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pop-n-bugg

Looking for hook substitution

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My poppers are out of foam. I use straight shank hooks with thread wraps on it with super glue. NO problems with them coming apart.

I have a Dremel  tool and use a 1/64 inch bit to drill holes thru the foam for the hook to go through.

Rick 

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You got dat right, Rick.  Flat foam or punch outs, even shaped are the easiest.  Once the CA glue sticks to the hooks the bond is stronger than the foam.

 

 

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As noted above I'm using soft foam popper heads for my SpeedBugs... The heads are by Perfect Popper, and they're available to any shop that does business with Wapsi Fly... 

zLXQpyG.jpg

These are using Mustad 34007 stainless hooks in size #1 (two or three sizes larger than Perfect Popper recommends for this size head- but I'm tying for saltwaters and really need the larger hook.  Unlike freshwater poppers that concentrate on carefully painted heads along with rubber legs, etc.  The SpeedBug is only meant to imitate a struggling  minnow (and of course the foam won't take paint, but will take markers if needed... so they look a bit plain... Don't be deceived these are deadly on snook, tarpon, speckled trout, redfish and any other fish willing to attack easy prey at the surface... 

 

In use, I run a  double layer of thread (Danville's flat waxed nylon) over the area that the popper will be attached to then fit the pre-shaped slot onto it,  just barely... The next step is to run a bead of thin super glue onto the thread then push down the popper into position and clamp the edges of the slot with a clothes pin to hold them together for about five minutes until the glue sets up rock solid...  The glue I prefer is the original Krazy Glue available widely.  The clothes pins leave a noticeable dent in the popper head but in an hour or so the head returns to its original shape.. Here's a pic or  two of how I'm doing my collars and tails... 

pVXI1MK.jpg

This was the original SpeedBug - so named because of how quickly I could produce them when filling orders for shops

i7QuAX7.jpg

some color variations

 

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4 hours ago, Capt Bob LeMay said:

These are using Mustad 34007 stainless hooks in size #1 (two or three sizes larger than Perfect Popper recommends for this size head- but I'm tying for saltwaters and really need the larger hook

That explains why when I brought some nice air-brushed size 10 poppers from a guy I know at the Edison, NJ fly fishing show a few years ago, they were tied on size 4 hooks.  He's mainly a salt water tyer.

Those nice looking flies, Capt Bob.  The would work well for bass in fresh water.  I use the Perfect Popper soft foam popper bodies.  Mainly because I'm too lazy to shape them out of foam, cork or balsa.  I split mine between plain, in the same three colors as yours, and the rest get colored with permanent markers.  You can do a lot with the markers on the soft foam bodies that you can't do with cork or balsa with a white base coat. 

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I have a couple of different size pieces of curtain rod about 6” long and a couple of different size spent pistol cartridges. All will fit my cordless drill. Drill out popper bodies from flip flop foam. One pair of flip flops will yield many bodies, for cheap.

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45 minutes ago, pop-n-bugg said:

different size pieces of curtain rod

That's a new one for me, thanks for the suggestion.  

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15 minutes ago, niveker said:

That's a new one for me, thanks for the suggestion.  

I cut them with a tubing cutter and sharpened one end with a file as to make smooth cuts. Works like a champ.

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Capt. Bob, I have found that bass are not really that picky on what they will hit as far as appearance. I fish a couple of creeks and the bass in each creek prefer different color poppers. Chartreuse in one creek, green in another and orange in one. It’s crazy. The paint don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to “dress” them up. Just a thin tail maybe some hackle and rubber legs. I don’t like to fish a bug that looks like it belongs in a museum.

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Some years ago I worked a bit with foam that I cut out into cylinders of various sizes to make a few poppers (long before I even considered making poppers for fly shops...).  I found a bit of info that pointed me towards any local hobby shop that stocked thin wall brass tubing for model airplane makers.  The tubes they had were about 10" long and in different diameters - perfect for turning into foam cutters.  I set up each one I intended to use and spun it in my rodbuilding lathe... While it was spinning it was a simple matter to lay a file on the free end to sharpen each tube.  Once sharpened,  you simply set up the size tube desired, got it spinning then placed the foam against the sharpened end to cut out your popper blanks.  Any mods needed once I had the blanks were simple cuts with a new single edged razor blade (and if you needed a sharper blade - double edged blades, being thinner, will always cut easier and cleaner than those single edged blades I started out with...).  When I went to pre-shaped foam heads things became a whole lot easier...

RDIgUoE.jpg

I long ago quit using head cement of any kind - instead preferring to use a tiny drop of Krazy Glue on the thread instead - then if "shiny" was needed to coat the thread with Sally Hansen's or some other finish coat once the super glue was dry.  None of my poppers have any second coat ever... any extra finish hinders the way the bug floats and moves on the retrieve... 

A word about poppers for my area in the backcountry of the 'glades... We only use them in very low wind conditions (mostly at dawn or dusk) and I learned the hard way that to get good bites I had to have my anglers make some adjustments... In short we're not making any big pops with them - or working them fast at all - and for the best results I had to have my anglers place the tip of their rods actually in the water - and make sure the rod is pointed directly at the bug with each retrieve eliminating all slack line and any rod action in the retrieve, relying solely on their stripping hand for hooksets.  Ideally I want them making continuous small short strips -only about six inches for each strip - but very sharp  (each strip needs to have the bug make a tiny "blip" sound) and slow down,  don't get in a hurry almost like you were bass fishing.  Having the tip of the rod actually in the water eliminates all slack so each hand strip imparts that same motion to the thing with the hook on it... Lastly I do my best to explain that the first strike will many times be short and if I can get my angler to just keep "blipping" that bug - the second strike won't miss at all...   We have spectacular results with these bugs under the right conditions.  For small tarpon, redfish,  or snook we're working each bug up against mangrove shorelines or as close as possible to any downed trees or other structure where I'm certain fish are holding.  For big speckled trout it's the opposite... we're working that popper across current out away from shorelines then slowly doing those same very short sharp strips as it drifts across places where the trout are holding -then finally swings into a down current presentation...   At any point in the retrieve the bug will get attacked and usually specks will keep after it until they succeed... Since many of our trout spots during warm weather also hold hungry small sharks getting a hooked fish back to my skiff gets interesting... None of the interior sharks are much bigger than about six feet long - but all of them are quite aggressive and will keep trying to eat a hooked fish until you pick it up out of the water next to my skiff...  Great fun, but the sharks will get fed if you're not quick enough once you're hooked up.

QsxYfUG.jpg

Our waters in the interior are dark (like strong tea when clear and cloudy brown when wind and rain make it so.).. I believe our fish have a very small "window" and many times have learned to strike at any indicator that food might be there - and we take advantage of that whenever conditions allow.  Great fun, once a freshwater fly angler learns not to try to "trout set" on a strike instead of strip striking - but that's something we all do at times even guys like me that long ago switched to the salt or brackish places to chase fish... By the way, with popping bugs... only a floating line will do - anything else will just be frustrating... 

llmcdft.jpg

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The specs and the sharks sounds like great fun, Captain.

Up here in freshwater, a popper or foam bug at the end of a sink tip can sometimes get great results.  

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