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Brett Strohl

What Do You Think Is The Absolute Most Effective Popper?

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Over the course of the summer I've gone from being extremely frustrated with top water bass fishing to catching more fish on a popper than anything else I've used all year.  I think they just tick the bass off more than anything, so I'm still getting bites when they aren't actively feeding.  

 

I would like to find a really effective medium sized, to largish lure to target bigger bass and just basically just to be able to cast them farther (I've tried hula poppers and they aren't getting the same reactions).  I know some of them get extremely expensive, but at the same time they're not something I'm super worried about losing.  So I'm just curious on what people think are the best popping lures? 

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I don't know as I just got into popping on a serious note. I've caught 2 smallmouth over 4 lbs this past week on a Megabass Pop Max. I'm waiting for the labor day sale to order some more poppers. Gonna get a Rico, Duo Realis, Jackall SK Grande, and a Megabass Pop X to get started. On the cheaper side of things, many years ago I caught many smallies on a Storm Chug Bug.

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I like the yellow magic poppers if you can find them. I believe lakefork makes a similar one that's alot cheaper but haven't tried them yet

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Always have had good luck with a Pop-R  frog pattern.

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The Xcaliber Zell Pop Z2 (now the Booyah Bass Pop) and R2S Bubble Walker 80 are my personal most effective poppers. 

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I'd rate the top name brands a tie.  When I pop and pause, most of my bass are caught on the pause or at rest with little water being pushed.  I happen to like Storm chug  abug.  In salt I move my top water at a constant retrieve, a 20 mph fish with teeth or strong jaws(bluefish) I like a poppadog, very durable lure with excellent hooks. A poppa dog, can be popped, steady retrieve, or walked.

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As SirSnook implied above... it is more about where the angler places the bait and how he works it than about which bait is being used.

 

 

oe

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As SirSnook implied above... it is more about where the angler places the bait and how he works it than about which bait is being used.

 

 

oe

Very true...

Where and how, as it is with all artificial baits, is key.

I have the most confidence in a plain white Pop R

Mike

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All I own and use are the SK poppers, both the Spit-n- King, and the KVD splash, the Storm Chug Bug, and the Xcaliber Zell-pop (I'll get some of the re-named Booyah's when they are available) and they all catch fish.....

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"What Do You Think Is The Absolute Most Effective Popper?"

 

Chug Bug, no, wait ! PopMax, ok, not exactly that one, but Lobina Rico is close, hold it, maybe I´m wrong here, cuz Rapala´s Skitter Pop is really good, I don´t remember exactly but I´ve made some real killings with a LC Kerroll, but them Hula Poppers have been awesome.... aaaaand we can go on mentioning a bunch of baits that catch fish.

 

It´s a matter of when, where and how, the most effective "popper" is where it has always been ---> behind the rod handle.

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As SirSnook implied above... it is more about where the angler places the bait and how he works it than about which bait is being used.

 

 

oe

 

 

I'm sure there is a lot of truth to that.  However I've been using a LT frog popper, which has a very unique sound, right next to my dad who is using a hula popper and he is not getting bites, and I'm getting fish on some days when they are not active.  I'm just guessing the unique noise is what is getting me bites b/c there is so much fishing pressure, and the LT frog is just something the fish haven't seen before.  (I'm not getting any bites when the lure is paused, except from bowfin, and again I would attribute this to it's unique sound). I would like a larger popper that works as well though, just b/c I want something I can cast further.  

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I have a lot of old fishing tackle that I use. Dont have space for a lot of new stuff.  My best popper that cast a mile and catches fish is an old Rebel that looks like a standard Pop R but twice the size .

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I treat poppers like lipless cranks, you need a few different styles. For more aggressive fish I like a Rattling Chug Bug, that popper walks and makes a racket. If they aren't chasing and the water is clear I like the Super Pop R because of the translucent colors and they still make a loud sound. If it is tough, the Don Iovino Splash it as well as the Zell Pop are killers, the Rico and Yellow magic fall into the "subtle" category, these poppers don't make the typical "plop" sound, they spit and it can be the deadliest way to get them. Recently I've been fishing the Yo-Zuri 3DB poppers and these are the first that have a combination of things going for it. The first is the translucency of the colors, very natural yet they stand out, and then the way they are weighted makes a big differences as they sit level on the water and it allows you to walk the bait with ease. The mouth has a traditional cup but it has a small circular depression at the top of the mouth, a double cup if you will, that cup along with how the bait sits in the water allows me to walk the bait with a spitting action, or I can sit it still and give it a loud "ploop" if that needs to be done. Right now the 3DB is my favorite and it is because I can do so many things with it and it is catching them. I don't think 1 type of popper is all you should use, there are times that one type of popper wasn't working only to switch to another type and catch the fire out of them and I would never have known it if I didn't have a few other styles.

