TackleTour Autopsy: One tough
crank, a look inside the SPRO Little John DD
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
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
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
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
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
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
... this lure's finish is TOUGH!
Next Section: Able to take some serious punishment