Getting your crankbait setup right from the start means better casting, better hookups and a much more precise presentation.
Crankbaits give you the ability to cover a lot of water in a short space of time.
They can either be cast or trolled and allow you to run a lure at a variety of depths and speed.
But getting the right setup for crankbaits means understanding how a bass strikes them.
Like with any lure with big treble hooks you really do need to leave a slight pause before you strike and try to set the hooks.
With these types of lures it takes a split second for the bass to fully inhale the lure into their mouths.
With smaller single hook lures and presentations you need a quick hook-set but the opposite is true of crankbaits.
The best crankbait rods will usually have a moderate to moderate/fast action and this is probably the most important thing to get right when fishing a crankbait.
A more moderate action will start to bend down closer to the center of the rod blank. When you strike it will delay the power of the strike running through the rod to your line and ultimatley to the lure.
This slight delay stops you from ripping the treble hooks to early, resulting in better hook up rates and less foul hooking.
You'll need a medium or medium/heavy power rated rod as you will be casting in and around heavy structures and weed beds.
This type of crankbait rod setup will generally give the best results.
However if you cannot run a separate setup specifically for crankbaits then ensure that you are using monofilament as your main line as the added stretch in mono can help to delay your hooksets.
Regardless of what type of reel you choose you should not use a reel with a high gear ratio.
Crankbaits create a lot of drag in the water and if you want to get them down to their best running depth then a high ratio gear will be running too fast and will also be difficult to use at a slow speed.
A lower gear ratio makes pulling cranks with large dive bills on them much easier.
A high quality baitcasting reel is preferred but if you choose a spinning rod then a spinning reel is required.
The best fishing line for crankbaits will either be monofilament of fluorocarbon. Although if you are working crankbaits around a lot of weed braid may be an option but unfortunately it has very little if any stretch and is also highly visible.
Mono has a nice bit of inbuilt stretch so if you cannot afford a dedicated rod with a more moderate action then I would suggest that you use mono as your line choice.
You get that extra little bit of a delay when you strike with mono which should allow bass the extra time needed to really engulf your crankbait properly before you set the hook.
You can use fluoro if you have a rod with a moderate action or if you are fishing in really clear waters as it can be a little less visible than mono.