Jerkbait Vs Crankbait Differences and Similarities

Two of the most popular types of fishing lures are jerkbaits and crankbaits. Both lures are designed to mimic the action of small fish, making them attractive to larger predators, but they each have their unique benefits and drawbacks. We will compare jerkbait vs crankbait in detail and help you decide which one is right for you!

What is Jerkbait? 

Jerkbaits are lures that are designed to be jerked or twitched in the water to imitate the movement of a wounded baitfish. Jerkbaits are typically made from plastic or wood, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Jerkbaits can be fished in a variety of ways, but the most common method is to cast the lure out and then use a jerking motion to make it swim erratically through the water. 

Jerkbaits are often used in conjunction with other lures or baits, as they can be used to trigger a strike from fish that may not be actively feeding. Jerkbaits are typically fished on lighter tackle, which makes them a great choice for anglers who are looking to catch fish on ultralight gear.


Types of Jerkbaits

Suspending Jerkbaits: 

Suspending jerkbaits are a type of fishing lure that is designed to suspend in the water column rather than sink. When retrieved, suspending jerkbaits have a distinctive side-to-side wobbling action that is irresistible to many fish species. 

In addition, suspending jerkbaits are often equipped with internal weight transfer systems that make them cast long distances with ease. For anglers, this means that they can cover a large area of water in a relatively short period of time. Whether you’re targeting bass, trout, or walleye, suspending jerkbaits is an effective way to lure in fish.

Floating Jerkbaits: 

Floating jerkbaits are a versatile and effective lure for bass fishing. These lures mimic the movement of small fish, making them an irresistible target for hungry bass. When fishing with a floating jerkbait, it is important to use a slow, steady retrieve. This will help the lure to stay afloat and give it a more lifelike appearance. 

Additionally, pauses and jerks during the retrieve will trigger strikes from nearby bass. Floating jerkbaits are available in a range of sizes and colors, so they are sure to be perfect for your next fishing trip.

Sinking Jerkbaits:

Sinking jerkbaits are a type of lure that is designed to sink slowly through the water column, imitating the action of a wounded baitfish. Sinking jerkbaits typically have a lip on the front of the lure that helps to create a swimming action as the lure is retrieved. 

The lure is also usually equipped with one or more hooks, making it possible to snag fish that strike at the lure. When used properly, sinking jerkbaits can be an extremely effective way to catch fish.

Soft jerkbaits: 

Soft jerkbaits are a type of lure that is designed to mimic the movements of small prey fish. They are usually made from soft plastic or silicone, and they are often equipped with one or more treble hooks. 

When fishing with a soft jerkbait, the angler imparts a jerking motion to the lure, which causes it to swim erratically through the water. This action often triggers a strike from predators, who mistake the jerkbait for an easy meal. 

What is Crankbait?

Crankbait is designed to mimic the appearance and swimming action of small fish. Crankbaits are often used by anglers to target bass, trout, and other predatory fish. These lures are typically made from wood or plastic, and they are equipped with one or more hooks. 

When retrieved, crankbaits have a distinctive wobbling action that attracts fish from long distances. Additionally, crankbaits are often equipped with internal weight transfer systems that make them cast long distances with ease.


Types of Crankbaits

Square BIll Crankbaits: 

Square bill crankbaits get their name from their square-shaped bill, which helps them to dive deep into the water and attract fish. Square bill crankbaits are typically made of plastic and have a metal lip that helps them to swim in a side-to-side motion. This action imitates the movement of baitfish, making them an effective lure for bass and other predators. 

Square bill crankbaits come in a variety of colors and sizes, so anglers can choose the right lure for the conditions they are fishing in. While they are often used in freshwater fishing, square bill crankbaits can also be effective in saltwater fishing if they are matched with the right tackle. 

Lipless Crankbaits:

Lipless crankbaits lures have a bulbous body and no fins or scales, which gives them a distinct wobbling action when they are retrieved through the water. 

