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poplar for top waters

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i have been using broomstick wood for spooks.but it is so dense it tends to walk under water.so i picked up a 7/8th poplar dowel.i was wondering if you think this will work before i carve one out.

i wanted to use basswood but i could only find smaller dowels then i wanted in this tiny town.thanks for any info.

gary

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Broomstick handles are most times made with ash. If you want to make a really big saltwater plug, use an old baseball bat. lol, just kidding. :P

Your local store should be able to order in any size you want.

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i just wanted to make some bass size spooks maybe a few torpedo's.do you think the poplar will float up high enough?c.c. recommended the broomstick wood to me.but we dont talk anymore :) .so i need some good advise.

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Poplar isnt a bad choice, if its dowell stock its most likely kiln dried. Ive made many a popper out of poplar. if you get a chance to pick your pieces, go with the lightest color dowels, the (denser,heavier) sapwood of poplar will be darker, usually olive green & even purple in some cases.

Like was said above, for surface baits, avoid dense hardwoods like whats used in tool/broom handles

Good luck.

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BB,

Well are you ready to get confused? I don' EVER use Poplar as it is the WORST wood of all I have tested for causing bubbles in the finish clear coat. In fact I threw out enough poplar about two weeks ago to make 500 bass poppers! I have tried pine, western cedar, mahogany, poplar, willow, basswood, soft maple, hard maple, oak, doug fir, and probably others I have forgotten now and poplar is the worst of all for bubbles.

Now keep in mind I am building musky lures which are quite large. This means I have a whole bunch more surface area to deal with when the clear coat goes on. That being said tho, poplar will nearly always bubble on me to the point of where it will at times ruin the lure. I do seal my baits and primer them, doesn't seem to help much. Also, if you don't glue in the screw eyes, get ready for mega bubbles coming from this area as well while the clear coat is drying. My suggestion........toss the poplar, if you are going "through wire" then you can use balsa. How about basswood? Wonderful wood with an even grain and more than tough enough for bass. I use hard or soft maple (both are very hard) for making my topwater baits. Keep in mind whether you use a soft wood or a hard wood, a bait of equal size and shape whether it is made from the lightest wood or the heaviest will weigh the same at the point of sinking. So, light woods will require more weight, heavier woods will require less. A heavier wood will require less weight and will hold screw eyes better. Light wood will require more weight and may or may not hold the screw eye as well as you would like. Buy a heavy wood like maple and a light wood like basswood, make the same popper out of each and see which you prefer, you may see huge differences.

good luck. :D

Jed V.

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musky lures :) i just started musky fishing this year.only hooked 1 and lost it next to the boat.thanks for the tips.

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BB' date='

Well are you ready to get confused? I don' EVER use Poplar as it is the WORST wood of all I have tested for causing bubbles in the finish clear coat. In fact I threw out enough poplar about two weeks ago to make 500 bass poppers![/quote']

Man, Jed I woulda taken that poplar off your hands for ya.

All my first lures were select poplar unsealed, just prime & paint with a single Dev-con topcoat. They look as awful as the day I painted-em, but the clearcoats' fine. :wink:

Whittle em out BB & let us know your results, I've always liked & recommended poplar to beginners cause its cheap, easy to find & carves alot better than hardwoods IMO.

Obviously, your mileage may vary.

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I agree Jerry it is good wood, nice to work with. I would be using it myself if it weren't for all the problems. Ask George (Woodieb8) he will tell you...same problems. I think if you are building bass-sized lures it probably helps, less chance for bubbles.

If you are interested BB send me an email and I will send you out a pic of a bait with bubbles on it so you can see what I am talking about.

I hope you have good luck with it.

Jed

tossmealine@yahoo.com

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hi guys. we did a run on painting poplar baits. the problems encountered was they swell like ball park frans when water seeps in. you can never trule seal a bait, and after a couple fish with teeth marks its over. we make muskie baits and are also dealing with large variances in temps. also as jed stated we are using large surface areas of wood.. my personal favorites in wood is cedar or honduras mahogany. each wood when created into a lure has its own reaction or action in the water . the mahogany is slower reacting, then cedar.these are my personal preferences only or as one would say,,, my 2 cents worth

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I have been using poplar dowels to make Zaragossa type lures with no prolems. I center drill them for wire thru and turn them on my lathe. I then sand with 150 grit then seal with Etex. I helps to heat the wood a little before sealing, my wife objects to me using the oven so I have been using a blow dryer. I slop on plenty of epoxy and let them drip for a few minutes, then I wipe them down to remove the excess. The epoxy may cause the grain to rise a little, but don't worry.

Once dry I sand with 220 grit until smooth enough for primer and paint. After paint I apply two or three more coats of Etex.

These lures are 4 to 4 1/2 inches long wieght an once or more. Their primary use is for snook. Below is one I left natural to show off the wood.

wonderDog.jpg

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Didn't I tell you to get ready for confusion BB? lol. Beautiful topwater Mallard! At the risk of hijacking BB's thread, can you explain how you get it drilled from one end to the other?

Jed V.

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nice topwater bait man. i guess its what your used to using. theres guy on this forum that work magic for sure.. . thats why i enjoy visiting this forum.the imagination is an incredible thing.

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I can not disagree with the following:

the problems encountered was they swell like ball park frans when water seeps in. you can never trule seal a bait, and after a couple fish with teeth marks its over.

For the intended application, my lures are designed to be tough, but not bullet proof. I've tried western red cedar and bass wood and found the action of both to be two fast for my liking. The heavier poplar gives the action I like and I can leave the natural wood showing for a nice bone color. But, you are correct, they are not made to withstand a coating breach to the wood level.

For me the question is do I go to a more stable wood (Alaskan Yellow Cedar would do the trick) but compromise the action and look of the bait?

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BB,I have had good luck painting poplar,though not for lures.I believe that poplar has no more problems than any other wood.Generally I have found,in my experience,that the most problematic woods (concerning bubbles developing) have been the most porous ones.The heating idea works well for me no matter what type of wood I used.If the wood is questionable on how much the sealer will soak in, then soak 'em - if possible.Bubbles are usually caused by trapped air trying to escape, or a finish compatibility problem,which may be fixed by simply letting the undercoats completely cure berore applying anything over them,this is especially true when using different base types. Hope it all works out!

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For the poplar, try sealing by dipping in a mix of boiled linseed oil/mineral spirits (60% linseed/40% spirits). Dip for a minute, let drip, wipe off excess, then hang to dry for a week. Prime/paint as usual. Just be sure to read and follow the directions on the linseed can as far as disposal of the rags.

AYC will work real well for the saragosa style bait. Density is just a little less than that of poplar. I like the action that I get out of topwater baits made of that stuff. Striper and smallie sized topwaters.

For thru drilling a blank, I use a drill chuck in my lathe with a 1/8 inch bit. Drill from one end, then the other. Finish up by using a longer bit in a hand drill, again drilling from both ends. I've done striper plugs upto 10 inches long like this.

Andrew

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can you explain how you get it drilled from one end to the other?

There are several methods, but the most reliable is on the lathe. APB is the master of that method.

If you are not turning your baits you can use a drill press. You will be limitied by the "spindle stroke" of your drill. Here a few tips:

-Drill the center hole while your stock is still square (or round)

-Bulid a jig to center your wood under the bit

-Use a brad point drill bit and back it out after every inch or so

-An 1/8" bit is the smallest I use

-Drill half way and then flip the wood over and drill from the other side

This is the key to keep the bit from wandering and missing the center of the tail end of the wood. The jig holding the bait center therefore is the most important piece)

You can now cut and shape the bait as normal. I use swivels to attach my belly hooks so drill a 3/8" hole from the belly to just past the center of the bait, bisecting the center hole.

I now seal the wood with epoxy, how you seal is your choice. I use a pipe cleaner to get the epoxy inside the center hole, this is a "just incase step.

Once my painting is complete I use grommets with an 1/8" OD at each end of the center hole, insert a swivel and grommet in the belly hole and thread my wire through. After wrapping the wire, I use epoxy to totally seal all three holes in the bait. This is step most saltwater guys skip, but because I use some less water tollerant wood (like poplar) I feel this is necessary.

I think you could modify this approach to fit most types of baits, I even wire thru my 2" poppers. Please ask if you any more questions.

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I had the bubble problems as ya'll described at first. All my baits are thru wire. And I use steel shot for my weights and rattles. So all my baits are 2 piece's glued together. When I started using devcon to glue the peices together. No more bubbles. I almost never see bubbles maybe one or two at most. B)

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have you ever tried honduras mahogany. its great but pricey. we have never used alaskan cedar ourselves. or changing the lip angle a couple of degrees will change action, but it depends on your application of where you want your bait to be in the water column. so many variables so little fishing time.

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AYC will work real well for the saragosa style bait. Density is just a little less than that of poplar. I like the action that I get out of topwater baits made of that stuff. Striper and smallie sized topwaters.

I will try AYC then. I have been building some of my fresh water baits for saltwater and I have been having a hard time adjusting my weighting from WRC to AYC. I was therefore assuming that the AYC would be too heavy to make a good Zaragossa.

I am assuming you are walking the dog with them. Are you tail weighting them? What angle do they sit in the water?

Sorry BB, I think your thread has been hijacked. :)

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i no AQB.that linseed oil ignites as soon as light hits it.i had that happen in a place i worked a few times.but thanks for all the tips.its a little confusing to me.but i will try the poplar out.

anyway i started carving it out with a utility knife.it is very easy to carve.not like the broomstick wood i was using.that was like trying to carve a rock. 8O

but i like mallards idea of using wire in the bait without cutting it in half.but i need to find a tutorial on that with pics.i dont understand exactly how its done.

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Mallard,

I have not made a saragosa, though have several similar type plugs from other builders. Tail weighted, sit vertical in the water. I've done plenty of topwater plugs from AYC: poppers, pencils, spooks. Weighed in various ways. Pencils, tail weighed so they sit vertical. Poppers belly weight so they sit flat in the water. Spooks either tail weighed or in the belly close to the tail so they sit slightly tail down. All will walk the dog. Plenty other ways to work them too. I've done these in various sizes from 3 inch smallie plugs to 10 in striper plugs. The AYC is almost as dense as poplar (though more bouyant) and more dense than WRC. A little less weight than you put in WRC and you should be fine.

BB, I did a tutorial on thru drilling on a lathe on another site. How would I go about loading that up here. Definitely makes more sense once you see photos.

Andrew

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I'm not sure.but i use photobucket for pictures.maybe you can highlight and drag it to your post.but sometimes with pictures and print its hard to do.I'm not very computer savvy

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