Updated August 25, 2019 by Sam Kraft

The 10 Best Fishing Plugs

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This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in August of 2019. Plugs — also known as crankbaits, minnows, or wobblers — imitate bait fish as they’re reeled through the water, making them effective lures for targeting predatory fish, like bass, pike, walleye and muskies. These options come in an array of sizes and styles, including shallow divers with small lips as well as large-lipped models that can reach prey lurking in the depths. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Rapala Shad Rap 7

2. Strike King Square Bill

3. Rapala X-Rap

Editor's Notes

August 22, 2019:

In compiling the list, we worked to incorporate a variety of plug designs to give different types of fishermen an array of options. Topwater anglers will want to look at the Heddon Super Spook (a traditional floating topwater) as well as the Arbogast Buzz, which is more of a hybrid lure — you can choose to retrieve it at a constant pace like a normal crankbait, or you can employ the twitch-and-jerk technique common to topwater fishing.

The Robson Artificial and Rapala Shad Rap 7 have jointed bodies, which is supposed to make them appear more life-like as you reel them in. While the action of the Robson could be a bit more realistic, the Rapala looks very authentic in the water, and it makes a rattling noise to give fish extra incentive to strike.

We included items that retrieve at different depths, too. The Yo-Zuri Crystal is a deep-diver with a fat bill that will reach depths of 10 feet if you let enough line out. The Rapala Ultra, on the other hand, features a tiny bill that only pushes it two to three feet beneath the surface. This bait is ideally suited for ultralight rods.

Special Honors

Lunkerhunt Kraken If you’re aggressively targeting bass, walleye or pike, this line of Kraken baits offers a tight wobbling action that these species find irresistible. It can reach pretty impressive depths, especially if you’re trolling, and it’s available in six vibrant designs. lunkerhunt.com

Xcite Baits XB-5 This is a tough, durable lure with a smooth body that lacks sharp edges, which allows it to bounce off underwater structure without getting dented or snagged. It’s designed with a weight transfer system that aids the fisherman in making long, controlled casts. xcitebaits.com

4. Bomber Triple Threat

5. Rapala Ultra

6. Yo-Zuri Crystal

7. Heddon Super Spook

8. Arbogast Buzz

9. OriGlam Swimbait

10. Robson Artificial

Sam Kraft
Last updated on August 25, 2019 by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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