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Lure Review


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

Retrieve: The best way to judge the effectiveness of a crank, sans fish, is to click over that spool after your cast, and begin your retrieve. What is the bait telling you? Is it heading straight for the bottom to create a ruckus? Is it running true? Or is it running somewhere in the middle of the water column with no bottom contact or significant vibration that you can feel at the end of your line?

The Deep-X 300 is an effective diver, but does it really dive deeper than the Deep-X 200T? We remain unconvinced.

For pure feel of the bait as it’s coming through the water, Norman’s DD22 offers the most reassurance that it’s doing its part trying to tempt a fish into biting. This is one active bait giving you positive feedback as it wobbles and rattles all the way back to the boat. A close second was Lucky Craft’s Flat CB D20, but the most disappointing was the Poe’s Competition Cedar 4500 Longreach. Not only is this bait passive as it comes through the water, despite its extra long bill, none of us could get this bait to dig the bottom unless we were in six feet or less water. In the Poes Longreach’s defense, none of us were using ten pound test line, so we did not expect it to reach its rated eighteen to twenty one foot depth, but even with a 0.32mm diameter line (14lb Sunline Shooter FC), we’d expect this bait to at least reach depths of ten to twelve feet.

Zander is a crankbait fanatic and his favorite deep diving crank, by far, is the DD22.

Speaking of depth, which of our batch of test baits really felt like they were getting down reasonably close to their rated depths? Certainly the afore mentioned Norman DD22 and Lucky Craft Flat CB D20, but also the Bomber Fat Free BD7F.

Zander hooks up on his ole standby.

The Poe’s Cedar 400 Plus and Megabass Deep-X 300 did not dig down as deep as we had hoped, but at least you can feel them wobbling as you bring them back to the boat. The Deps Cascabel was almost as disappointing as the Poe’s Longreach until we rechecked its depth rating at only eleven to twelve feet. With that in mind, the bait feels as if it is properly rated, especially if fished on ten pound test line.

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):

Deep Diving Crankbait Shootout Ratings (?/10)

 
Norman DD22
Deps DC-400
BassStar Dredger
Bomber FF BD7
Poe's SC
Poe's LB

LC Flat CB D20

Deep-X 300
Construction/Quality
7
8
6
7
7
7
8
8
Performance
9
7
inc
8
7
5
9
7
Price
9
4
5
8
6
6
7
5
Features
7
8
7
7
7
7
8
8
Design (Ergonomics)
7
8
6
7
7
6
8
8
Application
9
6
inc
8
7
5
9
7

Total Score

8.0
6.83
inc*
7.5
6.83
6
8.17
7.17
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
*See synopsis below for an explanation of this bait's "Incomplete" rating.

 

Pluses and Minuses: Given the number of baits in this review, we've condensed our usual "Pluses and Minuses" section to a brief synopsis of each bait:

 

The Bill Norman DD22 is a fantastic deep diving crank at a very reasonable price

Bill Norman DD22 : We can see why this bait is considered the gold standard in deep diving cranks: it's affordable, gets down to business right away, is available in a dizzying array of finishes. Our only qualms with this bait are the stock hooks and the quality of those array of finishes.

When all is said and done, the Deps Cascabel is really more of a mid-range diver than a deep diver.

Deps Cascabel DC - 400 : This is a great looking bait out of the package with quality components. Trouble is, with its long bill, one would assume it's a deep diving crank when in reality, it's more of a mid-depth crank. As such, it just can't compete in this lineup of baits.

The jury is still out on the Dredger. You just cannot fish it like a traditional crank.

BassStar Dredger : The BassStar Dredger was fished in this shootout as a standard, deep diving crank. In reality, this bait is something different. It is a unique bait that will take time and adjustments in technique to be fished properly. With that in mind, the "Performance" and "Application" scores are listed as incomplete pending a more detailed, individual review of the bait.

The Fat Free Shad, formerly of Excalibur, now manufactured by Bomber, is a good companion to a collection of DD22s.

Next Section: The remaining baits and the rundown

 

 

   

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