Best Gear Ratio for Jerkbaits

Best Gear Ratio for Jerkbaits

A jerkbait provides a horizontal presentation, and there are two different types of lures known as jerkbaits. Depending on where you live, you may know either of these two types. However, when it comes to fishing a jerkbait, setting the right gear ratio is of utmost importance. In this post, you will learn about the best gear ratio for jerkbaits.

What is a jerkbait?

Jerkbaits have many characteristics in common with other bass lures. There are many jerkbaits with small lips, like crankbaits. These small lips make it easy to pull the bait when it is under water. There is a particular difference between a crankbait and a jerkbait. There is not much difference in the design; the difference lies in the way these baits are used.

Jerkbaits are more effective when the temperature range of water is 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Jerkbaits come in two different forms known as hard jerkbaits and soft jerkbaits.

Also known as suspending jerkbaits, hard jerkbaits are slender and long lures and they are attached to a lip. Normally they come with a couple of hooks. They usually have a 1-piece body, but sometimes they come with jointed bodies. There are many manufacturers and suppliers of hard jerkbaits.

When fishing in hard water, you may lose your fish due to multiple treble hooks. Soft jerkbaits provide a solution to this problem. It comes with only one offset worm hook. There are some other distinguishing features of soft jerkbaits.

Unlike hard jerkbaits, soft jerkbaits do not behave in a predictable manner. They also have a slow sink, and they allow you to fish at varying depths.

Understanding gear ratios

Understanding gear ratios

It is pretty easy to understand gear ratios. On the handle, numbers like 8:1, 5.2:1 or 6.3:1 are given. You just have to know what the numbers before and after the colon denote. The first part of the number means the number of rotations the spool makes as the handle’s reel turns one time.

So, if the ratio reads 6.3:1, that means the spool rotates 6.3 times when the handle is turned once. On each crank, the length of the retrieved line depends on how large the first number is. When you are using high-speed reels, you will find it a bit tiring to dredge large-lipped crankbaits, because they displace more water.

The Lew’s BB1 is great for grinding crankbaits, because it has a retrieve ratio of 5.1:1. With a retrieve ratio of 5.4:1, the Abu Garcia Winch is another great choice. It allows 5% more casts than the Lew’s BB1. There are some other good brands on the market.

Selecting the best gear ratio for jerkbaits

For jerkbait fishing, the approximate gear ratio is 6.3:1. It will still work well if the ratio is slightly higher. You can easily retrieve jerkbaits with this speed reel. When you are dealing with the jerkbait retrieve cadence, this speed will easily take in the slack.

For choosing the gear ratio, you also have to consider the type of lure you are using. When it comes to choosing a certain reel, there are some other important things to consider.

But it is important to note here that all gear ratios can be used for all types of lures. This guide should be used as a general guideline. For example, when you are using a gear ratio of 8.4:1, you will not probably get the best results if you use a deep-diving crankbait.

The reason is simple: 8.4:1 is a high gear ratio reel. If you are using normal-paced cranks, reeling-in will get harder. There will also be more tension on the reel.

Fishing a jerkbait

Fishing a jerkbait

You can fish a jerkbait in multiple ways. You may do it with a sideway snapping retrieve or a downward snapping retrieve. To prevent arm fatigue, you can even mix up retrieve mechanics. To make sure that the lure has a good action, consider making a short cast first.

Another good tactic is to tweak the retrieve. To match the activity level and mood of the fish, you can experiment with how long and how far you can move a jerkbait. A faster retrieve is more effective if the water is warm. Slow down if the water is cold.

Useful tips and tricks

Getting well-versed with jerkbaits is highly rewarding, but it takes some time. Besides learning about the best gear ratio for jerkbaits, you have to take some other things seriously to get the best out of your experience. Now we are going to provide some tips that will make it easier for you to fish with jerkbaits whether using a spinning or casting reel.

Bait types

First, we will take a look at the baits. There are many different types of jerkbaits out there, and the prices vary wildly. For Japanese imports, the price can be as high as $30. On the other hand, domestic bait may cost only $5. You have to choose two baits as per the size of the forage. Megabass and Lucky Craft are quite popular.

Reading the water

Learning about the best gear ratio for jerkbaits is not enough. You also have to know how to read the water. Lucky Craft 100 and Megabass vision 110 are two great baits. In active conditions, feel free to use these baits. They will never disappoint you. If you want to cover water quickly, the 110 is a better option.

But the pointer is a better choice when you need a methodical cadence. If the fish you are going to catch need smaller bait, consider using Vision 110 Jr or the pointer 78.

The Silent Pointer 95 should be your choice when you are fishing in super clear water. The pointer 100 is slightly larger than the pointer 95. But when it comes to omitting the rattles, they retain pretty much the same action. When the water is super clear and people are throwing jerkbaits, these baits are very effective.

In the winter, water temperature drops. When you need to slow down, you can use either a flash pointer or a Lucky Craft pointer.


When it comes to using jerkbaits, you should consider very specific retrieve cadences and pause times. Keep things simple if you are just getting started with a jerkbait. Vary your pause times. The reaction of a fish is about the retrieve and speed and not much about the cadence.

If the temperature of water is more than 48 degrees, do not stop the bait for more than a few seconds. You may consider pausing for up to 10 seconds when the fish is in a neutral state. It doesn’t really matter whether you give the bait one or multiple pops. The only thing that matters is the speed at which the bait is moving.

Color selection

When it comes to jerkbait fishing, color is often an overlooked aspect. Certain colors are suitable for certain conditions. Some basic color schemes are a stained water pattern, a pattern with flash, an opaque pattern and a transparent pattern. Some effective color staples are pro blue, Chartreuse Shad, and Ghost Minnow.

Every angler should have a fairly good idea about the best gear ratio for jerkbaits. This knowledge can certainly make you a better angler. We hope you have found this post useful and it will help you make an informed decision.

Happy fishing!