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balsa wood poppers vs deer hair


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28 replies to this topic

#1 bassfly351

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 03:53 PM

I have been tying flies for at least 20 years, and I have used both balsa wood and deer hair bass poppers , I like both , but in my quest for the 

perfect bass popper I like the balsa wood popper the best, I think I have caught more fish on it, but I also like the tying of the deer hair, and I have been told that bass hold on to it longer, what do you guys think?Attached File  IMG_0489.JPG   104.68KB   1 downloadsAttached File  IMG_0493.JPG   104.61KB   0 downloadsAttached File  IMG_0494.JPG   87.77KB   0 downloadsAttached File  IMG_0496.JPG   79.28KB   1 downloads



#2 mikechell

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 03:57 PM

I use flip flop foam ... cheaper and easier than any other option for me.

Attached File  foam poppers 1.JPG   306.09KB   1 downloads

 

I've never used balsa, so I can't give comparison data.

 

I've tied a few deer hair, but I never caught anything that made me think, "I gotta tie up more of those!"

 


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#3 TheCream

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 04:00 PM

I use them both, and they both work.  I lean towards deer hair bugs usually, but I like the balsa, too.  What most people find surprising is that, at least for me, it takes a lot longer to make a balsa bug than a deer hair bug.  

 

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#4 bassfly351

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 04:02 PM

I do agree , they do take a little longer , Nice work  like those bass bugs



#5 vicente

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 04:41 PM

I haven't made balsa poppers I have just done the perfect popper foam ones, I don't really enjoy making them, I much prefer to work with deer hair than having to paint popper bodies, that just feels like work.

#6 whatfly

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:44 PM

Balsa is best for durability, buoyancy, and ease of use.  Deer hair is fun to tie.  Both work.



#7 Poopdeck

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:48 PM

I'm the other guy, I've always made poppers from balsa but mostly cork. Never made a true popper from deer hair. I enjoy the entire process of shaping and painting wood poppers. When I paint it's with a brush and drill bits to dab on spots so it's nothing fancy or involved. I've never fished a wood popper and thought I need to make a better popper. I have started making and using more foam gurgler style poppers just because they tie up quick and seem just as effective.

#8 Stippled Popper

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:13 PM

It sounds plausible that a bass would hold on to a deer hair popper longer than to a balsa popper given that a clear coated balsa popper is pretty much stiff as a board.



#9 bassfly351

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:49 PM

I think you are right on the stiff part , but to me watching a bass come out of nowhere and hit the balsa wood popper is really a site ,

I have seen them rise up slowly and just crush the bug, 



#10 phg

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:51 PM

The layered foam Hipps poppers have a lot of "chew" to them.  Bass hold onto them pretty good as well.  I've done all three styles, but, I guess, I find the Hipps style easier to construct.  Like Poopdeck, I find I enjoy decorating the bodies.  On foam poppers you use fabric paint.



#11 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:01 PM

Making poppers is great fun... but... where we fish the things in the water just shred whatever's in front of them (snook, small tarpon, and everything else...) so instead of working to come up with something that looks great I came to want bugs that are quick to tie and do the job.  The result, the SpeedBug turned into a best seller in any shop that ordered them - despite not having any paint, or eyes, or any finish at all...

 

Most days the poppers stay in the box, but when the wind lies down and you can see small fry getting pushed around they're the first thing I hand one of my anglers.  Unlike the name popping bug -we seldom pop them at all -much more of a quiet conversation with short very sharp (6") strips to make a slight sound with every movement.  I usually have a bit of trouble getting my anglers to actually put the tip of the rod into the water pointing at the bug while doing those very short, sharp strips but the fish give their approval regularly.  Funny thing I also make a point of telling my anglers that the first hit will be a miss, but if they don't react to that first strike and keep "talking" the bug... the second strike is never a miss...

 

Here's a pic or two of the simple bug I use in the 'glades... and a few pics of fish that like them....

 

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Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#12 bassfly351

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:20 PM

I have seen that pattern and I know that the balsa wood or a deer hair popper wouldn't last long in the gulf were I have fished , that is a great  popper for those toothy 

critters , I have used foam and cork for bass , I think it is what ever works and what the angler has had more hook ups with , there is an art to popper fishing ,salt or fresh water, as well as the art of tying the popper, the speed bug is a fly that has stood the test , as well as the deer hair bass bug , or the balsa wood bass popper, they all do the same thing catch fish , like the simple fly you have created hope you save a few of those tarpon and triple tails for me !!!



#13 Kentuckysteve

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 08:11 PM

I have never tied a good deer hair popper.At least non that look anything like some of the members have shown here.I have used balsa and hard plastic body poppers and i enjoyed making them and using the airbrush on them but like mike i mostly use foam now.Either flip flop foam or thin foam for gurglers.


There is no greater fan of fly fishing........Than the worm. -  Patrick F. McManus


#14 Flat Rock native

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 08:41 PM

I like almost any form of popper, made from hair, balsa, or foams of various densities.. Mostly, I use Junk Foam, from re-cycled sources and craft foam because production is easist. Including flip-flop foams.. Adapts to wide-range of hook sizes...

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#15 tidewaterfly

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 11:37 PM

I don't believe there is a clear right or wrong answer with any of them. They all work for catching fish, and all can be fun to make depending on your perspective. I also make them both, and those with hard & soft foam, plus cork. IMO, make & use what you feel works best for you & your fishing, or what you enjoy making the most. It's that simple. 

 

There may certainly be pro's & con's to each type/material, but that's going to be true no matter what we each like. wink.png