Best Crankbait Reels of 2021 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated June 12, 2021

Crankbait is a common word in the world of fishing. Still, you regularly come across someone asking exactly what a crankbait is. To answer that question, a crankbait is a shaped lure that can dive and stay underwater to attract the prey. Some crankbaits have a lip under the head to help it dive while others are equipped with a tow-head and swimming action when trolled at a constant speed. They usually look like small fish and are used to lure out fish that feed on smaller ones.

Crankbait fishing utilizes a combination of rod and reel that are specially designed for crankbaits. It allows you to cast to a proper depth with speed and ease. A good crankbait reel also enables you to cover longer distances than a regular baitcasting reel.

In this article, we have listed the best crankbait reels. If you are a beginner at this sport or if you are having difficulty choosing a suitable crankbait reel for yourself, then you should definitely give it a good read as it will help you come to the right decision.

Comparison of the Best Crankbait Reels

  • Provides good strength for a solid feel
  • Double-shielded stainless steel bearing system
  • Multi-setting brake feature
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  • Has impressive casting performance
  • Manufactured from quality materials
  • Great casting distance with smaller lures
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  • Best for the Money
  • Double-shielded stainless steel bearing system
  • Externally adjustable magnetic brake system
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  • 7 Stainless steel bearings for increased corrosion protection
  • Offers multiple handle options
  • Casting ability is really good
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  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Externally-adjustable break controls
  • Allows precise gear alignment
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When Would I Use a Crankbait Reel?

Crankbaits are the most versatile lures. They effectively catch all fish species the entire year-round. They dive underwater and simulate live bait to attract fish that routinely feed on smaller fish. This is why they require a special reel. Here are some instances when crankbait reels come in handy.

Facilitate Casting

As mentioned above, crankbait reels facilitate casting at the required depth quickly and easily. They allow us to lure at increased distances. They usually have a large amount of line, so the lure can dive deeper underwater to reach the sweet spot where the prey is likely to be found.

Help Simulate Live Bait

Crankbait reels simulate live bait by allowing the lure to imitate the movements of a smaller fish species. After the bait is cast, it dives to a certain depth. This is where the reel plays its role. It trolls the bait at a constant speed, which enables it to imitate the swimming action. This movement is important for attracting the prey towards the lure.

Enable Powerful Retrieval

Crankbait reels have a smaller gear ratio. This enables anglers to fish the bait slowly and provides more power while retrieving. Since crankbaits are used for catching bigger fish, anglers need more control and strength to retrieve their prey. Crankbait reels provide just that.

Why Did These Reels Make Our List?

Crankbait is gaining popularity with each passing day. You can catch some bass with it all year round. However, spring, summer, and fall are the times when it is most effective. The surge in popularity has resulted in the production of a large variety of crankbait fishing gear, each of which claims to be better than its counterparts. It is difficult to narrow down the best out of such a huge range. The reels we have mentioned are considered the best for crankbait fishing for a number of reasons. Some of these are discussed below.

Better Reviews

When going through the products for our article, we conducted thorough background research of potential picks. This included checking the reviews buyers have posted about these products. In today’s time, reviews have the power of making or breaking a product. The reels that have made it to our list have raving reviews with little or no issues.

Ease of Operation

Ease of operation was the most important factor while selecting the reels for our article. The products that have made our list are very easy to operate. With a quick, easy, and longer cast and a powerful retrieval, these products are sure to facilitate you in your quest for crankbait fishing.

Effective Control of Depth and Distance

Crankbait reels play an important role in controlling the distance and depth at which the lure is cast. The products that have made our list are very effective in not only maintaining the lure, but they also facilitate the user with a powerful retrieval.

Review of the Best Crankbait Reels

Choosing a great crankbait reel is not an easy feat, especially when you have a huge variety in front of you. It can be a daunting task if you do not know what you are looking for. Fortunately, we have selected the best crankbait reels and reviewed them to assist you.

Below is the full account of the products that we think are worth buying.

Best Overall:
Lews Fishing Tournament MB

Lews Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel


  • It is great value for its cost
  • Extremely smooth to cast out
  • Heavy-duty yet a lightweight reel
  • Easily adjustable to suit your comfort
  • Features a one-piece die-cast aluminum frame


  • It is a bit noisy
  • Handle is kind of narrow
  • Loses its anti-reversal action when it is too cold

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently bought this reel are happy with its performance. They are intrigued by its perfect size and the balance it brings to the rod. It is reported as one of the smoothest reels that are very stable when bringing in the catch. Buyers also like it for its heavy-duty yet lightweight metal body and its capacity of casting a mile.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This stands out to us as the best crankbait reel. It has an entire metal frame that makes it bring in bigger catches. Still, it is light enough to hold comfortably for longer periods of time. Being lightweight, it is capable of casting at longer distances without making your arms sore. It also has a fast and smooth retrieval. We highly recommend this reel.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this reel is one of the best for cranks, people who want to do crankbait fishing are likely to use it the most. Anglers who are looking for a smooth casting and a fast retrieval will also find it of great use. People who want a lightweight but sturdy reel for their fishing gear combo will also find many uses for it.

