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Lure Review

Presenting TackleTour's Deep Diving Crankbait Shootout! (continued)

The Setups: We brought a variety of rigs with different types of line for this shootout. Some of the rods are participants in our Crankbait Rod Wars, some are not. Not only did we want to fish each bait, but we wanted to go through the different types of line as well, so what we did was to run through each of these baits on every setup to judge how they performed with each combo. Then it was simply a matter of picking our favorite combo for the day and fishing each bait on that combo to pick our winner.

Deep Diving Crankbait Shootout Setups

Carrot Stix 21CRG781H-F-SBC
Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light
55lb Daiwa Samurai Braid
Shimano Cumara CUC-70H
Shimano Core 50
12lb Berkeley Trilene 100% FC
Megabass White Python
Ito Monoblock
16lb Megabass Dragon Call FC
Evergreen Super Nova
Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light
14lb Sunline Shooter FC
Dobyns Rods 705CB
Millionaire Ringa SSL
14lb Sunline Shooter FC
Lucky Craft 701MF
Shimano Conquest 51
13lb Sunline Defier
Shimano Conquest 51
13lb Sunline Defier


The Poe's Super Cedar 400 Plus is a rare, flat sided, deep diving crank.

Casting: In this day and age, with these type of baits, one would tend to think casting is a moot point, but realistically there were differences between the baits especially when the wind picked up to wreak havoc with our cast control systems. The baits with both a lot of weight and moving balancing systems, naturally fared the best in this test and include the Norman DD22 and Lucky Craft Flat CB20.

Because of the forward weighted nature of this bait, an adjustment in casting technique is required in order to present the Dredger effectively.

Most of the other baits were somewhere in the middle but the biggest disappointment was with the BassStar Dredger. Because of the weight on its bill, this bait is very finicky on the cast and if certain precautions aren’t taken, there’s no way you can fish this bait effectively on a traditional cast and retrieve cadence because it will tumble in the air and foul before you start retrieving it in the water.

The Deep-X 300 is new for Megabass this year.

Contributing Editor, Leo recommends employing a sweep cast with this bait to minimize that tumbling effect. Of course, this cuts down on the distance of your cast – one of the most important factors with deep diving cranks because the more line you have out, the deeper the crank will run for a longer period of time. Then again, with the Dredger, that effect is mitigated because it begins diving right away. If you can manage to cast it out, just count it down, and begin your retrieve at the desired depth. But if you encounter bait snarling structure, do not count on giving the bait some slack and having it float back up because with that weighted bill, it's staying down on the bottom.

Comparing the diving bill on the DD22 (top) with that of the Fat Free Shad (bottom).

Fished with an understanding and acceptance of these limitations, the Dredger can no doubt be an effective tool, but in a head to head battle with deep diving cranks, it is too specialized a tool to really compete. In all fairness, it really is a different kind of bait.

Comparing the diving bill on the DD22 (top) with that of the Super Cedar 400 Plus (bottom).

Back to the Shootout... As mentioned above, to ensure you’re achieving the maximum distance on each cast of your crankbait, there’s really no substitute for length - length in your fishing rod that is. Line diameter plays a role on the retrieve (i.e., use as small a diameter line as possible for the least amount of resistance in the water), but a long rod with a good casting reel are what you want for casting distance.


Comparing the diving bill on the DD22 (top) with that of the Poe's Longreach (bottom).

In our lineup for this shootout, this meant two rods that are better suited for big baits, the Megabass White Python and the Carrot Stix 21CRG781H-F-SBC. The White Python, was paired with an Ito Monoblock reel spooled with sixteen pound Megabass Dragon Call fluorocarbon, while the Carrot was paired with a Daiwa I'ZE Light spooled with fifty five pound Daiwa Samurai braid. With these pairings, we were able to achieve good distances with each cast. And while hardly a scientific comparison, it was rather obvious the more supple and limp braided line was far more conducive to repeated long distance casts than the fluorocarbon.


Try as we might, we couldn't get the Longreach to hit bottom unless we were fishing in six feet or less of water!

Next Section: The retrieve separates out the baits









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