American Angling Gear Guide Review: Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper

Reviewer: Captain Skip Montello
Date: Summer, 2005

4 3/4 inch in the Green Mackerel, with factory hooks

The Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper features a unique "Super Splash Cup" concave face that pops loudly while pushing and spitting water, creating havoc on the surface. The Hydro Popper's loud splashing and popping will call in fish and distinguish itself as a better meal than the baitfish nearby . Because it is perfectly balanced, the Hydro Popper will lay flush on the water, making it an easy target for surface-feeding predators. The brilliant vacuum metallization finish is enhanced by the etched lateral line and huge, lifelike 3D eyes. The Hydro Popper has through-wire construction for maximum durability.

Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper
Type Saltwater big fish bait
ClassTop water
Colors and Patterns7 available, see photos
SizesTwo : 2 5/8"@ 7/8 oz. and 4 3/4" @ 1 1/2 oz.
Hook type and sizesTrebles : 1/0 on the 2 5/8", 3/0 on the 4 3/4"
Price $10 - $14 range at retail

First Impressions:

Yo-Zuri makes an incredible number of artificial baits designed to catch just about any fish species swimming the oceans, lakes and rivers. The Hydro Popper is a well made, durable fishing tool for any game fish that feeds near or on the surface. It comes in a variety of fish catching colors, patterns and two lengths. The Hydro Popper is constructed with a through wire connection which is essential when fighting large strong fish.

On the Water:

The Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper has been part of my light tackle arsenal for top water feeding stripers and bluefish for the past several season. I have used them primarily when active surface feeding fish were present. Over the past summer, on the urging of my partner Capt Allan Smith, I used them for school sized bluefin tuna with amazing success.

Out of the box: The factory supplied double set of 3/0 trebles are adequate for fish up to 15 pounds, but when larger fish are present, especially hard fighting bluefin, changing out the factory hooks to one single extra strong 4/0 treble attached at the tail worked best for us.

Casting and retrieving: The 1 oz model casts for good distance with 20-40 lb class (7 to 8 ft rods) spinning gear at line weights to 25 lb test. Our typical set up for bluefin tuna combines 120 ft of 25 lb monofilament up front on the spool and attached to several hundred yards of 40-50 lb test gel spun backing. This combination allows for excellent casting distance and plenty of backing when you need it. The retrieval technique is a relatively fast pick up speed with an erratic stop & go side to side hard twitching action, but is varied depending on the aggressiveness of the fish. In any event, the Hydro Popper responds with plenty of noise and splash while maintaining predictable surface float and balance.

Fish catching: If I could only have ONE surface popper in my tackle bag, it would no doubt be the Hydro Popper. Over my many years of salt water fishing, I have used many surface poppers and landed many fish, but the Hydro Popper will catch fish in more varied situations than any other one that I have used. There are some scenarios where a different popper style or surface color would work better, but if I could only have one

This past summer we were fortunate to have a large number of school sized (20-80 lb) bluefin tuna off the Cape Ann coast and an opportunity pursue them using a variety of angling techniques that included: standard multiple bait trolling, casting live bait, fly casting and casting hard baits. We were successful with all the mentioned methods, but none more exciting than casting the Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper. Seeing an aggressive bluefin tuna chase down and slam the popper was incredible. Of more than 50 fish hooked up, more than 30 of them were with the Hydro Popper (and yes we did try many other poppers and hard baits). We had success with several of the color schemes and size, depending on the bait fish present. On only one occasion we had a popper damaged. The through- wire had actually cut through the plastic body at the tail for about a . Remarkably, the wire held up and we landed the 40lb tuna.

Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper
Construction-Quality The Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper is well made, durable, with excellent color and graphics. Will stand up to many hook ups.4.8
Performance The popper is a fish catcher; stripers, bluefish and school tuna. The casting distance is adequate given the weight, the surface commotion is outstanding. 5.0
FeaturesThe through wire design held up well with big fish, the concave face and true to life eyes added to the fish catching capability.5.0
Functional DesignThe body shape/ contour, superb graphics and choice of length and weight add to the appeal. Stronger hooks should be considered.4.8
Price Premium price, but worth it! 4.5
Application The Hydro Popper is an outstanding surface active hardbait.5.0
Score:1-5(5=highest)Total Score4.85

Outstanding design and features, saltwater readyPrice
Top water performance

Excellent big fish hardbait


The Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper is usually my first choice for top water bait situations. Its built strong, performs well for a variety of game fish, and is a proven fish catcher!

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