1. The Right Equipment
When it comes to deep cranking your gear is more important than ever. Having a rod too stiff or reel too fast can ruin the lure’s action and put strain on your body as well.
I like to deep crank with an 8’ rod because it allows you to cast further, helping your bait dive to the strike zone and stay down longer. Every yard of bottom contact counts.
A Proper Deep-Diving Crankbait Rod
My deep crank rod is a Powell Max 3D 804CB, a lengthy 8’ rod rated for up to 2 ounces. The slow tip allows you to feel every vibration of the crankbait and set hook properly without ripping out the trebles.
The Best Reel For Deep Diving Crankbaits
My 804 is paired with an Abu Garcia Revo Winch in a 5.4:1 gear ratio. A speed under 6:1 will give you more torque and reduce strain on your arm. The best example is going uphill on a bicycle – you shift down for more power and less resistance on your legs.
Line Choice For Deep Cranking
I use no more than 12lb fluorocarbon when I deep crank. Fluoro is more abrasion resistant which comes in handy since your bait is constantly banging against sharp structure. Using line thicker than 12lb means more resistance and less diving depth.
If you want to reach max depth you can bump down to 10lb fluorocarbon but be extra attentive when checking for nicks in your line.
2. Controlling Your Crankbait
After your lure hits the water, it’s time to burn it down to the bottom. Once you hit bottom slow everything down. Crawl slowly over structure. You’ll feel the bait bump over each rock and get a “sweet spot” feeling that every die-hard crankbait angler knows.
Having the correct rod plays a major role in this moment. With a soft tip you’ll be able to break down the bottom structure and be aware of what your bait is doing.
3. Line Management
It’s imperative to feel the first few feet of line above your crankbait after every cast. If you feel even the slightest nick, it’s time to retie. The worst deep cranking mistake is to ignore your line – It only takes one nick to break off a potential monster.
This is where using a snap instead of split ring comes in handy. Simply remove the split ring on the bills of your crankbaits and use a small snap. This way you can unclip your lure and retie just the snap, saving you line (especially with a Palomar Knot) and avoiding dangling treble hooks.
4. Pointing Isn’t Rude
It’s a common habit to point your rod perpendicular to the lure when cranking. I still do this at times, but reeling a deep-diving crankbait sideways puts way too much pressure on your arm.
Instead, point your rod downwards and towards your bait. This provides maximum comfort and allows you to sweep the rod left or right for the perfect hookset.
5. Long Casts Are Key
Making the longest cast possible gives your bait more time to dive down to the desired depth, meaning more time in the strike zone and more fish in the boat.
Play around with the settings on your reels to achieve maximum distance while being able to avoid nasty backlashes. Bumping down a few brakes or loosening the line tension knob will make all the difference.
Taking Care Of Yourself
You may have noticed many aspects in deep cranking are pertaining to your body. A slower reel will ease up the pressure on your arm and wrist, a longer rod helps you cast further without throwing out your shoulder and elbow, and pointing your rod at the lure also reduces resistance.
In simple terms, putting effort into the correct gear and techniques will be a huge relief in the long run. Take care of your body and you’ll fish more effectively and crank better than ever before.
We hope this helped you improve your deep cranking, once again thank you for your support and we hope you stick some deep water beasts.