KVD’s XD System for Success

Submitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media

Synonyms are words or phrases that mean exactly, or nearly exactly the same thing. Hence the word “synonymous”.

Let me give you an example of some synonyms:

  • KVD and Win
  • KVD and XD
  • XD and Win
Get it? Good…..

I had a conversation with Kevin this morning as he recounted this past week’s BASS Elite event on Toledo Bend which was highlighted yesterday by his win. That was number 21 if any of you are counting.

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6XD – The Workhorse

“The 6XD is an amazing crankbait. It’s the total package.” says KVD, which is enough for me to understand his affinity for it. It has been the primary tool for a few of his previous wins, high finishes and bank deposits. It is a STAPLE crankbait on any body of water across the country where bass get offshore.

Here are some points that he made about the initial offering in the Strike King XD line:


  • It’s good from 10 to 20 feet and has the perfect action.
  • You can retrieve it really fast and it still runs great and sometimes, that’s really the key.
  • It casts great and dives steep (gets to the bottom fast) which allows you cover a lot of water without wasting time.
  • Has awesome action when making contact with the bottom, which not a lot of its competitors do well.

“I like to rig a few identical rod/reel setups with different line sizes. That allows me to control the dive depth. I want the 6XD hitting the bottom at its maximum depth which allows it to have the best and liveliest action.”

Set up for the 6XD:

Typically, 12’ flouro on a KVD Tour 7’10” composite cranking rod paired with a Quantum Tour KVD 5:3:1 reel. This reel has the wide spool that allows for about 24 inches per turn of the reel handle on the retrieve.

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8XD – The Next Level Crank

“The 8XD is my choice when I need to get either a little deeper than the 6XD or I need to go a little bigger than the 6XD”

The 8XD has many similar qualities to the 6XD, which is a good thing, but it also offers a few uniquely different attributes. It obviously boasts a larger profile, which is important. Bigger prey such as gizzard shad, crappie, bream, barfish, etc. seems to elicit strikes from bigger bass. It’s the age old adage “bigger bait, bigger bite”. Well, that adage still holds true and in the ultra-competitive world of tournament bass fishing, bigger bites are the name of the game.

  • The 8XD, due to its weight, casts farther than the 6XD so it will essentially be more efficient at covering water.
  • Perfect crankbait for the 18 to 22 feet zone.
  • Basically, the 8XD is a bit easier to pull than the 6XD and 10XD. Its action is a little tighter and a little more finesse.
  • The 8XD is a perfect complement to the 6XD. When you work over a school of bass with the 6, you should next throw the 8XD on them.
  • Can be fished on conventional cranking gear.

Set up for the 8XD:

KVD prefers 12 to 14 lb. flouro and the exact same set up as the 6XD.

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10XD – The Ultimate Big Bass Bait

“The 10XD is uniquely different as every aspect of it was designed around catching the bigger than average bass that are the difference makers in tournaments. Prior to the 10XD, there has never been a bait that is more efficient at consistently catching big bass in deep water” gleans KVD on his experience with the 10XD.

The 10XD is proportionally a giant 5XD with a different weight transfer system. This weight transfer system allows for incredible casting distance as well as balance for the gi-normous frame of the 10XD.

According to Kevin the combination of size, loudness, and aggressive action make the 10XD a bait that big bass simply can’t ignore.>

The casting distance gives the 10XD the ability to cover 10 times the water that any other deep water lure can. Swimbaits, Carolina Rigs, worms, jigs, spoons, and big spinnerbaits are all traditionally successful deep water lures and presentations that can’t hold a candle to the efficiency of the 10XD at covering water while searching for big bass.

Set up for the 8XD:

According to KVD, the equipment you use is the game changer with the 10XD. It’s not like other crankbaits and can’t be treated as such. He said that “it is miserable to throw on the wrong tackle and surprisingly easy to throw on the right tackle”.

The lightest line Kevin uses is 14 lb. flouro and the heaviest is 17, which is his preference. He throws the 10XD in all different water depths and uses the line size to accommodate his needs. (heavier line for shallower structure, lighter for deeper).

He prefers a KVD Tour Composite rod that is 7’11” and heavy action. He pairs that with a Quantum EXO 200 series reel that holds a lot of line which is vital for long casts and retrieves when using 17 lb. flouro.

Here is are some side notes that are pearls of wisdom from the man himself:

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The 5XD – Little Brother

“Although I didn’t throw it a Toledo Bend, the 5XD is another crucial part of my XD cranking system. It fills just as vital of a spot as the other sizes and there are times when it is hands down the best option of all the crankbaits I throw”.

The 5XD is smaller profile crankbait that casts like a dream and hits that critical 12 to 15 foot mark consistently and with ease.

It has basically the exact same action as the 6XD, but in a smaller profile.

It can be the ticket for pressured offshore fish on shallower to mid-range structure.

More insights:

  • “I ALWAYS throw both the silent and rattling version of the 5XD and 6XD on a school before I leave it. If I catch them on one, I NEVER leave before I throw the other. Sometimes it’s like fishing for brand new fish” Kevin says.
  • “Most lakes get a lot of pressure so the silent option is a good choice. However, more colored water or just a change of pace can be a great reason to use the rattling versions.”
  • “I caught them at Toledo Bend on basically 2 colors. When it was early/dark or choppy/windy, I threw the color #586 called “Sexy Blueback Herring”. Despite the fact that Toledo Bend doesn’t have bluebacks, it’s a fantastic cranking color in most water colors. When it was sunny/clear or slick, I opted for the color #692 called “Barfish” as Toledo has a ton of them in there and they are a primary forage of the bigger bass. That color scheme mimics them perfectly!”
  • “When cranking, I typically base my color selections on the water. In clearer water, I prefer more natural or translucent colors. Something like a Green Gizzard or a Natural Shad. In more moderate water colors, I like something with a little more appeal. That’s when I would use a Sexy Shad, Chartreuse Sexy, Citrus Shad or Chartreuse with a Powder Blue Back. Deep cranking isn’t usually super-productive in stained water, but if the situation calls for it, I prefer a Chartreuse Black Back, Splatterback, or maybe even Sexy Shad.”

For more information on KVD or Strike King lures, go to www.strikeking.com, check us out on Facebook, or tune into Pro Team Journal on the Outdoor Channel.