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balsa wood poppers vs deer hair


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28 replies to this topic

#16 feathers5

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:41 PM

My two cents. For some it's fun to spin hair. For others it's satisfying to paint and dress foam poppers. Whatever floats your boat, err, bug. They both catch fish. My preference is shaping foam cut from a flip flop, with a  dremel tool. I like to cut them, dress them, paint them, and glue on eyes. Even that's not necessary. My complaint with deer hair is the mess. I live in an apartment so I usually take my dremel outside in the cold and shape the foam. I bring them in and work with them on my bench. A lot less mess than with deer hair.



#17 Flat Rock native

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 04:36 PM

My two cents. For some it's fun to spin hair. For others it's satisfying to paint and dress foam poppers. Whatever floats your boat, err, bug. They both catch fish. My preference is shaping foam cut from a flip flop, with a  dremel tool. I like to cut them, dress them, paint them, and glue on eyes. Even that's not necessary. My complaint with deer hair is the mess. I live in an apartment so I usually take my dremel outside in the cold and shape the foam. I bring them in and work with them on my bench. A lot less mess than with deer hair.

Using the Dremel is great fun. What are you using for the Spindle to hold your foam? Are you shaping with Emery board, File, or other cutter?

I think spinning deer hair is both the most challenging and Artistic process but my attempts were poorly conceived and built... Would try again after several years, after getting new information and inspiration from the Talented DeerHair Sculptors that post Creations on FTF.

Kenduardo's Lure & Fly

Buffalo, Wyoming

Established: Circa "Whenever you see anything I have, ... that you must buy!"

 


#18 vicente

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 06:30 PM

The key to the mess is having a nice little Shop vac, I use the 12 volt Milwaukee, I got it for vacuuming out the tracks for window cleaning clients but man is it nice to hand for picking up fly tying mess.

#19 Bimini15

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:39 PM

I did, I think, surprisingly well with deer hair when I first tried, but I would need a lot more practice to be good at it.
What made me part ways with it was the mess, compared to the ease of other poppers/divers/gurglers.
Now I tie gurglers for fresh water. I would tie bangers and gurglers if I went saltwater.

Made balsa lures as a teenager so I am fond of them, but, to me, it is a lot more work.
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#20 bass bug man

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:54 PM

All of these materials have their place, but what's being over looked here is some materials will make deeper gurgling than others will in the water. Some days the fish will want a louder noise and some days they want something softer sounding. I've been building bass bugs for over 40+ years; I use a lot of cork and balsa wood. But back in the day I use to use a lot of deer hair. As far as bass holding onto deer hair longer than balsa wood, I don't give them that option. Discussing flip-flop foam, I have found that material has a tendency to slide over the water and although I do carry a few foam bugs myself; I very rarely fish with them.

I fish about 4 days a week, and the biggest bass I've landed on a balsa wood popper this year was at 9:30pm, and the fish was just at 13lbs. One reason I use a lot of balsa wood is because I find you cant get cork like you use to. There are 3 grades of balsa wood: soft, medium, and hard. I use the heart of the tree, and the wood its self looks like Birds Eye Maple. Last year I went through approximately 600 feet of balsa wood; I build bugs from a size 2/o to a size 4 all in balsa wood. (Find them on Bream Bugs under Pultz Poppers)

When I make bass bugs I want them to last. I want my bugs to be passed down from generation to generation, and amaze someone's grandson/granddaughter on how I made that bug. If anyone as questions on finishes, just give me a holler' ! 



#21 Flat Rock native

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:01 PM

All of these materials have their place, but what's being over looked here is some materials will make deeper gurgling than others will in the water. Some days the fish will want a louder noise and some days they want something softer sounding. I've been building bass bugs for over 40+ years; I use a lot of cork and balsa wood. But back in the day I use to use a lot of deer hair. As far as bass holding onto deer hair longer than balsa wood, I don't give them that option. Discussing flip-flop foam, I have found that material has a tendency to slide over the water and although I do carry a few foam bugs myself; I very rarely fish with them.
I fish about 4 days a week, and the biggest bass I've landed on a balsa wood popper this year was at 9:30pm, and the fish was just at 13lbs. One reason I use a lot of balsa wood is because I find you cant get cork like you use to. There are 3 grades of balsa wood: soft, medium, and hard. I use the heart of the tree, and the wood its self looks like Birds Eye Maple. Last year I went through approximately 600 feet of balsa wood; I build bugs from a size 2/o to a size 4 all in balsa wood. (Find them on Bream Bugs under Pultz Poppers)
When I make bass bugs I want them to last. I want my bugs to be passed down from generation to generation, and amaze someone's grandson/granddaughter on how I made that bug. If anyone as questions on finishes, just give me a holler' !


