When it comes to reed fishing, all types of lures tend to offer poorer hookups as compared to lures used in more open water conditions. I just believe it’s as simple as the reeds being thick and they’re moving, and kicking the lure out as well. I think they may actually hinder the fish’s movement somewhat too. But it’s just harder for them to zero in. The buzzbait on top is even harder yet than something below. Also keep in mind that, in general, topwaters are poor hookers … It may be because the fish try to slash at the lure (possibly testing or trying to wound) rather than just eat it.
Anyway, it’s a presentation that by nature is not the highest hooking percentage for this specie already … start bouncing it off of reeds and it gets worse. A bigger body is a good idea. At Musky Mania Tackle, we are in the process of putting out a buzz and spinner bait. There are quite a few good spinners out there. My favorites would probably be the Rad Dog and Dick Pearson’s new “Grinders”.