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Basic Crankbait Rod Setup | Key Performance Attributes

Wired2fish sat down with pro bass angler Keith Combs for a rundown on his go-to crankbait setup, ranging from the rod, reel, and line, with a discussion on critical attributes of each.


He starts on the importance of a good reel, which needs to deliver long casts for crankbaits (especially deep divers) to reach their maximum dive potential. In addition to a conventional Curado 200, he uses a Curado DC (Digital Control) when casting light crankbaits into the wind.

He prefers longer glass crankbait rods with a moderate taper (tip to butt flex) for castability and keeping bass hooked. Fiberglass loads superbly on the backcast — this stored energy supports making precise short casts and bomber distance casts alike. And the flex is excellent at moving with the fish to reduce tearing out hooks.

Lastly, Combs uses a 15-pound fluorocarbon line for the majority of this cranking. He’ll drop down to a 12-pound test for light baits and up to 17-pound for the biggest deep divers.