View Full Version : Sliding Poppers

19-06-2008, 07:16 AM
Have just made up a batch of sliding poppers for upcoming Pennefather Rvr (western Cape York) trip. Easy to make and very effective. Like the sliding slugs, the poppers have a hole through the middle which means no wires or split rings required (strength and ease of manufacture). It also means that when busted up by a fish or snag, the timber popper floats to the surface to be used again as the hooks are not attached. And like the slug, the popper doesn't allow the fish any headshake leverage on the hooks.

Rex, my neighbour at Teewah, picked up from Bunnings - 2 lengths of heaviest dowel at 20 and 25mm diameter; 3 cans of spray paint - chrome, red and green.

We cut the dowel into various lengths to suit target species - some we cut on a 45 degree angle for greater speed across the surface for queenies, gts, mackerel and tuna and some at 90 degrees to be cupped like a conventional popper - mainly smaller sizes for barra, jacks and trout.

With the cut piece in a vice, we drilled with a long thin bit a hole through the middle. The longer poppers (6 inch) had to be drilled from both ends.

To cup the face we simply used a large drill bit.

A belt sander was used to shape the poppers to achieve a taper towards the hook end but have used bench and angle grinders in the past to achieve this.

Cut wires to put through the hole to enable painting and drying.

Found that to dip the popper in a pot of red for the red head gives the best result and the chrome spray paint is very good. Used the burgundy touch up paint from my last hilux to dip several in which worked well. The green and red spray was a little thin. Obviously there are better ways to go about painting, but we weren't too bothered about it.

Total cost was about $55 and we made 33 poppers.

They don't have to be pretty to work as we've found out with previous batches. And throwing expensive poppers at 50lb + gts can become rediculous. Have only lost one sliding popper so far - to a gt that swallowed the whole thing, but have been busted up countless times and have been able to use the same popper again and again. They cast very well indeed and the heavier the dowel the better for this reason.

To rig sliding poppers - put leader through hole and tie on hooks.


19-06-2008, 07:34 AM
Hi Lindsay,Good post, thanks , they look great,might even try to make some myself.
Let us know the success rate after trip, and some pics of the war wounds/battle scars.

19-06-2008, 11:37 AM
Great read mate, I love this sort of stuff.

I do most of my poppering off the stones so its still not gonna help me but at least I'll be losing $2 lures rather than $20 ones. Do you reckon the old broom handle would work on tailor? if so my missus is gonna have a sore back from using a short handled broom :-X. defidently show us a few pics of battle scars


Red Bull
19-06-2008, 12:24 PM
Hi Lindsay, good innovations there mate. Can i ask what sort of spray paint you are using? What brand is it, and can you find it at Bunnings?

I am making poppers on my lathe at the moment, and once I have all the steps in the manufacturing process sorted out, the results will be pretty good I hope.

Do you find that not having a belly hook on these sliding poppers increases the number of missed strikes?

Red Bull

19-06-2008, 05:38 PM
they will work. top job slider.

19-06-2008, 08:26 PM
Greetings all!

I've made a fair few poppers from broom handles and dowel. A piece of lead sheet or a ball sinker inserted at the bottom of the lopper, three quarters along, near the tail makes it fly tail first and reduces the number of times the hooks tangle with the line.

To insert, cut an oblong slot out with a chisel and stick the sheet down with epoxy. Any gaps can be filled with marine or body filler for extra weight. The ball sinker can fit into a drilled hole, again being epoxied in.

The extra weight also gives a bit more casting distance and, if adjusted, can make the popper sit a bit heads up so it skims rather than ducks.

Have caught tailor on the ones I've made.

Regards, Rob.

20-06-2008, 07:46 AM
Thats a great concept Lindsay. I would agree with Rob. They seem to work a lot better with some weight added underneath about 3/4 back. I just use a small ball sinker hammered into a drilled hole. You can fill it with epoxy if you are fussed about the looks

I reckon they would work a treat around the River mouth after a fresh or some of those shallow reefs around DI Headland

I'm thinking of making some before my trip down to Woody Heads in a couple of weeks. I might even try some like the Zara Spook stick bait design as well



20-06-2008, 09:13 AM
Hey Linds,

Mate they look good.

How are you going to run the hooks on the sliding set up...

Trebles still.....or singles...???


20-06-2008, 10:03 AM
Agreed about the weight addition and will do precisely that with several of them. For a tailor application they would be tremendous as long as the fish can be reached and the added weight would help considerably. Also like the concept of sitting them down in the water at the rear to enable the front of the popper to skim and maintain speed and control. I'm on to it.

Red Bull, I'll check out the paints and let you know. On the missed strikes - I don't see it as being a major issue as long as there is some speed on the retrieval and there's a decent set of hooks on the back. It certainly hasn't been something we've noticed as being a problem. At this stage they've only been used around Weipa and Pennefather and there's 40 queenies or gts competing over each popper - hard not to hook up easily. Tend to use one single 4/0 or 5/0 to make it easier on the release.
Ideally, they should cast better without the belly hooks - aerodynamics and balance and I've found they spiral well on the cast.

Dave, broom handle would be ideal but you may be able to get heavier dowel - it's cheap ($10). I had a couple of old broom handles that were hardwood and they provided the first batch we did.

20-06-2008, 10:07 AM
The only pic I have (so far) of a sliding popper in the field.

20-06-2008, 10:17 AM
I think singles Pete, for the better quality fish although trebles would probably be fine most of the time. Will pre rig leaders with crimped singles to avoid distorting the hook set up with a knot. If having to tie the hooks then trebles would be a better option or a single 4/0 or 5/0.