Anglers Celebrate Return Of The P70
Fort Smith, Ark., May 5, 2005
Never has one word, if it can be called a word, evoked more stories and sparked more memories.
Once a part of everyday angling vocabulary, the P70 has been noticeably absent from conversations for more than a decade.
The P70 - Rebel's 3", 9/16-ounce Pop-R, - has been heralded as the "top-secret bait of the pros."
Now the P70 is back, and word is spreading like wildfire.
"The P65 and the P70 have a lot of similarities," said topwater fishing legend Zell Rowland. "Both are long. Both are big. When I fish a lot of bodies of water with two- to four-pound fish, those are the two baits I'm going to use. But when I want to target really big fish, I'll go for the P70.
"You really can't beat that big bait," Rowland continued. "I'm glad to see it's coming back. I can't believe it ever went away."
Dan Taylor of Mountain City, Tenn., is the man behind the revival of the P70. Taylor owns TNT Outdoors and is the only place a fisherman can find the P70.
"It's been a lure I've used for a long time," Taylor said. "It's extremely hard to get your hands on. Anybody who had one, you couldn't give them $50 for it."
The P70 disappeared almost 15 years ago, and anglers sought them out with the fervor of collectors. But these collectors wanted the P70 because it produced. They wanted to use the P70.
"I've been in the tackle business for six years and a fisherman for 15," Taylor said. "The first time I used a P70 was 10 years ago. I've only been able to get my hands on three. It's the greatest summertime topwater bait there is."
Taylor says his brother and business partner, Doug, initially was reluctant to bring back the P70.
"He was wary of the commitment needed to get the lure made again," Taylor said. "He's come to realize, though, that it was worth it. We can't believe the reception this bait is getting. It's extremely popular with people over 40 who used to fish it years ago."
Taylor said his main priority was getting the P70's signature "bloop" just right.
"One day I took a prototype down to the pond and caught seven bass in 25 minutes," Taylor said. "The bait didn't even have any eyes painted on it or anything. That's when I knew the P70 was back."
"The design of the bait from the mouth to the tail lets an angler create two different sounds," Rowland said. "The higher the fisherman holds the rod tip, he'll get the more realistic sound of a shad skittering across the surface. Hold the rod tip down and you get that classic 'chug.' There's not a lot of topwater baits you can fish and get two different sounds from."
Rowland fishes the P70 two different ways, and he lets the fish dictate which action he uses.
"The fish will tell you the way they want it fished," Rowland said. "There's times the fish want the bait skipping fast across the surface. Then there's other times you slow down and 'chug' it and let it sit for 15 to 20 seconds and then 'chug' it again. And then the bass will just blow up on it."
The P70 is available in four colors - Chrome/Black, Chrome/Blue, Tennessee Shad, and Bone - and is deadly for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskie, striped bass, and many saltwater species.
Word of the P70's return has spread in Tennessee. And anglers are adding to the legend by their reactions to the baits.
"I had two doctors come in the other day," Taylor said. "They bought like 20 of the P70's apiece. They were so excited. Like kids, almost."
Taylor said the doctors left the store and he watched them as they approached their vehicle.
"They were literally dancing in the parking lot, saying, 'We got them. We got them. I can't believe we got them.'
"People don't get that excited over a bait," Taylor added.
But this is the P70.
Public Relations/Pro Staff Manager
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