Regardless of the “how,” the secret of the Pop-R was out. Two other pros admitted their success came on a Pop-R -- Rick Clunn and Tommy Martin. It became the first lure-focused article Bassmaster magazine ever ran (January 1987 issue), but a lure so special that the pros kept it a secret for so long, it deserved to break the ice.

In less than a year after the article appeared Rebel sold more than a million Pop-Rs.

One other event added to the lore of the Pop-R. Rowland said he was fishing a tournament at Nevada’s Lake Mead and requested a dozen of the new color type Rebel had just introduced, the G-Finish, be overnighted to him.

“Joe Hughes was leaving that evening to attend the tournament and said he’d just bring them with him,” Rowland said. “It had a little red in it and was a smoking hot color. I was leading the first two days of the tournament, but the last day the fish just didn’t seem to be as hot for them as they had the previous two days. Then I saw Larry Nixon a couple cuts ahead of me.”

According to Rowland, he caught up to Nixon and noticed he was throwing a similar lure. Then, he realized he was throwing the EXACT lure. He asked him about it.

“He said Hughes was handing them out the night before,” Rowland said. “He must’ve brought 30 dozen! Shoot, they were really on that Pop-R bite the first couple of days when I was leading the tournament, but then everybody was pounding them on it.”