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MitchIsFishin

Topwater question

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I, admittedly, haven't used topwater lures much, but just picked one up last night. Going to learn to 'walk the dog', but both a buddy, who uses topwater lures as well as some other sources say to use a stiff, heavier line, needed to keep the line 'on the surface'. I don't like using heavy line and actually fish spinning more than my baitcaster. Is this true or am I missing something?

:-?

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Some conventional wisdom says not to use sinking lines while fishing topwater. I've fished a lot of topwater over the years, much of it, I'm sure, with the "wrong" lines. As Nike says, "Just do it!" Use your present line and equipment and see what happens. You'll know if your line isn't suitable. If your walking lure has that nice zigzagging action, great. If sinking line prevents imparting the action you need, then you'll have to change.

Good luck. Topwater fishing is lots of fun and very rewarding.

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Use the shortest rod you have to learn 'walking'.  It is a lot easier to do with a short rod.  6' or 6'6".  You can move up to a longer rod once you are comfortable with your ability.

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Spinning gear should work fine. Conventional wisdom does say mono is best as it does not sink but with spooks and other walk the dog baits, it's probably not that big a deal as your line will not get a chance to sink. Bait is constantly moving.

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The 10# CXX will serve you just fine, as the measured stretch necessary for treble hook baits is a good match.  I use 12# CXX, FWIW.

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the bait should work properly, but keep in mind what's under the surface.  If you're fishing over weeds and need to yank them out, then I wouldn't rely on your 6-10# line.

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I hate it when my line sinks with topwaters, especially with walkers. Some plugs can handle this better than others. A big Zara is buoyant enough to combat this somewhat, but my smaller slimmer walkers can be touchy. If the bass are aggressive and all I need is a constant rhythmic walk, less than buoyant line is OK.

But sometimes the bass take coaxing and what I do when an approaching wake gets right up behind my plug makes a difference. I want that plug to perform right then and there at that instant. I may pause the plug for the bass to catch up, then increase the cadence of the walk with short twitches away, or give it a single long sliding dart to the side an apparent, but weak, evasive behavior in the plug that tentative bass just can't stand WHOOOOSH!. I love it. But I HATE it when the plug doesn't respond, and a sunk line can be a presentation killer.

Fluoro is out. Conventional (nylon) mono is fine, but it will absorb water and begin to sink after a time, thus the recommendation for a thicker, more buoyant line. What I've come to use, if I'm going to be dedicating time to a topwater, is braid (on spinning tackle too). I'm beginning to come to the realization that a leader isn't necessary, but I use one -~5feet of Trilene XT (8 to 12#, depending on cover, fish and lure size). With a J-Knot (Google it), a fast easy knot to tie as good or better than a Uni-Uni, the leader can be easily changed when it begins to sink if it's causing a problem.

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Mono is best for walk the dog type baits.  I also can not stand when the line starts to sink.  It does impart on the action of the bait and sometimes that will make you catch less fish.  I fish most topwaters on a 6'6" MH  for the bigger baits like a Super Spook  and a 6'6" M for smaller baits.  Both rods are baitcasters but sometimes I will throw a very small topwater like a Zara Spook Puppy or a small popper on a spinning rod.  10IB Mono on a spinning rod should work just fine for topwater baits as long as they are somewhat small and you are not fishing it around heavy cover.  

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Unless you can discipline yourself (easier said than done) to delay setting the hook upon the first suggestion of a bite, I'd suggest you go with a line with a bit of stretch to it. That will prevent you from promptly yanking the bait out of the fishes mouth. As to whether the line should sink or float depends on what topwater baits you are using. Some lures such as those with a front propellor will work better if the weight of the line pulls the nose down a hair. Others work better if the line floats. For still others, it won't matter. Generally speaking, topwaters will work best around shallower water and heavy cover (such as lilly pads, stumps and logs, etc. Therefore a stronger line is often recommended. But there are always exceptions.

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For "Walk the Dog" type baits I use mono and braid.  Braid may not stretch but if you use it with a forgiving rod and be patient, you won't have to worry about pulling the lure out of the fish's mouth.  (I don't think it is that difficult to be patient if you keep your head in the game.)  I personally think that my walking action with Zara Spooks is slightly better with braid than with mono.  It could be all in my head but I think I notice a dip in the nose of a walking bait with fluoro even when I walk it fast so I avoid using it with this application.  

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15 lb. mono is great for topwaters.  If you want to decrease line size, that's fine, but I'd stick with mono.  You want a little stretch to keep from taking the bait from the fish too fast.

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Thanks everyone for the tips & suggestions, I'll put them to use. Should have mentioned, the topwater is a Spro Dawg 100, baby bass. Nice finish, gammy hooks, so we'll see what its like in the water.

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be patient, you won't have to worry about pulling the lure out of the fish's mouth.  (I don't think it is that difficult to be patient if you keep your head in the game.

Ditto.

The toughest time I have with this is when I switch from a jig to a topwater. But, I take a good deep breath, collect myself and acknowledge what needs to be done. Program in a pause reaction at a topwater take -WATCH -you DO have time. Don't REACT -WATCH.

Often, especially with walking baits, bass will miss, and if you react to everything you'll miss a bunch -braid, mono, or rubber bands! WATCH and decide when to strike. I either make sure the plug is gone, or I just wait 2 seconds after the last surge, and then tighten. Many topwaters have fairly light trebles, you don't have to cross their eyes. Maybe it's all the years of dry-fly fishing. Depending on current speed your reactions must adjust. Know this, and WATCH before you REACT.

Sorry, not annoyed here, just emphatic. I HATE missing fish! So it gets me kinda riled thinking about it! ;D

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I use spinning myself.  As said if you get a good rhythm going you should have no problem with any line.  You can confuse yourself to no end regarding lines.  Learn the technique and have fun.......10 minutes you'll be an expert. Try the rapala skitter walk, it almost walks itself.  The skitter pop is also very good.

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Im no expert on what line to use the, former posts about using a line that floats make a lot of sense to me. I use yo-zuri hybrid on all but my saltwater reels with no problems. I would definately suggest a rebel pop-r in baby bass color though. It may just be my area but I do very well with this lure in the spring time. Its obviously not a walk the dog lure, however its probably easier to use. Just a twich every 30-45 seconds and boom.

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