Profile
  • Hard plastic, diamond shaped body (usually) with wedge shaped nose and rear, no lip.
  • Flat sides (usually) which create a tight wiggle and loud vibrations.
  • Has a rattle chamber containing metal BB's that generates loud clatter which varies with manufacturer depending on the thickness of plastic, size of the rattle chamber and number, size, placement and material of the BB's.
  • Line tie located on top of lure.
  • Available in sizes from as small as 1/8 ounce to well over an ounce.
  • Most are designed to sink so they can be fished at almost any depth by merely counting down their drop, count a foot a second.


What's So Good About Lipless?

  • Their heavy weight to size ratio and streamlined shape, which creates little air resistance, allows them to be cast a mile.
  • Their rattles emit vibrations easily picked up by bass enabling them to find and strike them.
  • Great "search baits" allowing you to rapidly cover water in your search for bass.
  • Excel as lures that draw out bass in the grass, especially smallmouth.
  • You can easily change your running depth by merely varying your retrieve speed and the angle of your rod.
  • Great in stained water due to prominent rattle Unfortunately, since lipless cranks have no lip to bump them around and over objects they are less snag-resistant than billed crankbaits and more prone to snagging. That's my experience, yours may be different.

Rat-L-Traps, The "Gold Standard" Of Lipless Crankbaits

Rat-L-Trap - A Classic

In the late 1960's, though Cotton Cordell already had the lipless "Spot", Bill Lewis designed and introduced the lipless Rat-L-Trap. It rapidly became a huge seller for one simple reason, it caught bass.

Over the years the initial design, as seen in the picture above, has evolved into versions that have bills, suspend, float and even have spinners on them. Nevertheless, the "oldie but goodie" original design remains a bass catcher every angler should have in their tackle box.

Other Lipless Cranks Work Well Too

Today, most every hardbait manufacturer produces its own version. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. They also provide the angler a lure that mimics a baitfish, is flat-sided and vibrates on retrieve.

Earlier I pointed out design features that make fishing plugs lipless crankbaits. However, in the recent past new shapes of these lures been introduced.

Lure nose shapes are now offered in a "rounded" style and bodies are more rounded as well. Take for example the Strike King "Redeye Shad" and the YoZuri RattlnVibe above. Some, like the Sebile Magic Swimmer above, are considered by some to be "swimbaits", though I fish it, successfully, as I would a crankbait. So to me, it's a lipless crankbait too.



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