Best Crab Traps
Whether you have been informed by a friend that you would like crab fishing or simply want to know more detailed information on the process it takes to buy the apparatus used for the activity (or any other reason you have been led to this guide today), it is irrelevant as your curiosity has clearly peaked. What you will find by coming to this website today is that buying a crab trap may not be as easy as you think it is. Yes, in case the cat was not let out of the bag already, this is the apparatus that is used for crab fishing. If you really want to become an excellent fisherman of these crustaceans, then you will definitely want to pay close attention to this guide.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 3.25 hrs of research
Made with commercial blue vinyl
Will fold for easier transport
Ideal for both recreational and professional use
- Promar TR-555
- Danielson Pacific FTC
- Protoco Economy
- KUFA Casting
- Willapa Marine
- Promar Mesh
- Rob Smith Maryland
- RUNACC Portable
- Foxy-Mate 120-T
- Hurricane Two Ring
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST CRAB TRAPS
1. Promar TR-555
Made with commercial blue vinyl
Will fold for easier transport
Ideal for both recreational and professional use
Not ideal for blue crabs
When it comes to building quality and overall craftsmanship, it just will not get much better than this. Of course, the TR-555 is not ideal for blue crabs due to the larger lattice openings.Read more
The TR-555 is designed to last that much is for sure. It is designed of vinyl-coated steel wire that is both commercial-grade and also corrosion-resistant.
This is essentially a giant cage and it sports four entrance doors, two escape rings and a tending door. However, due to the size of the lattice openings, it is not ideal for smaller crustaceans.
One of the benefits of this design is the fact that Promar engineered it to fold flat for easier storage and transportation.
At 24 inches by 24 inches by 9 inches, this is a very suitable size. Remember, it is a cage and is rectangular in shape.
Be aware that a bait box is not included with your purchase. There is, however, an angler access trap that is engineered with the harvest door on the top.
It is really simple; the TR-555 is a suitable design for those of you who are serious about crab fishing. Of course, that is only if you do not want to fish for blue claws.
2. Danielson Pacific FTC
It will fold flat for storage
Features four different entrance doors
Designed with a fall-away rot-cord system
Will need modifications for smaller crustaceans
Can take a while to actually catch crabs
Do not be frightened by the cheaper price here as the quality is very high. However, be aware that due to the engineering of the design, it can take time for the little critters to figure out how to get in.Read more
Much like the last model, this is constructed of vinyl-coated steel wire. Overall, it is a very sturdy design that is not going to corrode very easily.
Really, this is almost a carbon-copy of the previous model. It also sports four entrance doors and two escape rings. Additionally, the fall-away-rot-cord system can disable it if it is not retrievable.
Danielson engineered their cage to be folded. This makes it so much easier to both store their cage and to transport it to the water.
This is also 24 inches by 24 inches but it is slightly taller than the last one at 13 inches. While the grid is too large to catch smaller crustaceans, this can catch a ton of larger species.
With your purchase, a rot cord is included and it comes as four separate pieces of cord. However, a bait cage is not included.
What is really surprising here is the price tag as the quality is incredibly high. It just goes to show that very rarely, you can buy an extremely high-quality product at an extremely low price.
3. Protoco Economy
The mesh is tarred
Comes with a harness and a rope
The bait cage is vinyl coated
The bottom of the ring is uncoated
The design is somewhat flawed
Protoco has designed a model that is almost perfect for beginners or casual users. This is not an overly complicated design and will collapse to make transport much, much easier.Read more
If not for the uncoated bottom ring, this would have been an exceptional build. Because, you see, it is made with a steel frame and is coated with blue polyethylene to protect against corrosion.
This design is definitely suitable for beginners. It is merely a net and you simply toss it into the ocean. Now, the crabs can get caught in the netting, which is a bit of an annoyance.
Because this is merely a mesh net, it can be collapsed when you want to store it and when you need to transport it to the ocean.
When space is limited, you will love yourself for choosing this model. But, when stretched, it actually measures 24 inches in diameter and 17 inches in height.
Protoco includes a few key accessories that will come in handy on your adventures. First off, they actually include a bait box that has been coated with polyethylene. Also, they include the harness.
Look, not all of you will be enthralled by this design. With that said, there are many reasons to admire it including the compact size and also the simplicity.
4. KUFA Casting
One of the more compact models out there
Includes 100 feet of rope
It is an adequate size
The strapping needs to be tighter
Crabs tend to get caught in the netting
In a bit of irony, this model almost works too well at its designed purpose. While that will be explained in a minute, it is worth noting that this is pretty good for the price.Read more
The netting itself is designed with quality in mind. The main issue here, though, is that crabs can get caught in the netting and then you need to resort to cutting the net to get them out.
