Jan 312011

Some of you Twitter folks may have already gotten a glimpse of the sweet crazy magic that is the Pinata (party) Popper.  This post is going to be a quick start to finish pictorial of the build as well as a glimpse of what it looks like finished and with hooks attached.

Hand carved wood popper

Tapered the sides a bit

I decided to create this popper with a shape similar to a flat sided jet engine.  I’m a big fan of flat sided plugs like this but I also like the fact that the head is big and chunky.  The wooden plug itself is about 2 1/2″ inches in length.

This wooden popper plug is mostly hand carved.  I used a drill to dig out the mouth but all of the other work is hand carved.  I wish I had a small pen lathe to crank these out but alas my main tool is a chip carving knife.


I'm a huge fan of cheap gray primer

Started with green/white

Added some details

A little black in the eyes

Decided on a little wave


From here on out the Fiesta begins!  Knowing that my green is a little light and my paint markers don’t have amazing detail, I decided to make things a little crazy.

I have a theory that a camouflaged looking “average” paint job will beat a high detail job hands down.  Camouflage makes the brain work.  My theory is that the brain does a great job of filling in missing details.  I think it is easier for the fish to  pick out flaws when something is too perfect.  This pattern with all of its craziness is going to make that fish work to figure out what it is and curiosity my friends, killed the catfish (or predatory fish in this case).

I’ll hang on to this theory at least until I purchase an airbrush and replace my wonderful paint markers…

Side view

Added a little orange dot behind the eye

The gray paint is actually metalic silver

I decided to dress up the tail treble hook.  Cheap craft store feathers were what I had on hand and I actually dubbed some of the scrap clippings into the wraps for fun.

Feather Fins!

Couple coats of poly

Here she is

White belly

Another finished look

This hand carved wooden popper plug was a fun build from start to finish.  There is something about carving wood that really puts me in touch with the act of creation.  Wood carving allows you to take what is essentially a plain ol’ stick from a tree and turn it into something lifelike (or at least crazy looking).

I decided to throw a red treble hook on the front of this plug.  Depending on who you talk to and what day of the week it is red hooks can be good or have no effect on catching fish.  I personally haven’t heard that they scare fish away so I’m willing to play the cards and hope that the fish like red hooks.

I hope you like the hand carved goodness I’ve created.  I’m far from being a pro but it’s always fun to end up with something fishable at the end of a project!

If you have a lure or project you are working on I’d love to hear about it!  Drop me a line in the comments below.

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  • Nice work FF. Please post a follow up with your catch!

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