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Hillbilly voodoo

Surface paddler baits

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The Whopper Plopper works excellent for big pike and muskies.   I love fishing topwater lures of all kinds.  As said in other form posts, I'm pretty sure those big dumb beasts would eat almost anything, any color, and any shape.  It just has to be presented at the right place at the right time.  All the extra fancy paint and carvings are to catch anglers like myself haha.

 

I love the top waters in the post above! Keep it up, the bigger the better for muskies some days.

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8 hours ago, Toadman said:

I am not familiar with using decking material like this.  I have been intrigued by other comments using this stuff.  I have only been making lures for about 1-yr and have only used Cedar up until now.  Is this stuff the same as using wood?  Weight, density, holding power, carving the same?  Thanks for your input!

Here's a link to the sticky at the top of the Hardbaits Forum page.  I think it will answer most of your questions:  

 

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Thanks for the great info Mark.  I believe I will give it a try on my next go around.  Also intrigued by the Whopper Plopper design and will be attempting that.  Thanks Hillbilly Voodoo as well.  This is a really great forum with a wealth of info.

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25 minutes ago, Toadman said:

Thanks for the great info Mark.  I believe I will give it a try on my next go around.  Also intrigued by the Whopper Plopper design and will be attempting that.  Thanks Hillbilly Voodoo as well.  This is a really great forum with a wealth of info.

I make my ploppers with a through wire from the line tie to the rear treble.  .051 wire works best for me.  I drill an oversized hole that just fits a buzzbait rivet so I can use the rivets for bearings at the joint of the two body parts.  It make the tail much more free spinning.

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I am in awe, this is made from composite decking material?  Also, how did you make the tail??  There is a YouTube video of something similar, but not quite like this.  I really want to make one of these in the larger 7-1/2" or larger variety for Muskies.  Maybe we could talk details??

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43 minutes ago, Toadman said:

I am in awe, this is made from composite decking material?  Also, how did you make the tail??  There is a YouTube video of something similar, but not quite like this.  I really want to make one of these in the larger 7-1/2" or larger variety for Muskies.  Maybe we could talk details??

Bear in mind, I'm doing this from memory, since it's been a while since I made one.

Here's a picture of the last one I made.  It is slightly smaller, but you should get the idea.  Notice how deep I made the belly, so the ballast could be low enough to keep the main body from turning.

4 inch plopper 1

I traced out the body on a rectangular block, square on each end, of 1" X 1 1/2"X 4" trim board for the main body.  I took the distance down from the top of the bait to the nose/line tie and drew a line that far down at the other end of the body block.  Then I put a mark at 1/2" on both ends, so I had the same location at each end.   I also added centerlines at 1/2" on the top and bottom of the block, for reference.  Where the traced body shape was closest to the bottom, I marked a hole for the belly hook hanger, which was going to be a heavy duty Spro swivel.  I also marked two ballast holes, in front of and behind the belly hanger, close to it but far enough away to have 3/16" of material between the holes when I was done.  I pre-drilled pilot holes at all these locations, while the block was still square, so I could find them more easily once the shaping was finished and they would still be centered.

I clamped my rectangular block with one end down, square to the drill press table, and drilled a pilot hole half way into the block, and then flipped the block and drilled from the other end, so the two holes connected.  If I was careful with my block squaring and clamping, they did.  I passed a .051 sst shaft ( from Lurepartsonline) down through the hole to be sure they were aligned.  Once the shaft was drilled, I used my compass to draw a 3/4" diameter circle on the rear end of the main block , since I knew the shaping would result in the end of the main block toward the tail being round+-, and about 3/4" in diameter.

I shaped the main body, using my oscillating belt sander, a sanding block, a file, and whatever else I had on hand to get the shape close.  Close counts.  I am not an artist.  I kept the body almost 1" thick at the top, but I tapered it down to 3/4" at the belly, to remove as much buoyant material as I could, which I hoped would reduce the amount of ballast I would need.  I installed the rivet in the back end of the main body, and then the sst shaft, leaving the prebent loop at the front as the line tie, and leaving the shaft run wild for now.

Then I drilled the whole for the swivel hook hanger, and cross drilled a hole to allow me to pin the buried eye of the swivel with a piece of spinnerbait wire, so it couldn't pull out.

I also drilled two 1/4" ballast holes, all the way up to the shaft.

I drilled two recesses for the eyes. 

 

Next I cut a piece of 3/4" X 1 1/4" X 1 1/2" trim board for the tail.  I laid out the tail profile, and marked the line for the shaft, but keeping the hole 3/8" from one side, so I had a lot of material left for the fin.  I used the same method to drill the shaft hole in the tail block.  And I drew a 3/4" circle on the front of that piece, where it would meet the main body.

I used the band saw to cut out the profile of the tail.  I used my compass again to trace a 3/8"+- circle on the back end of the tail, which I knew would be close enough for rough shaping.

Then I connected the two circles with straight lines, so I could see how much material to initially remove, without cutting into the tail's fin.  

Bear in mind I had one of the original ploppers, hooks removed, on my bench next to me the whole time for reference.

