There’s likely hundreds of thousands of crankbait variations when you factor in colors and sizes. So needless to say, it’s impossible for any of us to try them all. Even certain companies now have too many baits to sample top to bottom.
But we have to be careful not to overlook the obvious.
Take Strike King for instance. They offer a crankbait for every water depth, clarity and temperature. Baits that set the precedent in their demographic like the 10XD, 6XD, 5XD and 1.5.
But there has to be a sleeper in there somewhere right?
KVD’s Sleeper Crankbait
That’s the question we posed for cranking phenom Kevin VanDam and his answer didn’t disappoint.
“A 3XD is one of those baits that does get overlooked a lot,” VanDam said. “For the tiny profile it has, it runs extremely deep.”
With a profile about the size of the famed KVD 1.5, this bait’s max depth shouldn’t be able to exceed 7 or 8-feet. But thanks to the XD (extra deep) lip design, it surpasses expectation and can be easily overlooked for certain depth ranges.
“It’s very easy for me to hit the bottom with that bait in 12-feet, even with baitcasting gear and 10-pound fluorocarbon.”
Because of its ability to reach deeper depths with a smaller profile, the 3XD has been a cleanup bait for VanDam for years. And it’s one he turns to quickly on fisheries where the bite is tough in the fall and winter.
VanDam is also often tasked with a unique challenge: Taking people who don’t fish and trying to help them catch fish.
“I’ve had so many trips for sponsor outings in the fall, on Table Rock lake for instance, where it can be a really tough bite. The fish are so scattered, if they’re throwing a dropshot or a Ned rig or something like that, they wouldn’t get many bites at all. And it’s boring too,” he said.
“So for a beginner, I can take a 3XD, put it on a spinning rod with 8-pound fluorocarbon or even 10-pound braid and an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader and they can cast it a mile. It throws well for its size and that thing literally gets down 12-feet deep very easily in that situation. It generates a ton of strikes and it has a tighter action which makes it a really good cold water bait.”
Why is This Crankbait so Overlooked?
Well for starters, Strike King makes dozens of styles of crankbaits. Arguably more than any other single company. And the popularity of a few of those baits overshadows the rest.
“It’s a dynamite bait.”
“Most people just go straight to the 5XD. The 5XD and the 6XD are the benchmark in their categories. But the 3XD flat catches them. For real tough conditions, when I need a bait that will run extremely deep for its profile, that 3XD is hard to beat. It’s a sleeper for me for sure.”
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.