Clear AllClose
Your cart is currently empty.

Importance of line diameter when cranking

by Yoshinori Mitani
Importance of line diameter when cranking

Most anglers only use the pound(lb) test of a fishing line as their only consideration of which size line to buy for their chosen fishing technique. The pound(lb) test rating is how many pounds of pressure it takes to break the line. Most anglers think that the line will break if the fish weighs more than the line’s lb test rating. However, this could not be further from the truth. Sure, bigger fish do have a greater chance at breaking your line, but you could catch fish that weigh many times more than the size of your line’s lb test rating if you have a good drag on your reel and fight the fish properly. Many companies (particularly in the US) label line sizes much lower than what lb test they break at. The line diameter is more important than the lb test rating, especially when cranking as it impacts the performance of your crankbaits. For more information on why you should consider the diameter rather than the “lb test” rating when using any technique, click here.

Cranking is a technique that has been proven successful over many years, and it still wins tournaments to this day. The key to getting bites on a crankbait is getting it to deflect off cover such as rock, wood, grass, or even just grinding it on the bottom. To do this, it might be necessary to downsize your line to get your crankbait to reach a certain depth. The thinner the diameter of your line is, the easier it cuts through the water resulting in your bait getting down to the desired depth quicker. When in the package, most crankbaits will have a number that shows how deep it will dive. This number could either be a range such as 8-12 feet, or it could be a maximum depth of what it has been tested to dive to, such as up to 12 feet. If it shows that it dives up to 12 feet, that is usually tested on the smallest diameter line that an angler would feel comfortable using, typically equivalent to 8- or 10-lb test fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon also has a higher specific gravity which causes it to sink faster than nylon and braided lines allowing a crankbait to dive deeper.

Another thing that can be extremely important when cranking is to make long casts. The reason for this is because a crankbait gradually dives deeper during the retrieve back to the boat. If the crankbait doesn’t hit the bottom until halfway back to the boat, then your chances of getting a bite could be cut in half. So, you might be asking: if making longer casts keeps your bait in the strike zone longer, how is this related to line diameter? Well, just as a smaller diameter has less resistance when cutting through the water, it also has less resistance going through the air. In addition to this, line slickness is another advantage to help with casting distance. We recommend FC Sniper, Crank FC, or Assassin FC for cranking because of their superior slickness along with their great abrasion resistance and sensitivity, which are three important factors for cranking.

The final thing that many anglers do not consider when cranking is giving the lure a natural presentation. What does this mean? Well, line can affect a lure’s performance more than anything. Using too thick of a line diameter can cause the crankbait to run incorrectly and take away from the action of the lure. However, if you are fishing for bigger than average fish around heavy structure, you might want to consider using the heaviest diameter that you can possibly get away with. It might even be necessary to upsize to a bigger crankbait to reach those depths. After all, bigger baits have been known to catch bigger fish! As mentioned, just make sure your lure is running correctly and stays in the strike zone. For example, Sunline pro Todd Castledine uses 20-lb FC Sniper or Shooter when he is cranking in Texas with anything equivalent to a 6XD or larger. This allows him to reach the depths where the fish are at while also giving him the strength to guarantee his confidence!