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What is your preferred wood for decoys. And average size in length and width. Thank in advance
 

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Darkhouse Ninja
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Only white cedar for me!
 

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I have used cedar, poplar and pine. Cedar ad poplar are great for carving. Poplar seems to swel/shrink like crazy with temp. changes. Pine works but you will also work a little more.
 

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Thanks for responding I am contiplating carving a couple for my pops and cousin. Got the painting thing down doing jigs and spoons. I guess my other nieve newb lingo question would be what is meant by a "worker" deke or "swimmers" "gliders" trying to paint a mental picture. And assumptions just need to know if those assumptions are correct
 

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Thanks for responding I am contiplating carving a couple for my pops and cousin. Got the painting thing down doing jigs and spoons. I guess my other nieve newb lingo question would be what is meant by a "worker" deke or "swimmers" "gliders" trying to paint a mental picture. And assumptions just need to know if those assumptions are correct

Any deke will "work". A bush light can on a string will draw a pike. What I look for in order of importance is 1. Do they swim 2. Originality in shape and color scheme 3. Carver history and regional significance. I don't have the artistic ability to create my own dekes but I appreciate those that do. If I can ask anything from a carver its to make your own style. I have realistic "swimmer" dekes like Whittier's and Veihl's. Those decoys go fishing but are handled with kid gloves because you don't want to replace them. I also have what I consider folk art "worker" style dekes like Jason Michalski's. Those are the blue collar workhorse kick a*% dekes in your box. They are well balanced, and have basic paint schemes. These dekes are carved for one reason and that's to kill pike. If you're gonna do it, be unique. Don't copy another carvers style. That uniqueness is what sells decoys. I want to see individuality, not a copy of someone else's art.
 

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These two are oak. Cedar will likely be next attempt.
 

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What is your preferred wood for decoys. And average size in length and width. Thank in advance
I use either white cedar that I acquire locally or western red cedar that I purchase at a building center. I have used walnut in the past but its too difficult to get where I live. As far as size goes, I generally just do whatever I feel like. Most are atleast 8 inches and larger with panfish being a little shorter. width I try to stay between 3/4 to 1 1/8 (body) as I don't like making them any wider than need be. Height I try to stay proportioned with length.
 

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Keep in mind you will want your line ties usually very close to the head or directly above it in some cases......the front 1/4 or 1/3 is about where they seem to swim best. Weighting will dictate this but the further forward your tie off points the easier it is to swim the decoy. The further back the line ties are the harder it is to pull the decoy and usually they don't swim very good. If you pre-make lead weights in different weights that's the easiest way for determining how much lead you will need to sink the decoy. Rubberband lead weight to decoy until you get correct weight and placement on decoy to get it to slowly swim/glide forward. Once the decoy is leaded and the cavity is filled and sealed I then figure out where the line tie off needs to be with a thumb tack and fishng line. Once you get your balance point figured out you can screw in your line tie or whatever tie off method you choose. If your gonna use sheet metal with a bunch of holes you need to do this earlier obviously. Pre-poured lead will save you guys alot of time and frustration when trying to weight the decoy.......trust me......been there done that and wrote the book. I used to do the line ties first then add lead and try and et balance right and its an amazingly huge pain in ***** doing it like that.
 

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Darkhouse Ninja
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A lot of top decoys carvers and myself put the eyelet in before we add weight the best swim for any decoy is to put the eyelet at the front edge of the front fins then weight and balance for the eyelet. I know Maurice stiff does it this way also.
 

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A lot of top decoys carvers and myself put the eyelet in before we add weight the best swim for any decoy is to put the eyelet at the front edge of the front fins then weight and balance for the eyelet. I know Maurice stiff does it this way also.
I wish you could have been at yesterday's meeting Jason. Mike Holmes gave a great discussion on balancing a decoy and putting the weight in. Kober was there learning too.
 
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