Deep Crankbait Fishing Equipment-Beyond The Basics

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Deep Crankbait Action

I would venture to say there have been more developments in the deep diving crankbait in the last 10 years than there has been in the last 50 years.  I remember watching Paul Elias “kneel and reel” to win the 1982 Bassmaster Classic and get his Mann’s plug to dive a bit deeper.  He was using a 6’ rod and mono fishing line at that event over 36 years ago.

Back then a “deep” diving crankbait meant 10+ foot of water.  Now we have several cranks that will almost reach 30 foot deep.  (without long lining)

The mechanics of deep cranking have not changed. Rather we have much better equipment than Paul Elias did in 1982.  I want to go over some of the gear and applications to get your deep cranks to their maximum diving depths.

  • Use a long “Cranking” rod. This is not the time to use a 7’3” Med. Hvy rod.  This is the time to pick up a 7’11” rod designed specifically for deep cranking. These rods have a soft tip with enough backbone to throw these monster cranks out there 50-75 yards.  Some great rods to try are an IROD- Fred’s Crank Launcher 7’11”, Lew’s MH Mag Crank 7’10” & 6thSense Lux Crankbait Casting Rod 8’0”.  All of these rods retail for less than $170 and are long enough to help you get that plug out there as far as possible.
  • Use 12-15lb Floro. I know there are exceptions to the rule.  But the heavier the line you use, the shallower your bait will run.  If you are trying to get your 6th Sense Cloud 25 crankbait down to 28 foot, it won’t happen with 17 lb test.  Always try to throw the lightest line you can get away with when you are looking to get your baits past that 24’ mark.
  • Make Looooong Casts. The longer your cast, the longer your crank has to get down to the strike zone and stay there.  On about any given cast with a deep diving crankbait, it will reach its’ optimum depth range around 2/3rd’s of the way back.  So getting your bait out there a minimum of 50 yards is crucial. I have watched Keith Combs and KVD for years and noticed they step into a long cast and turn their hips like a golfer does.  They are generating more torque and momentum to use more of their body rather than all arms to try and muscle the bait out there further.
  • Use a high line capacity reel. The more line a reel has on it, the easier it will come off and thus will be able to cast further with less effort.  My favorite is a Lew’s Super Duty Wide Speed Spool.  The spool is rated at 14/190 yards and has a 6.4:1 gear ratio.  You will be amazed at how much farther you can cast with a reel with more line and that is set up to throw big cranks.
  • Use the wind. If possible set your boat up to where you can cast with the wind instead of throwing into it or into a crosswind.  The wind will help carry the bait further with less effort save the strain on your arms, shoulders and back.

There is so much more to deep crankin than simply casting it out and reeling it back.  There is a reason certain anglers excel at this and catch fish when others don’t.  If possible try to get you at least one deep crankin rig this year and see if it helps you catch more bass offshore this summer.

G’ Luck & Tight Line Texas Nation.

Shane Smith


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