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I am in the market for a topwater specific rod. I throw a lot of buzzbaits, whopper ploppers (90 mostly, but starting to use the 110 more), and chug bugs (poppers). I don't use the walk the dog style topwater as much, but I am looking to get into that in the near future as well. I realize that there are several different applications being thrown in here, but I was wondering if there is a happy-medium rod that would work for all of these presentations? I did buy a Lew's Team Pro Magnesium Speed Spool ACB Casting Reel 7:5:1 from TW because of the sale and am looking to pair this up with this topwater rod. If there really isn't any way to cover all of those presentations, can you please break it out for me and help me determine if I would need two rods and reels to cover the single hook presentations vs. the treble hook presentations or if I could get away with just one rod and reel for all presentations. Thank you very much!

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The rod I throw my top waters on depends on the size of the bait. Smaller stuff (spooks, poppers, small whopper plopper) gets thrown on a medium fast. Bigger stuff (wake baits, buzz baits) gets thrown on a medium heavy fast. And the really big stuff (got some big inline buzz baits and wake baits) gets thrown on a heavy. I throw my frogs on a medium heavy, but I run straight braid on that one. Hope that helps! Basically, the size of the bait dictates the rod it gets thrown on. 

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704, 733 or 734 dobyns should serve you well. I'm a fan of the fury series. But have heard good things about all dobyns rods. 

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51 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

704, 733 or 734 dobyns should serve you well. I'm a fan of the fury series. But have heard good things about all dobyns rods. 

I'm really liking the 704, and it will work well for buzz baits and ploppers, but not poppers. Brackishbassin has it right. A popper works best with a shorter rod with a shorter handle.

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The difference between throwing a small to medium popper with two treble hooks and throwing a hollow body frog is quite large.  Especially on the hook set.  If you HAVE to I'd go with MH/Fast.......

 

A much better solution, at least for the conditions and techniques I use is a MH/Fast and a H/Fast.  I sometimes throw my 110 Whopper Plopper on the H/Fast too. 

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I throw all the baits you mentioned on a Witch Doctor Surman 50G. 6ft10 MH. Works great for the WP, Vixen , Spook jr. even the Mega Dawg.

I throw Yellow Magic poppers, usually in the 1/2 oz.  Also Buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Super versatile rod.

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1 hour ago, rangerjockey said:

I throw all the baits you mentioned on a Witch Doctor Surman 50G. 6ft10 MH. Works great for the WP, Vixen , Spook jr. even the Mega Dawg.

I throw Yellow Magic poppers, usually in the 1/2 oz.  Also Buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Super versatile rod.

Yeah, I can see that. I think lumping rods into a "topwater" category doesn't make sense. After all one wouldn't look for one rod to drop shot and stroke jigs just cause they are both "bottom" baits. I use 3 rods mostly for topwater. I have dedicated rods for poppers and frogs, and use one of my 6'6", 6'9" or 7' MH rods for buzzbaits and most other lures depending on size and conditions.

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I agree that you can't really put all the topwater lures into a single category. I already have a rod and reel for frogging/heavier jigs. I wanted another rod that will handle mostly buzzbaits, whopper ploppers, and spooks. I realized I can use my poppers with my other gear after reading through these comments which have been super helpful! I think my best bet will be MH/F of some sort. Now time to decide what brand!

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I fish heavier baits like buzzbaits and Spooks on a mh/m.  I use a m/f spinning rod for small poppers, and prop topwaters. 

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14 minutes ago, Bankbeater said:

I fish heavier baits like buzzbaits and Spooks on a mh/m.  I use a m/f spinning rod for small poppers, and prop topwaters. 

Yeah I use a M/F spinning rod for smaller poppers and small prop topwaters as well, but would like a MH/M for those larger prop topwaters and buzzbaits like you're saying. What setup do you use for the heavier baits?

