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Lure Review

Sproís Little John MD is one mean little crankbait (continued)

Retrieving: The LJMD runs silent but does displace a good amount of water as it wobbles side to side on retrieves. We tested a total of seven lures and each and every one of our test baits ran true right out of the package. The same soft tungsten weight system that helped make casting easy also effectively centers the bait when retrieved. In the inner Delta I found the LJMD was effective for smallmouth but I wanted to see if I could get bigger largemouth to take this diminutive lure.

A largemouth bass takes the Sunny bream pattern

We ran to the other side of the Delta and fished the LJMD over vegetation and didnít have to wait long before the lure was inhaled by a three pound largemouth. Thus kicked off a four month test in which the lure caught many fish all the way up to six pounds. This little bait isnít just for filling the livewell with keepers it is more than capable of catching quality fish especially when you match the hatch.

With translucent patterns like the "watermelon red craw" the tungsten weight is clearly visible

At Lake Falcon I found that the Little John MD was great for working over structure and deflected off wood better than the original version. The longer lip helps the lure get through branches and because it is relatively easy to control the depth of this lure with the tip of the rod it can also be run over the top of vegetation like hydrilla without worrying about hanging up every few seconds. With 10lb line I was able to get down to around 7 feet but with 8lb. line I was able to get to 9 plus feet down.

There are a lot of patterns to pick form and some are reflective like the "Chrome Olive"

Durability: The LJMDís paint finishes held up very well in our tests and even the foil patterned lures resists scratches from structure. Unlike many other crankbaits the hooks donít need to be changed out on these baits, the Gamakatsu trebles held up very well and even after numerous fish remained razor sharp. The MDís lip is no as durable as the original and we were able to crack on of the baits when we hit the edge of a metal dock. Fished under normal conditions the LJMD will last through so many fish that you are more likely to lose the bait to a nasty underwater snag versus rendering it unfishable due to damage.

A largemouth kills the Little John

Price & Applications: Spro gives their prostaff a lot of flexibility and baits like the Little John MD are actually designed by the anglers themselves. John Crews put his expertise in shallow cranking into the design of his series of baits and his expertise is incorporated throughout.

With a bait this small we were finding a lot of the fish were hooked with both trebles

For example why does the new bait make use of a plastic bill versus a longer computer chip board? John chose plastic because he wanted to put the line tie in the bill itself to create the optimal retrieve. The longer bill angles the bait more on the retrieve so that it comes through cover a little bit better as well.

This bait may be small but it catches fish of all sizes

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)

Spro Little John MD Crankbait  Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A solid construction and excellent hooks 8.5
Performance Consistent performance, each and every bait swam perfectly right out of the package. This is a good bait for clear water when a more subtle action is preferred 9
Price A little more expensive than the average crankbait but cheaper than premium Japanese lures 7
Features A tungsten weight transfer system aids in both casting and retrieving. This is one crankbait where the hooks do not need to be changed out 8
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to fish with both spinning and baitcasting gear. The weight transfer system aids in casting of this small little bait 8
Application Good for mid depths and clear water this bait can be used to target both small and largemouth bass 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J A nice addition to the series that allows anglers to go deeper L Higher price but not as high as some premium Japanese lures
J Tungsten weight transfer system works  
J Excellent hooks  
J Great in clear water where a more subtle action is preferred  


Conclusion: This is a good bait for both largemouth and smallmouth bass and if you are a fan of the original the new MD and DD versions allow you to adapt to target deeper strike zones. I think that the Little John MD has a stealthier look to it than the original with the transparent plastic bill and is good choice for ultra clear and cold water cranking. Though small in size donít count this little bait out when it comes to drawing strikes from big fish, this mean little bait has the ability to get in and out of structure and in doing so can entice the big girls to come right out of both vegetation and timber for what they think is an easy meal, they couldnít be more wrong. The Spro Little John MD is a deadly little bait and is certainly worth tying on the next time you want to target fish at medium depths.


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