Ok, here is the set up. You have to have a slight directional bias or at least think it is going to be flat or only down/up a little. But you can get about 10% protection.
Buy a deep ITM call or put and sell a slightly ITM call or put as a vertical. I used to do these and they generally worked, but had one go out worthless once and just stopped doing them. Now that I know how to roll options much better this may work out better than CC. Also I think bigtrends and hughes used to do a lot of these.
So I was just filled on 25 DTE ERX 21/26 call spread for 4.42. It went through quickly, could probably get a better price. 10 contracts max risk 4450 or so and max profit 580. 13% return in 25 days compared to the CC which would only be 3.5% and much less out of pocket expense.
What could go wrong, deep correction. Break even at 25.54. If we start dropping below that I can either buy some puts or roll the entire spread down, probably at even or slight debit.
Either way, only one way to find out for real, so will update as it moves around.