Author Topic: Making soft foam popper bodies  (Read 5979 times)

Bob Pool

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Making soft foam popper bodies
« on: March 13, 2011, 08:22:54 PM »
I thought I would show how I make popper bodies out of soft foam. Almost all my top waters are made out of soft foam. They are very fast to build, easy to color and being soft I personally believe that fish hang onto them longer before spitting them out, much like hair bugs.

I started making popper bodies out of foam sandels in the early seventies after noticing a sandel floating on the lake. I tried just about every way imaginable to make them but when I came up with this method I knew this was it.

I punched out the primer and drilled a 1/8" hole in the primer pocket of a .45-70 shell. I put a 1/8" bolt through the hole and added a lock washer and nut. I chuck it up in a drill and drill cylinders out of the sandels. You can drill straight through or edge ways for longer bodies. I have made several other sizes of drills as well. The smallest I had to braze a rod on the back as there wasn't enough room for the bolt head inside.

Once I have a bunch of cylinders made I sand a taper to the back end. This is done to make the popper sit at a 45 degree angle in the water. That way when you pull it the popper will wag up and down more and make more movement. To know how much taper to make I always use an old Peck's popper body as my guide. They were perfect.





Tom Waits

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 04:11:01 AM »
Bob,
That is a great idea. I have tried hammering shell cases through the foam but does not give the same results you show here. Can you post a pic of your old Peck popper?
Thanks, I wish I hada' thought of that.
Tom

goflies

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 05:40:27 AM »
If you have a drill press, or a hand drill with an oversize chuck, sections of steel golf club shafts make great popper punches.  They're step-tapered, so you can get two different diameter bodies from one section.  Bevel the edge with a grinder and they'll zip right through most foam cleanly.  I cut three or four bodies, then take the punch out of the chuck and push the bodies out from the small end. Drop by any golf course pro shop and they'll likely be happy to give you broken shafts or old clubs that were lost and never claimed.


James Christian

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 03:50:23 PM »
That's a heck of a good idea!
Skin that One Pilgrim ,and i'll getcha another one!

Bob Pool

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 07:39:50 PM »
Here you go Tom. This is a really old Peck's Popper body that I still have.


This is what one of my poppers look like made from one of those bodies in my first post. Mine are longer than the pecks but I still taper them to the back exactly the same.

Quackingtim

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 08:41:04 PM »
Gee thanks Bob.  I'm in the middle of searching parts for a epoxy dryer.  Now w/this great idea, I now have to search for even more parts.  Anyone know what caliber I need for 1/2", and 7/16" foam?  I have jigs for shaping my poppers so these are the sizes I need.

Bob Pool

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 08:56:05 PM »
1/2" is .50 caliber and 7/16" is right at .45 caliber. A .45-70 would be right for the 7/16" but you might have to cut the neck and shoulder off of one of the big magnums for the 1/2". You might try the golf club handle for that size. It should still fit in a ahlf inch drill chuck as they go a little bit bigger than a 1/2 inch.

Quackingtim

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 09:36:11 PM »
The .45 caliber will be easy to find.  Don't know about the .50 caliber.  I still have a bunch of flip flops from when I started making foam poppers.  I would cut them in squares and turn them on a lathe.  This was very inconstant and messy.  Using a jig they come out perfect every time.

Rick Zieger

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 06:00:37 AM »
I bought a set of gasket cutters from Harbor Freight to cut the popper bodies out with.
Got someone to turn the tops down to fit a drill chuck.

Rick

Kirk Dietrich

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 08:55:37 AM »
Bob, that is a great killer looking popper from the hook to the tail and skirt to the properly mounted head on the hook and nicely placed rubber legs and overall color scheme. The weedguard may be a little on the long side but that is easily corrected with that kind of guard. Man, what a Great bug!!

Kirk

Tom Waits

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 04:31:25 AM »
Thanks for the pic Bob,and your version looks great.
Tom

Kelly L

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2011, 01:07:25 PM »
Looking good Bob.  You should have a ton of poppers in no time.

gene bethea

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2011, 01:53:47 PM »
Bob; you wouldn't need so many poppers if you would keep them ole bass from taking them away from you ;D ;D

Bob Pool

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2011, 08:42:50 PM »
My friend Andy is the one that needs them Gene. I just made him up a new batch a few days ago to replace the ones he lost on Purtis Creek. Of course they were all white as that's about all he uses. He did out fish me with them as well.

no.tye.much

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Re: Making soft foam popper bodies
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2011, 08:50:50 PM »
After you trim the cylinder to the 45 angle, how do you finish shaping them?