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Todd2

Poppers

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I've never been much of top water guy, especially poppers. I've had two forever that never saw the light of day. Recently, I redid my tackle by putting pretty much everything I own in one very big box. So it's got me trying "new things" because I can see everything.

 

The two poppers I have, or had..lost one last night bank fishing, were the Pop-R and a Norman Top Dollar. Normally, I fish from my boat so I don't expect to lose a lot of these but I want to buy a couple more.

 

Any reason not to just go back with the Pop-R? My only complaint is that it seems to be a panfish magnet. Are there some better poppers? Also, any tips on working it. I remember the old timers saying to pop it, let all the rings settle before popping again, that's pretty much what I've been doing but want to play around with different retrieves. I read somewhere that burning a popper works sometimes. What have you had succes on?

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Love me a Pop-R! Experiment, let the fish tell you what they want. First off I always let the rings disappear before moving the bait, because that is what Homer Circle told me long ago. Hard pop followed by a couple easy pops, walking the dog, one pop wait, so many ways to work it. Letting the bait pause next to a piece of cover till ol bass can't stand it anymore and the explosion will get my heart pumping every time. Great summertime tool.

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There is such a wide range of poppers on the market with many able to do dual things. And a huge factor is the sound chamber.  If your fish have seen many poppers then you need to do something a little different. 

 

The Pop-R is a great plug. However, they are so widely used that fish may ignore them at times. And, contrary to some opinions, color REALLY matters on these because that action draws the attention but the color often determines whether the fish just swipes at the bait or inhales it. Again, the top color doesn't matter much on Pop-R's because they don't roll side to side very well. The BOTTOM color makes all the difference, however.  You should have white, orange, and chartreuse BOTTOM colors. If the fish are hitting one and you're not hooking up then swap colors. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes. 

 

Also, some poppers pop, some spit, and some chug... You have to experiment. I've found the spitting ones work more consistently for me. My biggest fish come off the ones that'll spit the water forward yet not chug the water and slightly submerge. 

 

The biggest thing with poppers is the sound chamber. And that's where the money comes in. There are quite a few poppers in the $15-$20 range that have very unique sounds that fish aren't much exposed to because anglers won't spend the money. Some of the best are Rico's, Evergreen OB poppers, both MegaBass versions, and Don Iovino's Splash-It.  These are well worth their money. The Rico's don't "walk" too well, but they flat out catch fish with a 3 jerk and pause retrieve. 

 

One more thing.... Poppers that will walk. These dual action baits will change your life. My favorite is the Evergreen Shower Blows in the 105 size. This thing is amazing. And it is so easy to work. Just remember, you need a moderate action, parabolic rod and mono line to effectively work these baits. The hooks aren't the strongest because big strong hooks will kill the action and defeat the purpose of a $20 bait. You can get better hooks, just don't upsize them.  

 

If panfish are giving you fits the upsize your bait. I use the larger size in the Rico's and Splash It's.  However, the Shower Blows 105 is perfect already and it's the smallest version. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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I'm in the   minority here but I prefer  a  A 5'6" to 6" med hvy pistol  grip rod for poppers and walking baits .They are much easier to impart the desired action than long  rods . If you have one of those try it .   I use those original Lightning rods .  The poppers i use  are Pop R's , a big fat  vintage Pop R , vintage Pico Pop and Chug Bug .

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I just started using poppers the last few weeks too.  I was having good success.  The only problem I had a few outings ago a few egrets flew over as I was using it and then they started diving on the popper to the point I had to keep quickly pulling it away from them.  LOL

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47 minutes ago, scaleface said:

I'm in the   minority here but I prefer  a  A 5'6" to 6" med hvy pistol  grip rod for poppers and walking baits .They are much easier to impart the desired action than long  rods . If you have one of those try it .   I use those original Lightning rods .  The poppers i use  are Pop R's , a big fat  vintage Pop R , vintage Pico Pop and Chug Bug .

