I love lipless crankbaits! I reckon just adding a few of these lures into your arsenal pretty much doubles lure fishing options. Why? Because they are fished so differently to most bibbed lures. They cast like bullets, can be fished fast or slow and are capable of vertical jigging. Most important, they move a massive amount of water with each side to side movement, which creates a very strong vibration that predatory fish pick up from miles away.
Yet, when it comes to recreational lure making, not many guys ever attempt this style of lure. Especially not wooden lure makers. But they’re really no more difficult to master than most other lure styles, though perhaps the techniques are less widely known.
In this article I’m going to give some lure making tips for lipless crankbaits from wood. I hope it inspires you to give these awesome fish catchers a crack!
Lipless Crankbaits: Tricks For Making Wooden Ones That Work!
Tip #1: Weight Is Important For Lipless Crankbaits
Most, but not all lipless crankbaits are sinking lures. One of the great things about them is their ability to carry more weight than bibbed lures. So you can add more rattles, heavier duty hooks and rings, more lead.
But key to making them work is to get plenty of weight forward in the lure and fairly low. Most lipless crankbaits swim with a slightly “head-down” orientation, which isn’t always a bad thing. For one thing, it helps keep the hooks out of the way during ripping.
Having the weight well forward maintains the balance of the lure and give s strong action. It also allows lipless crankbaits to be worked a lot faster than many other lure styles.
Tip #2: Tow Point Location Makes A Big Impact
As always in lure making, the success of these lures depends on getting a whole bunch of things right. Everything has to work together.
With this style of lure the tow point (where you tie the line) is usually on top, rather than on the nose. The biggest mistake is to have the tow point too far forward, which causes the lure to have an unnatural “head-up” orientation. Usually creates little, if any, action.
Moving the tow point back towards the tail increases the “head-down” attitude of the lure and makes the action stronger. This also makes the lure more effective for jigging. Going too far back, however, will reduce the maximum working speed and destabilize the action.
Tip #3: Flat or curved head?
All of the lipless crankbaits pictured above have a flatter area on top near the head. This design reduces the speed at which the lures can be worked but makes the action stronger and makes them especially good for vertical jigging.
The lipless crankbaits lures shown at right have a curved surface in the area of the tow point, which makes them easy to work at higher speed due to a tighter and more stable action.