Bottom Line 

Lews Fishing Tournament MB is at the top of our list of the best crankbait reels. Lightweight yet powerful, it is capable of smoother and farther casting. It does so without making your arms sore. It has fast and powerful retrieval that makes it easier for the user to pull out his catch. From the price point, this reel comes at a price that surely justifies its value. It’s a great product for you to consider.

Daiwa Tatula SV TW

Daiwa Tatula TASV103XS Baitcasting Fishing Reel


  • It is built to last
  • Has an adjustable tension
  • Helps cast bait in long distances
  • Does not require regular maintenance
  • Quality components render its durability


  • It is heavy for its size
  • Retrieval is a noisy affair
  • It is a fairly expensive reel

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are quite satisfied with the performance of this reel. From its appearance to its sturdiness and functionality, people like it for almost everything. People really like the fact that it does not need regular maintenance, so anglers can use it regularly. Buyers report that it is small enough to fit inside their palms, but for such a small thing, it is a bit heavy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This fishing reel stands out to us for its smoothness and durability. It looks very pristine. It utilizes heavy-duty components that make it durable and long-lasting while adding to its weight. It has a smooth and longer casting. Equipped with adjustable tension, you can tweak it according to your preference. A bonus feature is its maintenance-free approach. You can use it regularly without having to wash and oil it. Overall, it’s a wonderful product from a respected manufacturer.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are looking for a reel that needs minimal maintenance will find this product of great usage. Anglers who want a reel that can cast smoothly at longer distances are also more likely to use it. Fishers who want a small yet heavy-duty reel to pair with their rods will also benefit from using this product.

Bottom Line

This is the second-best product on our list of the best crankbait reels. It is a good looking reel on the outside and sturdy on the inside. It is perfectly capable of handling the pressure of facing off with a predator fish. It has smooth casting and retrieval. You can cover more area with this reel. All in all, it’s an awesome product for you to consider.

Best for the Money:
Lews Fishing Laser LSG1SHMG

Lews Fishing Laser MG Speed Spool Series Reel, LSG1SHMG, Right Hand


  • Has a sturdy graphite frame
  • Comfortable and easy to carry
  • Perfect for fishing in shallow water
  • An affordable option for people on a budget
  • Great for burning lipless cranks across the water


  • Gear ratio is a bit higher
  • It is a bit on the heavy side
  • Not suitable for deep water fishing

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently bought this product are quite impressed with its price and quality. Smooth and easy to operate, users have deemed it a fantastic little product. Anglers really like that it performs as good as any reputed reel and comes at an affordable price. With hardly any negative aspect to report about, it has certainly managed to satisfy its buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us as the best crankbait reel for its money. Coming from a reputable brand, it is designed to target people who are looking for affordable options. Being low in price does not mean Lews has compromised on its quality. It is built as perfectly as its more expensive counterparts. It is a sturdy and smooth device that will serve you for a long time.

Who Will Use This Most

People who want to try their hand at crankbait fishing but are not willing to spend a large amount of gear will find this reel to be of great use. Anglers who want a comfortable and easy to operate reel will also put it to great use. People who are on a tight budget but do not want to compromise on quality will also benefit from using this product.

Bottom Line

All in all, this Lews model is a cost-effective reel from a reputable and respected brand. It is made from high-quality materials which makes it durable and long-lasting. It is small and comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. With smooth casting and fast retrieval, it is perfect for fishing in shallow water. If you are looking for an affordable reel, then this surely is the one you should get.

4. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel, REVO T2 BST50


  • It can be adjusted easily
  • Features a non-corrosive alloy frame
  • Has a steady and smooth drag power
  • Suitable for both freshwater and seawater
  • Ergonomic because of the bent compound handle


  • It is large in size
  • Drag is susceptible to malfunction

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have reported it to be one of the nicest reels. People love it for its smooth and consistent drag power. Also, they like it for its suitability in both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Although it is expensive, buyers say that it surely is worth the big price tag it entails.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This reel stands out to us for its super sturdy build. It is crafted with a corrosion-resistant alloy. Equipped with a bent compound handle, it has an ergonomic design. It is easily adjustable to suit your comfort level so you can operate it effortlessly. With a smooth casting lower, this surely is a product you should invest in if you are a serious crankbait fisher.

Who Will Use This Most

It is a perfect product to be used by the most serious fishers. People who want fishing gear that is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater applications will put this to great use. Anglers who want to catch bigger fish species like Muskie will also find this to be of great use.

