Best Jerkbaits for Bass Fishing: 2021 Buying Guide

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait (click to see)
“If you’re looking for a lure that’s irresistible to the bass, the Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait XR10 is definitely worth checking out. A suspending jerkbait with a rated running depth of 3-8 feet.

Best Finish: Strike King KVD Jerkbait (click to see)
“Going for increased castability? Look no further because the Strike King KVD has the perfect combination of roll, wiggle, and flash designed especially for Spring Bass Fishing.”

Best Budget: Rapala Husky Jerk (click to see)
“The Husky Jerk presents a notably sharp darting action and features an integrated rattle. Recommended for anglers looking for a quality lure while saving a few bucks.”

Today, the avid bass fisherman has a vast array of lures at their disposal. Each particular type of lure plays its own role of significance when attempting to catch bass with a high degree of consistency.

However, few lures have gained as much notoriety for their universal value, as the jerkbait.

Jerkbaits are extremely popular, largely because of the fact that they can be fished in a multitude of ways.

Jerkbait fishing is a rather free form in nature, as anglers can retrieve such lures in any manner that they see fit, most experiencing success along the way which makes it perfect for bass fishing.

There are also several varieties of jerkbaits currently available, which allows anglers to select a particular lure that best fits their style of fishing.

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Best Bass Fishing Lures for the Money

Our Top 7 Picks

Best Overall

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Silver , Size- 4)

Rapala X-Rap

Best Overall Bass Jerkbait

Suspended design for consistent performance

A classic lure that is extremely effective under a wide range of conditions

Best Finish

Strike King HCKVDJ200-682 KVD J200Jerkbait, 4 1/2-Inch, 3/8 -Ounce, Crystal

Strike King KVD

Bass Jerkbait with the Best Finish

Sharp side-to-side wobble to entice reactionary strikes

A productive lure that looks as good as it performs

Best Budget Lure

Rapala Husky Jerk 08 Fishing lure, 3.125-Inch, Yellow Perch

Rapala Husky Jerk

Best Budget Bass Jerkbait

Darting action for improved attraction

An excellent lure at an even better price

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Best For Stained Water

Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure, Prism Silver Black, 3 1/2-Inch

Yo-Zuri 3DB

Best Bass Jerkbait For Stained Water Conditions

Wave Motion Vibration technology for increased attraction

All the appeal you need to post your best day on the water

Best Deep Running Jerkbait

Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue - Clown, 5 1/2'

Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue

Best Deep Running Bass Jerkbait

10+ feet diving depth for maximum versatility

It will take your angling endeavors to the next level

Best Action

Rapala Ripstop 9 RPS09MBS: Ripstop 9 Moss Back Shiner

Rapala RipStop

Bass Jerkbait with the Best Action

Erratic, darting action for maximum appeal

An action that few basses can ignore

Best High End

Calissa Offshore Tackle 110mm California Inshore Fishing ||| Special Jerkbait Crankbait Surf Flash Fishing Salt Pro Lure Minnow Zebra MS Metallic Sardine Glow 110

Calissa Offshore Tackle

Best High-End Bass Jerkbait

Corrosion-resistant composition for enhanced durability

Durable enough to last a lifetime

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Best Bass Jerkbaits of 2021

Here are the best jerk baits for bass that you should have in your tackle box:

  1. Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait
  2. Strike King KVD Jerkbait
  3. Rapala Husky Jerk
  4. Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait
  5. Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue
  6. Rapala RipStop
  7. Calissa Offshore Tackle

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait

Best Overall: A classic lure that is extremely effective under a wide range of conditions

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Silver , Size- 4)

KEY FEATURES

  • Suspended design for consistent performance
  • Streamlined profile for enhanced castability
  • 10 different colors for superior versatility

The Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait should make the perfect choice for any angler who is in search of classic bass lures that have a tendency to produce bites in almost any situation. It is a suspending jerkbait with a rated running depth of 3-8 feet.

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This lure features an integrated rattle for additional attraction and is known for its excellent castability. The Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait also comes in 10 different colors, to meet the specific needs of every angler.

