Photos by Jason Sealock / Wired2fish

IMA Little Stik 135 Tackle Review

Looking for another great topwater bait for those less than slick calm days?

Fall for many anglers says one thing when it comes to bass fishing — topwater time. I’ve been playing with the IMA Little Stik 135 since about August, and have absolutely fell in love with this resized pencil popper for bass feeding on top in the fall. Check it out in action in this video and then see why I like it in my review below.

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Why you will like it

The IMA Little Stik 135 was designed to be a more “tournament sized” offering of their original Big Stik. The Big Stik measures 7 inches and weighs 2 ounces. The Little Stik 135 weighs 1 ounce and measures just 5 1/2 inches. I classify it as a large topwater, but it’s not unwieldy, even on a typical 6-foot, 10-inch extra-fast, medium-power rod.

It casts like a rocket, even in high wind. Windy choppy conditions really show what pencil poppers can do. Fishing on Kentucky Lake a lot in the fall can mean less than ideal conditions for fishing topwaters, so I’ve been throwing the Little Stik a lot more.

The bait works effortlessly. The design allows for easy walk-the-dog action, even for beginners. The bait gives off a lot of sound and great splash and on braided line, I can make it really chop back and forth hard without coming forward to far to give it a lot longer time in the strike zone. 

The Little Stik comes in 6 colors. I really like the blueback herring color and the bone and chrome colors will get a lot of play too. My blueback herring has been chewed up by smallmouth on Kentucky Lake a giant spots on Smith Lake in Alabama as well as a few largemouth on several fisheries. 

The hooks are tacky sharp but I found they bent out on a few big fish on Smith Lake using braid, so I ended up replacing them with a little heavier gauge wire hook. I landed several nice bass on it before I had any problems, so not sure why those fish bent out and the others did not.

Personal experiences

I’ve really enjoyed throwing this topwater the last several months. It works equally well in calm conditions as it does choppy conditions. It casts far and accurately without any tumbling. It has a great rattle chamber and makes a big commotion in a small space.

On Smith Lake, I was working the bait as fast as possible and getting some vicious strikes. I’ve also caught several bass with a stop and go cadence as well as a slow hard chop in place cadence. That’s probably my favorite attribute of the bait is that it walks great slow, fast, hard, soft and everything in between. 

I’ve been fishing braid on all my topwaters and recently got into putting about 16-20 inches of mono leader between the bait and the braid. This leader gives you a little shock absorber but more importantly it keeps the bait’s front hook off your line when it’s walking hard side to side. 

I caught smallmouth weighing more than 5 pounds on it, largemouth to 6 pounds and a few spots pushing 4 1/2 pounds on it. So, to say it’s a good bait would be slightly diminutive.  

TackleWarehouse.com carries the IMA Little Stik 135. You can find them on IMA’s website as well as retailers that carry IMA fishing lures.  You can check out a video of their Little Stik here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4AhTM1oSzI.


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