Cordell Pencil Poppers are as inexpensive as they are deadly. They come in only two sizes, the 6-inch 1-ounce, and the 7-inch 2-ounce. They excel in quiet waters and in calm to moderate surf.
Standard Gibbs pencils have been around a long time and come in 6 sizes. My favorites are the 1 1/2- and 2-ounce in quiet waters and calm surf. The 2- and 2 3/4-ounce plugs are great in calm to moderate surf. These are moderately-priced plugs that you’ll find in most tackle shops that cater to surf anglers.
I really like the Gibbs Pro Series lures. These are basically the classics with beefed up hardware. They have VMC hooks, triple split rings, and heavy duty swivels. They’re perfect right out of the package.
Tsunami Talking Poppers are very productive and a great value. They’re also good plugs to load with a little water for some extra casting distance. This video shows how.
Here’s a 31-pounder that hit an unmodified Tsunami Talkin Popper.
There’s a discussion here about various pencil poppers, and a 36-pounder caught on a Guppy pencil
Super Strike Poppers make up the bulk of the standard poppers (non-pencil) that you’ll find in my surf bag. They come in 3 sizes but 8 different weights. Look to their eye color for relative weighting. Green-eyed are floaters. The plugs with black eyes are the standards that most surfcasters use. The red-eyed plugs are extra heavy weighted for longer casts. I’m a heavy user of all Super Strike models. They’re reasonably-priced, very durable, and they just plain work.
On my first trip to the Florida Keys I noted how the barracuda chased large needlefish bait across the flats. On my next trip I was ready with 6-inch Cordell pencils that I thought if reeled at high speed might be a nice imitation of the needlefish. These worked great and their long casting distance allowed me to cover a lot of water. This is exciting fishing!