The seemingly unrelated ideas of using a fork to eat tomato soup and fishing with an out of tune crankbait are more similar than you might think. With a fork, you might be able to get some soup, but not enough to be satisfied. You will likely get frustrated with not being able to eat your food and maybe give up and move on. The same concepts can be translated into fishing with an untuned crankbait. It will be difficult and you might be able to catch a fish or two, if you are lucky. You will get increasingly frustrated and might give up fishing with that lure or give up fishing for the day all together.
An out of tune crankbait dives off to the left or right when pulled through the water. The ideal motion of a tuned crankbait is to have it dive straight down. Several different factors can go into knocking a crankbait out of tune. Fishing in rough water can cause a lure to be yanked in an awkward or unexpected direction, bending its eye-tie. Being pulled too fast through the water, whether trolling or casting, can also upset a perfect tune.
If the crankbait you are using is not tuned, its movements can seem unnatural to nearby fish and spook a potential catch. This lowers your chances of catching a fish and makes knowing exactly where your lure is diving very difficult. An untuned crankbait can also pull your line in an unexpected direction, causing it to get tangled and twisted with other lines.
Tuning a crankbait is not hard, though. Using a set of needle nose pliers or the Reef Runner Tune-A-Fish tool will help do the trick. Either of these tools will allow you to bend the eye-tie of the crankbait and correct its course. The most important thing to remember about tuning a crankbait is the direction in which you should bend the eye-tie. If your lure is favoring the left, the eye-tie should be slightly turned the the right, and vice-versa.
You might think checking the tune on your favorite crankbaits should be done every once in a while. Lures should be checked as often as possible. So, along with your typical fishing tools and accessories, think about adding a tuning tool to your arsenal of fishing equipment, if you have not already.