The One Crankbait Combo You NeedThe One Crankbait Combo You Need An affordable workhorse reel paired with a dedicated deep cranking stick could make a big difference in your fishing day!
By Jeff Howell
When it comes to deep cranking, I have always said it was the weakest technique in my fishing arsenal. While I have several hundred dollars worth of crank baits that reach down to depths of 16 feet and more, three of my top 10 bass have been caught deep cranking, it is something I just don’t do that much.
I fell in love with the deep bite on a trip to Mexico in late July 2012. My personal best, a 10-pound, 14-ounce bass, was caught on that trip while chunking a Bomber BD8F crank that dives to 18 feet. At the time, I was throwing that bait on a medium-heavy, fast-action rod and a reel with way too many inches per turn (IPT). After four days of fishing my arms hurt, my wrists hurt and I thought my hands had permanent damage, but the fishing was too good to quit, or even worry about at the time.
When I got back to America, I decided to do some research and buy a dedicated set-up for deep cranking. After doing my own research and asking many questions to members of BassResource who are far more experienced in deep cranking than I am, I decided on a medium-heavy, moderate-action rod from a well-known manufacturer and a reel with much less IPT than I was using.
First thing I did was spool it up and hit the lake. Can you say relief? I never knew a dedicated deep cranking stick could make such a big difference on my arms, wrists and hands. It was night and day compared to that July trip to Mexico.
You may be wondering why I have gone through four paragraphs telling you this without mentioning a product. Is this articled posted in the wrong section of BassResource.com? No. I am telling you this because almost two years later, early July 2014, I had the same experience. I received a Pinnacle DHC7-7101CAMHCB. This is Pinnacle’s new deep cranking offering designed by Pro Staffers Dave Wolak, John Crews and Britt Myers. With nearly identical line and lure ratings of my previous favorite deep cranking stick, I knew it would be a big challenge to dethrone my current deep cranking rod. I was wrong.
Within the first couple of trips and several Pickwick ledge bass in the boat, I knew I found the new “one.” Pinnacle recommends a line weight of 14- to 20-pound test line. I have been using 10- and 12-pound test to get extra depth on my cranks with no problems, so no need to worry there. Also, the weight rating is 3/8- to 1-ounce, but I have found fishing cranks up to 1 ¼-ounce are no problem with this rod. Did I mention this thing is 7 feet, 10 inches long – longer than my other cranking sticks – and the added length really aids in casting farther and controlling fish better, even for a short person like me.
I was skeptical about the split grip because my other cranking sticks are full cork, and I like to use my forearm to aid in holding the rod to reduce fatigue on my wrists. This did not pose an issue, even with a longer rod, in my opinion because of the construction process make these rods so light. I mentioned in the previous articles that my other Pinnacle rods are light, and I thought this rod would be heavy due to the length of it. I was wrong. Pinnacle has continued to impress me with their rod offerings. Lightweight, functional, sensitive, aesthetically pleasing and using some of the top components on the market, the DHC7 line of rods is a contender for anyone looking for enthusiast type rods for any application.
Having mentioned several times about how unbelievably light Pinnacle can make quality equipment, I was introduced to their Producer LTE bait caster reel. Weighing in at a mere 5.75 ounces, I had to have one. Being the second lightest reel in my arsenal, the other reel is over three times its price, I know I can spend the entire day on the water without getting fatigued. Everyone knows the hardest thing to do is stay focused on those tough fishing days, and when fatigue plays a part, it is that much harder.
Coming in at only $89.99, this was my first sub-$100 reel in quite a few years, and I was a bit skeptical. Most of the other reels in this category are heavy and are missing some of the features we all look for in a reel. Not this one, it has all the carbon fiber, duralumin, 8 ball bearings, and even multi-stack drag system with audible drag clicks for adjustment. Coming in at this price point, it is unfair to compare it to $300+ top of the line reels, but I can say, the features this reel is packed with far surpass any other reel in its price point!
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