I put a sanding disk into my dremel, and began removing material with it.  Bit by bit I refined the shape until it was close to the original.  The first time I did this, I was really afraid of removing too much material, since I wasn't sure how strong the PVC would actually be.  Turns out, as long as I coat the faces of the fin it was plenty strong. (I did break on of my first baits, but that was when it refused to just bounce of the concrete wall I hit with an overly strong cast in the early morning gloom.  Damn uncooperative bait!  Hahaha)  A thinner fin spins more easily, so it's a balancing act.  

I found, through trial and error that the depth from front to back of the actual fin part of the tail, not the length out from the shaft, was critical.  Too long, and the fin wouldn't turn at low speeds.  I wound up removing material from the front part until it spun easily, and the magic dimension wound up being 1/2", front to back.  The distance the fin projects out from the shaft to tip is basically whatever is left, once I cut out the profile.  Getting the shape of the fin was made much easier by have the original in hand, because the fin is cupped, which makes it trap water/air as it spins and make the plop, plop sound.  The deeper the cup, the deeper the plop. Just be sure to make the cup slant back as it goes toward the tail, to give the trapped water a way to escape easily.   Err on the side of not enough slant, and then you can increase it as you go until you get it to plop easily.

Then I put the rivet in both ends of the tail piece, slid it onto the shaft, added a couple of 3/16" sst spinnerbait spacer balls, and used my round nosed pliers to form the tail hook hanger loop.  I started my bend almost 3/4" back from the last ball, so I'd have room to do a couple of wire wraps before I cut off the excess with my dremel.  I adjusted how tight the tail was the the main body by either removing more wire with the demel to get more space if it was too tight, or spreading the coils to get less space and tighten it up.

Then I put on my split rings and trebles, including a split ring on the nose, and did a float test.  I used 1/4" lead wire, just pushed up into the ballast holes partially, to adjust how much ballast I needed to have the bait lay belly down, but not tail down.  Once I got the amount right, I pushed them in flush, and super glued over them.

Then I took the bait out for a test swim.  I played around with it, if it needed it, until it would plop as soon as I began my retrieve.

I hope this helps, and isn't too confusing.  Don't be afraid to make a mistake.  You can always make another, and another, and another.  Hahaha

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Hi Mark,

             Thanks again for your very detailed step-by-step description of the production of this lure.  Everything is pretty straightforward except the tail portion and the amount of curl and the shaping of same.  From what I gather in reading your description, this is the most critical part of the entire process.  Also, it would seem that at least a portion of this is simply trial and error, which accounts for leaving more material than you will probably ultimately need and reducing it as you test.  The idea of using lead wire and adjusting as you go along is also unique.  I am very much impressed and this will be one of my future projects.  You say you aren't an artist?  I would say you truly are one.  Have you ever considered doing a video of this process, like Marling Baits and others?  You are a true inspiration to myself and many others I'm sure.  One great thing about living in Wisconsin is we have long winters which allows plenty of time to do this kind of stuff.  I will keep you posted on my progress.  Thanks again Mark!

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Toadman,

I'm happy if it helps you.

I'm a old retired carpenter who is good with his hands.  My sister and my daughter are the artists.

They paint 'em, I frame 'em!

Yes, the tail fin is the trickiest part.  The thing it took me a while to really come to grips with is that the fin rotates away from the water on the spin, not like a boat prop.  The cupped part has to direct the water that gets trapped by it as it rotates toward the tip, so it can spill out easily once it's done it's plopping job.  Think of it as pointing toward the rear of the lure, but only slightly.

Now that I've made a few, I can do them pretty quickly, but I still need to test swim the final product.  Fortunately, since PVC is waterproof, I can test them unpainted, and then each modification as I do it, without the need to reseal each time.  It cuts way down on building time, and I love that.  I do enjoy the building process, even if it's long and involved, but I hate down time, like waiting for sealer to dry enough to continue.

With PVC, I can think of a bait, make it, paint it, and topcoat it with Solarez UV resin, and fish it the same day.  I don't generally do it, but just knowing I can makes me more likely to get up off my duff and do something.  

Now, if I could just find something to get me out into the garage to work when it's 40 degrees, short of a space heater and gloves, I'd be all set!  Hahaha

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2 minutes ago, mark poulson said:

Toadman,

I'm happy if it helps you.

I'm a old retired carpenter who is good with his hands.  My sister and my daughter are the artists.

They paint 'em, I frame 'em!

Yes, the tail fin is the trickiest part.  The thing it took me a while to really come to grips with is that the fin rotates away from the water on the spin, not like a boat prop.  The cupped part has to direct the water that gets trapped by it as it rotates toward the tip, so it can spill out easily once it's done it's plopping job.  Think of it as pointing toward the rear of the lure, but only slightly.

Now that I've made a few, I can do them pretty quickly, but I still need to test swim the final product.  Fortunately, since PVC is waterproof, I can test them unpainted, and then each modification as I do it, without the need to reseal each time.  It cuts way down on building time, and I love that.  I do enjoy the building process, even if it's long and involved, but I hate down time, like waiting for sealer to dry enough to continue.

