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Old 05-20-2011, 07:04 PM
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Default Cork Poppers: Hook Install?

I am new to fly fishing and thought I would try my hand at making some some poppers for warm water fish and need some insights on how to place the hook? I was planning to insert the hook through the cork but I have also came upon designs where some have notched out a section for the hook. Is there any difference btwn two methods or is there a better more effective way to install the hook?
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Cork Poppers: Hook Install?

I've never tried drilling a hole and poking the shank through, so I can't compare.
Notching out the bottom works perfectly well for me, especially with foam. Krazy Glue pulls it together in a practically seamless joint as you squeeze.
With cork, I'll use epoxy and fill in the gap at the same time I'm gluing the body on.

What I do is cut a kerf in the body with a tool I made from a broken jigsaw blade glued in a dowel handle. I stand when I do this as you can more easily see if you're cutting it straight.
Then I'll rough up the hook shank with an emery board and wrap the area, widely spaced, with size D rod winding thread. The thick stuff.
Then glue the body on as above.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Cork Poppers: Hook Install?

Actually, I have made poppers with the body drilled to accept the hook shank.
"Bob's Bangers" are designed to have replaceable heads and so aren't glued on.

a Bob's Banger

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Cork Poppers: Hook Install?

riptide: thank you for sharing, I made my 1st cork popper and I pushed the hook directly through, it's pretty snug most likely since I wound a good amount of thread and I applied some cement 1st. I'm going to make my next popper by notching a filing up the hole w/ epoxy or crazy glue, have you had any experience using crazy glue on cork?
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Cork Poppers: Hook Install?

I use krazy glue like other people use head cement
You can use it on cork, but it doesn't seem to penetrate as well as you'd like so the cork bodies break off just a bit easier than if you used epoxy.

Lotta times I'm lazy and rather than deal with the epoxy, I'll attach the body with CA and then fill the gaps with hot glue. I usually use hot glue to cement my tails, so it's out.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Cork Poppers: Hook Install?

I have done well with a two part puddy. When I have a bunch to do up. I super glue a shank wrap of thread. and mount head. then finish with epoxy puddy. Best of both worlds. Friend uses zapagap Ca glue and skips puddy trick entirely.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:30 PM
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Default 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.
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