G-Splash! The Newest Pop on Top
the outside, all poppers look similar. They're very
close in external appearance. You have to look at them very
closely to see that they are not at all identical in shape. On
the cupped face which makes the splash, there are differences in
concavity that you have to look at very closely to see. There are
differences in the sharpness (or smoothness) of the ridge where
the concavity meets the body. In the case of the G-Splash (made
by Lucky Craft) it is the newest and most obvious to spot the
differences. It has a square bottom as opposed to smooth round
body, the surface area inside the concavity is greater and deeper
on the G-Splash, and the ridge where the concavity meets the body
is raised so the "lip" protrudes. Interesting.
Inside of them, there are differences too.
Internally, there are difference in the lay out of the internal
weighting chambers and the weight balls within the
On the water, there are differences you may
(or may not) notice depending on how you fish
topwaters. How you fish topwaters (or how they fish for you)
depends on several factors such as the rod, reel, line you use,
how you connect the topwater to the line, how you hold the rod
and how you work it. Generally, a soft rod works best. I like a
seven footer and I like a high speed retrieve reel, typically
spinning. I like monofilament (Berkley Big Game from 8 to 15 lb.
test) as opposed to braid or fluorocarbon for topwaters.
As for the connection, there are 3 different ways to connect a
- A tight knot (Palomar or Uni-knot)
- A loop knot
- A split ring or wire clip
I usually start the day with a wire clip.
I like the fact that the wire clip allows me to instantly
switch models and colors of topwaters between casts without
retying the knot. Once I find which model and color is working, I
have no compunctions about tying direct to the bait with a Uni-knot.
As for rod posture, there are two alternatives:
- rod up
- rod down and to the side
You typically hear that the rod should be
held down and to the side to get the best action with
topwaters. Maybe this is true in theory. In actuality, whether
you are popping from a boat or from a bank, there are many times
when you cannot get the rod down to the side like that -
something is often blocking the way, and it's a compromising
situation to pop the lure and to set the hook free and clear when
you hold the rod down and to the side. Therefore, I just hold the
rod tip up to work topwaters. Usually, nothing gets in the way
when you work the lure or set the hook with the tip up. So, I
stick to that.
Those are my own personal
"givens". The conditions I impose upon
myself - rod up, mono, spinning, a wire clip or Uni-knot - and I
make the bait work the best it can "given" those
self-imposed conditions. I have confidence in doing that. It
makes everything simpler for me. It allows me to concentrate on
catching fish rather than how to hold the rod, how to manage the
line and what not. Maybe I cannot talk and chew gum at the same
time, but I can usually pop up a few!
Which bait is best? All these
lures will behave slightly differently. As you use one or the
other, you may find desirable properties (or simply confidence)
in one of these baits rigged and fished in one way that you
prefer. Generally, if I want a slashy, spitty bait, I go to the
Yamamoto Sugoi and work it fast with very short, frequent rod tip
movements. If I want a muddled popper with more of a walking
attitude to it, I go to the Yellow Magic and I draw it along the
surface more between slashes. I use those two most. Then, of
course, there are others such as the Chug Bugs which I like to
use more slowly than the others. If my partner is chug-bugging a
bunch, I put it on and imitate the action that he's giving to it,
which is usually slower and more hesitant than I use on my own.
To go really slow - almost no action at all - I like the
unmodified Pop'r which I just let sit there forever without
moving it except for an occasional "BLOOP". Bass cream
it as it lies motionless between intermittent bloops. I'm not
sure of ALL the G-Splash may be able to do, but in testing the
G-Splash, I think it's a good candidate for that "do
nothing" deal, and I feel the realistic color shading on the
G-Splash can be a positive when bass are taking a long look at
it. I'm not a fish, so I do not know how they see, but I am
well-convinced they do not see like we do. I do suspect they
detect ALL the colors on the bait - belly, sides AND top, due to
the infinite light refractory angles bounced back to them off the
water's surface, plus the bait itself walking and rolling
side-to-side. All that lets them see the whole enchilada I think.
The tail end for sure. Chicken
tail feathers are a given on poppers. Why? Simply more fish bite
them. I like them long, soft, and very thin. With thin feathers,
I like a 5 count in the tail, and I like one to be chartreuse.
It's good if say 2-3 of them are 1 1/2- 1 3/4", one's like
2" and another 2 1/2" rather than all equal length.
With "fat" feathers, only 4 of them with 1 chartreuse.
Of course, all white is usually what comes in the package, and
I don't know where the brand new Lucky Craft
G-Splash fits in yet. One thing I think I can
count on is that Lucky Craft would not roll-out the new G-Splash
unless they were confident it was in some way superior to other
lures of its style. Lucky Craft lures are all good. The Sammy
walking bait is a sweetheart of a walking bait on top. Among
other Lucky Crafts lures, the suspending Pointer Minnows
routinely win early springtime tourneys when ripbaits are in
season. That's just the tip of the Lucky Craft iceberg. Many
other fine models Lucky Craft hardbaits are all virtually unknown
in North America. As for the G-Splash, I like the hooks. They are
strong, light VMC's sharpened using a special Daiichi sharpening
process on the G-Splash as opposed to the Owner's that come on
many topwaters. Don't get me wrong, the Owner's are perfectly
fine high quality and hypodermic needle sharp, but not as strong
as the Daiichi's when it comes to holding big bass.
New toys for big boys - and big bass!
You can be sure I am eager and excited to get on the water and
figure out what makes the Lucky Craft G-Splash work best when.
I'll keep you updated when I do.