Strike King KVD Jerkbait

Best Finish: A productive lure that looks as good as it performs

Strike King HCKVDJ200-682 KVD J200Jerkbait, 4 1/2-Inch, 3/8 -Ounce, Crystal

KEY FEATURES

  • 3D eyes for maximum appeal
  • Chip-free paint for enhanced durability
  • Sharp side-to-side wobble to entice reactionary strikes

The Strike King KVD Jerkbait should be ideal for any angler who is in search of a lure that performs as well as it looks. This lure features 3-D eyes and is coated in chip-free paint for maximum appeal and durability. 

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Many anglers are also likely to find favor in the KVD Jerkbait’s wide side-to-side travel. This erratic action should be just what is needed to entice numerous strikes during any given day on the water.

Rapala Husky Jerk

Best Budget Lure: An excellent lure at an even better price

Rapala Husky Jerk 08 Fishing lure, 3.125-Inch, Yellow Perch

KEY FEATURES

  • Darting action for improved attraction
  • Streamlined design for superior castability
  • Integrated rattle for secondary appeal

If you are currently searching for a proven, true running jerkbait, at an exceptional price, then you will likely find favor in the Rapala Husky Jerk. This lure presents a notably sharp darting action, when worked, and features an integrated rattle for additional appeal.

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Like many of Rapala’s offerings, the Husky Jerk 10 is quite well known for its stellar castability. This lure should be perfect for working distant points, or for use when trolling.

Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait

Best For Stained Water Conditions: All the appeal you need to post your best day on the water

Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure, Prism Silver Black, 3 1/2-Inch

KEY FEATURES

  • Wave Motion Vibration technology for increased attraction
  • 3D Internal Prism design for enhanced visual appeal
  • Suspending action for increased strike opportunity

The Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait should be the ideal choice for anglers who regularly fish in reservoirs where stained or muddy water conditions often present themselves. This lure features a 3D Internal Prism holographic exterior shell that provides significant flash, and Wave-Motion Vibration, which promotes additional attraction.

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Many anglers should also find value in the Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait’s suspending action, which keeps the lure situated in the strike zone, thereby increasing one’s chance at success.

Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue

Best Deep Running Jerkbait: A deep running lure that will take your angling endeavors to the next level

Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue - Clown, 5 1/2'

KEY FEATURES

  • 10+ feet diving depth for maximum versatility
  • 18 different colors for multi-faceted appeal
  • Erratic darting action for enhanced fish attraction

If you are seeking a jerkbait that is more than capable of diving deep to persuade even the most reluctant of bass, then the Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue should be exactly what you have been after. This lure dives to depths of 10+ feet and presents an erratic darting action when worked.

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The Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue also comes in a total of 18 different colors. This should provide enough variety to suit almost any situation that one can encounter while on the water.

Rapala RipStop

Best Action: An action that few basses can ignore

Rapala Ripstop 9 RPS09MBS: Ripstop 9 Moss Back Shiner

KEY FEATURES

  • Erratic, darting action for maximum appeal
  • VMC fine wire hooks for enhanced hook-up rate
  • Hardened two-piece plastic shell for maximum durability

The Rapala RipStop should be the perfect jerkbait for mid-summer use when a fast-moving lure will coax bite after bite. This lure features a snappy action, and darts erratically with even the slightest of input on behalf of an angler. This should be a look that few basses can ignore.

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Many anglers are also likely to find favor in the Rapala RipStop’s VMC black nickel fine wire hooks. These hooks come sharpened to a fine point and are ready to take hold of your next trophy largemouth.

Calissa Offshore Tackle

Best High End: Durable enough to last a lifetime

Calissa Offshore Tackle 110mm California Inshore Fishing ||| Special Jerkbait Crankbait Surf Flash Fishing Salt Pro Lure Minnow Zebra MS Metallic Sardine Glow 110

KEY FEATURES

  • Shallow running design for topwater versatility
  • Corrosion-resistant composition for enhanced durability
  • 12-month warranty for increased confidence

If you are looking for a shallow running jerkbait, that is sure to stand the test of time, then the Calissa Offshore Tackle Jerkbait should be worthy of your consideration. This lure is constructed of corrosion-resistant materials and is designed to run at depths of 1-2 feet.

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The Calissa Offshore Tackle Jerkbait comes backed by a 12-month money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the lure or are simply not experiencing success as expected, Calissa will refund your money, no questions asked.


Types of Jerkbaits 

Jerkbaits come in two main varieties, hard jerkbaits and soft-plastic jerkbaits. However, several additional subsets of hard plastic jerkbaits are also available.

