The venerable Cordell Pencil Popper may not be the most fancy or expensive pencil popper on the market, but it’s one of the most effective. Sporting a hard-plastic body and 2 sets of trebles, this lure will tempt everything from striped bass to tuna with its bobbling, wobbling surface action. Its internal rattles also add fish-attracting sound and increase casting distance.
I love to use this lure in the spring, when squid invade the inshore waters of New England. It’s highly effective on large bass and bluefish at this time of year. I usually remove the lure’s belly hooks to reduce foul-hooking, and also squeeze down the hook barbs to make releasing fish easier. Sometimes I’ll go a step further and replace the rear treble with a single Siwash hook.
To increase their casting distance, some anglers drill a hole in the belly of the popper and add BBs before sealing the hole.
Video: Modifying a Pencil Popper
The Cordell Pencil Popper is available in 1-ounce and 2-ounce sizes, in a variety of patterns. I prefer the pearl blue and pearl/redhead patterns, but it’s really the action of the lure that draws strikes.