I often dead drift poppers, especially when I am floating a river. Keeping that popper within a few inches of the bank through long runs is a lethal tactic. With that being said, I am not sure you need to be as concerned about a perfect drag free presentation. There are enough times when a little "V" off the popper brings some crazy flipping out of the water strikes.
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Originally Posted by jjsacid
this doesn't really answer your question but I would catch a few smallmouth when my popper would drift to the end of the line and sit in the water as I was not paying attention. sometimes it would either sit 'dragging' in the water while I did something else or follow me close to shore as I walked up the bank. what riptide said about a wake seems right on. I probably caught most of them that way. A lot of those takes weren't very obvious either.
Great point. In this situation the smallmouth is heading upstream and the strike is not "felt" because the take actually produces slack in the line. There have been times when I didn't know I hooked a fish until I get ready to cast. It happened with a small pike one time and neither of us knew it was hooked. I told my son it was all skill