5 Best Lipless Crankbaits Every Angler Must Have

Man holding 4 different colored lipless crankbaits
Man holding 4 different colored lipless crankbaits

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Quick Overview: 5 Must-Have Lipless Crankbaits

Understanding Lipless Crankbaits

Anatomy of a Lipless Crankbait

The best lipless crankbaits boast a complex design that combines elements crucial for attracting and enticing fish. The body composition and sound mechanisms responsible for generating sound work in tandem to create an irresistible allure to underwater predators.

Body Composition: The choice of materials in crafting a lipless crankbait is a critical factor. Different materials contribute to the lure's buoyancy, durability, and, most importantly, its ability to mimic the natural movement of baitfish. High-quality plastic or durable wood is often favored, striking a delicate balance between realism and robustness.

The weight distribution across the body plays a pivotal role in achieving the lifelike action that entices fish. A well-balanced rattletrap exhibits a subtle wobble during retrieval, mimicking the injured or distressed movements of prey. Achieving this balance is an art, requiring precision in the placement of internal weights.

Rattles and Sound Mechanisms: The magic happens when a lipless crankbait produces sound vibrations. Whether it's the clattering of beads or the knocking of internal weights, the auditory appeal is often the deciding factor for curious fish.

Different Types of Lipless Crankbaits

Lipless Crankbaits, often hailed as the workhorses of an angler's tackle box, come in various types, each designed to cater to specific fishing scenarios. Understanding the distinctions between these types is akin to having a diverse arsenal at your disposal, ready to tackle the ever-changing conditions of the aquatic world.

Lipless Crankbaits:

Body Structure: Slim and streamlined mostly.

Primary Use: Ideal for shallow water exploration, these lures excel in covering vast areas quickly, triggering reaction strikes from fish lurking near the surface.

Advantages: Versatility in presentation, allowing for various retrieval techniques. Minimal resistance makes them suitable for fishing through vegetation and over submerged structures.

Jointed Lipless Crankbaits:

Body Structure: Consists of two or more connected segments, creating a flexible, jointed body.

Primary Use: Mimics the natural movement of injured baitfish, enticing predatory strikes from opportunistic gamefish.

Advantages: Increased realism in action, making them particularly effective when fish are selective or wary. Enhances the lure's ability to create a lifelike escape response.

Key Features to Consider
Color Selection:

Choosing the right color is an art form, influenced by water clarity and seasonal variations.

Water Clarity Influence: In murky waters, opt for bold, high-contrast colors to enhance visibility. In clear conditions, subtle, natural tones work like a charm.

Seasonal Color Preferences: Match the prevalent forage during different seasons. Vibrant hues in spring and summer, while more subdued tones imitate autumnal offerings.

Size and Weight:

The size and weight of your lipless crankbait should align with the prevailing conditions and the fish's preferences.

Matching the Hatch: Choose a size that closely resembles the prevalent baitfish in the area to increase your chances of success.

Proper Retrieval Techniques

Mastering different retrieval techniques is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of your lipless crankbait.

Jerk-and-Pause Method: Create an erratic, fleeing motion by jerking the rod and pausing. This imitates a wounded baitfish, enticing aggressive strikes.

Varying Retrieval Speeds: Experiment with slow, steady retrieves and fast, erratic jerks to figure out the fish's mood on any given day.

Seasonal Adjustments

Adapting your approach based on the season ensures consistent success with lipless crankbaits.

Winter Tactics: Slow down your presentation in colder water, allowing fish more time to react to the slower-moving Lipless Crankbait.

Summer Strategies: Speed up your retrieve in warmer months to trigger the predatory instincts of fish in search of an easy meal.

Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap Lipless CrankbaitBill Lewis Rat-L-Trap Lipless Crankbait


  • Length: 3"

  • Weight: 1/2oz.

  • Features: Realistic vibrations of distressed baitfish and a tight wiggle.

Known for its legendary reputation among bass anglers, the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap lipless crankbait has been a staple in tackle boxes for decades. This is my favorite rattletrap for bass.

The Rat-L-Trap boasts a sturdy and well-crafted design that immediately instills confidence in its performance. The bait's construction is top-notch, ensuring it can withstand the relentless abuse of aggressive strikes and the wear and tear of constant use. The realistic detailing on the lure, from the eyes to the textured scales, adds an extra layer of attraction that can trigger predatory instincts in even the most cautious of fish.

One of the standout features of the Rat-L-Trap is its versatility in action. Whether you're fishing in shallow or deep waters, the bait excels in a variety of conditions. The lipless design allows for a realistic and enticing swimming motion, making it an ideal choice for covering vast areas quickly. The ability to vary retrieval speeds and depths ensures you can adapt to the fish's behavior and preferences, making it an effective tool in various fishing scenarios.

Rattlin' Rapala Lipless CrankbaitRattlin' Rapala Lipless Crankbait


  • Length: 2"

  • Weight: 3/8oz.

  • Features: Realistic-looking, great for long casts, tuned sound chamber, and a well-balanced design.

