Bass/Panfish Popper with Metallic Fishscale Finish

Hook: # 6 cricket or Calisle with offset straightened
Thread: To match body color
Body: Balsa wood covered with textured foil of desired color, top painted, with top coat of 5 minute epoxy
Eyes: Painted
Tail: Flash and 4 saddle hackles, tied splayed

Cut a balsa wood plug of the desired diameter and length (for the swap, 1/2" diameter by 5/8" length) using a tube sharpened with a file so that the long dimension is with the grain of the wood. Cup out a circular face using a rotary tool. Split the plug in half using a knife. File or cut a space in the split halves for the hook shank using a needle file or sharp knife. Glue the two halves around the hook shank using 5 minute epoxy. Shape the popper body using knives or files to the desired shape. Sand. Paint the cupped-out face desired color. Coat all of the body, except the cupped face with contact cement. Coat the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil (or other foil or foil gift wrap) 1 1/2 time the length of the popper and 1 1/2 to 2 times the diameter of the popper with contact cement. When the contact cement is dry carefully wrap the aluminum foil around the popper body so the center of the aluminum foil is at the bottom of the popper. Join the foil along the back of the popper. Trim off the excess aluminum foil. Texture the foil using a tool with cross hatching (knurling) on the handle by pressing the knurling into the foil and rotating the tool on the surface. Paint the back with a high quality spray paint such as Krylon. Paint on eyes. When paint is dry, coat the popper with 5 minute epoxy and rotate while curing. After epoxy has completely cured, apply desired tail material.

Mark Delaney,

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