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I treat poppers like lipless cranks, you need a few different styles. For more aggressive fish I like a Rattling Chug Bug, that popper walks and makes a racket. If they aren't chasing and the water is clear I like the Super Pop R because of the translucent colors and they still make a loud sound. If it is tough, the Don Iovino Splash it as well as the Zell Pop are killers, the Rico and Yellow magic fall into the "subtle" category, these poppers don't make the typical "plop" sound, they spit and it can be the deadliest way to get them. Recently I've been fishing the Yo-Zuri 3DB poppers and these are the first that have a combination of things going for it. The first is the translucency of the colors, very natural yet they stand out, and then the way they are weighted makes a big differences as they sit level on the water and it allows you to walk the bait with ease. The mouth has a traditional cup but it has a small circular depression at the top of the mouth, a double cup if you will, that cup along with how the bait sits in the water allows me to walk the bait with a spitting action, or I can sit it still and give it a loud "ploop" if that needs to be done. Right now the 3DB is my favorite and it is because I can do so many things with it and it is catching them. I don't think 1 type of popper is all you should use, there are times that one type of popper wasn't working only to switch to another type and catch the fire out of them and I would never have known it if I didn't have a few other styles.

 

 

That Yo zuri sounds like checking out too ;)  When you say "walking" do you mean you're just popping it along, or does it do a walk the dog movement?

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While we're on the subject, can we break it down a bit further - For you folks who throw poppers regularly, what time of year does which cadence seem to produce best? For example, right now what's working for me is giving it a few plops and letting it sit in place for quite some time. As soon as I give it that next plop it gets hammered. A straight walk isn't working. Similar to letting a suspending jerkbait sit. Are the jerkbait and popper one of the same, one top water the other sub surface? Part of the fun is figuring it out on the water. I really like the Megabass poppers cause they make quite the plop. Looking forward to dedicating time to this technique and piecing the puzzle together.

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Small Pop R in the spring. Large Pop R in the fall. Both early and late. Chug Bug in the heat of summer, late. 

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I've had a lot of success with Skitterpops and Pop-Rs, but really it's a confidence thing. With enough time, you can learn how to make most poppers do everything from chug, to walk, to spit, etc, though some are just better for for one of those specific presentations over another.

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Old school, but Hula Poppers and Rebel Pop'Rs are all I throw. I wouldn't mind trying a popmax in white phython tho haha. A little rich for my blood. 

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There probably isn't a "one popper is best" answer. Rather attributes of each popper that make them excel in certain conditions. For me I really like Pop-Max and Chugbugs.

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While we're on the subject, can we break it down a bit further - For you folks who throw poppers regularly, what time of year does which cadence seem to produce best? For example, right now what's working for me is giving it a few plops and letting it sit in place for quite some time. As soon as I give it that next plop it gets hammered. A straight walk isn't working. Similar to letting a suspending jerkbait sit. Are the jerkbait and popper one of the same, one top water the other sub surface? Part of the fun is figuring it out on the water. I really like the Megabass poppers cause they make quite the plop. Looking forward to dedicating time to this technique and piecing the puzzle together.

 

I'm fishing a popper when the fish aren't wanting the walking baits and when I have a small area that I can't work a spook effectively. I start off fast and adjust by the reaction of the fish and it doesn't seem to matter what season it is for the type of cadence, that is tied more to the activity level of the fish. The dog days of Summer, late July until late September, a slower cadence is what normally works but like anything else, there are times when a faster retrieve works during this time, like a storm front blowing through. There is one time when a slow "splash-n-sit" presentation is what I'm going to use as soon as I start and that is when you have weeds and pads and you hear bluegills popping bugs.  Just sit for a minute and listen, it is usually when the sun is up and often it is mid day, and when you hear it make sure you have a popper tied on to a rod. I cast to the weed edges and let it sit until the rings disappear and then give it a small jerk to try to get the same sound level as the bluegills, this works for me about 80% of the time, and it is usually a good way to get the fish going as they will sometimes come up and swirl or hit it with their tail and that is when you follow it up with a Senko or other worm. That is it as far as cadence goes, at least in my water as there are times when working a popper quickly is the only way to get a bite and other times you have to "splash-n-sit", but it is purely tied to fish activity and not season, at least from my observation and poppers are a bait I like to use a lot.

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My two best top water baits are the chug bug and a heddon torpedo both in baby bass color. Depending on the weather and water surface determines which one I use. I've used them all day before when the conditions are right. BH

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