Few tackle topics create more oppositional ideas among anglers than the best line type and size for fishing with crankbaits. Without getting into who is right, the arguments made by various anglers warrant consideration as you prepare gear and plan strategies.

When fluorocarbon was first popularized, many bass pros quickly switched to it for cranking applications because of toughness, low-vis qualities and minimized stretch, which translates into maximized sensitivity for feeling the bottom and cover.

Fluorocarbon also sinks, which means crankbaits dive a bit deeper. If you’re cranking deep structure and want to get the most possible depth from any given lure, deeper is better. That’s where the debate begins, though. For shallow cranking with a square-bill around wood, more buoyancy is actually better for helping the crankbait roll off the cover, making line that doesn’t sink, like Silver Thread AN40, a better option.

Between the situational extremes, sometimes you want a crankbait ticking the structure but not really grinding it, and fluoro might be what’s needed to hit that depth, or it might dig too much. Similarly, 12-pound test might make a particular crankbait hit just the right range for a particular structure, and 10 might let it dig too deep to be effective.

If you ever see bass pro with four rods on the deck and the same model and color of crankbait tied to all four, you can bet that all have different line on them and they are being used as tools, each for a specific depth range.

Before leaving the fluorocarbon vs. copolymer question, some anglers actually prefer the latter for crankbait fishing because of the added stretch. They believe that moment between the fish hitting the lure and them feeling the strike keeps them from pulling the lure from the fish and that the line provides the same shock absorbing value as a slower action “crankbait rod.”

Finally, line size affects lure presentations, and again there are two opposing schools of thought. Some anglers prefer the lure control gained through heavier line while others believe that lighter line allows the lure more freedom to move naturally.