It’s no secret that crankbaits work great if they are hitting bottom and bouncing off of underwater obstacles. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Zaldain agrees, “You want to grind that bill off of your crankbait by fishing it on the bottom so much. I like to keep it moving as fast as I can trying to bounce off everything I can, it’s the best way to get a reaction bite,” says Zaldain.
His approach to maximizing the time his bait is on the bottom comes down to two keys, a long rod and the right size line. Zaldain uses a 7’11” Megabass Orochi XX called “The Launcher” to get the best casting distance.
“Line size is a big part of getting the right diving depth, the difference between 10lb, 12lb and 15lb test is huge. A Strike King 6X for instance will dive 20 feet deep on 10lb with a long cast, 18ft deep on 12lb and only around 14 or 15ft deep on 15lb line,” shares Zaldain. His line of choice is 12lb Seaguar InvizX and he will switch to the more abrasion resistant AbrazX on California lakes like Clear Lake that are full of what he calls “lava rock” that easily damage line.
Another key for choosing a crankbait is the diving angle of a crankbait. “Most guys only look at how deep a crankbait dives when they are in the store, but the diving angle and how fast it gets down is just as important. You want it to get down fast and stay in the strike zone for as long as you can,” says Zaldain.