The 8 Best Square Bill Crankbaits

Squarebill crankbaits have garnered a tremendous following and continue to grow in popularity. 

When first brought out, anglers thought of these baits as heavy cover baits. While they work well in heavy cover, they are far more versatile than you might think.

I’ve used these baits in all sorts of situations, and more often than not, they prove deadly.

There are a few that seem to outperform others. So below, I’m going to share the top 8 square bill crankbaits on the market today.

Top 8 Squarebill Crankbaits:

Strike King KVD 1.5

This is by far the most popular square bill on the market. It is used by both pros and amateurs and proving to be very successful in the hands of both.

The KVD stands for Kevin VanDam, the legendary bass angler who is behind the creation of this bait. In 2011 after Kevin won the Bassmaster Classic, it was this bait he credited his win to.

The 1.5 is the more popular size and offers the widest range of fishing opportunities.

I find the action is very smooth and easy to use. If I could have only one squarebill in my arsenal, this would be the one.


Spro Little John

I feel this crankbait doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Far too often, anglers will overlook this bait in favor of other baits with fancier packaging or marketing.

If you happen to be one of these anglers, I urge you to forgo that habit and buy this bait now.

The Spro Little John is made with a super-sensitive lip. This is due to being equipped with a computer chip board lip. The sensitivity is so noticeable that you can pick up on subtle changes in bottom cover.

One of the first things you will notice with this bait is the standard of quality, From the oval line tie, the computer chip lip, or the high standard Gamakatsu hook.

This bait is built to catch fish and last a long time. I feel it’s such a small investment for such a high-quality bait.


6th Sense Crush

6th Sense baits have been gaining popularity over the last few years, and it’s not difficult to see why. With outstanding baits like the Crush, and the affordability, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to get in on their baits.

The Crush are extremely detailed baits of high quality. They are made with 3D eyes, 3D gill plates, and 3D scales; this really brings this bait to life.

Its tight wobbling action is great for shallow water. Although, whether you’re burning it out in open water, ripping through grass, or bouncing around the rocks, the quality and realism of this bait will hook fish.


Xcalibur XCS

Yet another crankbait that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, the XCS, could be one you’re missing out on. Whether some anglers are just keeping it a well-kept secret, or it’s just not that popular, I’m not sure.

What I am sure of is this is a high-quality crankbait that works. When you first hold the XCS, you immediately notice the above-average standards that went into making this.

The XCS is one of the best casting crankbaits you will come across. It has a great ability to resist winds and doesn’t helicopter.

The unique action of this bait also allows for a variety of retrieves. You can either retrieve it fast and get a solid vibration or use a slow retrieve for an aggressive wobble.

Lucky Craft LC Silent

What I like most about this bait is its fish anywhere ability. All square bills can be fished in heavy cover, but this one just goes above and beyond.

No matter what type of cover you are fishing, it just seems to do better than other baits at deflecting. 

When other baits seem to roll up on their sides when they come into contact, the LC Silent stays true, preventing any snags.


Bomber Square A

One of the most affordable crankbaits on the market today is the Square A. Being so affordable makes them an excellent option for beginners. Another thing that makes it a superb beginner-friendly crankbait is its ability for fishing thick cover.

Any square bill is designed for thick cover, but the Square A just does it exceptionally well. The chamfered corners are the secret to its success in thick cover. 

This cutaway lip design prevents the Square A from deflecting too much when you run it into hard cover. Rather, it just deflects slightly to the side before continuing on its original trajectory.

I find the best method of fishing the Bomber Square A is a steady slow retrieve, again making it a great introduction bait for beginners.


Norman Fat Boy

Many people place this crankbait near the top of their list, if not the top. The Redear color seems to be one of the all-time favorites and is sold in great quantities, so we can only assume it’s doing something right.

What’s great about the Fatboy is it has all the characteristics of an extremely high-quality custom crankbait but the price of a mass sold bait.

The Fat Boy comes out of the packet ready to use, the paint job is exceptional, the hooks are of superb quality, and you don’t need to change them. Just remove it from the packet, tie it on your line and start fishing.


River2Sea Biggie Bumpin

This bait is designed to get a reaction when the silents just aren’t doing it. Its loud sound is like a mixture between rattling and clacking from the rattle just behind the front hook.

The Bumpin is a fast floating version with a higher degree of wandering over other crankbaits, which adds more realism to the bait.

It’s similar to the Bomber Square A in the amount of deflection it has; it tends to just kick out an inch or two before continuing on its original path.


Best square bill crankbait colors

The plethora of color options can confuse some people when choosing one of these baits. 

The first thing you should note is that there is no wrong color. All of the color options available would have probably caught someone a fish at some point or another.

However, I find that for me, and most others, there are a few colors that can constantly be relied on.

As the saying goes, “Match The Hatch” well, the same holds true for crankbaits. 

In clear water, I try to match whatever the bass are feeding on at that time. Depending on where you are fishing, this could be shad, crawfish, or even bluegill if you happen to be fishing in Michigan.

If the water is dirty, I like to go with a darker color; here, my two favorites are Black and Chartreuse. 

In clear water, my first tries are usually Bluegill or Sexy Shad.

How to fish square bill crankbaits

Although you can fish square bill crankbaits in various ways, the thing that makes them stand out from the crowd is where you can fish them.

Square bills can go just about anywhere; bang them off rocks, bump them off stumps or fish them in clear water.

The square bills erratic action that cause it to deflect off cover triggers bites in all conditions.

One of the most common and straightforward ways to fish square bill crankbait is a slow and steady retrieve. This type of retrieve will work in most situations.

If the bass is not taking, I will work a few pauses into the retrieve to spark a reaction.

Shallow water is where square bills work better than most others. Rocks or stumps in shallow water are a great place to put a square bill.

Best gear ratio for square bill crankbaits

As with most equipment, the answer here is it depends. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but most people have their preferences.

What I find is that most prefer a 6.3:1 to 7.3:1 ratio. Both of these options allow using a slow retrieve or the ability to burn the bait.

Final Thoughts

I love fishing square bill crankbaits. That erratic action, the ability to fish heavy cover, and the affordability make them a solid choice over other baits.

Like any new bait, they take a little time to get used to, but once you learn your own tricks and favorite ways to fish them, you’ll see what all the hype is about.