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Autopsy Article


TackleTour Autopsy: One tough crank, a look inside the SPRO Little John DD

 

Date: 1/12/11
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: SPRO
Reviewer: Zander








Introduction: The original SPRO Little John crankbaits have become popular shallow running cranks and building on the success of the original are the new larger and deeper diving Little John DD (Deep Diver) cranks which are designed to target fish holding at 20 foot depths! We take a look at this new larger Little John in our latest autopsy.

 


The Little John DD in retail packaging

 

SPRO Little John DD: The original SPRO Little John crankbaits performed well throughout our tests and we nicknamed the lure the "mean" crank due to the bait's aggressive look as well as the little lure's ability to catch big fish. Designed for shallow water work the original made use of a silent weight transfer system that helped make casting the small bait easier. The new Little John DD features the same silent weight transfer system.

 


Some of my favorite solid patterns, this lure is available in a wide range of finishes

 

When I first took apart the original lure during testing I was fascinated by the soft tungsten weight system so I was eager to have another opportunity to further scrutinize the system. The Little John DD is 70mm in length, weighs 1oz. and features a long diving lip which is designed to get the lure 16-20 feet down when fishing with 10 pound test.

 


Unlike many deep divers the Little John DD features a thin profile that makes this lure easy to crank through the water

 

The Little John DD is available in over ten colors in both opaque painted finishes and translucent patterns. Some of my personal favorites include the chartreuse and green "Home Boy," the "Chart Blue" and the ever popular "Clear Chartreuse." I talked to John Crews at this past ICAST and he enthusiastically talked about this particular lure and the need to have a deep diving bait that was still able to get through timber. Unlike many other deep diving cranks the Little John DD features a flat profile that is under 18mm in thickness this allows the larger lip to help deflect the lure and the hooks before it gets into too much trouble.

 


The Little John DD floats up at rest

 

In the tank the Little John DD crankbaits floated up and held uniformly at a very even angle. This is a lure that you could effectively fish with either a straight retrieve or with pauses. On pauses the lure rises evenly and looks like a suspended baitfish.

 


Time to remove the hooks...

 

A look inside: With the initial inspections done it was time to prep the Little John DD for autopsy. The first thing we needed to do was remove the hooks. Unlike many crankbaits the Little John DD comes armed with hooks that you actually want to fish with. The included Gamakatsu hooks are extremely sharp and will not bend out easily or become quickly corroded upon exposure to brackish water. 

 


...unlike many competing crankbaits the Little John DD comes with two Gamakatsu treble size 2 hooks which you actually want to leave on and fish with

 

With the hooks removed I locked the Little John DD into the vise in preparation to test the lure's finish for abrasion. Though nothing more than decals the eyes on the Little John DD are menacing and it looked as if the lure was staring up at me in defiance while I selected various abrasive files in preparation of the test.

 


Selecting a file to start with...

 

I chose our usual starting file and started to go to work on the lure. Those eyes keep staring up at me as if to say "go ahead and do your worst," I responded and found I could do little to scratch the surface of the lure at all! This lure's finish is durable and without a doubt the toughest painted crankbait we have tested to date. The paint is literally baked on the plastic surface.

 


... this lure's finish is TOUGH!

Next Section: Able to take some serious punishment


 

 

 

 

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