Wooden Lure Making eBookHomemade Crankbaits: Deep Diving Options

If you want to be successful with homemade crankbaits, especially deep divers, you need to understand this:

“The foundation of effective crankbait fishing is very simple; know the depth your crankbaits run. Until this knowledge is in hand, all the other crankbait questions are very insignificant. After all, if you can’t get the bait to the fish, how could color, shape, action, or models of crankbaits make any difference whatsoever?”.

Bass Pro Mike McClelland in his book “Walleye Troubleshooting”

I love this statement and its as relevant when using homemade crankbaits as it is bought ones! So many guys waste too much time worrying about what color lure they should be using, when a more important question should be “What depth should I be fishing?”

Like most lure types, deep diving crankbaits go in and out of fashion. A few years ago it seemed like everyone was trying to break the record for diving depth. Then suddenly suspending jerkbaits became the lures to make. But fishing deep with homemade crankbaits is just as effective today as it ever was.

Successful lure fishing has always been about using the right lure in the right place at the right time. So a deep diving crankbait is a good choice when fish are holding over deep structure or suspending over a thermocline. Not to mention those times when they’re or schooling up close to the bottom.

Homemade Crankbaits Put You In The Right Zone!

Of course, homemade crankbaits can be designed to work at any depth, from the surface down. Though there are limits to just how deep a crankbait can physically go. The diving depth of your home made crankbaits is also be limited by how you use them. Here are a few other great lure fishing tips that I’ve pulled out of McClellands book. 200 of the best bass lures were tested on five different line sizes. The length of line was increased in 10 foot intervals, which made for some rather useful observations:

  • The typical casting distance with most lures was 65 – 80 ft (20-25m), more with thinner lines, less with thicker. For every 10 feet of additional line out the lure dived 10 percent deeper, and vice versa for shorter lines.
  • Trolling or cranking speed had minimal effect on the diving depth, provided the lure was going fast enough to swim properly.
  • The same crankbait can run at much deeper depths when trolled than when cast, as the length of line can be much greater. With 100-130 feet of line out (30-40m), the dive depth of many lures was double that of a cast lure.
  • About 25% of the line is retrieved before a cast crankbait reaches its maximum depth.

Getting greater depth out of your homemade crankbaits comes down to casting further, using the thinnest line possible and working the bait at an appropriate speed.