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Martiandrummer

A couple more for your critique

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Firstly thanks everyone for the critiques on my first fly!

 

I have tied a couple more and hope that you all can help point out any glaring mistakes.

 

First Wooly Bugger

42B49F01-orig.jpg

 

My Short Tail popper

DE81B7D4-orig.jpg

 

This one was gonna be a throw away since I messed up the paint a bit, but turned out pretty cool.

I have a very limited amount of Hackle, and had to trim the hackle on this one down.

I am Calling it the Mr. T popper :lol:

788851D3-orig.jpg

 

E03BF04E-orig.jpg

 

Thanks ahead of time for any input!

 

Martiandrummer

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Buggar looks good to me. The paint on the popper is great as is the hackling. Two things on the popper, the tail on the side view shot looks like it is tied on the underside a bit. I'd try and keep the materials on top of the hook shank, you still may get some material wrapping but certainly will with materials on underside of shank. Speaking of shank, I prefer to mount my the hook a little lower in the popper head; that does two things. One is it helps keep a maximum hook gap space and secondly it helps ensure the bug will ride properly with the hook being lower and acting like a keel.

Great start for sure.

 

Kirk

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A resounding second to Kirk's comments; to which I would add. There is no need to trim the hackle on poppers. You want the thin filmy tips that move with the most minute 'mini-current' around them in the water. The stiff 'stubs' won't have this action. In fact, the over sized, and dense, hackles can serve as a snag guard on small bugs, as long as you don't try to rip them over brush or weeds. Also, you have rather prominent holes in both bugs where the legs protrude from the body. These are aesthetically unappealing to me. The fish, your harshest critic, won't care.

 

perchjerker

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You're coming along great! The bugger really looks good! I also agree with what both Kirk & Perch have said, very good points. The hook looks to be a little off center too in the front view. I've gotten performed bodies that had slots in them that were not centered, which is likely the case with yours. It won't affect it that much, but could cause the bug to twist when casting, or even lay on it's side when floating. If you find that the slot is not centered, it's best to re-cut it. I use a Dremel with a cut off wheel on hard foam, and a coping saw blade on cork. Razor blade is best on soft foam. Actually, the slots in most hard foam bodies are too narrow anyway IMO, so I open them up. I epoxy the hook in place after a good thread base on the hook shank, and I make sure the hook is mounted as Kirk said, and centered. The wider slot allows a good amount of epoxy to get in there & the thread base gives a good bond for the hook. It also helps make it fit snug in the slot.

 

If you use a Dremel cut off wheel, be very careful. I've shot a few bodies across the room & have nicked my fingers with that wheel a time or two!

 

Keep posting, your tying is getting better & better! :D

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Thanks again for the input everyone,

 

I will most assuredly heed your inputs. As far as hackle, is it ever gonna be easier to get?

I mean I understand beauty and all, but why would you weave into your hair what grows wild around a chicken's butt??? :blink:

 

I am basically just using the materials from a starter kit, and a couple of thing I got from J Stockard and others

so hackle size for me is a big issue. I got a hackle gauge, and every piece I have is monsterous in comparison to what I am tying. :lol:

 

When you all pointed out the hook depth being to deep, is that front, back, or entire shank, being to deep?

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I am glad tidewater noted the appearance of the hook being off-center. I too noticed it, but forgot to mention it. Another possibility for this bug,if the hook is off center, is that it may want to lay on it's side, resembling an injured or dying fish/frog.

 

Please let us know how it casts and fishes. I am interested in learning about it.

 

perchjerker

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Martian, the whole length. As far as hackle, I think you have a little more leway with poppers compared to say dry flies. I like it on the long side so it is flowing. Now, when you get down to size 8, 10 and 12 poppers, you do want to use a smaller feather. Most feathers have longer barbs/barbules (not sure which)so you could always use the tips or the butts of the feathers that you have.

While I like strung saddle and schlappen for my skirts on my bigger bugs, I do prefer long thin saddles for my smaller flies, which as you pointed out may be hard to come by for a while. However, you should be able to get the strung as they are not really the desired type for hair extensions I don't think so at least. The other option is the cheap Chinese Necks, I don't think those have the desired shape or length that the hair stylists prefer.

One thing not related to the tying is the photo. The last photo is great because I think the bug is further from the background. The first few are closer to the background and it looks like the camera's autofocus focused on the background opposed to the fly.

 

Kirk

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Hi Martian. I like both flies. However, I am a beginner at Poppers as well but have been at woolly buggers for many years so I will contain my critique for to that one. Woolly Buggers are tricky to critique because they can imitate so many things, hence there are a lot of little nuances to to adjust for each imitation or species of fish your after. So generally speaking. If you want a little better all around bugger here are my suggestions.

 

It sounds like you are a little limited on hackle, but I like to use a little softer hackle. The hackle on your fly looks good at the front, but the barbs towards the back seem a little stiff. This is usually a hackle quality (selection)issue and not a tying one per say. You really want those hackles to move with the slightest movement in water even if you are not stripping the fly. When a wet fly is in the water, every thing on the fly opens up as full as possible. A good strip or on the swing in current and the fly closes down. This is important to the action of the fly. Most know that. But also is the movement of the fly at rest, you want it to look alive and with movement then too, just a different king of movement. At rest your bugger will pop open and pretty much stay there, big and bold.

 

Along those same lines. Marabou is trickier than most think. A little goes a long way. At rest, in the water, the tail on your bugger is going to be about 2/3 bigger than you see it now and will distract from the rest of the fly by changing the profile dramatically. I do tie buggers with really full tails like yours but only if they are crawdad imitations where you are trying to mimic the profile of two large claws at the rear. You can see where the large full profile of the tail when stripped will look like two claws waving at the crawdad scurries away. For general purposes I would cut the amount of marabou in you tail to half of what it is. This will be less distracting to the fly and provided a better action in the water by allowing the marabou to move more freely, rather than a big clump popping open and closing.

 

An finally, a couple tips to buggers not necessarily a tying critique. Don't be afraid to go sparse on the hackle. Again a little goes a long way and it depends on the food stuff you're imitating. But vary your ties. Also, things in nature aren't perfect so our flies will do better if they aren't perfect. I like to taper the marabou on the tails of my buggers. Using my fingers (not scissors) I will snap off some of the marabou around the outside edge of the tail in different lengths to get more of a taper to them instead of the abrupt, flat, cut-off appearance.

 

This sounds like a lot but is really minutia. Your bugger looks good and will catch fish for sure, but here are a few things you might try in order to catch a few more fish.

 

Carl

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