Guide Series - How to tune Crankbaits to catch more fish

Author: galaszuk   Date Posted:22 January 2018 

Guide Series - How to tune Crankbaits to catch more fish main image Guide Series - How to tune Crankbaits to catch more fish image


"Out of the package the vast majority of crankbaits are not only out of tune, but next to worthless for catching fish"

Most lures need tuning right out of the package, but this should not be taken as an indication the lure is bad quality, it just means that there figure 8 anchor or hook hangers may be out of alignment and require adjustment. It is always best practice for best performance anglers to check how their lures are tracking to identify which require tuning.Even a well tuned hard body lure or crankbait can "get out of tune", especially after landing a hard fighting fish or getting hung-up on structure meaning it no longer runs a straight track back to the rod tip after a cast. Instead, the lure tends to either veer off to one side, or occasionally dart erratically and roll over. 

Tuning crankbait lures and hard baits is actually very easy. Each has an "eye" (metal loop located on the bib or nose tip). If the bait is veering to one side, use a pair of needle nose pliers to ‘gently’ bend the eye of the bait very slightly in the opposite direction then recheck the lure tracking by casting it out and retrieving it with a slow roll. After each adjustment, recast the lure and again check its retrieve path until the lure runs true. If the lure is to be trolled it is best to increase the retrieve speed just to be sure, or better still run the lure behind a boat. 

In Summary:

  • If the lure tracks to the RIGHT, then bend the eye to the left
  • If the lure tracks to the LEFT, then bend the eye to the right
  • Make small adjustments and recheck until the lure tracks true

Occasionally anglers may wish to purposefully mistune a crankbait or hard body lure to purposefully veer to the side. This can be desirable when fishing wing dam facings, riprap banks, bridge pilings, bluffs and other vertical structures. By mistuning a crankbait, it will hunt along the underwater structure, maybe even scrape along and ricochet off the structure, which may be just what is needed to trigger strikes from following fish. Detuning a lure us achieved by slightly bending the “eye” to the opposite direction of which you need the lure to swim.

So don’t throw those lures that aren’t tracking straight, you’re your baits when needed, and even mistune them as desired. Lures that are tuned properly will dig deeper and provide better swimming action, and this will translate into more strikes, more fish caught, and ultimately more fun.

Pro-Spin Tackle wishes you tight lines!