The best trollers in the game do things differently, but are always precise. One of their overlooked tweaks is running “tuned” crankbaits to get the best possible action out of a bait — it’s been proven to flat-out put more fish in the boat.
No doubt tuning baits with a pliers can mess up a crank’s action more than it helps — been there! There’s finally a tool that’s actually designed for the job, called the Off Shore Tackle EZ Crankbait Tuner. Here’s Charlie “Turk” Gierke’s (Croixsippi Guide Service) take after running it hard:
> Turk: “If you’re trolling or casting crankbaits that aren’t tuned, you’re wasting your time. I’ve been professionally guiding for 21 years and I can tell you with 100% assurance that tuned cranks catch a lot more fish. If it’s designed to run dead straight, it needs to run dead straight.
> “Tuning cranks is touchy to say the least and most anglers (even pros) apply too much pressure while tuning baits and make matters worse. Off Shore Tackle’s EZ Crankbait Tuner is the real deal.”
> “I’ve field tested it a lot and would describe the EZ like this: It does what the torque/clutch setting on your drill does. You know, the torque setting [list of numbers from 1 to 10, or 20] on the drill so you don’t strip screws or over-tighten nuts. The EZ does the same thing but on cranks! Really cool.
> “The EZ has these same pressure setting features, so when the prescribed pressure is reached it “slips.” Visibly the short plier jaw pops up…audibly a CLICK noise is heard.
> “This tool will allow you to systematically apply the tiny amounts of pressure needed to tune baits and keep your best baits in the water longer.”
> “Identify when your lure is out of tune either left or right. Put the short-nose jaw on the line tie opposite the way its running. Put the long jaw on the diving bill at a right angle. Then slowly squeeze the handles together.
> “As you apply an increasing amount of pressure and the pressure limit is reached then the short jaw will pop up. You have just applied a measured amount of pressure.
> “Repeat the process (if necessary) if the lure didn’t move exactly to center, but this time turn the knob clockwise a quarter turn.
> “Once you get the hang of this tool, you’ll master tuning crankbaits in no time and catch more fish.”
Have heard nothing but good things from guys/gals that got to run one last season. Hope to get my hands on one by the time this 3′ of snow/ice/slush disappears…maybe June? Lol.
Thanks for the breakdown, Turk!