No matter if you are on a boat or even on a dock, this can easily be cast by hand or by a fishing rod. It is also spring loaded to ensure it stays open in the water.
At only one-pound in total weight and with the ability to be stored compactly, it is easy to say that the CR55 is one of the most portable crab traps on the market.
Though the CR55 is not enormous in size, it does measure 22 inches by 12 inches by 2 inches. For the right type of fishing, this can be quite suitable, in fact.
The main accessory that is included with your purchase is 100 feet of smooth casting braided rope.
More experienced users may scoff at this model, to be quite honest. Let’s just be frank and say this is ideal for beginners and is as simple as it will ever get.
5. Willapa Marine
Comes with everything you need
Made with black vinyl coated wire
Features four entrance tunnels
Not for east coast blue crabs
The line is not pre-secured to the harness
As all crab fishermen know, owning a specific trap is just one step to the equation. You will also need a number of other accessories and with this kit that is exactly what is provided to you.Read more
The designer here understands that you can’t skimp on quality and that is why they designed their cage with black vinyl coated wire.
The cage itself is going to open from the top for easy catch access. Also, it is engineered with four entrance tunnels and an attached bridle rope.
You will need some room to transport this as it is designed with non-removable brackets. Unfortunately, it will not fold down for storage purposes.
This is another round cage and it sports a diameter of 24 inches. As for the height, it measures nine inches.
Per the product description, this comes with everything you need to go crabbing. Of course, it would have been nice if the line came pre-secured to the harness.
The crab trap itself is great here but what is truly phenomenal is the entire kit you receive. About the only item, you will need alongside this is the bait itself.
6. Promar Mesh
Made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel
Designed much like commercial-style models
Heavy enough to be very stable
It is not the best for blue claws
Promar is right back on this list and this design is very similar to their other one on this list. The main difference is this bad boy is circular while their other one is rectangular.Read more
Being designed in similar fashion to commercial units, you know this is well built. It sports heavy-duty stainless steel wire mesh and is ready to handle repetitive use. Also, it is very heavy and will not get moved by a current very easily.
As opposed to the previous two models, this is circular and not rectangular. However, it does sport two tunnel entrances and two escape rings. The mesh is much too wide for smaller crustaceans, though.
The heavy-duty nature of this model makes it a bit more difficult to transport. It is not light, let’s just say that.
As this is circular, it is measured in diameter and is 30 inches. It is also 10 inches tall and this makes it a fairly large apparatus.
You will need to account for the bait box yourself but not the rot rope. Indeed, this rope is included with your purchase and even if you need replacement cord, it is available at most outdoor equipment stores.
When it comes to Promar, you know that you will rarely ever need to question the quality. This right here is a prime example and is built to endure the roughest of waters.
7. Rob Smith Maryland
Comes with additional accessories
Designed with a vinyl coating for protection
The overall construction is fabulous
It is not foldable
A few questioned its effectiveness
This right here is universally recognized as one of the best traps in the world. You are not going to find too many people that have any legitimate issues with this design.Read more
When this says commercial quality, it is not exaggerating. It is protected with a vinyl coating and is engineered with high-quality welds.
While there have been a few users who have felt this was ineffective at catching crabs, it is a giant cage that sports multiple openings and escape rings.
It sure would have been nice if this would have been collapsible. Because it is not, this can be a bit tougher to transport to the seas.
Honestly, this looks larger than it actually is. The actual dimensions 24 inches by 13 inches by 13 inches. It is still a suitable size, however.
Every single accessory that you see in the photos, including the rope, is included with your purchase. As such, this is a pretty good package deal.
This has raved the world over but there are those naysayers out there who are not fans of this model. It is not a flawless design but it is one that is built to last.
8. RUNACC Portable
It is foldable
Made of high-quality mesh material
There are two no-return entrances
The rings tend to rust
The zipper is a bit weak
As opposed to the previous models, this one right here is a bit different. It is actually a fishing net that is made of thick mesh material that will collapse when you need to transport it.Read more
There is some good and some bad here. The mesh itself is high in quality and made of thick gauge wire. However, the rings tend to rust and the zipper’s quality has been criticized.
Unlike the others, this is not a cage and is merely a large spherical net. It comes equipped with two no-return entrances and a zipper design. If you are after smaller crabs, this will be the design you are looking for.
If you are not interested in models that are difficult to transport then you need to take a closer look at this. It is one of the most compact traps out there and is foldable and stretchable.
When stretched, this has a height of 20.1 inches and a diameter of 12.6 inches. It is not quite as large as the photos suggest but it suffices either way.
If there is one knock on this design it is the lack of any additional accessories. For the price, though, you will have plenty of money left over to buy some.
