Many pro bass anglers are circling back to classic baits for the simple reason that they’re often underutilized compared to new baits hitting the market. Justin Lucas puts topwater poppers squarely in this category. Lucas’ popper selection boils down to 3 core sizes, a 60, 70 and 80. He explains when to fish the bigger size 80 (3-1/4”), which features a one knocker sound and larger profile, and what situations dictate scaling back to the mid-sized 70 (2-3/4”), and smallest size 60 (2-1/4”) sibling.
This 3 bait system allows Lucas to quickly adapt bait size and sound to the situation at hand. Unlike bait size, he keeps his popper rod setup standard across the size spectrum, opting for a 7-foot medium-power rod paired with a fast 8.0:1 reel spooled with 30-pound braided mainline. This setup supports long casts and solid hookups while the medium-power rod keeps tacky treble hooks pegged.