For those looking to hit the open waters for some crankbait fishing, it is important to have the right gear. Below, we have gone into detail about the best crankbait brands on the market in an effort to narrow your search.

Whether you are new to the sport or have some experience, it is important to be equipped with the best crankbait reel for your fishing needs. Outlining the features to look for and defining some key terms, we have created an in depth guide to make your trip out on the water even more enjoyable.

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How To Choose The Best Crankbait Reel – Buying Guide


Crankbait reel reviews agree that in order to make the best selection on your next reel, it is important to ensure that you look first at the specs of the reel. Understanding the features to look for and how these features will affect your fishing performance will result in you being a more confident and knowledgeable fisherman. When looking for your next crankbait reel, there are only a few key specs that should hold most of your attention.


Reel speed for crankbaits is an important feature to understand. The gear ratio is a very important part of your reel and so it is important to have a good understanding not only on what your gear ratio is, but also what a gear ratio means. Put simply, the gear ratio refers to the number of times the spool rotates with every full rotation of your handle. So if your reel has a ratio of 5:1, your spool makes 5 full revolutions with every one rotation of your handle. The gear ratio that you are looking for should depend on the type of fishing you are doing, as well as your experience level. For crankbait fishing, you will want a gear ratio that is on the higher end. Looking for a gear ratio that is 5:1 or higher is important. The sweet spot tends to sit between 5:1 to 7:1 range. When beginning your search for the best crankbait reel for you, it is wise to start by comparing gear ratios. This will help you to narrow down your search and only consider reels within this range.

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Line Recovery

After you have narrowed your search by looking at gear ratios, it is wise to begin looking at the line recovery rates. This refers to the amount of line that is retrieved with every crank. This is also referred to in terms of inches per turn or abbreviated as IPT. This measures the number of inches of line that is retrieved per turn of the handle.

In an effort to provide you with the most control, we recommend a recovery rate between 19-23 inches for beginners. This means that between 19-23 inches of line will be released per turn of the handle. This rate is ideal for allowing you to crank your bait to reach its maximum depths at a fast rate while keeping it there for long enough during retrieval.  With some experience, you can ease into higher recovery rates up to the low thirties but it requires more crank speed control. Here you will have to slow your handle tours to ensure that you are not pulling your bait up.


In terms of bearings for your crankbait reel, it is better to think about quality over quantity. Less high quality bearings will provide better results than many low quality bearings. This is because low quality bearing can lock up which will cause you a lot of problems. It is important to ensure that your reel has double shielded sealed bearings.



Q: What Is A Crankbait Reel?


A crankbait reel is a specially designed reel that has the ability to use bait that can simulate a real fish on the end of your line. This will attract larger fish and increase your chances of landing a huge fish. These reels will usually have a more robust build quality with higher end materials to ensure they can handle the increased size of the fish.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Crankbait And Baitcaster Reel?


Honestly there isn’t much difference between these two reels. A baitcaster uses a spinning style spool which makes it less difficult to use. Baitcast reels utilize an inline spool type and can be more complex to learn.

Q: What Is Gear Ratio And Why Is It Important?


The gear ratio is one of the most important specs to consider when looking to buy your next crankbait reel. This refers to the number of revolutions your spool makes with every singular rotation of your handle. The gear ratio that is ideal for you will depend on the type of fishing you are doing, the type of reel you have, and your experience level. A common gear ratio for crankbait fishing is 5.6:1. This simply means that with every rotation of your handle, the spool inside your reel makes 5.6 rotations. This is a relatively high gear ratio for fishing but is about average for crankbait reels.

In crankbait reels, this number is quite important. You will want a gear ratio of between 5:1 to 7:1 with a priority going to the higher end. This is very different from say ice fishing where it is suitable to have a number that is much lower. The difference here is that fishing lines with a lower ratio will experience more torque than that of a higher ratio.

Q: Doesn’t The IPT Measure The Same Thing As The Gear Ratio?


Not quite. While it is easy to think that the amount of inches you reel in per turn will be equal to the amount of times your spool will rotate in a line for a given turn, it is not quite that cut and dry. The reason for this is because crankbait reels all have independent designs and no two are quite the same. Moreover, spool sizes vary as well. Larger pools and thicker lines all play a role to make these numbers different. For example, a large spool cranking in a ratio of 6:1 will obviously bring in more line than a small spool with the same gear ratio.

Q: What Is The Best Fishing Reel For Deep Diving Crankbaits?


The goal of deep diving crankbaits is to hold your lure in the “strike zone” for as long as you can. In order to do this, you will want a gear ratio that is a bit slower than other crankbaits, around 5:1. A gear ratio with a bit more torque, as the slower ratios have, will allow for a greater resistance that is experienced when reeling in larger fish.

Q: What Is The Best Fishing Reel For Squarebill Crankbaits?


This bait sits in waters between 1 and 8 feet in depth. This shallow fishing requires a square shaped bill that works to deflect shallow cover. For this, you will want a mid range gear ratio that sits between 6.3:1 and 6.5:1. A medium action rod and a standard baitcast reel is ideal for this fishing.

Q: What Is The Best Crankbait Fishing Reel For Lipless Crankbaits?


This type of crankbait is meant for fishing on the bottom of a lake. In this style of fishing, you will need jerk your line in order to free your catch from the grass and branches. This style of fishing requires a fair amount of effort making it important to have a reel with a high gear ratio, around 7.1:1.

Globo Surf Overview

Just as with other types of fishing, the quality of gear you have will play a big part in your success for the day. In this guide, we explained key terms that are important to know for the sport. It doesn’t help to just see the specs, it is important to know what they mean. This will help you to narrow your search and also make you a better fisherman. All of the reels on our list have been carefully selected to be some of the best options for your day out on the water.

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Have you ever tried using one of the crankbait reels that are on our best of list? Tell us about your experiences with it in the comment section below.