Crankbaits are an excellent option throughout much of the year for two important reasonsâ€”they appeal to aggressive bass while also provoking reaction strikes from lethargic bass. As a result, I use them frequently and have become captivated by their various designs, components, deflection properties and swimming actions. Admittedly, Iâ€™m a crankbait nerd.
Iâ€™ve been testing out the OSP Blitz Max crankbait for the past several weeks and I have been very impressed by several of its qualities. While Iâ€™ve enjoyed success with it during the summer months, I can also see this crankbait producing quite well in cold water scenarios.
Here are the characteristics that make it unique in my opinion.
- Hybrid profile
- External weight
- Coffin-shaped bill
Somewhere between flat and fat
The OSP Blitz Max has proven to be a very versatile crankbait due to its hybrid-style design. I canâ€™t quite categorize it as a flat-sided crankbait or a wide-bodied crankbaitâ€”itâ€™s somewhere in-between. This unique profile results in an excellent swimming action that can be used in numerous situations.
When fished with a slow retrieve, the Blitz Max has a relatively wide wobble that youâ€™re able to feel throughout your entire rod and forearm. Incorporating small twitches into your retrieve causes the crankbait to kick to the side, but not so far as to lose its center. Unlike many other crankbaits, it doesnâ€™t helicopter or â€œspin-outâ€ when worked erraticallyâ€”it returns to its original track without any issues whatsoever. Although Iâ€™ve been using the Ghost Minnow color, an erratic retrieve has produced surprisingly well in areas with stained water.
Iâ€™ve also been able to burn this crankbait with great results. With any shallow crankbait, I look for one primary characteristic in its swimming actionâ€”the ability to hunt. Youâ€™ll rarely see a baitfish swim in a perfectly straight line and OSP seems to have taken notice of this behavior. With a moderate retrieve, the wobble of the Blitz Max becomes much tighter and as you continue to increase your speed, youâ€™ll notice its great hunting action. It will track straight while sporadically kicking to the side, which makes it look very similar to a shadâ€™s natural swimming action. Iâ€™ve been using it with a 6.4:1 gear ratio casting reel and Iâ€™ve yet to be able to make it lose its track.
Holds up well to abuse
If youâ€™re not beating the heck out of your crankbait, youâ€™re not getting its full potentialâ€”thatâ€™s my personal philosophy for fishing shallow crankbaits. Big bass arenâ€™t always going to swim from several feet away to attack your lure, so itâ€™s important that you take the offensive. You need to make them eat it.
Thankfully, the OSP Blitz Max crankbait has held up very well throughout my testing. Iâ€™ve purposely slammed it into dock posts, blowdowns, stumps and boulders with no more than a few scratches. When held up to the light, youâ€™ll notice a pronounced honeycomb pattern on the interior of the crankbaitâ€”it puts off a little extra flash in the water, but its main purpose is to act as a reinforcement system for the crankbaitâ€™s body. So far, it seems to work very well.
Iâ€™ve always loved using shallow crankbaits with a computer chip bill, but many of them tend to lack the necessary durability when fishing heavy cover. The bill of the OSP Blitz Max, however, is secured very well to the body and has very little flex, even when you put pressure on it with your fingers. After a lot of abuse, Iâ€™ve yet to notice any signs of bill separation.
Long casts are very important when fishing crankbaits, but itâ€™s difficult to find a truly silent crankbait with excellent castability. Weight transfer systems often add noise to crankbaits, which can hinder your success in clear water situations.
The Blitz Max has a partially exposed, non-rattling weight positioned directly behind the front treble hook, that really helps with castability. Itâ€™s totally stationary, so you wonâ€™t hear any thumping, rattling or knocking throughout your retrieve. In addition, it helps the crankbait stay balanced and discourages it from spinning out at high speeds.
Coffin-shaped bill aids in deflection
Iâ€™ve been very impressed by the deflection properties of the Blitz Max. Itâ€™s always good practice to slow your retrieve when approaching cover, but that hasnâ€™t really been necessary with this crankbait. Its coffin-shaped bill helps it easily roll over obstacles without muchâ€”if anyâ€”decrease in retrieve speed. It performs very well when fished around vertical cover and Iâ€™ve experienced very few hang-ups when burning it through horizontal cover such as limbs and the cross beams of docks.
If youâ€™re a cranker, I suggest taking a closer look at the OSP Blitz Max. Priced at $18.99, itâ€™s pretty pricey but I think its swimming characteristics and realistic Japanese finish aid in justifying the high price pointâ€”especially if you frequent clear water fisheries.