Did I tell you I love cedar crankbaits? Some of my best success cranking has come from cedar crankbaits. Cedar has properties that put it in a class by itself. Itâ€™s not like plastic; itâ€™s not like balsa. Cedar is more dense, a bit heavier, can be cast further accurately and runs differently. It swims true with a slow rise rate and kicks out differently when striking an object. Itâ€™s more natural in the water.
Ed Chambers, the founder of Zoom and most recently Zoom W. E. C. crankbaits recently told me that balsa is getting hard to find due to its use in wind turbines. Cost has increased and demand has exceeded supply. Balsa suppliers would rather sell to wind companies in quantity than a crankbait shop in smaller amounts.
Northwestern cedar is more plentiful and has a tighter grain making it harder than balsa. Because cedar is more dense, it has an inherently tighter wobble and it suspends better. It also has a very natural sound in the water.
Several years ago I heavily fished Poeâ€™s Super Cedar 400 and 400 Plus Series Crankbaits. They were very unique, and even though I didnâ€™t know why at the time, they seemed to catch more and bigger fish. I have used them from north to south, east to west and had excellent results everywhere. They have gotten harder to find in many of the colors I prefer, and my old dogs look pretty bad.
I have been looking for a similar feeling crankbait for years and recently found one I really like in the Stanford Cedar Lures Deep Big Cedar. The color selection is awesome and I really like the way they run. They are true right out of the package, because Dieter Stanford tunes each one.
The Deep Big Cedar crankbait is a slender profile deep runner that has a center-positioned, thinly tapered paddle with the pull point directly in the center of the paddle. The bait transitions from the lip to flatter forehead and arched back. The shad shape dives quickly and the bait is durable with quality hardware. The front hook is positioned in the center of the belly, and the rear hook slightly tapers down for better hook ups. Each Deep Big Cedar comes hand painted, 10 colors available, and has 3D eyes. The clear coat is durable and adds life to the bait when fished on a hard bottom or rip rap.
I have thrown the sour apple color most of the summer for this test. Because of the bait properties, mentioned above, it doesnâ€™t pull as hard as some other deep divers. One change to increase wobble I made was adding a split ring to the line tie. That is an angler preference and the bait runs well without it too.
Tackle used for the test varied but I settled with Lews TS1SMG and Revo SX reels teamed on Denali Mark Tyler Series rods. I like the slower gear ratio of 5.4:1 best. I use 12-pound Seaguar Abraz-X and 15-pound Tatsu fluorocarbon line and like a full spool for long casts. I use 12 pound for deeper applications and 15 pound for shallower rock piles and around wood.
You can fish this deep diver all day long and will not get tired. Cedar combined with fluorocarbon allows you to feel every rock and stump, and generally I use a stop-and-go retrieve with cedar to take advantage of the suspending properties.
Stanford Deep Cedar Crankbaits add another dimension to your cranking. I mix it up with the Bandit Series 400, the Strike King Series 6XD and the Spro Little John DD when targeting fish in the 12-16 foot range. I am very excited to have a cedar alternative once again. The Stanford Super Cedar Handmade Crankbaits retail for $18.50 and can be found online.
Look for Stanford Lures on Tackle Warehouse very soon.