Bass poppers and weedguards

I’ve fished poppers for bass the past 2 summers with quite a bit of success. My fly tying skills of tying these has improved as well. I’ve been adding single 30 lb mono and more recently double mono weedguards. My hookup success rate with the double mono weedguards seems worse lately. Just curious what others have found. Do single or no weedguards work better? . I’m often fishing within inches of lily pads so I feel like I need at least something
 

RichS

Life of the Party
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For largemouth I have had the best success using single weed guards of 20 lb Mason hard mono and don’t believe they cause me any lost fish. Most of bass I lose are caused by not getting a good solid hook set on the initial set- because of too much slack, fish that hit and immediately come straight at me and/or fish that hit while I am gawking at a bird🙀. I think weed guards actually help me catch more fish because I am not afraid to go for the perfect cast up against the reeds.I still avoid using weed guards at all on flies intended for use in open areas, primarily flies for smallmouth along rocky shorelines where I don’t worry about brush along the shore or aquatic weeds.

30 pound seems a bit too much IMO. I have found double mono weed guards to be great at guarding from both weeds and fish and dont use them any more. YMMV, lily pads are not the primary concern in the places I frequent.
 

skyriver

Life of the Party
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I’ve fished poppers for bass the past 2 summers with quite a bit of success. My fly tying skills of tying these has improved as well. I’ve been adding single 30 lb mono and more recently double mono weedguards. My hookup success rate with the double mono weedguards seems worse lately. Just curious what others have found. Do single or no weedguards work better? . I’m often fishing within inches of lily pads so I feel like I need at least something
Glad you've discovered how much fun it is!

And do you mean "within inches of the lily pads" or actually in the pads?
I've gone back & forth on this and for the lakes I fish (LG bass 10-18"), no guard definitely results in more hookups. There's absolutely no question in my mind. In fact, not hooking a nice 4 lb fish was the last straw that made my decision final. And that was on a fly that had a 30 or 40 lb looped type guard. And stiff double guards are too...well, stiff for most poppers. No way I'm even trying them.

So now I fish in the pads without weed guards. 2/0 is usually the biggest hook I use. 12 lb Maxima gets me off most pads. The smaller hooks require a bit more finesse.
I hook too many fish in basketball sized openings in the pads to avoid the pads. This often requires a quick, nearly violent lift out of there to avoid hooking a pad. Having said that, there's still times when you're gonna hook a pad. IMO, if you're not hooking pads, you're not bass fishing.
And it's always that last pad between you and the fish that you hook. Haha!

Also, all the big blowups I see on my lakes are always in the pads. Frogs, mice, damsels, dragons. They are all in and ON the pads. I've seen a bass nab a dragon fly off a pad.

I've had some mixed results fishing poppers with articulated hooks that point up like this one from Bream Bugs:
CBC-Bass-Popper_2233.jpg

The only problem I can factually point to is a couple of deeply hooked fish. One probably died.
Do I think I've missed fish on these because of the hook position? I think so, but not completely convinced. The next 3 or 4 lber that I miss using it will probably seal the deal. :mad: :unsure:

Good luck!
 
Glad you've discovered how much fun it is!

And do you mean "within inches of the lily pads" or actually in the pads?
I've gone back & forth on this and for the lakes I fish (LG bass 10-18"), no guard definitely results in more hookups. There's absolutely no question in my mind. In fact, not hooking a nice 4 lb fish was the last straw that made my decision final. And that was on a fly that had a 30 or 40 lb looped type guard. And stiff double guards are too...well, stiff for most poppers. No way I'm even trying them.

So now I fish in the pads without weed guards. 2/0 is usually the biggest hook I use. 12 lb Maxima gets me off most pads. The smaller hooks require a bit more finesse.
I hook too many fish in basketball sized openings in the pads to avoid the pads. This often requires a quick, nearly violent lift out of there to avoid hooking a pad. Having said that, there's still times when you're gonna hook a pad. IMO, if you're not hooking pads, you're not bass fishing.
And it's always that last pad between you and the fish that you hook. Haha!

Also, all the big blowups I see on my lakes are always in the pads. Frogs, mice, damsels, dragons. They are all in and ON the pads. I've seen a bass nab a dragon fly off a pad.

I've had some mixed results fishing poppers with articulated hooks that point up like this one from Bream Bugs:
View attachment 82207

The only problem I can factually point to is a couple of deeply hooked fish. One probably died.
Do I think I've missed fish on these because of the hook position? I think so, but not completely convinced. The next 3 or 4 lber that I miss using it will probably seal the deal. :mad: :unsure:

Good luck!
I’ve been fishing within inches of Lilly pads mostly. Occasionally landing on one. Very interesting info! What you say does make sense about more hookups without a weedguards. In my early days of popper fishing I didn’t tie them with weedguards but started thinking I needed them. I’ve missed a few good fish lately on the double weed guard and was starting to wonder. Seems like fish explode on the popper from underneath
Thanks again for the info!
Bass popper fishing is a blast!
 

