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Lure Review


Cranking It Up with Spro's John Crew's Fat John 60


Date: 4/23/18
Tackle Type: Lure
Manufacturer: Spro
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.67 - GOOD

How many of you have tucked away in your tackle collection somewhere some of those big, fat, wood cranks from yester- year. Seems like these precious little baits become more difficult to find with each passing year. In fact, is anyone still making one? John Crews, Elite Series BASS pro and avid crankbait fisherman remembers those baits well and a few years ago introduced a new design kind of blending the properties of his popular Little John crank with that of those old school baits. Here now is our look at the Fat John 60.


Spro John Crews Fat John 60 Specifications

Type Shallow Water Crankbait
Length 60mm (2 3/8" body only : 2 3/4" w/ bill)
Weight 5/8oz (0.560 oz on our digital scale)
Depth 1-3 feet
Material Plastic
Colors 13
Hooks #3 Gamakatsu Round Bend
MSRP $10.79


Introducing Spro's John Crew's Fat John 60.


Impressions: The Fat John 60 is almost identical to the Little John in profile view, but the bait is slightly longer and roughly twice as thick at the shoulders. The Fat John 60 also has a steeper bill angle suggesting it's built for even shallower presentations than the original Little John. Otherwise, it has the same flat sides and rounded circuit board lip.

The Fat John (left) is almost twice as wide as the Original Little John.

Real World Tests: I fished this bait alongside the Little John 50 to see what differences, if any I could discern between the two baits. My combo of choice was a 2014 Shimano JDM Conquest 101 spooled with Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon at thirteen pound test (13lb) mounted on a seven foot two inch (7'-2") heavy powered rod in Megabass's Orochi X4 Destruction.

The hooks swing pretty freely and can sometimes foul on the diving bill.

Castability: The Fat John 60 is weighted internally with two internal Tungsten bearings but neither of these bearings move around inside the bait to help with casting momentum. Nevertheless, this five eighths ounce (5/8oz) bait casts easily especially when paired with above mentioned combo.

But they do not foul with each other.

Dive Time: The Fat John 60 is a very shallow running crank so dive time is almost a moot point. The bait does seem to run best with a slow to medium rate retrieve. Anything faster, and the bait has the tendency to run to the side, and if retrieved too fast, it can blow out.

The Fat John has the typical circuit board lip found on the majority of shallow water cranks, but the bill is not squared off.

The Fat John has a nice, tight wobble that you can easily feel through to the end of rod. This feel is not to be taken for granted, because there are those instances where you'll feel that vibration stop from a fish taking the bait into its mouth while swimming towards your casting position. This happened on a couple occasions while fishing this bait!

Detailing on the bait is very good.

This bait runs so shallow, it was difficult to find situations to observe the bait as it bounced off structure without grinding the trolling motor prop but it does come through rocky areas fairly easily. When you do get hung up, a pause in your retrieve allows the bait to float back up to the surface relatively quickly.

Each come with a pair of #3 round bend Gamakatsu trebles.

Design/Ergonomics: The Fat John is available in thirteen (13) different colors that mostly represent different baitfish forage (there are three crawdad patterns). It comes with two #3 roundbend hooks by Gamakatsu that seem to be spaced right. The hooks can actually come in contact with one another but because the hook attachment points on the bait are rotated ninety degrees from one another, the hooks are also rotated mitigating against the accidental occurrence of them fouling together.

The Fat John 60 sells for $10.79 per bait.

Price & Application: The Fat John 60 carries with it a price tag of $10.79 just over that $10 threshold most quality baits now seem to be breaking through. We had good success with this bait in skinny water situations with water temps over 60 degrees. It was especially effective ticked over the top of flooded grass and submerged stumps.


Spro John Crews Fat John 60 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good consistency bait to bait 8
Performance Easy to cast and best on a slow to medium rate retrieve 7.5
Price Right on the median between affordable and enthusiast 7.5
Features Gamakatsu hooks, circuit board lip 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) 13 available colors 7.5
Application Good shallow water cranking option 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:


+ Really good feel in the water - Not great at fast retrieves
+ Good color palette  
+ Quality stock hardware  

We had good success with this bait in skinny water situations with water temps over 60 degrees.

Conclusion: The Fat John 60 is an interesting crank. It has some of the subtleties of a standard, flat sized crank, yet the bulk and castability of a standard squarebill crank. It has a very shallow running depth so is great over the top of grass beds or in shallow water bounced over rocks, boulders, tree stumps, logs, etc.. Lastly, it comes in 13 very popular color patterns. Looking for something different to change up your shallow water cranking game? Spro's John Crews Fat John 60 is worth a look.


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