Wayupnorth36

Durability of Poplar/birch

25 posts in this topic

Has anyone had any problems with poplar lure bodies? So far I have used mostly oak and maple for musky lures, but I have a lot of poplar, aspen and birch saved up to use. But a friend of mine told me that poplar isn't very durable. He has never made baits from it, though. I wouldn't have thought that it would matter too much once you seal it and coat it with a few coats of your favorite topcoat. I've seen a lot of lures in the gallery that have been made out of poplar, has anyone had any durability issues with those lures?

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I´ve made lures in both aspen &birch both holds screweyes well and as you say its up to the sealer/basecoat to do the job .

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I don't think anyone has ever stated here on TU, that a particular wood was just not suitable for lure building. Balsa needs special attention, but its buoyancy attributes make it worth the effort. Some woods have particularly hard grain, making shaping a little more difficult, but strength wise, after balsa, they are all good.

I did a search on poplar, it came up with 84 posts, so it is obviously a fairly popular choice.

If this statement is not true, I'd like to hear about it too.

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I have built hundreds of gliders from poplar without a single problem of any kind. Poplar is tough! Keep mind that many top gliders and cranks are built from western red cedar (hughes river for one) which has 1/4 the strength of poplar.

RM

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I'm experimenting with some Brazilian Cherry. It has a very tight grain is extremely hard and very heavy. It does not required any weight to make it sink. No need to epoxy the screw eyes with this wood if you use .092 screw eyes with 3/32'' bit.

s54

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I like to add lots of ballast, to control the results. So only lighter woods for me.

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Since I haven't got the years of experience that other guys on this site have, I was trying to get at the longevity of poplar lures. Is there any difference in longevity between woods once they are properly sealed and topcoated?

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I have not made many lures from poplar up to now, but I like this wood. It is light and tough. As said above, I cannot imagine a single reason why this particular wood would have durability problems. Just check that the wood is healthy and very dry before starting to shape it.

Edited by rofish

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Poplar can be used for certain lures but must be really sealed well.

The wood itself is not really tolerant of water. I like working with it because it turns nice and I can get it at big box stores.

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I seal it with mineral spirits / Boiled Linseed (60/40) till the bubbles stop > dry for 1 week in the nevada sun > light coat of epoxy > scuff epoxy with 120 grit sp > prime BINZ > paint > epoxy > fish

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As far as durability in crankbaits, no wood will last long after the clearcoat fails and most woods will last fine if it doesn't

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Poplar is way more boyant than oak or other dense hardwoods. You will need more weight to get it down and you will get more wobble out of the lure than as if made in oak. This can be good and bad. If you are using a lure design that is already rather lively in oak then the poplar may make it so lively it spooks the fish. However, it is my experience that it is great for neatral (suspending) or floating models. .............Just food for thought...............

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I have bade a boatload of Muskie lures out of poplar and if the right clearcoat is used (I like Envirotex) they will last forever. The sealer I used is incidental, and it doesnt really matter since Muskies have sharp teeth and can dig into a lure a half inch or more. The puncture can quickly begin expansion which leads to rot and the demise of the lure, so always be on the lookout for punctures in any type of wood. On another note I have found the biggest cause for trouble on a hard bait is the treble hooks wearing small trenches in the sides and bottom when they hit the water. These spots need attention since it happens over a longer period of time and can go unnoticed.

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I have heard about doing this but am unfamiliar and unsuccessful in finding anyone who can explain what T'ing your hooks is all about. Could you enlighten me?

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I have heard about doing this but am unfamiliar and unsuccessful in finding anyone who can explain what T'ing your hooks is all about. Could you enlighten me?

Juggernaut I t some of my hooks when musky fishing. If you take the belly hook on a wider profile musky bait you will notice if you lay the hooks flat against the belly two of the hooks on the trebel ethier digs the side of the bait or lays flat against the bait.So if you take pliers and bend the two hooks that are rubbing the bait and bend them out, the hooks should look like a t shape when you look at them. I do this more for better hook ups on wider baits that the hooks dont stick out past the sides of the bait. When you t them the hooks arent laying against your bait but sticking out a little more and a better chance to sink them in.:yay:

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Juggernaut I t some of my hooks when musky fishing. If you take the belly hook on a wider profile musky bait you will notice if you lay the hooks flat against the belly two of the hooks on the trebel ethier digs the side of the bait or lays flat against the bait.So if you take pliers and bend the two hooks that are rubbing the bait and bend them out, the hooks should look like a t shape when you look at them. I do this more for better hook ups on wider baits that the hooks dont stick out past the sides of the bait. When you t them the hooks arent laying against your bait but sticking out a little more and a better chance to sink them in.:yay:

Thanks I will give that a try with some chronic problem glide baits I made a few years ago. This should save me some post season winter time doctoring. I appreciate the tip. :worship:

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Thanks for the pic but it seems by hook rash is tward the front of the bait from the hook hitting near where the underside of the mouth would be on the cast. The rear hook kinda hits akwardly and doesnt have an even spread of the hooks when it hits so T' ing one of those would be a guess. I dunno I will haave to examine it more, but thanks though, lesrning how to T a treble will deffinately save me some repair jobs on some big Grandma type lures and crank baits.

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I saw some trebles that were more circular in curvature on a website recently. They appear to have the points turned in more and the barb turned out. It may not be directly pointing where it can stick the lure body. It looks like this in itself will reduce hookrash but it also may reduce hook-ups. Anyone have any experience with these hooks?

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I have been making my lures (Pike/Musky) exclusivley out of Poplar.

I like this wood because of it's ease to turn on the lathe.

No issues long term yet but I do try and go with a minimum 2 top coats, I wish I could go with more but I just can't wait to use my new creations and I take them fishing right away.

I'm going to make a couple using different woods like oak and maple

So thumbs up :yay: from me on poplar

P.S. My friends who also make their own musky lures call poplar garbage wood.

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@ Mr. J --

I used poplar about 6-7 years ago when I first started making musky baits (crudely, though, using a kitchen knife for carving, not sealing them) and I liked how light it is and easy to work.

For the last 3-4 years I've had a nice supply of oak and maple, and it is tougher to shape, and likes to split on the router if i'm not careful enough, but I like the toughness.

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Sonny, it sounds like you're talking about triple grip hooks, which have the hook point turned back toward the shank a little.

I use them as the rear hook on my cranks, and love how hard it is for fish to throw them.

I don't use them on my swimbaits. I use Owner stinger trebles, because they are strong, short shank, and have a round bend, which I think gets fish that slap at a lure, which happens a lot with swimbaits.

I think even the triple grips will cause hook rash. When they swing, they still rub against the finish of the lure. I think its as much the constant back and forth rubbing as it is the actual hook points that causes most hook rash. But there's no doubt that hook points are a lot more aggressive in digging into a finish. :(

I saw some trebles that were more circular in curvature on a website recently. They appear to have the points turned in more and the barb turned out. It may not be directly pointing where it can stick the lure body. It looks like this in itself will reduce hookrash but it also may reduce hook-ups. Anyone have any experience with these hooks?

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