Northern

Seeking SMB
Forum Supporter
If I really want to concentrate heavily on fishing in dense pads - as opposed to around the edges - this is an effective style of topwater that is mostly weedless and also tends to land upright. That's a tungsten bead in the belly. The hook point is tucked into a slit in the foam head, which easily bends out of the way when it gets eaten. You can crawl it across pads with minimal snagging up
20200304_222420.jpg
20200304_222232.jpg
And it works 😁
20220131_204047.jpg
 
I’ve fished poppers for bass the past 2 summers with quite a bit of success. My fly tying skills of tying these has improved as well. I’ve been adding single 30 lb mono and more recently double mono weedguards. My hookup success rate with the double mono weedguards seems worse lately. Just curious what others have found. Do single or no weedguards work better? . I’m often fishing within inches of lily pads so I feel like I need at least something
I'll be tying some bass bugs and smaller foam bodied bugs for bluegill this winter and would like to have some that are least weed resistant. Has anyone experimented with using material on the fly itself as a weedguard. Bucktail comes to mind. Or is that not stiff enough? I should mention that bulrushes and not lily pads are the obstacles where I fish.
 

Zak

Legend
Forum Supporter
I'll be tying some bass bugs and smaller foam bodied bugs for bluegill this winter and would like to have some that are least weed resistant. Has anyone experimented with using material on the fly itself as a weedguard. Bucktail comes to mind. Or is that not stiff enough? I should mention that bulrushes and not lily pads are the obstacles where I fish.
Kind of.
image.jpg
 
Those both look nice. Have you tested them in the weeds? I'm trying to come up with a way to use a large jig hook with a soft foam popper head for bass.
 
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Zak

Legend
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Those both look nice. Have you tested them in the weeds? I'm trying to come up with a way to use a large jig hook with a soft foam popper head for bass.
The one with peacock is semiweedless, especially if I go slow through the weeds. The worm hook with bucktail is pretty much weedless.

I've started melting an angled hole in the underside of the foam on my bass poppers, and super gluing a short of heavy mono into the hole so that it extends just past the hook point.
 

Northern

Seeking SMB
Forum Supporter
Those both look nice. Have you tested them in the weeds? I'm trying to come up with a way to use a large jig hook with a soft foam popper head for bass.
Like this style? This one's weed resistant, anyway. And it works well - I've replaced the dragon tail a couple times now.
20200304_223401.jpg
You could probably increase the weedlessness with some kind of longer, stiffer hackle where I put the estaz. Or just a flap of split sheet foam just behind the head, similar to how the black one works
20200304_223900.jpg
This guy came out of a pocket back in the reeds, btw
Screenshot_20231118_202845.jpg
 
Like this style? This one's weed resistant, anyway. And it works well - I've replaced the dragon tail a couple times now.
View attachment 91246
You could probably increase the weedlessness with some kind of longer, stiffer hackle where I put the estaz. Or just a flap of split sheet foam just behind the head, similar to how the black one works
View attachment 91248
This guy came out of a pocket back in the reeds, btw
View attachment 91247
Nice!
 

Bugmeister

Staying Gold
I have had some success with this pattern. I have debated whether to snip off the weed guard. I had a few strikes this summer where I couldn’t determine if it was poor hook set, the bass just missed, or the weed guards were a blocker but the result was a miss or a poor hookup. I chuck it in the lily pads, trying to find tiny pockets of open water if possible…. And mentally prepare myself to lose a few poppers or have to go in after them (pretty tough depending upon the lake and number of pads).

1701016413755.jpeg
 
I have had some success with this pattern. I have debated whether to snip off the weed guard. I had a few strikes this summer where I couldn’t determine if it was poor hook set, the bass just missed, or the weed guards were a blocker but the result was a miss or a poor hookup. I chuck it in the lily pads, trying to find tiny pockets of open water if possible…. And mentally prepare myself to lose a few poppers or have to go in after them (pretty tough depending upon the lake and number of pads).

View attachment 92401
Did you tie this? If so can you share the recipe?
 

Bugmeister

Staying Gold
Did you tie this? If so can you share the recipe?
I found these - didn’t tie. I keep meaning to learn to tie poppers, but have never done so. One cool thing about the pattern is the weighting. It lands hook side up every time and the profile looks really froggy. They are also very durable
 
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