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Tips for using poppers?

Joined:
2012/11/11 19:34
From Lewisberry, PA
Posts: 159
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Went fishing for SMB this weekend for the first time on the fly rod. I was fishing a crayfish pattern for awhile with little luck and decided to switch to a popper. I had 5 fish come up for it but I couldn't seem to set the hook. Any tips/help are greatly appreciated.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 19:49


Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2008/6/25 9:41
From Pgh
Posts: 1248
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Try again this weekend. Cooler temps may have had something to do with it.

Not sure how you were fishing them... and I assume you were in flowing water... but down and across with twitching on the downswing is a consistent producer for me. Vary your retrieves until you find what works.

Posted on: 2013/5/29 9:02
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Re: Tips for using poppers?

Joined:
2012/7/10 22:09
From Lancaster PA
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Sometimes SMB actually smacks a popper out of the water with their tail and than eat it when it lands. When you strike on that 1st splash you actually pull the fly away from them. It takes some practice but keep working the fly until you feel the weight of the fish (second splash)then do a strip strike(not a lift of the rod tip). You'll have more hook ups and 2 blowups/fish.

Posted on: 2013/5/29 11:42


Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2012/1/9 19:50
From Etters,Pa
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It's a hard habit to break but don't set the hook until you feel the fish and when you do set the hook try using a LOW sweeping strip set. Don't be afraid to use the resistance of the water to aid in the hook set. Think of it like a lever if that makes sense.

Posted on: 2013/5/29 13:11


Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2012/11/11 19:34
From Lewisberry, PA
Posts: 159
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Good deal, thanks guys.

Posted on: 2013/5/29 20:35
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Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
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Have to wait for the fish to eat and turn down with the fly... easier said than done. Fish the banks, plop the popper down and let it sit as it drifts down stream, wait, pop it once, wait and let it drift, repeat as necessary. Another good tactic is to pop the fly so you pull the it under water for 6-8" and then let it rise back to the surace and let it sit and wait. The take often comes durring the pause.

Posted on: 2013/5/29 21:20


Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2013/3/7 12:27
From Mechanicsburg PA
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+1 on the downstream approach as the Smallies will sometimes hook themselves. I really like to go straight across the current with no mending needed. Keep the rod tip about 6 inches from the water (so you have room for the hook-set) and do the Doug Swisher "line over the finger" strip in TINY jerks to let that popper skip around on the surface. You'll discover a rythmn for your particular day. I've almost always caught more SMB with very little surface commotion from my end. Think finesse - FWIW, the biggest fish usually take with the smallest amount of acivity, your fly can simply vanish from sight with a slight swirl. Smaller fish usually go hell bent for your but. Good luck on our local tribs/main stem. I miss the '90's but there are still a few around.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 0:08
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Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2011/6/4 21:31
From Glen Rock PA
Posts: 108
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lots of good advice here!!! I wish I could keep my eyes off a popper when fishing especially on streams/rivers! I know on flowing water hook-ups are tough, much easier for LMB on ponds. But like all the advice here wait til you feel the fish. I am always pulling poppers away!

Practice, Patience, practice, patience

Good luck next time. BTW smallies love wooly Buggers olive has been very good to me this time of year.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 6:55


Re: Tips for using poppers?
Moderator
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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One of the things I really like about smallies, is after fishing for trout all spring and matching hatches and tip toeing around and kneeling and mending and getting good drifts and worrying about strike detection....blah, blah, blah...just tie on a chartreuse popper...cast it out...and if they are on....Kaawok!...TRY to keep them off the hook.

Don't overthink it.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 7:11


Re: Tips for using poppers?

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3497
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
One of the things I really like about smallies, is after fishing for trout all spring and matching hatches and tip toeing around and kneeling and mending and getting good drifts and worrying about strike detection....blah, blah, blah...just tie on a chartreuse popper...cast it out...and if they are on....Kaawok!...TRY to keep them off the hook.

Don't overthink it.





Great advice right there for about 100 % of fly fishing .

Posted on: 2013/5/30 13:35
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Re: Tips for using poppers?

Joined:
2012/11/11 19:34
From Lewisberry, PA
Posts: 159
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
One of the things I really like about smallies, is after fishing for trout all spring and matching hatches and tip toeing around and kneeling and mending and getting good drifts and worrying about strike detection....blah, blah, blah...just tie on a chartreuse popper...cast it out...and if they are on....Kaawok!...TRY to keep them off the hook.

Don't overthink it.


I like the cut of your jib. Hopefully I can give it another go this weekend.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 18:52


Re: Tips for using poppers?
Moderator
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9273
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Quote:

delta_dog wrote:
It's a hard habit to break but don't set the hook until you feel the fish and when you do set the hook try using a LOW sweeping strip set. Don't be afraid to use the resistance of the water to aid in the hook set. Think of it like a lever if that makes sense.


Good answer - wait till you feel the fish.
Are you sure they were bass hitting your popper? They may have been fallfish or sunfish and they tend to miss the hook more. You might try a smaller popper but I wouldn't go too small. I've had problems with larger SMBs (12"+) taking poppers very deep so I tend to stay with poppers that are at least about 2" long with a head about the size of a thumbnail. Smaller bass will still nail poppers this size - they'll actually hit much larger poppers - and this smaller size sometimes hooks a few more of the smaller guys.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 22:44


Re: Tips for using poppers?

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2010/1/7 0:41
From "THE VILLE"
Posts: 1131
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With poppers and the fish I chase I found premium hooks and timing are the keys to hook ups. "God save the queen" applys for poppers too. Let him eat and turn away. It's hard to lay off especially when you visually see a strike and not feel it.

Posted on: 2013/5/31 5:53
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Re: Tips for using poppers?

Joined:
2012/11/11 19:34
From Lewisberry, PA
Posts: 159
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Hittin the "wago" in the AM. We'll see how it goes.

Posted on: 2013/6/1 21:40
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Re: Tips for using poppers?

Joined:
2012/10/26 21:51
From Clearfield County
Posts: 164
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I read this thread in preparation for for pond fishing today. Thanks to all for posting. Me and the kids caught some LMB on poppers.

Posted on: 2013/6/2 17:05



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