I’ve not fished a lot of the pencil popper lures in the past. These types of baits have always been associated more, in my mind at least, with open water and blueback herring lakes, where we fish more poppers and Spook style walking baits where I do most of my bass fishing. These smaller offerings better mimic the threadfin shad in my area, and the pencil poppers look more like the larger herring.
That being said, I have tested out a few of these baits over the last couple years, and they impress me with the amount of water they move and the commotion they create as well as how well they work in less than calm conditions. I tested two such baits on the same day recently, the Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Popper 135 was one of them. Let’s talk a little about it today.
Pencil Popper 135 Good Colors / Prices
The 3DB Pencil Popper 135 makes quite the scene on the water’s surface. This 5- and 3/8- inch long bait walks really easily and knocks loudly. There’s a small cup to the mouth of the bait, so it spits water a foot or so as you work it as well. Though you can if you’d like to, this isn’t a bait you have to gently twitch along. It’s one that you can work aggressively and quickly.
With a wide variety of colors as well, your bait selection can be tailored to any water color. If you’re fishing out in open and in clear water, the Real Blueback Herring color that I tested out is pretty sweet. If you’re fishing around laydowns in muddy water, go with the Bone. Got cloudy conditions, there’s the Prism Chartreuse Silver. With 10 color choices and an aggressive action, this bait is easy for bass to locate in any situation.
Pencil Popper 135 Distance
With the big one-knocker style ball in the tail end of the bait, you can really launch this thing. Some pencil poppers can kind of flounder in the air, especially in wind, since they are so long. But the weight in the tail end of this one sends is cutting through the air like a rocket. And since the bait weighs an ounce, it’s really about as easy to throw as an ounce tungsten weight would be.
This is really important when fishing for schooling bass, which it probably the most common use for a pencil popper. These baits are again a popular selection on herring lakes, where the bass chase small schools of bait around out in open water. Targeting schoolers relating to herring can be really frustration, as they tend to come up hundreds of yards apart from one another. You can get in the mix though with this bait and reach them as good as you can with any other.
Hooks on the Pencil Popper 135
This bait is equipped with three round bend treble hooks, my preference typically with a big topwater. Round bend hooks work well on topwater baits, especially those used often for targeting schooling bass. Schoolers are notorious for coming up and boiling on a topwater, just swiping at the bait from beneath and not really trying to eat it good on the first pass. But sometimes, that first attempt is all they’ll make, as they grow weary of the bait and move on.
Triple grip style trebles with the turned in points are great for fishing lipless crankbaits and squarebills that bass are more likely to engulf, but those style hooks on a bait like this are actually detrimental. The round bends are the way to go and give you the best chance to get one of the hooks or multiples into a swatting bass. These are strong and sharp, a good selection.
Final Thoughts on the Pencil Popper 135
As a whole, I’ve been really impressed by the quality of a lot of the baits I’ve tested these last few years. Across the board, companies are having to put in more and more research, development and engineering hours into creating an effective bait to compete with all the others on the bass fishing market. Yo-Zuri’s 3DB Series of baits embodies this revolution. And the Pencil Popper is another excellent individual example.
Made to cast and made to last, this bait comes with a large one knocker rattle loaded in the tail end that makes a lot of racket and helps the bait soar through the air accurately and a long ways. The quality hook selection provides for the best hookup ratio possible. And with a wide variety of colors and a $10.99 price tag, the Pencil Popper 135 is a good bait to tryout if you’re in the market for a topwater like this.