One of the big advantages that Kevin VanDam has as a tournament bass fisherman is that he helps in the design and color schemes of the lures he fishes, including crankbaits. VanDam is known as a power-bait fisherman. He names his three crankbaits that solve problems for bass fishermen.
My first choice is a Strike King KVD 1.5 Square Bill. This bait is very versatile. When you need a crankbait that you can fish from 0-6 feet deep, this crankbait will fit that depth and create numbers of strikes. I like to fish it around cover, and it has such an erratic search action that you even can fish it in open water for suspended bass. I've probably won more money with this crankbait than any other lure I fish. I've won a Bassmaster Classic with it, and I've won several tour events with it, over the years. The important thing about this crankbait is that it catches fish.
I’ll select a Strike King Series 5 crankbait as my second-favorite crankbait. I choose the crankbaits to fish based on the depth I think the bass are holding. The Series 5 crankbait is perfect for that 8-12 feet deep zone. There are so many places I fish where the bass are set up and holding on cover or deep weed lines in that zone. This lure has won multiple tournaments for me and a lot of money. This is the lure that I used to launch the original sexy shad pattern, a universal color that catches bass on almost any lake. So, this is the lure I'm always going to be fishing when I find the bass holding in that depth zone.
My third lure pick is a Strike King 6XD crankbait. I like to fish offshore structure instead of the structure that’s been beaten up by all the people fishing down the bank. When I need a lure to get down to 15 to 20 feet deep, this is the crankbait I’ll be using. Another feature I like about the 6XD is that it casts like a rocket. When you're fishing deep ledges, deep humps or deep structure, you want a lure that reaches that depth quickly, and a lure that you can reel for a long ways at the depth where the fish are holding. Being able to cast a lure a long ways gives you a real advantage when you're fishing for bass holding on deep cover. Whether you're fishing deep gravel, a mud bottom or grass, the 6XD will trigger strikes for you. The 6XD enables me to hit that next deep level where bass hold. Most people will fish that depth with either a soft plastic or perhaps a spoon, but I know this crankbait will reach that depth zone and catch bass. In many lakes, this crankbait is one the bass rarely see at that depth, a factor that also helps to trigger strikes.