You can be forgiven for being unfamiliar with what a crash diver is – as it isn’t something that has been written about in much detail. Crash divers are essentially a subcategory of the humble crankbait, but what sets them apart is a bib that causes the lure to dive to its maximum depth at a much faster rate, hence the name crash diver. The bibs on these lures have a longer and steeper angle, which causes the lure to dive deeper at a faster rate. This makes them perfect for fish sitting in snags up against river and lake edges, working the deeper side of weed edges in lakes, over sandy flats where they dig in and stir up the bottom, and rolling them along rock walls. They are a lot more snag-proof than your average crankbait (although certainly not snag-less) and most models can be twitched or just slow-rolled.
While lures designed for Murray cod, barra and golden perch have some great big deep diving lures, the focus of this article is on lures that are smaller (48 to 65mm) and would be used with light outfits in an estuary, river or lake targeting species such as bass, bream, EPs, redfin, mangrove jack and flathead.
Casting into and along structure using this style of lure makes for some extremely effective and exciting fishing, and as fish hold deeper in cold weather, crash divers are a lure you want in your tackle tray. Recent months have seen some great new releases of this style of lure and we thought we’d lay out some of the old and new models on offer.
Take one look at new kid on the block the Asakura Bullhead and you quickly see where the name came from. This lure features a large 3D reptilian-looking head to go with its bulky 6cm shad-style body. The Bullhead crash dives well with a wide wobbling action and a bib that can handle fast currents. Its floating buoyancy and range of colours make this a great option for bass, EPs and trout in rivers but will also be at home in the warmer months digging up sand on the flats. The Bullhead is a great option for those seeking reaction strikes. L: 60mm W: 8.4g Type: F Depth: 3.5m
Daiwa Spike 44
The little brother of the iconic Spike 53 is Daiwa’s all-new Spike 44. It exhibits that same exceptional swimming action in a bite-size shad profile. The Spike 44 will swim at very slow speeds, essential for when the fishing gets tough and fish are timid. Available in both an MR (6ft) and EXDR (12ft) version, the Spike 44 can cover all depth ranges. Careful weight placement and a slender shape ensure the Spike 44 flies straight and goes long, allowing the angler to make the most of every cast. A blunt nose lip design aids in deflection characteristics, converting follows to bites. Fitted with high-quality split rings and BKK hooks, the Spike 44 is ready to fish straight from the package. L: 44mm W: 4.2g Type: F Depth: 4.2m
Evergreen Gran Searcher
The Evergreen Gran Searcher is a large-bodied crash diver that comes in a range of amazing colours with that outstanding finish that Japanese-made baits are known for. What really sets the Gran Searcher apart is its unique action – it has an extremely fast and tight wobble that fish love. Thanks to its magnetic weight transfer system it casts beautifully over open flats but is also accurate for its size. While the Gran Searcher is well suited to casting around structure, it also excels at fishing flats, shallow river runs and is great on the troll. If you’re looking for a bigger profile and a heap of action you can’t go past this. L: 52mm W: 5.2g Type: Sp Depth: 1.4m
Evergreen Ultra Sledge
Like all Evergreen lures the Ultra Sledge is highly innovative and original in its design. It’s a crash diver with a minnow profile and a large bib that gets it diving down quickly and efficiently. The Ultra Sledge is highly responsive to jerks and twitches and can be fished like a jerk bait or a crank bait. Its highly responsive action can be attributed to Evergreen’s CBS (Counter Balance System), which provides a swift response to rod action regardless of the lure’s bib or body size. It also casts beautifully thanks to the slender profile and the magnetic cast system, but what really sets the Ultra Sledge apart are the colours, especially the remarkable abalone inlays. L: 60mm W: 5.5g Type: Sp DD: 2.5m
Gan Craft Ayrton
The Gan Craft Ayrton is a 63mm large-bodied shad profile that’s perfect for a host of species in fresh water and estuaries. Designed so the angler can simply slow roll and catch fish, the Ayrton has a tight shimmy head action and a big tail kick. The Ayrton, with its big action, large profile and a great range of baitfish colour patterns, is the perfect lure to elicit reaction strikes. It has been designed to crash dive into nasty structure where fish reside without fear of getting hung up. The Ayrton will handle anything from trout and bass through to jacks and big flathead. It’s the largest profile in this list and one you want in your arsenal. L: 63mm W: 7.3g Type: F DD: 2.5m