Hard Jerkbaits

Hard jerkbaits are constructed from wood or synthetic materials such as plastic. Lures of this type typically feature 2-3 treble hooks to increase the odds of a successful hookset. They are known for their innate durability and tendency to be easily cast at length. These lures also tend to display a boisterous yet uniform action due to their long, slender profile.

Floating Jerkbaits

One of the most popular types of hard jerkbait is that of the floating variety. These jerkbaits sit atop the water’s surface until an angler places their rod into motion. As a rod tip is swept, a floating jerkbait will begin to dive below the water. However, as rod motion ceases, a floating crankbait returns to the surface.

Sinking Jerkbaits

Sinking jerkbaits fall through the water column until acted upon via an angler’s rod movement. Jerkbaits of this variety sink at a specified rate, most often notated on such a lure’s packaging. This figure is known as the lure’s sink rate and is cited in the form of feet per second. Thus, an angler can fish a sinking jerkbait at a particular depth by simply counting as the lure sinks and multiply each second by its listed sink rate figure.

Suspending Jerkbaits

A suspending jerkbait is designed to fall a short distance below the water’s surface, where it will remain in a state of neutral buoyancy. An angler can then sweep their rod tip at a low angle to force their lure to a more profound point within the water column. Suspending jerkbaits are a favorite of those who attempt to pick off suspended bass as they stage at various depths.

Soft Plastic Jerkbaits

The second primary type of jerkbait is that which is constructed of a rubbery, soft plastic composition. Jerkbaits of this type can be rigged and waited however an angler sees fit to achieve a desired diving depth and presentation. In addition, many anglers rig soft plastic jerkbaits in a weedless fashion to prevent hang-ups. Another critical characteristic of soft plastic jerkbaits is their lively action. Due to such a lure’s pliable construction, a notable amount of tail flutter can be observed when a soft plastic jerkbait is retrieved.


Guide To Jerkbait Fishing

Jerkbaits are designed to mimic the actions of baitfish. However, just as baitfish swim at different speeds and dive to various depths, bass jerkbaits can also be presented in many different ways. In essence, there is no true way to incorrectly fish a jerkbait, although specific tactics do tend to produce better results than others.

The most popular jerkbait presentation is that which relates to the jerk/sweep and reel method. When fishing a jerkbait in this manner, an angler sweeps their rod tip away from their lure’s rotation and then reels up excess line slack when moving their rod back to its prior location. This process is then repeated until all lines are retrieved or a strike is detected.

The speed of this presentation ultimately determines the likelihood and frequency of strikes. However, the perfect retrieve speed varies from season to season and day to day. Generally, a slower retrieve is favored when water temperatures fall, or a cold front has just passed. On the other hand, a fast retrieve typically coaxes more strikes when water temperatures are on the rise.

The Right Gear For The Job

Most anglers utilize a rod of short to medium length when jerkbait fishing, most often within the 6’-7’ foot range. Both spinning reels and baitcasting reels are acceptable for use when jerkbait fishing. However, baitcaster reels tend to be a crowd favorite when fishing longer, full-size jerkbaits, while spinning reels are typically reserved for use when fishing jerkbaits of a smaller size.

Both fluorocarbon and monofilament lines are used regularly when fishing a jerkbait, though one should base their selection of line upon the type of jerkbait that is to be fished. Monofilament is a wonderful choice when fishing a floating jerkbait as lines of this nature are naturally buoyant.

However, fluorocarbon’s tendency to sink is desirable to those bass fishing with a sinking or suspending jerkbait.

Picking The Perfect Lure

Selecting the perfect jerkbait to catch bass is a matter of understanding the depth and location of resident bass on the given body of water that is being fished. They can be found suspended just above the lake bed, staging at various depths in the water column, or chasing shad right beneath the water’s surface at particular times of the year. It is an angler’s job to select the best jerk baits for bass to fish at the exact depth where they are to be found.

When the bass is following shad migrations, the use of a floating jerkbait can pay dividends. However, a suspended or sinking jerkbait tends to be most effective when the bass holds at differing depths within the water column. When this is the case, a sinking jerkbait can be counted down to a certain depth to reach any bass that is staging at that point. When one has little idea of how the bass of a given lake relates to structure and depth, a suspending jerkbait makes an excellent choice.