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clopes

Working a pencil popper?

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So I got a bunch of these pencil poppers and needles from the site (mostly when I should have been buying for others). Any directions in helping the learning curve with these two (mostly the pencils). As I've been mostly a boat and live bait guy...I've been getting into surfcasting and canal fishing and hope to do so much more this year. Thanks for any help.

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Originally Posted by clopes View Post

 

Still haven't bought that yet. Leaning toward a 10' 6 mojo 3/4 to 4.

 

I've got that Mojo. Works pencils very nicely.

 

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You know working a pencil is not a set thing, I like working pencils real slow almost like a spook, but every situation calls for different things, if the pencil floats, work it a little then stop it for a 3 count, then start working it again, and a lot of times as soon as you start working the plug again you will get a hit, I have had this method work a whole lot over the years.

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Good thread start clopes, I am in the same boat as you (mind the pun). Ive always fished with bait runners with live macks from boats and just recently got into plugging and mostly figuring it out through trial and error. My biggest thing is trying to figure out how to battle eel grass when throwing plugs especially pencils and needle fish. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Especially when it comes to surfcasting North of Boston.


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X2 on the video Riddler posted.

 

I see quite a few folks that "race" the pencil across the surface without working the pencil in the strike zone. Personally I have never had much luck with that method and havnt seen it produce much either. I have seen fish turn on these retrives but it seems like they dont want to expend the energy to swim like hell to catch up with the plug.

 

Like others have said, Slow down, get the head of the pencil swinging side to side creating alot of commotion and the fish cannot resist.

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Still haven't bought that yet. Leaning toward a 10' 6 mojo 3/4 to 4.

 

How about throwing sluggos and jigging?

 

I mostly jig and have the 3/4 to 4 Mojo. It's a fine jigging rod for bucktails or sluggs with jiheads 3 oz and under (I'd say 1-2.5 oz is its sweet spot, but it'll handle 3). Personally I feel it starts to overload a little above 3 oz, and I use a 2-6 oz Lami for 3.5 oz upwards.

 

For unweighted (or very lightly weighted) big sluggos that you are working close to the surface or just under, the Mojo is too long to work the lure effectively (at least for someone who is 5"9"). I prefer a 9 foot rod or under for that application. I believe there are Mojos available in that length. I just use a cheap Tsunami, since casting distance isn't really an issue in this case.

 

-bd

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Clopes, I use more of a walk-the-dog approach. You can shake the hell out of your rod like the guy in the video, but really not necessary for working a pencil most of the time. A slow, steady retrieve with contact to the pencil and slight movements of the tip can get a pencil dancing nicely as well. Try it a few different ways under different conditions and you'll figure it out pretty quickly. Try to keep the retrieve slow. It can be tough at first, but I see too many guys ripping them accross the top of the water. Bigger stripers are lazy, keep it slow :).

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Pencils-maximize lateral movement, minimize retrieve. In a most unusual occurance I was outcatching a few guys at the Canal this spring by a wide margin. All throwing pencils. Only difference was I was going a lot slower. Just like needles, if you think you're going too slow, slow down some more.;)

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The Canal current gives you all the lateral movement needed for a pencil. You can just shake the rod-tip to give the plug that side to side "bounce". Tom is working that pencil in calm water in that video. Whipping the rod in that fashion is necessary to give the plug lateral movement. You need a very parabolic rod for that, and it looks like he's fishing a GSB 132 1L. Glass Lamis do an even better job of it. In the Canal, you can use a fast taper rod due to the current giving lateral movement to the plug, and jiggle the tip to give the plug the side to side bounce.

 

Did anyone notice that Tom was working a Gibbs Canal Special, and keeping it on top? ;)

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