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McFlyLures

Fire Tiger Bass Popper

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The most exciting way to fish for bass is with a popper.  To watch them come up out of the water after a fly is absolutely exhilarating.  Poppers however are not easy to make, but I think this video will help you learn how to make your own easy enough to be worth while trying.  They do take a while to tie, but luckily, if you fish them right, you should not loose them.  They stay durable through many fish strikes as well.  In fact I have one popper that I have caught dozens of bass on, and I tied 4 years ago.  It still is going strong without much damage at all.  So tie up a few, and they should last you for years.  Just do your best not to hang them up in a tree.  

You really do want to coat the foam with resin.  It will not only protect the colored finish you put on the foam, but it will also help keep the fly buoyant.  Even foam can soak up water over time, so you need to insure that it doesn't.  When selecting resin, you want to make sure that the resin is flexible.  This Solarez Flex formula I used is perfect.  I know there are some other brands that make some flexible resin, and you can use them, however I find the Solarez to work best.  And when cured with a high powered light, like the one that Solarez sells, it will cure without any tackiness.  Not many of the flexible resins can boast on these results.  

I decided to color this one up with some bright fire tiger colors, which will work great for sunfish and bass.  Being a smaller popper, I can catch some smaller mouthed fishes as well as large mouth bass.  Smallmouth bass actually love these brighter colors, so this would be a perfect smallmouth river fly.  

If you want some better priced hooks, check out the #200's from Risen Fly.  The hook shank is a bit longer than the B10s that I used, which actually could benefit you here.  You will want to drop down in hook size 1-2 sizes.  It will give you more room to tie materials on in the back, and set the hook point further back on the fly to help with short hits.  I always used to tie these with the b10s hooks however Im starting to reconsider this because I think for bass poppers, the 200's from Risen might be a better option, However its ultimately up to you. 

https://youtu.be/z1PG91OAJC8

 

Materials
______________
Hook:  Gamakatsu B10S (size 4) 
Popper Head:  Flymen Double Barrel bodies (Small/white) 
Thicker Thread:  Veevus 140 (chartreuse) 
Thinner Thread:  Veevus 6/0 (hot yellow) 
Stabilizer:  25lb Mono 
Glue:  Loctite Ultragel 
Markers:  Colored Sharpies (Black, Yellow) 
                  Ad Markers (chartreuse, Cadmium Orange) 
Wire:  Lead Free Wire (size .030" or .035") 
Resin:  Solarez Flex 
Eyes:  Living Eyes (5mm, Ice)
Tail:  Chickabou (chartreuse, and chartreuse grizzly)
Soft Hackle Feather 
Soft Collar:  Whiting American Label rooster Saddle (grizzly Chartreuse)
Legs:  Bass Skirt (speckled chartreuse)

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Nice, pretty much what I do.  The only difference is I use Fluorescent Green, Fluorescent Yellow and Fluorescent Orange for the body colors.  I've always preferred a longer shank hook for the reasons you cited.  I use the Daiichi  2461, the Eagle Claw Aberdeen hook, various straight shank worm hooks, and there's a couple of the Ahrex streamer hooks I like.  And in the last year I've started using the Flex resin for all my foam bugs.

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My wife and I did the Florida for the winter snowbird thing for a few years and I did my fair share of bass fishing while there.

I took a 6 weight rod and would carry a box of larger poppers as I walked along the many canals in the Boca Raton area. Oh man...what a hoot. As the owner of the local fly shop told me...if you have water in Florida you have fish. Some spots more than others, but always fish.

The shorelines of the canals were clean cut so no worries about gators or snakes. That made it easy to concentrate on the fishing. There was also the occasional Peacock Bass that would be a surprise at the end of the line.

Brings back some fond memories for sure!!!

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7 hours ago, Philly said:

Nice, pretty much what I do.  The only difference is I use Fluorescent Green, Fluorescent Yellow and Fluorescent Orange for the body colors.  I've always preferred a longer shank hook for the reasons you cited.  I use the Daiichi  2461, the Eagle Claw Aberdeen hook, various straight shank worm hooks, and there's a couple of the Ahrex streamer hooks I like.  And in the last year I've started using the Flex resin for all my foam bugs.

Very cool, yeah I don’t have any fluorescent yellow or orange markers so I used what I’ve got.  But for sure if you have it then use it.  

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6 hours ago, SalarMan said:

My wife and I did the Florida for the winter snowbird thing for a few years and I did my fair share of bass fishing while there.

I took a 6 weight rod and would carry a box of larger poppers as I walked along the many canals in the Boca Raton area. Oh man...what a hoot. As the owner of the local fly shop told me...if you have water in Florida you have fish. Some spots more than others, but always fish.

The shorelines of the canals were clean cut so no worries about gators or snakes. That made it easy to concentrate on the fishing. There was also the occasional Peacock Bass that would be a surprise at the end of the line.

Brings back some fond memories for sure!!!

I have a few subscribers and customers of my custom flies I sell who live in Florida that catch some amazing fish from peacock bass to tarpon there.  It’s amazing fishing absolutely and I have a bucket list going for many species that can be caught in that state. Amazing fishing I see for sure!

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