Lipless crankbaits are usually made of plastic, although some models may also include metal elements such as beads or spinners. 

These lures can be very effective in attracting bass, especially when they are fished around cover or in murky water. Because they do not have any external moving parts, lipless crankbaits are also relatively easy to use and maintain. As a result, they are a popular choice among both novice and experienced anglers.

Round Bill Crankbaits: 

The lure has a rounded bill that helps it swim in a wiggling motion, imitating the movement of a baitfish. Round bill crankbaits are often used in fishing tournaments, as they are very effective at attracting bass. 

The most important thing is to keep the lure in constant motion, as this is what will trigger strikes from the fish. It is also important to reel the lure in at a steady pace, as stopping and starting will cause the bait to lose its action.

Difference Between Jerkbait Vs Crankbait:

Each type of lure has its own purpose and is designed to attract fish in a particular way. Two of the most popular types of lures are jerkbaits and crankbaits. Both of these lures can be effective in catching fish, but there are some key differences between them. 

Jerkbait Vs Crankbait

Overall Design: 

While both types of baits are designed to lure fish by imitating the movement of prey, there are some key differences between the two. Perhaps the most obvious difference is in their overall design. 

Jerkbait lures tend to be long and slender, while crankbaits are shorter and more compact. This difference in shape affects the way that the bait moves through the water. 

Swimming Action: 

Jerkbait lures produce a side-to-side swimming action that resembles the fleeing motion of a wounded minnow, while crankbaits have a more circular swimming pattern that imitates an injured baitfish. 


Another key difference between the two types of baits is the way they are retrieved. Jerkbait lures are typically fished with a slow, steady retrieve, while crankbaits are often retrieved with a series of quick snaps. These different retrieves create different motions in the bait, which can be effective in attracting different types of fish. 


Jerkbaits are also usually made of softer materials, which makes them more flexible and able to swim erratically. Crankbaits, on the other hand, are typically made of harder materials and have a more jerk-and-pause action. 

Operating Mechanism: 

The operating mechanism is also different. Jerkbaits are meant to be jerked or twitched in the water to create an erratic swimming motion that mimics a wounded baitfish. Crankbaits, on the other hand, get their name from the fact that they’re meant to be cranked or reeled in at a steady pace.

Casting Mechanism:

Jerkbaits are designed to be jerked or twitched through the water. The bait is again attached to the end of a fishing line, but instead of being pulled steadily, it is tugged abruptly in short bursts. This action imitates the erratic movements of wounded prey and can be very effective in attracting fish. 

Crankbaits are designed to be pulled through the water at a steady pace. The bait is attached to the end of a fishing line and is cast out into the water. As the line is crankbait reel will swim in a curved path, imitating the motions of a swimming fish. This action is often enough to trigger a fish’s predatory instincts and draw them in for a strike. 

Water Depth: 

Jerkbaits are designed to be fished at shallower depths, while crankbaits can be used at a range of depths. 

Read also: how to use a slip bobber

Similarities Of Jerkbaits and Crankbaits:

When it comes to fishing lures, there are wide varieties of choices available. Two of the most popular types of lures are jerkbaits and crankbaits. Though they may look different, these two lures share several similarities. 

Both jerkbaits and crankbaits are designed to mimic the movement of baitfish, making them irresistible to predators.  

Both lures are also equipped with treble hooks, which increases the chances of a successful catch. 

In addition, both types of lures can be used in a variety of fishing scenarios. 

Whether you’re fishing for bass or trout, jerkbaits and crankbaits can both be effective options. So, the next time you head to the tackle shop, don’t hesitate to pick up a few of each.


So, there you have it! A detailed comparison of jerkbaits vs crankbaits. As you can see, these two types of lures share some similarities, but there are also some key differences to consider. 

When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider the type of fish you’re trying to catch and the conditions of the water. With a little trial and error, you’ll be sure to find the perfect lure for your next fishing adventure.

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