Two for the price of one.

That’s what you get from several of Rebel’s small floater/diver crankbaits. No, we’re not talking about a two-for-one purchase deal. Instead we’re talking about one lure that fills two very different roles because you can fish it effectively as a topwater lure or a shallow crankbait. If fact, often the best strategy is to do both during a single cast.

Rebel lures that double dip nicely include a Crickhopper, Bumble Bug, Teeny Wee-Frog, Teeny Wee-Crawfish and Super Teeny Wee-R. If you expect most fish to be looking up for displaced terrestrial critters, use one of the insect or frog imitations. If you anticipate them relating more to craws or baitfish but still want a surface option, start with the Teeny Wee-Craw or Super Teeny Wee-R.

Whichever lure you choose. The technique is the same. Cast near the bank or close to shallow cover and let the lure rest for a few seconds after it lands. Sometimes, a fish will hit it before you do anything else, which is a good clue that they are looking up! Barring that immediate strike, work the lure with twitches of the rod tip, which will make it dance on the surface. Alternate twitches and pauses until the lure has moved several feet from where the cast landed.

At that point, crank the lure down and reel it back at a moderate pace with the rod tip low. Simple steady cranking makes all of these lures wobble beneath the surface, although each has a distinctive action. Often fish will hit as soon as you start cranking. However, some may follow it and grab it almost off the end of your rod (or anywhere in-between).

The topwater and cranking aspects can be varied in several ways, and experimentation often helps you fine tune. For the topwater portion, for example, experiment with short, sharp twitches and with slower but longer pulls, and vary the cadence and lengths of pauses. When you crank, change speeds and try adding slight hesitations and rod snaps to see if something specific triggers strikes.

If you notice most fish are hitting the lure on top, try keeping it on top all the way back or work it on top to what you consider the edge of the strike zone and reel it back quickly for another cast. Conversely, if all strikes are subsurface, turn to straight casting and cranking, eliminating the topwater element.

Noting how the fish favor the lure can also help you refine your lure selection. If you start with a Teeny Wee-Crawfish and the bite is a bit slow, with the only strikes occurring when the lure is dancing on the top, try switching to a Crickhopper, which more accurately imitates the type forage those fish are probably keying on to see if the action improves.

Patterning benefits acknowledged, it’s important to note that you might not need to change anything. Often the bluegills, bass and other sport fish will gladly nab these little lures on top and beneath the surface, and there’s truly nothing more to making fish bite than mixing some twitches and pauses, cranking the lure back, and repeating.