With PVC, I can think of a bait, make it, paint it, and topcoat it with Solarez UV resin, and fish it the same day.  I don't generally do it, but just knowing I can makes me more likely to get up off my duff and do something.  

Now, if I could just find something to get me out into the garage to work when it's 40 degrees, short of a space heater and gloves, I'd be all set!  Hahaha

You need to toughen up just a couple weeks ago I was working on new designs in my shop with no heat during a extreme cold snap. Day time highs were in the -20 c or colder :lolhuh:

 

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5 minutes ago, Hillbilly voodoo said:

You need to toughen up just a couple weeks ago I was working on new designs in my shop with no heat during a extreme cold snap. Day time highs were in the -20 c or colder :lolhuh:

 

Hahaha.   My hands don't work anymore when it gets down to the low 40's, so I don't, either.

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8 minutes ago, mark poulson said:

Hahaha.   My hands don't work anymore when it gets down to the low 40's, so I don't, either.

It was working in short spurts lol

I was fighting boredom with nothing to do is the only reason I braved the cold 

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1 minute ago, Hillbilly voodoo said:

It was working in short spurts lol

I was fighting boredom with nothing to do is the only reason I braved the cold 

I do that, too, sometimes.  Temporary insanity.

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So I have a wing design I am happy with but have reached a crossroad on two options. 
 

1) a simple flat joint almost 50/50

2) a twin tail soft plastic tail. Shaded part of the body and tails in the pic will be soft plastic. Will create my own mold and it will be a keyed/glued joint between the tail and body 

Kind of leaning towards option 2 because it’s completely outside of my normal building style. So is this whole project really. But not being a big top water guy I question how effective the tails will be

To you top water guys what do you think 

0D6F50E4-D85B-4D16-8C14-F5508FC49E71.jpeg

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I think that as long as they make a ton of commotion, noise and waves, you are on to something.  It's really about being in the right place at the right time anyway.  In my mind, the main purpose of a top-water bait is to get the attention of critters below under the water.  It represents an injured fish, bird or animal, not sure which, not sure it matters if the fish are curious and more importantly, hungry.  I say give it a shot!

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I had a plopper-like lure called an Awaker a while back.  It's designed for big pike and muskie, and makes a TON of commotion on the surface.  I was throwing it over a drop-off, and something fairly large came up and really smacked it.  Sadly, it was the first time I had used that particular reel, and I had the drag set wrong, so I got nothing on the hookset.  It sure was an exciting strike though!  Pike and muskie are a blast to fish for.  Where I used to (and hopefully will again) go in western Ontario (south of Lake of the Woods on Clearwater Lake), there are both species.  I definitely have caught many more pike than muskie.  There's a reason they call muskie the fish of 1,000 casts!  It's been 7 or 8 years since I've caught either though. 

 

This big crawler idea would probably draw some pretty explosive strikes.

 

Mark, you definitely have inspired me to try and make my own plopper, though I don't think I have the wire for a muskie-sized bait.  I've got .032 stainless wire.  Let me know if you think it could handle a bigger fish.

Edited by Big Epp
Added a question.

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I have some good places to try it once open water kicks in so I hope the pike agree

taking my time slowly picking at this project but body shape and walking wing I am happy with. Trying to create a twin tail I am happy with is the step I am working on now

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On 2/13/2020 at 7:43 AM, Big Epp said:

I had a plopper-like lure called an Awaker a while back.  It's designed for big pike and muskie, and makes a TON of commotion on the surface.  I was throwing it over a drop-off, and something fairly large came up and really smacked it.  Sadly, it was the first time I had used that particular reel, and I had the drag set wrong, so I got nothing on the hookset.  It sure was an exciting strike though!  Pike and muskie are a blast to fish for.  Where I used to (and hopefully will again) go in western Ontario (south of Lake of the Woods on Clearwater Lake), there are both species.  I definitely have caught many more pike than muskie.  There's a reason they call muskie the fish of 1,000 casts!  It's been 7 or 8 years since I've caught either though. 

 

This big crawler idea would probably draw some pretty explosive strikes.

 

Mark, you definitely have inspired me to try and make my own plopper, though I don't think I have the wire for a muskie-sized bait.  I've got .032 stainless wire.  Let me know if you think it could handle a bigger fish.

I get my wire from Lurepartsonline:

https://www.lurepartsonline.com/Looped-End-Wire-Shafts

I use the .051" wire for bass lures.  For musky, I'd use at least the .062" wire.  From what I've seen from folks catching muskies on the internet, even that might be too light.

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bath tub test looks good but need to test it on the rod still.

the ugly prototype was tested at the river and worked so have faith the pretty version should be good 

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10 minutes ago, Hillbilly voodoo said:

bath tub test looks good but need to test it on the rod still.

the ugly prototype was tested at the river and worked so have faith the pretty version should be good 

If it swims as good as it looks, you're in business!

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In the end the fish are the final judge. It will be about a month before I can give it a good test on pike

as is stands I like it but fish don’t always agree with me :lolhuh:

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