Lucky Craft Chinu Shad
The Chinu Shad crashes down to depth while maintaining a tight, precise action. Bream, bass, perch and flathead love this lure, while in the fresh, golden perch, redfin, sooty grunter and jungle perch can’t get enough of them. Getting down to a depth of three metres, the Chinu Shad can be slow rolled along drop-offs and rock bars, or fished in shallow water, bumping the bottom and puffing up sand and mud to look like a fleeing baitfish. They swim best when a small split ring is attached to the eye of the lure, or a loop knot is used. With an awesome Australian-designed colour range, the Chinu Shad is ready to hit your local waterway. L: 55mm W: 5.7g Type: F DD: 3m
Lucky Craft Pointer 48DD
The Lucky Craft Pointer has been designed with a very low centre of gravity using special brass weights. The low centre of balance causes the lure to wobble and vibrate whenever the retrieving motion is stopped. Absolutely deadly with any type of stop-and-go retrieve, a short twitch will generate a ‘walk the dog’ action under the water. The suspending DD Pointer dives to the two-metre zone and has a large body that produces a unique action when strongly jerked. The DD pointer will still produce a ‘walk the dog’ action underwater with a twitching retrieve and suspend in the strike zone to tempt shut-down or pressured fish. L: 48mm W: 3.5g Type: Sp DD: 2.2m
The Megabass IXI Shad Type 3 is built with a patented Linear Bearing Oscillator system (LBO) that replaces a traditional weight transfer system, providing bullet-like casts and a balanced swimming action that will remain true no matter what retrieve speed. The shad-shaped body and angled sides produce a dazzling high-pitched rolling action and unique vibration, which creates strong pressure waves under water and triggers aggressive reaction strikes. Engineered with master lure designer Yuki Ito’s ‘forward falling theory’, which allows the bait to make hard contact with structure and generate deflections to minimise snagging, this highly innovative crash diver is equipped with 3D eyes, moulded gill plates and textured scales that come to life in the water. L: 57mm W: 7g Type: Sp DD: 2.4m
The Shading-X’s tough, slim-body design succeeds in creating a realistic darting action with ease. The finely tuned combination between moving tungsten balancers along its back and a fixed centre-of-balance mount along the stomach allows Shading-X to perfectly mimic the subtle, stable swimming characteristics of shad. The super-slim willow bill makes sharp, high-pitch wobbling action possible. Shading-X displays excellent stability during straight retrieves, and skilfully evades obstacles while moving along the bottom. With the movable weight system on its back, it stays level when paused and reverts to a forward-leaning motion during twitching and retrieves, creating responsive movements. L: 62mm W: 5.3g Type: Sp DD: 4m
OSP Dunk 48
The OSP Dunk can be considered the crash diver that put this lure style on the map. It’s a super-deep diver featuring a tight shimmy that dives to an incredible 3-4m. Its great dive depth allows anglers to fish a floating or suspending lure where they would normally have to resort to a sinking presentation. The elongated lip of the Dunk 48 allows the lure to run over obstructions without constantly snagging, allowing you to fish the nastiest and most fish-rich structures with confidence. The Dunk is a must-have in every angler’s lure tray. L: 48mm W: 5g Type: Sp DD: 4m
Samaki Redic DS60
Thanks to its large, aggressively angled bib, the DS60 quickly crashes to 1.5m and – most importantly (and the Redic’s greatest feature) – will effectively suspend there when paused. A lot of time and research was put into the development of the Redic and if you’re looking for a lure that’s going to hang in the fish’s face, this is one you can’t look past. Being an Australian design, the Redic comes equipped with heavy-duty hardware and construction so you can crank that drag without fear of failure. It also has a great colour range designed for Aussie species so there is a model ready for whatever you’re targeting, from fresh to salt. L: 60mm W: 8g Type: Sp DD: 1.5m
Strike Pro Crash-SP
The new Strike Pro Crash-SP is a superb super-deep diving minnow of the highest quality. The Crash-SP crash dives to about four metres and is outstanding when fishing deep drop-offs, over the top of deep weed beds and when fishing cockle beds and pole bases in deep water where you may use a metal vibe lure. The Crash-SP suspends in saltwater and offers a weight transfer system for increased casting distance. The Aussie-designed colour range has a strong focus on natural baitfish patterns for clear water, as well as solid colours for dirty water. L: 48mm W: 5.2g Type: Sp DD: 3.5m