Lipless Crankbait Fishing
When you want to have a natural baitfish action, there's nothing better than a lipless crankbait. Over the years, these baits have been refined to mimic all bass species' prey and are extremely effective year-round.
As their popularity has grown, different variations of lipless crankbaits have come onto the market. Some models rattle, some have tungsten weighting technology, and some have 3D paintwork innovation. All of the lipless crankbaits on this list have proven themselves to be effective lures, but they all have strengths and weaknesses in different conditions.
In this guide, we'll walk through the eight best lipless crankbaits currently available and why they're so popular. Out team also discusses the situations where each model performs best and how to fish them to see the best results. For equipment information, check out our guides to the best crankbait rods and best crankbait reels.
Strike King Red Eye Shad
The Strike King Red Eye Shad has become a popular bait from coast to coast of the United States. Since it's the standard lipless crankbait professional anglers use on the pro tour, it's caught a ton of record-setting fish. It was also designed by National Pro Staff to have incredible action, unmatched colors, 3D eyes, and free-floating rattles.
It's without a doubt that the Red Eye Shad has the best rattling sound of any lipless crankbait available today. This heightened performance has been refined over the years to attract bass in all fishing conditions and through all seasons of the year.
Rapala Rattlin 05
The Rapala Rattlin 05 Lipless Crankbait has realistic swimming action at both slow and breakneck retrieval speeds. It's an extra-loud, shallow-running crankbait equipped with two full-size treble hooks. The hooks are placed in the prime position, making the hook-up ratio great and rarely missing strikes. These lures actually have sound frequencies that are carefully tuned to mimic sounds from nature. In the end, it's Rapala's famous "wobble" that makes this bait stand out from the competition.
A legend in the angler community, Bill Lewis, was the inventor of the Rat-L-Trap. Since then, it has been recognized as the best and most popular Lipless Crankbait among bass fishermen. With this success, there's no avoided the imitators. While other companies have tried to knock-off the bait's design, they haven't been able to create a product as successful as this lure.
If you want proof, look at Boyd Duckett's win of the 2007 Bassmaster Classic. He single-handedly proved that the Rat-L-Trap was better than the knock-off versions the rest of the competitors used. He wasn't sponsored by Rat-L-Trap or compensated in any way. He just believed in the lure's ability.
For more information about the Rat-L-Trap, check out our guide to the best Rat-L-Trap colors for Bass. Every angler needs one of these crankbaits in their tackle box.
Cotton Cordell Super Spot
The situation where the Cotton Cordell Super Spot outperforms the most is when running it over grass. It has an anti-snag design that keeps weeds and other grasses from getting caught in the treble hooks. The bait body has a higher buoyancy allowing it to ride higher in the water column, over aquatic plants, and other obstacles. Casting is effortless as the lure's "bullet-like shape" helps anglers make accurate and fast casts.
Booyah One Knocker Shad
When bass become more aggressive and aren't feeding aggressively, the Booyah One Knocker Shad is designed to make them bite. Inside the bait, there's a single rattle that produces a low-pitched thumping vibration.
Many larger bass are timid or careful feeders. Booyah offers this bait in three different sizes, so there's something for all sizes and species of fish. A popular technique is to pull the bait through grass flats to trigger reaction strikes and in creeks and pockets in the fall when bass move into shallower regions. Booyah has implemented cutting edge color patterns and ultra-sharp treble hook designs to make it one of the best lipless crankbaits.
Live Target Yearling Baitball Rattlebait
The Live Target Yearling Baitball Rattlebait is the lipless crankbait with unique patterning. As you can see in the image above, the bait is pattered to imitate an entire school of small baitfish. The 3-D tooling and multi-layered paint brings this lure to life and is an incredible advancement in bass fishing technology.
Life Target has truly found a new level of "Match the Hatch" realism. Patterns that are offered are designed to replicate the most popular types of baitfish that bass consume. Any one of them is sure to catch big fish.
Jackall TN Lipless Crankbait
The Jackall TN 60/70 Lipless Crankbait is a premium Japanese Lipless Crankbait. Don't expect traditional action from this lure. The innovative addition of tungsten to the front of the bait allows it to stand straight up against the bottom of any lake or river. This unique balance system makes it perfect for slower retrieves when fish become more lethargic in the winter. As the bait's sinking, it produces a strike-inducing wobble, so hold on tight to your rod as it's falling. Overall, the Jackall TN Series are some of the best and most carefully crafted lipless crankbaits on the market.
RUNCL ProBite Lipless Crankbait
The RUNCL ProBit Lipless Crankbait has a compact shad profile, super-realistic 3D eyes, 3D gill plates, and a textured scale-like finish. It really draws the attention of bigger fish, convincing them to strike. This bait was in the design process for much longer than expected because designers wanted to get it just right. It's perfectly balanced and has a "seductive shimmy" as it falls.
There's really nothing negative to say about this lure. It casts long distances, even in terrible conditions. It has a flasher on end, giving it better reflection, and is especially effective for targeting deeper grass beds and drop-off ledges. Many other features can be read about on Amazon through our link attached above.