Tips & Techniques

by Full Limit Outdoor Media

We can debate plenty of things:
> Does bigfoot exist?
> Which way should toilet paper go on the holder?
> Can married men be right and happy?

It's a long list, but one fact that's not debatable is that Strike King's XD series of crankbaits – specifically the 6XD and 10XD this time of year – are the winningest crankbaits on the market when it comes to casting for cash for offshore bass.

For some insight on why the XDs are so awesome, we asked some of the best plug-chunkers in the biz. All of them have made a living fishing partly because they are so good at deep-cranking.

An important point is all of them have had some input on the design and colors of these baits, which is why they work so well.

Kevin VanDam

KVD can pretty much catch bass anywhere that’s wet, and has won multiple summer tournaments on the Tennessee River, arguably the epicenter of offshore cranking. He played an extensive role in the design of the 6XD.

"What makes the XDs so great is simple: everything," he said. "Once thing is they cast great. They're built and balanced to cast a long distance, even in the wind.

"The XDs also dive at a steeper angle than anything else out there. This is critical to get the baits to extreme depths, and means the baits gets into the strike zone fast and stay there longer.

"The baits have great action too – they're very lively as they grind against the bottom, which triggers more strikes.

"Plus they don’t overwork you, which allows you fish them easier and increases your feel of the bait."

Sam Lashlee

Sam LashleeSam is a legend on Kentucky Lake, has won an FLW Tour event, has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic qualifier and quite possibly could spend more days every year with a cranking rod in his hand than anyone else on the planet.

He added, "The XDs run so deep that they allow you to get to a reaction bite from fish you can’t reach with other reaction baits. But they're equally effective in water much shallower than what they're designed for due to the hunting action they have.

"The action is perfect – with a 6XD, I can effectively and confidently engage and catch fish from 5’ to 20’.

"I once carried a variety of crankbaits in my boat from different manufacturers. I always felt like I had to in order to have all my bases covered. Now I honestly don’t have a single crankbait in my boat that isn’t a Strike King. From the 3XD, 5XD, 6XD to the 10XD, I don’t need anything else.”

Mark Rose

No other way to say it: Mark is a ledge-fishing master. A black belt many times over when it comes to catching deep bass. He's also a perennial powerhouse on the FLW Tour.

He said, “The XD baits do several things that make them much more efficient than anyone else’s deep crank," then rattled off several of those properties:

Mark Rose


> "They get down quick and stay down during the entire retrieve.
> "They have an awesome weight transfer system that allows them to be cast like a missile, which allows me to cover more water.
> "They're extremely durable.
> "The available colors are great and cover any water color or forage scenario.
> "They don’t pull too hard which allows you to crank them all day. Less fatigue means more casts, and more casts with an XD means more fish!”


One More Thing

There you have it, straight from the crankers' mouths. Apparently there's more than one darn good reason that every time you read the post-tournament write up from an offshore event, someone, if not everyone, was chunking a XD.

One factor we should mention is price. Compare the price of Strike King XD crankbaits against similar baits, and let that be another reason to put them in your tackle box.