To be quite honest, I waited a while to review this crankbait because I didn't want to "let it out". I very rarely do that because it's my job to let everyone in on the best bass fishing tackle, but man, this is a really special lure so I broke my own rule. It's safe to say, however, that the secret is definitely out on the SPRO Little John 50 now. There's no way to imagine how many bass have been caught on this crankbait throughout the country. It still somewhat flies under the radar because there's no flashy packaging or gaudy marketing behind it. It just catches fish. And once you use one, you'll be a lifelong customer like I am.
I'll quickly run through the details that make this such a special, fish-catching lure.
The bill is sensitive and durable
The SPRO Little John 50 is equipped with a computer chip board lip, which equates to both sensitivity and durability. Although it's not a true squarebill crankbait, this plug deflects really nicely off of hard cover in the 3- to 5-foot range. Similar types of lip material is known to be fairly fragile at times, but I haven't really had that issue with this crankbait and I've been using it ever since college. It holds its own quite nicely in regards to durability.
The sensitivity this lip provides is certainly noticeable as well. I've become so familiar with this plug that I can notice small changes in bottom composition and very subtle collisions with isolated cover. I can think of several tournaments where this sensitivity alone has won a good bit of money for me.
Is the weight transfer system really silent?
This crankbait features a "silent" tungsten weight transfer system. But here's the thing: It's not really silent. All these years I have wondered what the heck makes this plug outproduce so many others. A few years ago it hit me like a ton of bricks. This crankbait has a very unique sound to it.
Not only does the weight transfer system help you launch this 1/2-ounce crankbait into the next dimension, but it also emits a very low-pitch "thud" throughout the retrieve. It's not high-pitched and overwhelming like so many other crankbaits on the market. I think bass see so many loud baits throughout the year that this particular sound doesn't spook them. It piques their interest just enough to make 'em bite.
Comes with awesome hooks
You won't have to change a thing when you take this bait from the package. Sometimes you'll have to tune it at first, but other than that, the hardware is legit. It comes equipped with No. 5 Gamakatsu treble hooks that are razor sharp and stay sharp for a long time. The split rings and line tie are also really durable as well.
Don't believe me on the sharpness? Here's a picture from a few years ago when a SPRO Little John 50 landed me in the emergency room.
Oval line tie makes a big difference
I think I've been using this crankbait for 10 years or so and this dang oval-shaped line tie has really spoiled me. I'm not sure if it makes a big difference in the action of the lure, but it does make changing baits a bunch easier and quicker for me.
I know it probably sounds stupid, but this shape of line tie won't let you knot get stuck in the split of the line tie, which significantly hurts the integrity of your knot. You don't have to spin the line tie around halfway through tying your knot. I just tie a quick Palomar knot and I'm fishing again.
Think I like 'em?
I hope SPRO keeps making these crankbaits until the end of time. You will never get in my boat and not see one rigged up and ready to fish. Put this sucker on a medium-action rod and go to town. I don't really know what else to say.