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Current Tags for This Pattern
baitfish / Bass / Floating Bug / Painted Bug / redfish / Trout /
Rabid Dog, Shad
tied by kirkdiet
Fly Type: Poppers/Sliders,
Target Species: Freshwater Bass, Panfish, Peacock Bass,
Recommended Region: Northeast US, Northwest US, Southeast US, Southwest US, Central US, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Central Canada, Mexico, South America,
Imitation: General Baitfish,
HOOK: Your favorite long shank hook or make one. I’ve used the Mustad 33903 and the Mustad 34011. Also, to make one a little longer I’ve used a Gamakatsu SC15 with a spinnerbait wire wrapped around the shank to extend it. Additionally, the hooks and hard foam, Perfect Popper, pencil popper bodies and hooks from WAPSI work well too.
THREAD: Danville’s Plus or your favorite.
BALAST: .020 dia. Lead wire
BODY: Cylinder of either Balsa wood, Soft Foam, Hard Foam, Perfect Popper Pencil Poppers or your favorite wood. The diameter should be not more than the gap of the hook but can be less. If it is to large, it will be to buoyant for the hook and you’ll have to add to much lead to get it to orient properly and it will be too cumbersome to cast.
GLUE: Thick formula super glue or your favorite adhesive for gluing hook in slot and Super Thin super glue for using as a sealer on your wood bodies.
FILLER: Elmer’s water based wood filler
COLOR: Acrylic paint, Permanent Markers or none
TOP COAT: 30 Minute cure epoxy or your favorite clear coating
Tying Instructions: Giving exacting measurements for this bug is not necessary. Just follow the guidance given in the Material list for the Body.
Cut the cylinder to length, which should be from just behind the hook eye of your chosen hook to a point just above the hook point.
Taper the rear half of the cylinder until the rear diameter is only two or three times your hook shank diameter. It should have a nice slim taper but the rear end needs to remain large enough so that when you cut the slot you have a little meat on each side of the hook slot. Then round off the front of the cylinder to a blunt rounded shape.
Draw a line down the center of the bottom of the fly where you want the hook slot. Using an appropriate cutting instrument for your chosen body material, cut the hook slot and if wood, run a folded piece of sand paper in the slot to better accept the hook and glue.
Put your hook in the vise and start your thread at the hook eye and make open spiral wraps toward the rear stopping about midway back. Tie in the lead on the bottom of the hook shank continuing to the end of the shank above the hook point, return thread to the front with open spiral wraps crossing the ones going to the rear; whip finish and cut thread and remove hook from vise.
Fit hook in slot to make sure it still fits. Run a bead of super glue in the hook slot and insert hook using a bodkin or pin to scrape the excess squeezed out of each end and re-deposit it in the slot on the bottom of the hook; add more super glue if part of the shank does not have glue. I prefer a thick formula CA but you can use epoxy or your favorite adhesive. If you’re using one of the super thin super glues, put the hook in the slot first and position it and then drip the thin stuff in there and it will wick all around the hook and in the slot.
After dry, make shape adjustments to open the hook gap or balance the wood in relationship to the hook with an emery board or your favorite sanding or carving device.
To seal the wood, run some Super Thin formula CA glue on the body blotting the excess off on a paper towel.
After the glue is dry, fill the slot with wood filler, let dry.
Sand the wood filler and raised grain on the wood smooth.
Paint or color your bug using your favorite technique.
After your bug is cured, plop it in a bowl of water. You want the bug to lay in the water hook point down of course but oriented at about a 40 – 45 degree angle, a little steeper is okay but not preferred, much flatter of an angle and you’ll just have a slider. If it doesn’t sit at the desired angle, put in vise and tie in some lead on the hook in back of the body; float it again.
When the body floats/sits in the water like you want, tie in a very sparse tail. I prefer a feather tip but may go to a small tuft of rabbit or some hackle fibers in the future to conserve feathers.
Presentation Tips: Like most flies, you should try different retrieves. If you just use a slow pull either long or short, it will slide on the surface and act like any slider. If you use a short and sharp but gentle strip followed by a short pause and repeat, it should dart around a little on the surface or duck under slightly. If you use a short and sharp and little more aggressive strip, it will dart under and wobble a bit (not a wiggle like a crank bait) and pop back up on the pause where you can let it rest or repeat working it where it jumps down and pops up for a breather. Another effective retrieve is to make repetitive short, aggressive strips once it goes under causing the bug to act pretty erratically, often provoking strikes when other retrieves won’t work. Then of course, you can mix it up and do any combination of the above on one presentation. Experiment and see what the fish like and what you’re comfortable with.
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