If you’re not keeping score at home, Strike King’s latest deep-diving crankbait has won anglers more than $250,000 in B.A.S.S. tournaments alone — in less than two months.
The 6XD (Series 6, eXtra Deep) was pivotal for Jeremy Starks as he long-lined his way to a $100,000 pay day (part of which he used to buy a new Cadillac), Brandon Palaniuk used it in a 1-2 punch on Bull Shoals Lake along with a Rapala DT-16, and Casey Scanlon won the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Table Rock Lake with a 6XD. These are just the anglers who were reported on, there’s no telling how many other Elite and Opens anglers have used the 6XD to good effect recently.
The 6XD was first put to good use in 2009 on the Kentucky Lake Elite Series event. Kevin VanDam had been tweaking prototypes for months prior, because he wanted a deep-dredger that could scare up bottom-dwelling bass with a totally different action. He’s told me before that he’d rather take bamboo shoots under his fingernails than slowly drag a 10-inch worm along a deep grassline; he’d rather crank — duh. OK, maybe he wasn’t that dramatic about dragging the worm, but he most definitely would rather crank. And crank he did on Kentucky, to the tune of 92 pounds and an ounce, which earned him a runner-up finish. (Bobby Lane won with 97-9 thanks to a freakishly loaded offshore spot that he drug – you guessed it – a worm and a swimbait through).
In VanDam’s words from 2009, “We (Strike King) [had] been working on that lure for a long time. It’s a deep-diver, but the thing that really makes it different is what it does when it gets down to its running depth. It doesn’t just scoot or wiggle along the bottom. It has a searching, wandering and hunting action to it.
“I mean, this thing really provokes strikes. I was throwing it a long ways and then cranking it back along the bottom. The bass couldn’t help themselves. They simply went crazy…It’s going to be one of our best. There’s no doubt about it. It’s destined for greatness.”
Since then, the 6XD caught its stride and has sold like gangbusters. The bait’s celebrity has grown recently with its dominating performance on B.A.S.S.’ tournament trails.
With an endorsement like that from the sport’s greatest fisherman and the tournament results to back it up, I think it’s fair to say the darn thing is well on its way to greatness.