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Lure Review

Pop-a-Long with the multi-functional topwater lure that will drive fish wild

Date: 3/22/04
Tackle type: Lures
Manufacturer: Ambush Lures
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.5 + Innovative Award!

Introduction: As Spring nears, my search for new topwater tackle switches into high gear. Ambush Lures, the makers of the Pop-a-Long, caught my attention with a variable lure that can be twitched, popped, and walked across the surface as you prepare to refresh your arsenal for the impending spawn.


Ambush Lures Pop-a-Long Specifications

Material Plastic with Titanium wire
Weight 1/2 oz
Length Body: 4 1/4" Wire: 5 1/2"
Colors/Patterns 20 available
Color Tested Fire Tiger
MSRP $9.99

About Ambush Lures: Founded in 1996 by Brett Ware, Todd Gray, Ryan Gruhn, and Tim Tadlock, Ambush Lures are designed to create unique action that call to the fish. Through years of research and development, their first lure was the Stealth Diver, a lipless crankbait which you can insert scent into a cavity that slowly releases from the rear of the lure.  From there on, their success has positioned them into developing and introducing new lures that are inimitable in design.


An innovative topwater lure with fish calling moves


Impressions: Warm weather and sunny days are the perfect conditions for topwater bass fishing, especially as bass are moving up to the spawning grounds. The Pop-a-Long is designed to have many actions depending on how the Angler chooses to work the lure. The sectional bodies are molded out of durable plastic, then ultrasonically welded together for the permanent arrangement of the portions. To complete the lure a medical grade titanium wire gives it superior durability along with functionality. The lure also features recessed 3D holographic eyes and extremely sharp Gamakatsu hooks.


Complete Rig for Pop-a-Long Tests

Rod AiRRUS Co-Matrix (AS661M)
Reel Quantum Hypercast Ultra
Line 12 lb Sufix ProMix

Real World Tests: Fishing topwater lures for bass and other species of fish is exuberating. Any second as you retrieve the lure back to you, a fish can explode underneath the lure, something that really gets the hearts of anglers pumping. I ventured out and tossed the Ambush Pop-a-Long for largemouth bass and landlocked striped bass, both of which are great sight hunters.


The head of this unique lure holds two eyes in recessed wells


Casting: The rear portion of the Pop-a-Long is weighed down by ball bearings which are strategically placed to assist the Angler in making long casts. Having more weight at the back portion on every cast directs the torpedo-like lure to its target as it projects through the air. This lure doesn't click and clack needlessly as it is cast, and instead does so with a nice solid feel.


Retrieve: This Ambush lure is quite innovative in that it's designed to produce multiple actions depending on how the Anglers like to work it.  Here are some effective ways I like to work the Pop-a-Long.


A bass attacks the Pop-a-Long directly beneath it as it zigzags at the surface


The method walk-the-dog is one of the most effective topwater actions I like to employ when targeting both bass and stripers.  During an outing this past winter when the fish weren't as aggressive, I tossed the lure a little past some weed beds and told Zander, "I bet I can lure a striper from that patch of vegetation." I proceeded to cast the Pop-a-Long parallel to the edge and begin to retrieve the lure walking it back to the boat. As the Ambush lure walked past the center of the patch of weeds, a striped bass burst the surface striking at the lure, but missed. Some Anglers might employ a pause there on their retrieve, but my experience has taught me to continue with the same rate of retrieval without stopping. As I see the second and third hits missed, I keep my cool and continue with the motion. Then my patience pays off as the fish waits a while before its fourth strike, exploding underneath the Pop-a-Long and almost completely leaps out of the water, and falls victim to the deadly action of the lure and my hookset. What makes this lure so effective to aggressive fish is in the design of the lure. As you walk-the-dog, the Pop-a-Long darts side to side, but has a clacking, spitting, and rattling performance that calls to the fish and tricks it to believe it's a baitfish fleeing or injured on the water surface.


When the two sections come in contact, a loud clack can be heard


Since the Pop-a-Long is designed in two sections, the rear actually sits down in the water while the head portion floats up. When this happens and you pull on the line, the two pieces slam into each other creating a clacking sound, and while they come together, the middle of the body spits water. All of this occurs while you walk-the-dog, but the Pop-a-Long can also be used as you would a popper. The only thing is you should change out the back hook with one that's skirted to give it the slight deadly action when a lure sits motionless.


While the lure can be walked and popped, there are other ways you might want to work the Pop-a-Long such as twitching it or even chugging it. That's the beauty of this innovative lure, the multi-functional topwater bait moves depending on how you control the actions to catch the fish.


The extremely durable medical grade titanium wire can be bent in any way and always returns to its original shape


Durability: The durability of this Ambush lure is amazing. The plastic body, as mentioned above, employs an ultrasonic welding process to provide that solid bond and will remain intact unlike glued lures. Also, as the plastic portions glide back and forth on the wire, it doesn't take on any damage from friction either. That's because Ambush Lures decided to use a medical grade titanium wire that's slick as well as extremely durable. We have seen spinnerbaits and even bail wires on reels that use titanium wires with great success. With the titanium wire on the Pop-a-Long, it will take on zero damage no matter where it bends by bass and stripers in our case, but can handle pike, muskies, and other aggressive fish without any problems.


Price: Ambush Lures' Pop-a-Long is priced high, but innovation doesn't come cheap, especially when high-tech processes and quality grade materials are used.  When you buy this lure, you know your investment will last fish after fish, just be sure to tie a good knot.

Ambush Lures Pop-a-Long Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Premium components plus a quality construction, this topwater lure is extremely durable 9
Performance Easy to walk-the-dog, and the best part is that this lure adds more action at the same time 9
Price An innovative lure that uses high grade components which brings the price up 7
Features The lure alone is full of features as it walks across the surface of the water.  Its sectional body spits and clacks, the rear rattles, and it sports Gamakatsu hooks 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) A truly thought-out design that works great.  It's body sections function as they are supposed to and is a winner in the innovation category 9
Application Definitely a good topwater lure for aggressive strikers like bass, stripers, pike, and much more 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Multiple actions L High price
J Innovative design  
J Top grade materials  
J Extremely durable  

Conclusion: Ambush Lures is all about innovation, and they have done it with the Pop-a-Long. This topwater lure allows any angler to employ multiple actions such as walk-the-dog, popping, and much more. Its sectional body design allows the lure to spit and clack as you twitch your rod, and sits like a wounded fish at the surface of the water. While targeting your favorite game fish, this lure will last a long time because of the quality construction and premium components used, all in all forming a very unique lure that well deserves our Innovation Award!









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