Welcome to the forum Bass Bug Man. Seems like you may have some great fish and fly photos, so post them up. Most of your questions on using this platform for business objectives will be answered in the "Pinned" threads section. Same for Swaps, etc.

I have always enjoyed the balsa poppers and sliders, my earliest flyfishing was mostly with balsa items. You will see some fabulous popper examples here and we welcome any new contributions.

Kenduardo's Lure & Fly

Buffalo, Wyoming

Established: Circa "Whenever you see anything I have, ... that you must buy!"

 


#22 Philly

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:10 PM

I've never attempted a balsa popper.   The first poppers I ever made I used large goose quills which I stuffed with foam pieces. I was looking to make pencil poppers.

 

Attached File  Goose Quill Popper- Yellow.jpg   142.1KB   0 downloads

 

I went through a stage where I used large foam cylinders and  a dremel tool, sand paper and emery boards to shape them into my favorite dark side poppers.  Some came out OK even caught a fish or two.

 

Attached File  Hula Popper.jpg   81.81KB   0 downloads

 

Now I stick pretty much to soft foam popper bodies, I  may sand paper them to get a better shape if I'm turning them into sliders.  I find them much easier to work with.  They're easy to color with permanent markers and durable with a light coat of a flexible UV resin. 

 

Attached File  IMG_0586.JPG   70.88KB   0 downloads

 

 

I've worked with deer hair, not very good with it.  Find it messy even with a vacuum but I've got several patches of belly hair that I want to use up.  So one of my projects this winter is to tie up some poppers.  Will post pictures when I get around to tying them.  This is the only picture I have of one of my deer hair attempts and it's a slider.

 

 Attached File  Poly.jpg   170.64KB   0 downloads


"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#23 Flat Rock native

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:35 PM

Each a nice contribution to these pages, Philly

Kenduardo's Lure & Fly

Buffalo, Wyoming

Established: Circa "Whenever you see anything I have, ... that you must buy!"

 


#24 Gene L

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:40 PM

Some nice work on display here.  I've made some hair poppers but dislike working with deer hair.  My pal Jim is good at it.  I'm a Flopper Popper guy myself, but I realize this is a fly tying forum and a F/P is strictly utilitarian.  I tried to do some balsa once, but it's not my thing.  When I was a kid, pre-hard foam, the Boy Scouts magazine "Boys' Life" used to devote a lot of instructions, but that was before balsa was available where I lived.

 

Cork?  Hardware store bottle corks have too many pits in them.



#25 denduke

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 08:20 AM

Favor cork over balsa due to cracking/splitting. Wrapped with thread to guarantee.....holes in cork not big problem but I'm not perfectionist either....only occasional deer hair lately....
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My stacking and packing is prolly minimal per youse guys...

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If you wanta sing the blues, you gotta pay your dues, and you know it don't come easy...RS
Due to severe budget cuts and economic down turn the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off...

#26 Bimini15

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:03 PM

Glad this thread is revived. Great poppers to look at.
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#27 Stippled Popper

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 10:30 AM

Favor cork over balsa due to cracking/splitting. Wrapped with thread to guarantee.....holes in cork not big problem but I'm not perfectionist either....only occasional deer hair lately....
102_1014.JPG

102_1016.JPG

102_1034.JPG
My stacking and packing is prolly minimal per youse guys...

103_0561.JPG

 

denduke 

 

Interesting idea to wrap thread wrap around the Balsa bodies.  The thread doesn't show in your finished product.

 

The finished cork bodies well show how effectively the tier can fill in the gaps.



#28 denduke

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 07:50 PM

I carved/emery papered utility cork for years. Once you seal the cork paint fills holes,etc easily. And perfection not required by ole bucket mouth...I never had a problem with strait shanks so hump shanks which hard to get and too long usually aren't needed and Keazyglue holds just fine. Doesn't take that long to cut/shape with the coarse emery so power tools are joke. Even shaping the square balsa stock.
Lately though had been buying the ready made bodies styrofoam, soft foam....lazy ...Went to nearest flytie spot, BassPro, 1.5 hours away to get a nice sale on fly rig for $70 and realized I was paying $1 apiece for bodies and passed. Got some nice SF sparkle fiber and cheap eyes instead. Gonna go back to hobby corks on the next batch. Been using foam lots more on poppers anywho....
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Nice 8wt HobbsCreek 9' with spooled reel, extra spool and case. $70 regular $149?. Tried it out....if I can cast/ shoot all the line easily I'm quite satisfied with inexpensive rigs...
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But I digress....
If you wanta sing the blues, you gotta pay your dues, and you know it don't come easy...RS
Due to severe budget cuts and economic down turn the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off...

#29 denduke

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:12 PM

Some old stuff with utility cork...
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Some vintage deer hairs...w/battle scars
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If you wanta sing the blues, you gotta pay your dues, and you know it don't come easy...RS
Due to severe budget cuts and economic down turn the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off...