The Making of a New Crankbait

Category: article

 Oct 17th, 2022 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Oct 17th, 2022 at 10:52 AM

The Making of a New Crankbait

By: Mark Romanack

In this picture the author has just landed a nice walleye on a prototype version of the Precise Walleye Crankbait. Notice the unpainted bill on this digital 3D printed prototype. Finished baits will feature vacuum metallized chrome and gold finishes designed to maximize flash.

Ever notice how some crankbaits catch fish routinely and others only catch the occasional fish? Unfortunately, crankbaits are not all created with the same degree of precision or dedication to quality. The majority of crankbaits hit the market having never been exposed to the time consuming and expensive prototyping process.

Crankbaits, especially cheap imports, hit the market almost as fast as they can be popped out of the molds, painted and packaged. Manufacturers who take the time to build and test multiple prototypes before settling on versions to mass produce are the companies that routinely produce “winners” in the crankbait world.

When Bill Lewis, makers of the famous Rat-L-Trap lipless crankbaits, approached Jake and myself with the idea of designing a new walleye crankbait, we were all in. During the first conversation we explained to Wes Higgins of Bill Lewis Company that the process of building a walleye crankbait that catches fish routinely is going to take a few years.

The only way to manufacturer a crankbait that catches fish consistently is to build a sample prototype, test it, make new prototypes, these them and on and on until a version surfaces that gets the job done! In the case of the Bill Lewis Precise Walleye Crank or PWC for short, it took more than two years and half a dozen prototypes before we settled on a bait we could be proud of.


The Precise Walleye Crank comes by it’s name naturally. We wanted first and foremost to create a bait that fishes true right out of the package. While all crankbaits will at some point need to be tuned to keep them running true, a new bait out of the package should run straight every time!

The author is obviously pleased with the performance of the Bill Lewis Precise Walleye Crank or PWC for short. The HP designation on the bill stands for the high pitch rattle sound on this prototype. During the prototyping process Mark and Jake Romanack tested several different bait variations before settling on the one that produced walleye consistently in warm and cold water trolling situations.
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