A lot of traps out there will not be optimized to catch blue claw crabs but this is one that is. In addition, it is extremely compact which will come in handy if you use it often.
9. Foxy-Mate 120-T
No assembly is required
Does exactly what it is supposed to do
Is fully collapsible
It is a bit on the cheap side, in regard to build quality
Let’s just get this out of the way right away, there is nothing immaculate about the 120-T. In fact, it could come across as a bit cheap. But, at the end of the day, it gets the job done and does so efficiently.Read more
Now, the 120-T is made of welded black epoxy wire that will resist corrosion. Problem is, this is a bit cheaply made and will not stand up too much abuse.
No assembly is required on your part and this does not have a top. But, it does open at the top and also sports tapered sides that allow for easy stacking.
When the time comes when you need to either store the 120-T or you need to transport it, you can collapse the entire unit to make things significantly easier.
At 12 inches by 12 inches by 8 inches, this is actually one of the smaller models on this list. It will not catch a boatload of crustaceans, let’s just say that.
All that is really included is a string that attaches to each panel to lift the mechanism up. However, an additional rope is not included with your purchase.
The 120-T is not of commercial quality and no one will tell you different. It is more suitable for casual crab fishermen that may only go out a few times a year.
10. Hurricane Two Ring
Good value for what you get
The net itself is very impressive
It is a good size
The wire lines are awful
Modifications will need to be done
As so many others have noted, the net of this model is actually really good. However, you will want to replace the wire lines that hold the net (as they have been heavily criticized for being cheap).Read more
Now, the net itself is long-lasting and the rings are made of corrosion-resistant aluminum. The real problem here is the lines that hold the net as they probably will need to be replaced.
You could almost consider this a wire net basket. It is a very simple design; although, the metal mesh can sometimes get caught up in itself and not expand all the way.
There is no mention of it being collapsible but due to the mesh construction, it probably is. Either way, it is still pretty easy to transport.
There are two rings and the bottom is smaller in diameter by 11 inches. The top ring is 18 inches in diameter and the entire net is around nine inches in depth.
You will need to rig your own bait holder as one is not included. Overall, not too many accessories are included.
If you do not mind replacing the lines with something more substantial then you can enjoy a pretty neat device. For the price of admission, though, that is to be expected a bit.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The build quality is always going to matter but, in this case, it is amplified.
No matter how you slice it, the crab trap that you ultimately end up buying needs to be high in quality. It sounds painfully obvious and it should be. But, not all of them will be elite in all the same areas. That said, one of the most important attributes that any trap needs is strong build quality. It really comes down how well the model is protected, to be perfectly honest. Most of the time, no matter the design style, crab traps will be made with metal. Well, as most of you know, some metal will rust (granted it has iron in it) and when it is exposed to water, the corroding process can accelerate. And, this is amplified in saltwater.
Even if you do not plan to crab fish in saltwater, you should ensure that the model you pick comes with a coating to protect the metal from rusting. One of the more popular ones is a vinyl coating, for example. Leaving the metal exposed in saltwater (or even freshwater) can lead to rusting pretty quickly.
There are actually quite a few different design styles out there and choosing the one you prefer is ideal.
Whether you knew this coming in or not, there are actually different types of crab traps that you can invest in. While it is debatable on which style is the “best”, each style is sufficient in its own right. All in all, there are three main types that you can select from. First up, let’s talk about the box style. This is arguably the most popular due to its design. Per the name, this model does have a rectangular shape and it actually requires the least amount of work from the user. You see, you can leave the cage underwater overnight as the crabs have a difficult time of escaping. Plus, with most of these cages, they will have three to four entrance doors and multiple escape rings.
However, you also have what is known as a ring trap. Ring traps are very simple and consist of two rings attached together with a mesh net (made of metal wire). The top ring is typically larger than the bottom ring and the crustaceans will end up getting caught inside. And, the last type is very similar to this and is known as a pyramid trap. The main difference is the shape (as this is a pyramid instead of a ring). Due to this shape, it tends to be a bit more stable.
You will need to transport your crab trap to the seas so it is optimal if it is portable.
One of the toughest obstacles for some designers to eclipse is to find an optimal balance of weight and strength. It comes into play with a wide range of products and crap traps are no different. Now, you really need to buy a model that is heavy enough to remain stable in the water. If it flips over then it is no good to you. At the same time, it does not need to be excessive in weight.
Of course, the main area of assessment here is if the model collapses. This is not so much an issue with ring traps as they only feature two rings and mesh netting (and can usually be collapsed anyway). Yet, when you talk about box traps it becomes a much bigger deal. Not all models will be foldable and the ones that are will be much easier to transport. Be aware because if you invest in a style that does not collapse, you will need extra room to both store it and to transport it to the body of water you want to crab fish at.
