View Full Version : foam cylinder cutter

Flying Trout
09-08-2007, 09:21 PM
I have been looking of different way to make my own foam poppers. I bought an attachment for my rotary device to file foam down. That makes a bit of a mess. Foam everywhere but good looking poppers. I watch Dean Campbell make poppers this way one winter.

My question is: Has anyone made a foam popper cutter using brass tubing? If you are wondering what I am talking about look at this site.http://warmwaterflyfisher.com/tyingtechniques/Foamsandalpopperplugs.htmwas I'm thinking about using this with my foam sheets I've been gluing together. If you have a better suggestion I am open to it. I really like messing around with the foam.


09-09-2007, 07:36 AM
This method works great. I find that it works best with the tube inserted in a drill press. For additional sizes check with your local archery shop and get some of the scrap aluminum tubing for the arrow sizing area. The arrow scrap is strong enough for this and comes in many sizes. Some recommend cutting a slot in the side of the tube to remove the plugs. This works ok but will make a weak spot in the tube. With practice you will learn when to stop the drill and you can pull the plugs out. If I remember correctly I bought the brass tubing at Hobby Lobby or a hobby shop-model shop.

Flying Trout
09-09-2007, 08:55 AM
thanks, I had not thought about an archery store.

Byron Begley
09-09-2007, 05:53 PM
I have some dowel cutters that I ordered from a specialty woodworking catalog. They were not cheap! But they do a pretty good job. I have a tabletop drill press here at the shop. I was buying blocks of foam and thought it would save some money for popper classes. There is some waste though so I'm not sure if it really saves anything. To get a 3/8" cylinder the dowel cutter took a lot more foam. If you are using old flip flops or buying cheap ones for your foam it might be a good idea. Using copper tubing or checking with a bow hunting shop sounds like a good idea to me. You wouldn't have as much waste using a thin cutter.


09-09-2007, 06:24 PM
I've seen an empty rifle cartridge used as a cutter also.


09-09-2007, 09:38 PM
Sorry if I didn't make it clear that I was speaking of using brass tubing. I have tried the copper tubing but it is too soft to make a good cutter. Rifle and pistol cartridges are also good cutters.

If you find that you are missing fish on the foam poppers it may be because the fish -particularly larger fish-tend to push the popper out of the way when trying to strike it. The solution to this problem is to coat the popper head with softex or 5 min epoxy before you tie on the tail. If you are using rubber legs put them thru the popper before coating.

Another foam fly you might want to try is the Garthside Guggler below is link to instructions on tying from the man who designed the fly.

09-10-2007, 11:35 AM
Anyone willing to share some picts. of their popper creations? Byron, Flying trout, anyone else? I'm also looking for some good examples of blockhead poppers.
tnernie, Those gurglers are the hot fly down in Florida for largemouth bass.The flyshops had trouble keeping them on the shelves when I was down in Orlando earlier this summer. I've tied up some smaller versions in black and yellow, and have caught a few smallies and bluegills on them.

Byron Begley
09-10-2007, 12:50 PM
Tnernie, I meant to say brass tubing. Someone told me copper was too soft. I'm going to be fishing for a few days but I'll post pictures of my poppers next week.

Gary, mine don't look as good as yours. I do have some blockhead poppers that came from Louisiana. They use them for redfish down there. Next time you are in the shop I'll dig them out to show you.


Flying Trout
09-10-2007, 09:07 PM
Hey Gary,
I'm going to try to fish the next couple of days. When I'm able to get to my tying table I'll take some pics. My poppers are real basic right now. I have used prismacolors on some to make them look more realistic. I'm looking at either buying or making an epoxy dryer.

09-10-2007, 10:51 PM
I don't spend alot of time on my bass poppers. The bass usually don't spend much time inspecting it anyways. The most important part is the Gamagazu hook. They are extremely sharp and tend to stay hooked up better than any other I've used.


09-14-2007, 09:53 PM
As a retired Science teacher, I bought a set of Cork Hole Borers used to make holes in rubber stoppers and a sharpener, from a scientific supply house. Looking at all the gadgets, I've bought, made and fooled with to tie flies; I'm wondering if it isn't easier and cheaper just to buy foam popper heads from LRO!! I picked up a bunch on sale when in there last spring.

Randy Sale

Flying Trout
09-15-2007, 07:45 PM
Oh, don't worry, I've bought my fair share of supplies at LRO. I spent some time around halftime of the Florida game up there today. Standing around talking to those guys is dangerous. They don't even have to be salespeople. They just offer up easier and helpful hints as my reciept gets larger. I'll have some poppers to show you this week none of the foam cutting yet though.