My favorite rod for poppers and walking baits is a 6 ft pistol grip too. I like the storm chug bug- both sizes. When I want to walk a bait I use a Zara Spook. Do a search on Ozark basser Charlie Cambell. One of the best at topwaters fishing.I also use a pop r, and the river 2 sea popper from Academy.But, the Storm Chug Bug has been my favorite for years

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Medium-heavy will work well as long as the ACTION isn't a fast taper. Moderate action is necessary to keep from snatching the bait from the fish, I've found..  A MH with a fast action will not allow the rod to flex enough while fighting a bigger fish and they'll pull off the smaller, lighter hooks necessary to these baits.

 

As far as the Chug Bug goes.....well, I wasn't intending on divulging ALL my secrets!!!

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Lunkerhunt popper is my go to topwater. It blue top and soft white under.

 

Has a great rattle and produces nicely for me. Generally the topwater bite in my locals is either on, and I mean on! Or non existent.

 

I do better when rigged on a spinner with mono than on my caster with braid...

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I've been using a Storm Arashi Cover Pop this year with good results.  It casts great and it has a popping/walking action that keeps it in the strike zone longer.

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I am a a stout believer in the Megabass Pop Max ~ 

The perch pattern in particular which has accounted for quite a few 5 lb plus smallies for me. 

 I don't leave home with one (or three)  

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Image result for megabass pop max Perch

 

 

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So many poppers, so liittle time....and money, lol. I'm going to check some of these out tonight when I get home. Thanks....

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Reading these threads make it hard to not give in to the topwater bait monkey. lol

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15 minutes ago, Todd2 said:

So many poppers, so liittle time....and money, lol. I'm going to check some of these out tonight when I get home. Thanks....

 

10 minutes ago, soflabasser said:

Reading these threads make it hard to not give in to the topwater bait monkey. lol

Well then this probably isn't going to help any  . . .

A recent solid Pop Max bass . . . 

 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Megabass PopMax and PopX have been my go to topwater poppers for the past two years and i haven't seen any reason to change that.  They seem to consistently produce for me in many different conditions.

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The beauty of the pop max is that you can fish it so many ways I don't use to many one trick pony's

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Thank you @A-Jay and others that suggested the Megabass Pop Max, I will consider getting it. Plan on going up north later this year for more smallies and muskies. It looks like it would be a good peacock bass lure which is a fish I love to catch on topwaters.

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2 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I am a a stout believer in the Megabass Pop Max ~ 

The perch pattern in particular which has accounted for quite a few 5 lb plus smallies for me. 

 I don't leave home with one (or three)  

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Image result for megabass pop max Perch

 

 

Listen to A-Jay. (top water box doesn't look this clean end of season)

2.JPG

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I like a 6'6" med. fast spinning rod when I use a pop-r.  I have had really good luck this year fishing them around exposed vegetation.

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I rarely throw a popper (and probably should) but when I do it’s either a Storm chug bug or a BPS Knock off. I have more confidence with longer style poppers because I can pop them or walk them . I also like the Zman plastic  popper frog in cover...it’s exceptional 

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7 hours ago, Todd2 said:

 

Any reason not to just go back with the Pop-R? My only complaint is that it seems to be a panfish magnet.

 

Ahhhh the curse of the popper. Panfish love that feather covered rear treble for sure. I have tried the rebel, lunkerhunt and Rapala Skitter Pop and the results are the same. Sunfish hit that rear treble. Saved me from the Popper skunk many a time.

 

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I almost always have a chug bug or Zara spook tied on. Every once in a while I’ll throw a jitterbug. 

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Save yourself some money and get a River2Sea Bubble Walker 80 instead of the Megabass Popmax. I have both and can't tell the difference except I'm not nearly as worried about losing the Bubble Walker. 

rs.php?path=R2SBUB-023-1.jpg

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Rebel pop r, 7ft med action spinning rod,10lb braid and hold on !!!!!

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20 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Save yourself some money and get a River2Sea Bubble Walker 80 instead of the Megabass Popmax. I have both and can't tell the difference except I'm not nearly as worried about losing the Bubble Walker. 

rs.php?path=R2SBUB-023-1.jpg

you ever throw the bigger one?  

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2 hours ago, flyfisher said:

you ever throw the bigger one?  

Yes, it's huge and I couldn't get it to work like I wanted it to. IMO, if you want a large profile popping bait, I'd go with a pencil popper style bait. 

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