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Rod Review

TackleTour's 2009 Crankbait Rod Wars Finale (continued)

Medium Crankers: It is in this category that things get really mixed up with regards to rods. Sticks that fall under this classification can feature any of the materials discussed above and serve as suitable sticks for baits like the Rapala Shad Rap, Norman Deep Little N, Megabass DeepX 200T and to some extent the Lucky Craft BDS series (simply due to their size). Most of these sticks can cross over to serve duty as a shallow or deep diving crankbait rod in a pinch, but no one blank material or blend really rules this category.

Want the most out of your deep divers? Here's a trick Randy McAbee showed us early in 2009 at Pardee Lake.

Deep Diving Crankers: Any of the baits in our Deep Diving Crankbait shootout and more are what come to mind for this category and for the most part, glass rods really serve this classification of baits well helping you work these hard pulling lures for long periods of time without wearing you out. But even the line here gets fuzzy with the likes of the new Dobyns Rods, Randy McAbee inspired 805CB, an 8 foot long graphite cranking stick.

HiSpeed or LowSpeed? With recent advancements in reel design, the decision is not so simple.

HiSpeed or LowSpeed Reels? Traditionally, when talking about cranking low speed reels win out because of their greater power and suitability for deep diving, hard pulling baits. It’s just less work for us, as anglers, to work a deep diving crank with a low speed reel. But with the recent advances in reels, many of the high speed models pull just as well as their low speed counterparts, so again the line is getting blurred. Case in point? We had little to no troubles with the high speed Zillion SHS and Chronarch D reels when retrieving baits like the Norman DD22, our baseline deep diving crank, so while we still tend to stick to the old guidelines of lower speed reels for deeper diving cranks, performance wise, there is less and less of a reason to hold true to these norms.

Braided line can still have an effect on your guides as JIP found out with his e21 cranking stick.

Wood cranks will always have a place in Cal's bait box.

The Line: When discussing lines suitable for cranking it’s less a debate between the type of line than it is a line’s actual diameter. When contact with the bottom is your ultimate goal, the thinner your line is, the deeper your baits will run. The best way to ensure a small diameter line? Braid. But you have to be sure to match this no-stretch line with a more moderately tapered rod to give some cushion between you and the fish. Because of this characteristic, braid makes an excellent line for use with glass rods and can help increase the sensitivity of these typically, less sensitive sticks.

Zander receives a reminder why Cal prefers big baits.

Powerful, long cranking sticks are growing more and more common.

Another good choice for a small diameter line is fluorocarbon. The higher quality fluorocarbon lines are typically a degree thinner than comparable copolymer or nylon monofilaments and have the added advantage of better abrasion resistance than braid or nylon monofilaments so if you’re cranking in and around a lot of abrasive structure, fluorocarbon lines are a good bet.

... and yes, Zander still has Cal's 704CB!

Lucky Craft's CB D20 edged out the competition in our Deep Diving Crankbait shootout.

Next Section: Editors final picks









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