February 2022

KVD's Complete Cranking Breakdown: Part II - Rod, Reel and Line Setups

If you watched my last video about pre-spawn cranking you know we talked about the baits and colors but not about the equipment. Cranking for me is a whole system. I want to use the right setup for the conditions, the cover type, and the area I’m fishing.


If I’m fishing an open water, main lake, or grass flat, I’m going to use a longer rod. I need something that has more power and control to rip those baits out of the grass. If I’m throwing at isolated lay downs or cranking the corners of shallow docks, I must have something that’s real accurate. That big, longer rod setup is not going to be as efficient so that’s why we have a whole system.

Often during this period accuracy is important. If you need to make a pinpoint cast, get it tight up to the rocks or you’re throwing it around some type of shallow cover, that’s where the CC1(Lew's KVD Series 6'8" Casting Rod) comes in. This is the ultimate target cranking rod. It has a nice soft tip which handles small to mid-sized baits well. It’s perfect for making an accurate, tight presentation around the cover in pre-spawn, which is absolutely critical. I’ve got this one rigged with a KVD Squarebill Crankbait.

The Strike King Hybrid Hunter Crankbait or KVD Squarebill Crankbait  is used if you’re fishing around a lot of shallow targets. This is the setup that gives you a ton of control. I match mine with my KVD cranking reel. This reel has a 6.2:1 gear ratio which brings in 25 inches per turn. I’m going to adjust the line size based on the depth of the cover that I’m fishing. If it’s shallow, heavy cover I’m throwing 17 pound or 20 pound fluorocarbon. If I’m trying to get this bait a little deeper, fishing around bluff banks and cracks in the rocks where I still need to make an accurate cast but I want the bait to go deeper, I may go down to 10 or 12 pound test fluorocarbon. The line size just dictates the running depth of the bait. The setup is all about the accuracy. That’s the rod that you have to have in your arsenal this time of year.

My standard cranking system during the pre-spawn is my CC2 or my 7 foot medium action composite cranking. I’ve got it in my Signature Series and in the standard KVD Tour Series. Both of them are excellent rods, the big difference is the components in the handle. In the Signature Series you get the Winn Grips that just has a great feel to it. I match it up with my KVD cranking reel with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. Again, 25 inches per turn is the perfect ratio for this time of year. It’s colder water so I can speed it up if I need to but more importantly I can slow it down when I really have to. I like throwing a Strike King Red Eyed Shad. I still throw a KVD Squarebill , if I’m out in the open I’ll throw that Hybrid Hunter Crankbait . I can throw just about anything on it. If I’m going to have one rod to do it all it’s definitely this 7 foot medium action cranking rod. With this particular setup, and again line size is all about matching the depth and the cover for it, I’ll have several of them rigged with lighter line and some heavier line just depending on what I’m faced with at the specific time. This one with a Hybrid Hunter. I’m going to have it rigged with heavier line if I’m fishing it around shallow grass. With a standard Red Eyed Shad or a Pro Model 3XD Crankbait  I’m going to have a lighter line on it.