This is not the most important criterion out there but it does possess value.
Whenever you are in the market for a specific type of product, not all attributes of that specific product will be equal (in terms of importance). In this case, the size of a crab trap is probably not going to hold as much weight as the other criterions that were just documented. However, it made an appearance on this guide and that means that it is somewhat important. It really comes down to how many crabs you want to catch. If you are doing so commercially then there is no way to get around the fact that you will need a larger model. The fewer times you need to reload the trap, the better.
Now, for recreational use, pretty much any size is going to do just fine. Just ensure that it will catch the number of crustaceans that you desire and you should be just fine.
Crab fishing requires more than just a crab trap and some sellers will include some additional accessories for you.
Along the line of other sports and activities, there is more to crab fishing than just buying a crab trap. There will be some other accessories that you will need. And, if you really do not want to purchase them yourself then you can look for sellers that include some. To give you an example of the types of accessories you will need, here are two.
First off, you will need a bait box to actually lure the crabs into your trap. Along with that, you will need bait (which you will need to supply). Another common accessory is a rot cord. Most traps should come with this rope but even if they do not, they are easily obtainable online.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
For the most part, when metal becomes exposed to water then you will need to worry about rust. When you go to assess the build quality of any particular model, you need to ensure that the metal is coated for protection. At least slowing down the process of rusting will be ideal. Of course, the metal itself should also be sturdy enough to not tip over or float away in the water.
There are a few different types of styles out there for you to look into. What you need to remember is each style is sufficient in its own right and none of them will require too much work on your part. With that said each style is different and has its uniqueness. We take a closer look at each of the types and break them down for you a little bit. This should give you a better understanding if there is any confusion.
Whatever you do, do not forget about this section. It is really easy to do because you may not think about it right away. But, unless you plan to crab fish in the pond in your backyard, you will most likely have to travel with your trap. And, even if you do not, you will eventually need to store it away. So, ensuring the model you invest in is portable will be incredibly important to most of you.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What do you use as bait?
This is probably the question that pops up the most when the topic of crab fishing comes up. Now, it has nothing to do with the buying process but it is a practical question that will help you out. So, to the actual question, what should you use as bait? Here is the good news; these crustaceans are not picky eaters and depending on who you ask, you may get a different answer. This is probably because several different baits work extremely well. Some of the most popular ones, though, are chicken necks, razor clams, fish heads, road kill deer, cat food, and turkey backs. Basically, they prefer fresh foods.
q: How can you catch crabs on the beach?
To be honest, if you have an interest in catching these creatures on the beach then you probably do not need a trap. Actually, all you are going to need is some line and some bait. You can use any of the bait that was just documented in the previous question (or any other bait that you have heard is effective) and tie it to the end of the line. Given will be handling the bait, though, do not go for something that makes you uncomfortable. From there, place the bait and the line in any area that is highly populated with crabs and wait for a bite.
q: How deep do you set a trap?
To be honest, this is really up to you. You see, crab fishing can be achieved in both shallow and deeper waters. Yet, with that said, each model may not be optimized to handle both depths. If you require a trap that can handle deeper waters then you will probably want to opt for commercial-quality models. On the flipside, for shallower waters, you can practically get away with any style of crab trap out there.
q: Is a fishing license required?
As many of you are fully aware, states mandate that certain people need to buy a fishing license in order to legally fish. The question is, though, does the same regulation apply for crab fishing? Actually, this question has two answers as it depends solely on the type of trap you are using. You see, if you merely go crab fishing with a crab line or a dip net, you will not need a fishing license. However, if you use an actual crab trap that utilizes metal then you will need a basic fishing license. Of course, if you do so in a wildlife management area, then you will need one regardless.
q: How do you humanely kill crabs?
Look, most people are not out to participate in this activity to viciously slaughter these crustaceans. No matter your reasoning, if you want to keep them then there is a humane way of killing them. The best way is to lower their body temperature before you spike it. A good way to do this is to store them in your refrigerator (assuming it is operating less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit) for a few hours. If you put them in the freezer the sudden temperature decrease can shock them. After this, you will need to insert a pointed object through their brain.
q: How fast will metal rust?
While this seems like a question that is misplaced, it actually is an interesting one to address as it can come into play here. Most models you purchase will contain metal and as long as it contains iron, it can rust. And, given you will be submerging them in water, the issue with rusting becomes amplified. When metals that contain rust become exposed to moisture and air they immediately will begin rusting. But, this process can be accelerated if there are no protective coatings present. Of course, you may not actually visually see the rust right away.