Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Tie Poppers (or how to keep your 11 year old busy on a rainy day)

How to Tie Hard Foam Poppers for Fly Fishing using Wapsi kit

Well, it's summer, its raining outside, your kids are driving you nuts, and you notice that you have 0 poppers left from your last trip hitting the lily pads.  Seems to me that you need to put those little hands to work, my friend...TIME FOR A CRAFT PROJECT!  Forget the construction paper and scissors, break out the prismacolor markers and popper bodies and have a popper coloring party.

The Wapsi hard foam popper bodies make it really easy to create good looking poppers.  Really good actually.  The hard foam body securely attaches to the hook while coloring or tying, and they take the color from a permanent maker well.  Also, because the popper and hooks are sold in a kit, there is no guessing what size hook will fit a hard foam head.

Give foam popper heads to children along with your Prismacolor markers and doll eyes and let them go nuts with coloring.  Should keep them busy for 60 minutes.

Attach all the foam heads to hooks.  If you want to keep the fly simple, glue the body to the hook shank.  Because I wanted a more durable fly, I omitted this step and just epoxied the entire head and hook shank after the head was colored and eye was attached.

Let dry and attach thread and finish fly with tail and butt.

A few tips:
If you have daughters, make sure all your pink and purple makers are put away otherwise all your poppers will look like My Little Ponies and Care Bears.

I used TMC 8089 for the hook, but I would now use the Wapsi hooks sold in the Wapsi kit as the hooks have a bend in the shank to keep the body from rolling.

Keep it simple! Yes, you can add legs by drilling through the body and add rubber legs and marabou, but I think less material makes them easier to pick up and cast.

Reverse the popper head to create a Sneaky Pete/slider

Basic Popper Recipe:

Hook: size 6 TMC 8089, or better yet the Wapsi hook sold in the kit.
Body: Wapsi Perfect Popper body size 2, colored with markers
Butt: Estaz, opalescent white
Tail: Flashabou and Synthetic white colored with markers