Crabbing is a wonderful hobby that is relaxing, great for the family, and easy to get started even if you have no experience.

Many people that live on the east or west coast show an interest in catching crabs, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to selecting the right traps, pots, accessories, supplies, and bait. We have created a guide that can offer many recommendations as to the best choices and advice. These will work well for both blue crabs and dungeness crabs. There are many types of crab traps that you will need to consider when heading out to the water.

The Top Beginner Traps

If you are a beginner, you should start with the basics and never spend too much on larger or expensive traps. First time crabbers should go with a variety of simple and cost-effective cages and rings that can get your started very quickly.

The following is a list of recommendations and reviews from The Crabbing Zone:

South Bend Two Ring Wire Crab Net

south bend wire crab net

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Ring traps are ideal because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and are reliable for catching and keeping crabs in the trap itself. This style is preferred over cage traps because squares, boxes and pyramids that have openings and doors tend to get stuck or misaligned.

The cage variety have doors that snap shut when you pull hard on the line to bring up the cage when a crab is inside. The problem is that sometimes with a rough current, overgrown seabed, or poor product construction, these pull-close doors come unhinged. Grab these wire ring traps and hit the pier!

Danielson 34 inch Conical Crab Trap and Harness

crab trap and harness

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For those of you that would like to start with a quality ring shaped trap, we highly recommend the Danielson 34 inch Conical variety. This particular version comes with a strong harness which is a very underrated accessory when it comes to crabbing gear. When pulling your crabs up from rough waters, you want to have a strong grip and a taut line when you pull. The problem is, many people use a very poorly made harness or string that simply cannot withstand the current and salty waters over time.

If you are going to invest in a product that stands the test of time, then look no further. We will recommend a few more items that are very similar to this one, in case they are out of stock.

KUFA Rubber Wrapped Steel Ring Crab Trap

KUFA crabbing traps

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We can’t stress it enough. If you are going to be purchasing a trap and you want it to last for years, you need to make sure that it has certain elements that allow for that to happen. The KUFA models are well known for the rubber rings that make up the essential part of the crab pot. The harness is also well-made and this particular model comes with 50 ft. of rope which is effective for most situations.

Experienced crabbers tend to buy two or three of these knowing that they will last much longer than cheaper models. Having more than one allows you to cover more area and also let’s you take on rougher seas, heavy seaweed growth on the bay floor, and frequent pulls.

Advanced Crabbers

The following pots are generally recommended for intermediate to advanced crabbers due to the skill needed to use them properly. Many of these models come with accessories that may be foreign to the beginner. Others are fairly large and aren’t really necessary for a person that rarely hits the waters or simply ventures out with the family once or twice per crabbing season.

Promar TR-530 Heavy Duty Crab Pot

promar heavy duty trap


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One of the highest rated traps you can buy, the Promar TR-530 sounds like something the Terminator would use! This model is extremely well made and super durable. It is perfect for the crabbing enthusiast that pushes it to the limit with the locations that they like to go.

Also notice the interior bait box. This is good when you are trying to keep your bait from wandering off with a rogue crab or group of crabs. Cheaply made traps often are not able to secure the chicken necks, bunker, or any other type of bait that you might use. You pull up your pot only to find that your bait has mysteriously disappeared! Many people often buy up to three of these bad boys and they are set for life.

Promar Stainless Steel Mesh Crab Pot Rubber Wrap Rebar

steel mesh pot


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We can’t stress it enough. If you want to continue with this hobby for years to come, you should invest in some very strong and durable traps that can withstand salt water, rough currents, rocky bottoms, turtle invasions, and anything else that you might encounter.

This is a staple in our arsenal and we have rarely if ever needed to replace any of them. Promar is a trusted name in crabbing, so we stand behind this recommendation and are very confident you will find exactly what you are looking for when it comes to gearing up.

Willapa Marine Complete Crab Pot Kit

crabbing kit

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This is another great buy because it comes with additional accessories that are very useful depending on where you will be dropping your pots. A buoy is especially helpful if you paddle out into the middle of the water and deploy a trap when you can’t access it from land. This will help you pinpoint the location and come back to it later. It also comes with 100 feet of rope, a bait box, and a crab gauge which is similar to a caliper (to determine if the size is legal).

If you are an experienced pro looking to upgrade your arsenal, or you are simply looking to add more supplies to your existing equipment, you can’t go wrong with this great set. We love these complete kits because they have all of the essentials and also make a wonderful gift idea for the watermen in your life.

Essential Supplies

The following list is our essential guide to supplies for the 2017 crab season:

Bait Boxes

These are great for larger traps and for keeping your bait from getting dragged away by crabs, fish, turtles, or any number of sea creature. An essential upgrade to most standard rings and pots!

bait cage


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wire cage for chicken and bunker


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Harnesses and Supplies

If you have existing pots or traps that need an upgrade, we recommend purchasing just the additional supplies that you may need. The following items are great add-on items, attachments, or gift ideas for the crabber in your life.

5 x 11-Inch Crab Trap Float and Leaded Rope Coil/4 Point Heavy Duty Harness and Crab Measurer

crabbing supplies

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KUFA 4 Arm Pot Harness Trap Harness HA-2

If you are dealing with strong currents or rough conditions in general, you’ll want to ensure that you are pulling your line with a strong harness at the end that is attached directly to your crab cages or rings.

pot harness


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Extra Rope – 100 Feet Poly Crab Line

If you are throwing traps off a very high pier or bridge, you might need some additional line. This is also good in case your existing line gets snagged or you need to make a cut. Always have some backup gear with you ready to go!

extra rope

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Crab Caliper

Many states have laws about the size of crab that you are allowed to keep. This handy gauge allows you to quickly measure your catch to ensure that you are not breaking the law. Always remember to throw females back regardless!

crab size guide

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Well, that’s it for this expert guide to pots for crabbing. If you would like to learn more about the other areas of crabbing, please visit the following pages: