Re: Cork Poppers: Hook Install?
I make some really big poppers, from size 8 up to 5/0. I use the preformed foam heads a lot, cork bottle stoppers, and if I'm feeling creative, wine corks. I've also got some PVC foam cylinders, and have made them from balsa wood. All of these work just fine, just depends on how much time & effort you wish to invest.
I don't have any issues with the Bob's Banger type of poppers, but prefer to solidly mount the heads. As such, I also prefer to epoxy them in, which requires a slot of sufficient size for the hook, wrapped with a base of thread & epoxy. I also prefer to mount the hooks as low in the bodies as possible & still have them solidly embedded. I do this primarily because I feel it gives the best amount of unobstructed hook gap, which relates to better hook up percentage, and it helps "keel" the whole thing so it lands upright, or at least turns over to sit as intended.
I'm not one to always follow convention either. I use a variety of hooks, including various kinked popper hooks, and both straight shank & offset shank plastic worm hooks. I've used jig hooks too several times for some really big poppers.
Although I haven't done it in awhile, I've used hot glue to mount cork bodies with very good results. This was the higher temperature glue, not low temp. Again, a slot is needed, and I had the best results with a good thread base on the hook. I would make them in batches, usually at least a couple dozen at a time, and work in an assembly line fashion. ( I tied flies commercially for 15 years, this is how I did most everything!) Once I had the bodies shaped & slotted, and tied the thread base onto the hooks, I would place some glue in the slot, insert & align the hook, then glue again, using the hot metal tip of the glue gun to smooth the excess along the slot. After the glue cooled, I would clean up the excess with a razor blade & an emery board.
I could make & mount a couple dozen fairly quickly. Most of the ones I made were on a size 2 or 4 hooks (Mustad 33903) and using bottle stoppers.
I only tried the hot glue with cork bodies, never tried it with anything else.