The Rattlin' Rapala lipless crankbait boasts a sleek and realistic design that mimics the appearance of natural prey, making it irresistible to predatory fish. The attention to detail in the lure's finish, color options, and 3D holographic eyes contribute to its lifelike appeal. The sturdy construction and durable materials ensure it can handle the rigors of intense fishing sessions. This is also a killer lipless crankbait for bass.

The Rattlin' Rapala's rattling chamber produces a distinct sound and vibration underwater. The internal rattles create an enticing noise that can attract fish from a distance, even in murky or low-visibility conditions. This added sensory element makes it a powerful tool for luring in predatory species.

Whether you're fishing in open water, around vegetation, or through submerged structures, this lure excels in various environments. Its sinking action and ability to cover different depths make it a go-to choice for anglers targeting a wide range of fish species.

The lifelike swimming action of this crankbait is truly impressive. The bait sinks with a subtle shimmy, and when retrieved, it exhibits a tight wiggling motion that closely mimics the erratic movement of distressed baitfish. This realistic action triggers aggressive strikes from bass, pike, walleye, and other predatory fish.

Cotton Cordell Super Spot Lipless Crankbait Best Crawfish ImitationCotton Cordell Super Spot Lipless Crankbait Best Crawfish Imitation


  • Length: 3"

  • Weight: 1/2oz.

  • Features: Realistic-looking crawfish imitation, super easy to cast, and it has a nice anti-snag design.

One of the standout features of the Super Spot is its versatility. Whether you're fishing in open water, along weed edges, or through submerged vegetation, this crankbait performs admirably. The lipless design allows for a versatile retrieve, making it effective for various fishing techniques, including yo-yoing, ripping through grass, or a steady retrieve.

The Super Spot excels in casting distance, allowing anglers to cover a large area of water efficiently. Whether you're targeting schooling fish or working a vast structure, the casting capabilities of this crankbait enable you to reach distant targets with ease, maximizing your chances of hooking into fish.

Equipped with sharp treble hooks and reliable hardware, the Super Spot minimizes the chances of losing a hard-earned catch. The hooks are sturdy and well-positioned, ensuring a solid hookset even with aggressive strikes. The split rings and hardware are durable, capable of withstanding the force exerted by large fish.

Considering the quality of construction, versatility, and overall performance, the Cotton Cordell Super Spot lipless crankbait offers excellent value for its price. It competes favorably with higher-priced options on the market, making it an affordable yet high-performing choice for anglers of all skill levels.

6th Sense Quake 80 Lipless Crankbait6th Sense Quake 80 Lipless Crankbait


  • Length: 3.15"

  • Weight: 7/8oz.

  • Features: Super realistic-looking designs, dual flat back design to move more water which creates enticing vibrations.

After numerous outings, the Quake 80 has shown minimal signs of wear and tear. The paint job holds up well, and the hooks remain sharp. The construction is robust, ensuring it can handle the punishment of aggressive strikes and the occasional encounter with underwater obstacles.

The Quake 80 boasts an impressive casting distance thanks to its hefty weight, allowing you to cover more water and reach those hard-to-reach spots. The weight distribution and aerodynamic design contribute to its casting prowess. While it's not the absolute farthest casting lure on the market, it certainly holds its own in most scenarios.

It's equally effective in open water as it is in heavy cover. The ability to vary the retrieve speed and depth makes it a go-to choice for different situations. It's a true all-rounder that has earned a permanent spot in my tackle box.

Its lifelike design, unique action, and adaptability make it a must-have in your tackle arsenal. Whether you're targeting largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or other predatory species, the Quake 80 is sure to make a seismic impact on your fishing success.

Berkley Warpig Lipless CrankbaitBerkley Warpig Lipless Crankbait


  • Length: 2 3/8"

  • Weight: 1/4oz.

  • Features: Sinks aggressively, blunt nose for use in heavier cover, and an erratic wiggle.

What sets the Warpig apart is its unique swimming action. The bait produces an enticing wobbling motion on the retrieve, mimicking the erratic movement of distressed baitfish. This action triggers predatory instincts in fish and has proven to be highly effective in enticing strikes.

Equipped with a weight transfer system, the Warpig casts like a dream. Whether you're targeting shallow flats, submerged structure, or deep drop-offs, this crankbait gets where you need it to be. The bait sinks with a tantalizing flutter, making it an excellent choice for both slow and fast retrieves.

The bait features durable hardware, including sharp Berkley Fusion19 treble hooks, ensuring that once a fish commits, it's staying hooked. The bait comes in a variety of vibrant, fish-catching colors to suit different water and light conditions.

Whether you're targeting shallow flats, submerged structure, or deep drop-offs, this crankbait gets where you need it to be. The bait sinks with a tantalizing flutter, making it an excellent choice for both slow and fast retrieves.

Lipless Crankbaits hold the key to unlocking a reservoir of fishing success. Let’s explore the features of lipless crankbaits (rattletraps) then review the 5 best lipless crankbaits every angler must have in their tackle box. Don’t think that all lipless crankbaits are created equally because that’s far from the case.

Team Cast & Conquer will point you to the very best options to cover all of your lipless crankbait needs. We have a combined 112 years of fishing experience going into our fishing gear recommendations. We’re also not sponsored by any of the companies on our lists.

Best Rod for Crankbaits: Dobyns Rods Champion XP Series