Mike, I am flattered, but don't get carried away.
Here's my honest take on bug density. Did I catch fish on my early bugs that were much less dense and had no fancy adhesive on the popper face to make them look pretty? Absolutely. They fished well, the bass approved enthusiastically. However, I had problems with them. Even without strikes, just from fishing, they became waterlogged and their performance/floatation suffered at an alarmingly quick pace. My other problem was durability, primarily at the face of the popper. Hair was getting damaged, bent, torn up, etc... That is why I wanted to go the Cohen route and go for a super dense bug. I have found that bugs tied more densely fish longer, last longer, float better, and fish just as well. And really, what are the drawbacks? Time? That's a wash because I am using the same steps and basically the same methods, just using larger volumes of hair and more force at certain stages. It would save me a marginal amount of time to use less hair on a bug. The durability on a dense bug is also great. I was just in one of my boxes last week and saw a slider I tied over two years ago that I have fished several times and I'm pretty sure has landed a half dozen or so bass. It hardly looks worn at all. If I am going to spend an hour tying a bug, I absolutely want it to last.
I hear the "why don't you just use foam" argument/comment a lot, also. I say use whatever makes you happy. I have seen the airbrush and stippling work of some very, very skilled people on this site. It's beautiful work. I used to do basic stippling jobs on foam poppers a lot, too, but decided I liked deer hair better. It's personal preference. And honestly, I can tie a deer hair bug start to finish quicker than I could ever go start to finish on a foam popper. I had to mount the body, sand it, base coat it (usually more than once), paint it, stipple the pattern, clear coat...then tie the rear portion. That took me a lot of time. I can be done with virtually an entire deer hair bug, a large one, in an hour, roughly. Smaller ones I can do a lot faster. Foam catches fish, and I still use some topwaters with foam components. I have no anti-foam bias, merely a personal preference to deer hair.
Well said. I agree 100%
I havent been tying very long at all, but ive been attempting deer hair the entire time. Thru trial and error I have had the same results. A more densely packed bug is much better in my opinion. A Fugly Packer is a must. I am no Pat Cohen, but I can tie a mean diver. It took a few hundred attempts, several hours of time, several hooks, several patches of select deer hair, and several conversations with Pat to get to where I am today. He is a genius and an artist, and I respect him alot.