Answering the $64 Question, How Good is the Duo Realis Popper 64

IMG_3084Since the topwater bite is still hot, it’s a great time of year to be throwing a popper. With that in mind we’re going to look at another bait that is always in the front of our tackle box for this season, the Duo Realis Popper 64.

 

We always like to have more than one choice in whatever genre of bait we’re using because the fish can get turned off to a particular action or color. When this happens, switching to something that has subtle differences will often get those fish biting again.

The Duo Popper 64 is 2.5” long and weighs in at .33oz. This bait has an unusually shaped cup that looks like a squeezed, rounded square with the smaller edge being the top while the longer edge is the bottom that protrudes out a little more than the top.

The shape of the bait has a flattened belly section towards the nose that transitions into a v-shaped bottom as it approaches the rear.

The eyes are the signature Duo 3D inset eyes that have that aggressive stare to them. The plastic has molded in gill plates as well as a scale pattern with the paint schemes taking advantage of these textural differences.

The Popper 64 comes armed with two #6 trebles that are good and sharp out of the box. The rear hook is feathered and further enhanced with some mylar strands. It is color coordinated to complement the specific paint scheme of the bait.

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The weighting system uses both fixed and loose metal beads. The one fixed bead is about 2/3 of the way down the bait, while the smaller rattles (5) occupy a cavity behind the fixed one meaning that all added weight is in the rear of the bait.

All of this is designed to give the bait its unique action and sound.

Brass Tacks

One issue that is often associated with plugs of this size is that they just don’t cast well.

In the case of the Duo, nothing could be further from the truth. The weighting system allows for excellent distance on either spinning or casting equipment. Our favorite setup for this bait is a casting reel spooled with 10# copolymer line on a 7’ medium light rod. With this rig we not only get surprising distance but also accuracy.

Working the Popper 64 is extremely easy. Short, sharp pops of your rod tip bring the bait to life creating a satisfying bloop, bloop, bloop noise while the beads in the back are adding a higher frequency rattle to your presentation. It also has a subtle slapping effect as it’s being worked.

The other triggering action that this bait has is a condensed walk the dog action. It will sway back and forth in a tight walk with very little effort all while maintaining the little bloop, bloop as it’s moving forward.

What’s the Best Retrieve?

We have caught nearly equal amounts of fish by employing a consistent retrieve with short, sharp pops of the rod tip or by barely moving the bait forward with long pauses in between a series of 2-5 small pops.

IMG_3086We can’t say that there is a right or wrong way to retrieve this bait with one exception. We’ve caught no fish by burning it across the surface.

If we have any issues at all with the Popper 64, it’s that when at rest, it sits almost vertically in the water. This can become a minor annoyance when you’re fishing it over vegetation that is right below the surface.

The flip side of that is that part of its action is a result of how it sits in the water prior to you giving it that little nudge to start it walkin’ and poppin’ across the surface.

For covering water to locate fish, the Duo is a winner. Yes, there are times when a fish will flat out miss a topwater lure, but that’s when you throw your follow up bait right where the fish missed. A good percentage of the time, this will result in catching the same fish that missed.

Overall Durability

Our hook-up percentage with this bait has been excellent. In spite of the abuse that it’s taken, our Popper has shown little wear. The hooks are still sharp—sharp enough to continue to hook the vast majority of the fish that strike the bait, and the paint jobs are still in great shape. There are some scratches on the bottom that are the result of the hooks making contact with the bait but very little otherwise.

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Another positive is that you can’t foul the hooks on each other. They are spaced very well using the right sized components so that this will not happen.

Finally, the shape and depth of the cup allow you to use a snap if you make a habit out of that. The cup is not so recessed that you have a hard time getting to the line tie with your snap. You can either remove the split ring and attach directly to the line tie or leave it there. It won’t interfere either way.

So the bottom line is that the Duo Realis Popper 64 can be used a multitude of ways, it holds up well to repeated fish strikes, it casts well, it’s easy to use and it flat out catches fish. So why wouldn’t you try a couple?

Duo Realis Popper 64
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An effective bait you can't fish wrong

See ya’ on the water …

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