Once upon a time there was no such thing as a Norman DD-22, a Poes 400 or a Mann’s 20+. There were Bombers (the old metal square bills), Mudbugs and Hellbenders. That was pretty much it in the world of deep cranking, and even those were almost as synonymous with trolling as with casting. Much of that changed though with some of the early deep diving “alphabet” plugs made by Rebel, and the “big daddy” of them all, the Rebel Maxi-R.
The original Maxi-R was actually a large square bill crankbait. At 3″ and nearly 7/8oz., it was a mouthful for the time. Rebel would later go on and put a large diving bill on many of their models, and the Deep Maxi-R was born. An even later version was the Double Deep Maxi-R, which featured a large ball bearing molded into the lip of the bait to help achieve a steeper diving angle and some extra weighting, this all at a time long before neutrally buoyant baits. These deep diving Maxi’s became the work horses of early deep crankbaiters and “structure” fishermen, and many bass tournaments were won fishing “deep” ledges, points and creek channels with these baits. [Read more…]