The Pop ‘n Drop has been one my my favorite techniques to fine tune this year. Not only has it been fun – it’s been productive. Two of my best smallmouth bass fell prey to this contraption. Absolutely hammered it. However, like all presentations, you have to use it in the right location, at the right time.
This bass smashed the dropper by the inside edge of shallow weeds in a spring-fed Wisconsin lake.
This one? Ignored the dropper – smoked the popper – in a skinny creek no more than 2 feet deep.
Both fish were approaching 20 inches. Fat. Three ‘n change. Easy.
Because of the initial success, I went about making several modifications to my creation, hoping that I could use it in more areas – including heavy muck. Modifications are fun, and the mods we made to our Z-Man Pop FrogZ to fish them in heavy cover worked so well.
Sadly, these mods did NOT work.
Hmmm… Sad Face
The first attempt combined a Z-Man Pop Shad with a large Trokar MagWorm B.A.R.B EWG Hook. All good there, but then I needed a way to attach my dropper line. Not wanting to hang it off of the eye of the hook, or tie it directly to the hook shank, I slid a large split ring over the barb of the hook and held it in place with some dental floss & super glue.
The performance was dismal.
Completely killed the action of my popper, and slowly sunk with medium-sized plastics…
The second mod was a bit cleaner.
By placing a barrel swivel on the shank of a new hook I was able to slip just over the barb without bending it down, and tie my dropper to the lower portion. This allowed my connection to be moved, and it wouldn’t twist – both good things. Then I placed a rubber collar (for jig tying) on the shank, to hold the swivel in place and make it even less likely to pop off during a fight.
The collar wasn’t snug, which let my dropper connection move all over the place. The Pop FrogZ were also not as buoyant as I had hoped. They too got pulled under by the extra hardware and stickbait dropper…
Progress, but still a failure. Scrap it.
So through these tests, I learned that ElaZtech will not float as much weight as I thought… and that makes sense. You want a fish to be able to easily pull your bait underwater. It’s not meant to be a bobber.
I also learned that making a “heavy cover” version is rather difficult. Even if you balance the weight and the pop with the drop so it all behaves – you still have the issue of dragging a trailing plastic over muck, which fouls up easily.
The best combinations that I have worked with so far have been built upon hard-bodied topwaters with one treble hook removed, and a dropper tied straight to the lure. The only issue is that this limits you to the outer edges of cover, or working over the top of deep weeds, because of the exposed treble.
I still need to find a way to fish this in the muck, because that’s what we have here. I have a Vicious Hollow Body Frog on the workbench to work with next…
I’ll keep ya posted.
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots!
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