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Keep in mind, with topwater rods, sensitivity is a non-issue most of the time so there's no need to get a mega high modulus, spacecraft grade resin, microguides the size of pinheads and all that jazz. Focus on form factor that meet your preferences, such as shorter handle lengths for walking baits (my preference).

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17 hours ago, Largies4Life said:

Yeah I use a M/F spinning rod for smaller poppers and small prop topwaters as well, but would like a MH/M for those larger prop topwaters and buzzbaits like you're saying. What setup do you use for the heavier baits?

Right now I use an old BPS mh/m 7'0" rod for the buzzbaits, and the Cordell boy howdy baits.  For the spooks I use a BPS mh/m in the 6'6" length.  The smaller length rod gives me better control when I am walking the bait.

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For the buzzbaits and 110 Plopper, I use my spinnerbait rod. Those heavy baits can load up a M rod a little too much. The buzzbait casts about like a spinnerbait and the backbone of a MH is ideal.

 

I use a M/MF 6-6 rod for my other topwaters like the Pop R or Spook or the 90 size Plopper. A 7' might be a better choice to get longer casts and cover more water, but maybe not for making casts to specific targets like docks. It's an older Lightning Rod. By today's standards, it's a heavy rod (weight-wise, not action or power). I'll replace with a higher quality rod it if it ever fails me, but it just keeps getting the job done and the action for medium weight treble lures is just perfect. It was the best quality I could bring myself to buy for at the time and I needed to buy more than one rod. This is not a technique where sensitivity is required or even beneficial.

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I use a 6'8" M/F for smaller poppers and spook type baits, I do a lot of walk the dog, the shorter rod helps me with that.

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I decided that I will be going to Cabela's to try out some rods. I just can't get myself to order one online without holding it in person first. Any recommendations on rods/brands through Cabela's?

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3 minutes ago, Largies4Life said:

I decided that I will be going to Cabela's to try out some rods. I just can't get myself to order one online without holding it in person first. Any recommendations on rods/brands through Cabela's?

I just can't get myself to recommend a Cabelas rods for you without meeting you in person first.

:vrolijk_26:

A-Jay

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18 minutes ago, Largies4Life said:

I decided that I will be going to Cabela's to try out some rods. I just can't get myself to order one online without holding it in person first. Any recommendations on rods/brands through Cabela's?

What's your budget?

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19 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

I just can't get myself to recommend a Cabelas rods for you without meeting you in person first.

:vrolijk_26:

A-Jay

Not necessarily a Cabelas rod, but any brand that I can find at a Cabelas like Abu Garcia, St. Croix, G Loomis, etc.

8 minutes ago, punch said:

What's your budget?

I'm open to anything at this point! This is going to be a belated Xmas present for myself but I'd like to stay under $350-$400 if possible.

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27 minutes ago, Largies4Life said:

Not necessarily a Cabelas rod, but any brand that I can find at a Cabelas like Abu Garcia, St. Croix, G Loomis, etc.

I'm open to anything at this point! This is going to be a belated Xmas present for myself but I'd like to stay under $350-$400 if possible.

Take a look at the St Croix legend tournament jerkbait/topwater rod. I have one and it's fantastic for topwater walking baits and poppers, and also a killer jerkbait rod. It's a 6'8 rod so it's made for tip-down use off a boat. 

 

If you already have a 7' medium heavy rod you're covered for buzzbait and ploppers. 

 

Beware though, once you go down the St Croix path.. suddenly they start multiplying. 

 

If you want a more budget friendly option, the in-house Cabela's Tournament ZX series also has a topwater/jerkbait rod that's a similar length and action. 

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3 minutes ago, punch said:

Take a look at the St Croix legend tournament jerkbait/topwater rod. I have one and it's fantastic for topwater walking baits and poppers, and also a killer jerkbait rod. It's a 6'8 rod so it's made for tip-down use off a boat. 

 

If you already have a 7' medium heavy rod you're covered for buzzbait and ploppers. 

