yellowfin tuna caught on orange heru cubera popper

The Heru Cubera Popper – Why is it so popular?

Getting serious with your GT popping? Want to purchase handmade lures but don’t know where to begin? Can’t go wrong with the Heru Cubera.

The Heru Cubera is one of those poppers  that will always have its place in a topwater anglers’ lure bag.

They are easily one of the best value wooden poppers in the market and always highly recommended to anglers wanting to venture into the popping game.

A definite must-have when it comes to poppers, let’s take a closer look at why they are such a popular popper.

Build and Construction

These poppers are made in Indonesia, using some type of unspecified but durable tropical timber. The wood used make these poppers very buoyant, even after getting waterlogged after much abuse.

Fully wire-through construction means there is a solid wire connection between leader and hooks. No terminal tackle getting pulled out of this popper.

Also, with trustworthy 300lb NT swivels at the belly for attaching hooks, you’ll have your peace of mind when hooked up to even the toughest adversaries.

And the lead weight at the tail end assists with castability and keeps the tail under the water’s surface for maximum popping effect.

Cubera poppers are hand painted with a wide range of colors are available from different tackle brands. Heru produces exclusive colors and finishes for tackle shops and other well-known fishing brands so you may have to look around to find a color you love.

The overall build quality of these poppers is very good and is pretty inexpensive, especially when compared to the other GT specific specialty poppers.


Plenty of sizes to choose from, to conform to your target species.

The 40g baby poppers to 60g and 80g medium poppers are great for shallow inshore areas targeting mahi mahi, tuna, jobbies, and other reef species. While the 100g, 125g, 150g, 180g, and 200g cannonballs are purposely built for big tuna, pelagics and GT in mind.

Rigging Options

With an NT belly swivel plus tail loop, dual hook setups are the go.

Different sized poppers call for different sized hooks so make sure to talk with the tackle shop staff for hook size availability to match your popper.

The most popular but most damaging to fish is a double treble hook setup. A treble hook at the belly, and a treble hook at the tail.

Another option would be the “Baker rig”. This consists of two wide gap single hooks (i.e. 11/0 SJ-41) zip tied together, with hook points facing away from each other. Then a single 9/0 hook rigged at the tail facing up. Safer for both angler and fish, with only 3 hook exposed hook points.


With a chunky head and deep cupped face, if you catch the wind at a wrong angle, not much distance can be achieved no matter how good a caster you are.

This is part and parcel of popper fishing. Unless you have the wind at your back of course.

With an experienced skipper at the helm, mint boat positioning plus the right rod for the job, you should be able to cast this popper as accurately as needed.

Just pop extra hard if you miss the mark by a meter or so.


The Cubera is categorized as a “Chugger” but can make serious bubble trails as well.

It stays in the water well when popped. The deep cupped face catches water really well so there is no need to worry about it skipping on the surface if you pop too hard.

Cast out to the desired target and place your rod’s butt in the gimbal. When the popper lands on the water, your head and body should be facing the lure with legs spread wide staggered a bit to offer the most stability.

Popper in the water and rod butt in the gimbal. Your rod arm should be stretched forward almost where the elbow is locked. Rod should face the popper and so should your hand and arm point straight to the popper.

Reel in the slack line and pull back in a sharp and strong motion, like punching yourself in the chest, but stopping about 3 inches before you hit your chest.

Otherwise you’ll be short stroking or high sticking your rod. Reel in slack, sweep and pause. Repeat until you get a big hit!

You can also create a nice bubble trail by putting the rod butt under your arm and sweep.

A strong sideways and downwards sweep will force your popper to trap air and dive under the surface, creating a thick bubble trail.

Remember you are facing away and to the side so utilize this stance and use your upper body to help with imparting action. Arms sweep then the body twists along with the sweep to help reduce arm strain and add to the length of the sweep. Reel in slack, sweep and pause.

Price and Availability

Heru Cubera

As mentioned above, this is a pretty inexpensive handmade timber popper compared to other specialized GT poppers.

They are also very popular, thus making them available worldwide. Even more so in topwater fishing crazy destinations.

Expect to pay AU$60 – 80 per naked lure, or without hooks, depending where you are located.

In Australia, Ebb Tide Tackle and Elite Tackle  stock them in all sizes the last time I checked.

Custom colors and finishes, with reflective stickers all add up from the base price so keep that in mind when shopping around.

Easily one of the best value wooden poppers in the market today.


The Heru Cubera is my most recommended timber popper.

For materials, overall build quality and value, the Cubera is tough to beat.

It is a popper that can be worked easily and effectively by anglers of all skill levels, making it versatile and beginner friendly.

This may be the gateway popper, before you get deeper into the handmade wooden lures realm. So, fasten your seat belts, hide your wallets and get ready for the ride of your life.

Will you be buying yourself a Heru Cubera for your upcoming trip?

If you are looking for a true sport fishing company that offers you more than just a Vanuatu fishing adventure, look no further than Ocean Blue Fishing.

Call us now at (AU) 1300 564 616 or at (INTL) +61 436 020322 or you may also contact us through our website at

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The Heru Cubera Popper – Why is it so popular?

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more

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