If you could only have one lure to fish with in any situation, which would it be? When you consider color and size, the choices are virtually unlimited. If you were stranded on a desert island with just one lure, you would need that lure to be durable, reusable, and most importantly, you'd need a lure that catches fish. The best saltwater fishing lure also must also be far-reaching. If you can't get your lure to where the fish are swimming, it doesn't matter how effective it is.
While poppers are exciting to fish with, they are not particularly effective fish catchers. Sure it's exciting to watch surface feeding fish crash your plug, but they probably miss it half the time. On top of that, there are many species of fish that never feed on the surface. Your popper would be useless for them.
Select a Swimmer?
Swimming plugs catch more fish than poppers, but they only cover the middle of the water column, leaving out the bottom, where 90 percent of the fish spend 90 percent of their lives. Another limiting factor for swimming plugs is their limited casting range. The same lip that gives them their fish attracting swimming motion, makes them awkward in the air. The lip catches the wind when you cast, and most swimming plugs cartwheel, falling far short of their intended landing zone.
Soft Plastic Perchance?
Soft plastic lures catch fish like crazy, but catch one fish with sharp teeth and your soft plastic lure is finished. The best fishing lure has to be more durable than that. Another negative is their limited casting distance. Too light to cast for distance, you would have many days without fish while you wait for them to come into casting range.
Bet on a Bucktail
Bucktails are hands-down the best all around lure for saltwater fishing. They can be retrieved quickly to stay near the surface, or bounced along the bottom where the fish are. Bucktails are durable, and can be used over and over. The United States Navy includes a bucktail in the survival kits issued to sailors. Specifically, a white, one-ounce bucktail jig can catch fish day and night, on the surface, on the bottom or anywhere in between.