Hula Popper

Hula Popper

One of the most iconic bass lures ever made was the Hula Popper, created by Fred Arbogast in the early 1940’s. It was the first of its kind, and the “hula skirt” on this bait is what lead to the rubber skirts you see on spinnerbaits and jigs today. It also tells you where the name Hula Popper came from.

Nowadays there are so many makes and models of popper lures that anglers have way more of a selection than they did back then. But the Hula Popper still remains a topwater favorite among bass fishermen who grew up fishing it.

The best way to fish a Hula Popper is really the way you would fish any popper. After you cast it out, sweep the rod to make the bait rush forward. This forward motion causes the cupped mouth to create a “popping” noise in the water. It also leaves a small bubble trail behind it as it makes its way along the surface.

Types of Hula Poppers

There are only two types of Hula Poppers, but the original is the only one that comes in multiple sizes. Finding all the colors and sizes can be difficult since there are so many and most stores don’t want to stock them all.

It’s also an old fashioned lure that is sharing shelfspace with a ton of other poppers made by better known brands to younger anglers. But hopefully this classic keeps getting passed down to younger generations of bass fishermen. Let’s take a look at the original Hula Popper first.

Original Hula Popper

Hula Poppers

The true original Hula Popper is the two inch model, but they have since come out with additional sizes to cater to all angler’s needs. This is nice for those who want downsize the bait to use with lighter gear, or who want to up the size to target bigger bass. Here are the current Hula Popper sizes available.

  • 1-1/4 inches (3/16 ounce)
  • 1-3/4 inches (1/4 ounce)
  • 2 inches (3/8 ounce)
  • 2-1/4 inches (5/8 ounce)

These baits look exactly like the bait that was made in the 40’s, even with the old hook hangers from its original design. They were able to keep that really cool vintage look while upgrading the quality of the plastic.

They have some great newer colors now, but still offer the baits in the original colors as well. This will sometimes make you feel like you’re looking in your grandfather’s tackle box, but these colors are just as effective as they were back then.

Hula Popper 2.0

Hula Popper 2.0

A new and improved Hula Popper has come out in recent years called the Hula Popper 2.0. Not much was changed as far as the its functionality, but it was given some nice upgrades.

The biggest upgrade on the bait are the hooks. The treble hooks on the original Hula Popper are not great, so this was a big improvement. The 2.0 model not only has better hooks but also better hook hangers. These are more modern-day hangers that are rated for more weight and allow the hooks to swing more freely.

One of the upgraded hooks is also a feathered hook. This is in place of the rubber skirt that sits on the rear hook of the original model. The feathers give the 2.0 the look of a modern-day popper on an old school classic.

But the most noticeable upgrade on the bait is the paint. These paint finishes really give them a more newage look with some eye catching colors. However, they’re not very natural looking colors, so some anglers still prefer to use the original and just upgrade the hooks themselves.