Bottom Line

Abu Garcia surely hit a home run with this reel. Like its name, it is a beast that can handle anything. Super smooth and sturdy, it is one of the best reels for crankbait fishing. It has a consistently powerful drag and a strong anti-reverse action. If you do decide to buy it, it will most likely take your fishing game up a notch.

5. Pflueger Supreme

Pflueger Supreme Low Profile Reel


  • Super light and effortless to hold
  • Has a magnesium body and rotor
  • High-quality mid-sized fishing reel
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Spool has rubber ridges to stop the line from slipping


  • Difficult to take apart for cleaning
  • Line can entangle inside the bail roller
  • Portholes in the spool can accumulate dirt

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have recently bought this fishing reel report that it is an excellent choice. It is preferred for its magnesium construction, which makes it super light and easy to carry. Expert anglers say that it is perfect for heavier cranks and frogging. But it backlashes when used with lighter cranks or lipless bait. Apart from this minor problem, there’s nothing bad to report about it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us as a fairly expensive model. It is an excellent mid-sized reel with a smooth and perfect casting. It is suitable to use in both freshwater and saltwater applications. It has an aluminum spool that is lined with rubber ridges. These are great at stopping the line from slipping away. We like this product and advise you to consider it for yourself seriously.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are on the lookout for a lightweight fishing reel will find this product of great advantage. Anglers who like using heavier cranks for crankbait fishing will also benefit from using it. People who want to pair their rods with a great mid-sized fishing reel will also find many uses for this product.

Bottom Line

Pflueger Supreme is one quality product. You can tell that as soon as you pick it up. The handle flows effortlessly. It consists of high-quality components, so it is bound to serve you flawlessly for years. It is protected by a sealed carbon filament drag, which keeps the water out of the gear, even if you accidentally submerge it. It is one of those products that speak of their quality themselves. If you are planning to get high-quality, long-lasting fishing gear, you must check this one out when you head out to buy one.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

So you are interested in crankbait fishing. The first thing you need is suitable crankbait fishing gear. It is a combination of a fishing rod and a reel that is specially designed for cranks. Before you head out to buy one for yourself, there are a number of things you should know. These are listed below.


The first and the most important thing to know before choosing a certain crankbait reel is the amount of money you are willing to spend on it.

Like everything else, reels are available at varying price points. Some are cost-effective; others are not. The important thing is to stick with your budget and get a gear that is within your range.


Crankbait fishing is all about fighting big fish. So you have to be sure to choose a reel that is made up of high-quality, heavy-duty components. You do not want it to break apart in your hands because that way, you lose both your gear and your catch.

Gear Ratio

Crankbait fishing reels require a smaller gear ratio to be effective. Less gear ratio means slower fishing of the bait and a powerful and effective retrieval. Before deciding on a certain reel, we strongly suggest that you get to know about its gear ratio. Choose one with a moderate ratio to have total control of your bait’s movement.

Type of Crankbait

Crankbait is basically of two types. One has a lip, and the other is lipless. Before buying a reel, you should know the type of crankbait you are getting it for. Crankbait features a lip dive down deep and requires a slower gear ratio. Lipless crankbaits need a faster gear ratio to burn it across the water.


Crankbait fishing is a popular sport. It is very effective in catching bigger fish species. You can catch some bass all year round with this type of fishing. However, it utilizes gear that is specially created for it. The increase in demand has resulted in the production of a large number of products. If you were confused about which one to buy, we hope that this article has cleared the confusion. We have also listed the best crankbait reels to help you select a product that is the most suitable according to your needs

People Also Ask

Crankbait fishing is not a piece of cake. It requires time, patience, and practice to get it right. Despite being a popular term in the fishing world, there is still some confusion about it. People cannot help but ask to clear their doubts. Some of the frequently asked questions are answered below.

What is the Best Gear Ratio for Crankbait? 

The best gear ratio for a crankbait reel depends upon the kind of lure you are planning to use with it. Deep diving crankbait that features a lip is more effective with a slow-speed reel. Meanwhile, lipless cranks are ripped across vegetation, so they need reels with a higher gear ratio.

When Should You Throw a Crankbait?

Experts agree that fall is the best time to throw a crankbait. They say so because bait fish are the most active during fall. So if you throw a crankbait now, you have a higher chance of getting a bite because predatory fish are on the lookout for smaller fish to feed on.

Do Crankbaits Have to Hit Bottom?

No, crankbaits do not necessarily have to hit the bottom. What you must understand first is that crankbaits are contact lures. They have to come in contact with something. That something can be the bottom. But it can also be rock or a stump or any other structure. It needs contact to imitate evasive movement, which makes the prey strike instinctively even when it is not particularly hungry.

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My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.