Winter Crankbait vs. Summer Crankbait Rod Setup

Bass fishing ace Keith Combs delves into the intricacies of choosing the right crankbait rod setup for winter vs. summer fishing. Combs believes using a dialed crankbait rod is crucial to success, yet this is a more than one-size-fits-all scenario. He discusses the differences between cold and warm water cranking and what he views as the best attributes to optimize performance based on the chosen bait and water temperature. Check out our Best Bass Fishing Rods roundup for some of our favorites.

TACKLE LISTING (retail links)

SUMMER CRANKING ROD SETUP

OTHER REEL OPTIONS
COLD WATER CRANKING SETUP
WINTER CRANKBAIT ROD SETUP

Combs emphasizes the need for a slower approach and smaller baits in the winter. The rod choice becomes crucial, as bass tend to be less aggressive and may mouth the bait without fully committing. Combs recommends a setup that enhances sensitivity and allows the angler to detect subtle bites and changes in the bait’s movement. His cold water setup centers around a 7’2″ medium-heavy glass composite rod paired with a Metanium reel, a combination that provides detailed feedback essential for the challenging winter bite.

SUMMER CRANKBAIT FISHING

Contrastingly, summer fishing calls for a faster pace and larger baits. Combs prefers a setup that allows him to crank quickly during the warmer months without losing fish. He opts for a versatile glass rod that can handle a range of crankbaits, from deep-diving models to hard-charging shallow-running varieties. The reel choice varies based on the conditions, with a preference for a bigger spool 200-size reel when making long casts or a Curado DC for windy conditions. This setup enables the bass to eat the bait and minimize pulling it away from them.

REFINING YOUR CRANKBAIT RODS

Combs explains that while having a versatile combination is beneficial, serious anglers looking to maximize their catch in varying conditions might need multiple rods. He highlights that different combinations cater to the specific demands of winter and summer fishing, enhancing the chances of success. Combs’ advice will help you better understand the nuances of seasonal fishing and ensure you’re equipped with the right tools for every situation.

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