Winter bass fishing with crankbaits can be a little cumbersome at times. A lot of the more effective baits, like the incredibly popular Shad Raps and balsa wood flat-sided crankbaits, are really lightweight and hard to throw with baitcasting gear. This has led anglers for years to resort to spinning gear when cranking these baits in cold water. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with using spinning gear but if you happen to hook a cold-water giant, the task of effectively landing that big bass becomes a bit more complicated.
I’ve found a crankbait, however, that seems to meet a solid middle ground in regards to finesse and castability. Strike King offers a bait to address this issue with their KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait. Let’s take a closer look at it now.
The KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait combines several characteristics of both the traditional finesse-style crankbaits and the flat-sided balsa wood crankbaits we know and love. This has created an altogether new bait for us to use when targeting cold-water bass from late fall through the spring.
With a longer bill and body than your typical flat-sided baits but with a taller profile than most finesse crankbaits, the KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait takes the top-to-bottom flash of a flat-sided crankbait and carries it down deeper into the water column than most others are able to go.
This gives anglers a new look to offer bass that are living in a deeper strike zone. Because flat-sided crankbaits tend to excel in tougher conditions, it’s important to understand how finicky bass tend to act, especially in cold water.
These bass aren’t always going to be laid up on the good-looking visible cover because when cold fronts come through, they’ll slide out to deeper waters and inhabit that often-ignored mid-depth range. The KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait targets this depth range with outstanding precision and allows the angler to catch fish in a depth range that, in our opinion, is totally ignored by most.
Weight and castability
At a weight of 3/8-ounce and with a depth range of 8 to 10 feet, the KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait nearly doubles the weight of many comparable flat-sided and finesse crankbaits. Its weight, paired with its narrow and tapered body design, helps this bait cut through the air tail-first on the cast.
Now, with a finesse crankbait capable of being fished on casting gear, the KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait opens up the appeal of this style of fishing to a much wider audience.
Hooks, hangers and durability
With the foreknowledge of heavier gear being an option, Strike King incorporated adequate hook hanger split rings and a nice oval-shaped split ring line tie into the design of this lure. In addition, the KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait has a sharp set of thin but strong, long-shank treble hooks.
These are great for reaching out and slipping into lethargic bass that might lazily take a swipe at the bait and not eat it well. Also, being made of composite, this bait is much more durable than any of its close relatives made of balsa wood.
The bottom line with the KVD HC Flat Side 1.5 Crankbait
Providing an alternative for cold-water cranking that doesn’t require spinning gear, as well as introducing a relatively unique design to the arsenal altogether, the Strike King KVD HC 1.5 Flat is a quality addition to any tackle box.
Available in 24 colors, there’s something there for everyone. Priced around $6, this is a bait that even the balsa wood believers will have to give a try. For that price, it’s absolutely worth adding to your collection.