The longer the cast, the more time a bait has to dig deeper, achieve its maximum depth and stay there longer.
Anglers should make sure their reel spools are full and the tension knob adjusted properly to maximize casting distance.
“I like to position my boat so that I’m throwing with the wind at some angle, whenever possible,” explained Horton. “Many of the deep divers are heavy enough that you can really launch them, which is to your advantage when trying to get the bait down and keep it there.”
Those 7:1 or faster baitcasters are good for a lot of techniques, but deep cranking isn’t one of them. Reels that are geared at 5.4:1 to 6:1 will not only make turning the handle less of a chore, but will allow the bait to work effectively.
“The fast reels create a lot of torque under the load of a big crankbait, and after a few hours, your arms are going to get tired,” said Horton.
Rods matter, too. Horton prefers rods with a minimum length of 7 feet, and 7 1/2-foot rods are even better. Longer rods (he uses a Duckett 7-6 medium action) not only help launch the bait, but they take up more line and load the rod faster during a hook set.
“You don't want a heavy action rod; you need something with a slower tip,” he added. “I like a medium or medium-heavy action that has good backbone.”
The longer, softer rod absorbs the shock of a big fish making a lunge around the boat. That unexpected hard plunge can rip the hooks free, but a softer rod will help dampen it and keep the hooks buried.