 

Beware though, once you go down the St Croix path.. suddenly they start multiplying. 

 

If you want a more budget friendly option, the in-house Cabela's Tournament ZX series also has a topwater/jerkbait rod that's a similar length and action. 

Great minds think alike, those were my top two to check out!! I don't currently have a 7' MH rod. Would you use only buzzbait and ploppers on that rod or could it be used for other techniques as well? Do you know if they have longer versions of the jerkbait/topwater rods and if that would help at all? Or would the ideal setup be having two topwater rods, one shorter and one longer in the MH range?

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1 hour ago, Largies4Life said:

I decided that I will be going to Cabela's to try out some rods. I just can't get myself to order one online without holding it in person first. Any recommendations on rods/brands through Cabela's?

Since Cabela's sold out to BPS, I think their Tournament ZX rods have may been discontinued, I guess due to overlap in the two product line. There might still be some in a store though. They were some technique specific rods in the $100 range. They were usually $80 when you could catch them on sale. I have the frog model and I would recommend them. Go with a Medium/Mod or Mod-Fast, 6'6" to 7'. Sensitivity is not necessary and can even be a negative for topwaters. I don't want to talk you out of a high priced rod, but, to me, this is one area where you can go cheaper. I would be most concerned with the right action/power and the weight of the rod.

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4 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

 

Since Cabela's sold out to BPS, their Tournament ZX rods have been discontinued, I guess due to overlap in the two product line. There might still be some in a store though. They were some technique specific rods in the $100 range. They were usually $80 when you could catch them on sale. I have the frog model and I would recommend them. Go with a Medium/Mod or Mod-Fast, 6'6" to 7'. Sensitivity is not necessary and can even be a negative for topwaters. I don't want to talk you out of a high priced rod, but, to me, this is one area where you can go cheaper. I would be most concerned with the right action/power and the weight of the rod.

That's a bummer, my local cabelas still has a full rack of them. 

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12 minutes ago, punch said:

That's a bummer, my local cabelas still has a full rack of them. 

Well, maybe they're just in the middle of a redesign. I adjusted my post because I'm not certain. They aren't online anymore and they were on sale for a while before they disappeared. They're good rod at that price point. I don't know which line of BPS rods comes closest to them. I'm a bit put out with BPS and don't know if I'd buy anything from them.

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32 minutes ago, Largies4Life said:

Great minds think alike, those were my top two to check out!! I don't currently have a 7' MH rod. Would you use only buzzbait and ploppers on that rod or could it be used for other techniques as well? Do you know if they have longer versions of the jerkbait/topwater rods and if that would help at all? Or would the ideal setup be having two topwater rods, one shorter and one longer in the MH range?

A 7 to 7'3" MH fast going to be a great all-purpose rod that can be used for techniques that have heavier hooks like Texas rigs, jigs, swimjigs, buzzbaits, ploppers, chatterbaits, Poppin frogs...all sorts of stuff. 

 

A shorter, more moderate action rod is more ideal for "tip down" fishing techniques like jerkbaits and topwater walking baits like spooks and poppers.  

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4 minutes ago, punch said:

A 7 to 7'3" MH fast going to be a great all-purpose rod that can be used for techniques that have heavier hooks like Texas rigs, jigs, swimjigs, buzzbaits, ploppers, chatterbaits, Poppin frogs...all sorts of stuff. 

 

A shorter, more moderate action rod is more ideal for "tip down" fishing techniques like jerkbaits and topwater walking baits like spooks and poppers.  

Let me re-phrase my last post...I do have a 7'2" MH/F for my T-rigs, jigs, swim jigs, etc. My only concern is throwing those topwaters on that rod because of the fluoro I have on it for my T-rigs, jigs, etc. I suppose the line wouldn't be in the water that much if I'm just running buzzbaits and ploppers with my rod tip up...I can ask the Cabela's workers tonight about the Tournament ZX rods when I go to check out the rods, but I can't promise they will have an educated answer! 

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