View Full Version : small popper hooks

07-24-2008, 11:09 PM
Dropped by LRO this morning looking for some small popper hooks. I don't like the kink shank ones and I wanted a wide gap hook. David (Plateau Angler) was nice enough to help me find what I was looking for.
A size 8 with a limerick bend for width and a fine wire to keep it light.
TMC 104SP 0-1x fine 1x wide Gape

Made up a few black foam blockheads and some small bluegill size stealth bombers. Thanks David, good luck in Chattanooga.
Lots of clearance for good hookups, and easy releases as you can see.




07-25-2008, 06:53 AM
hey Troutman......as always you've tied some great looking fllies/poppers......is there any suggestions for tying the poppers that would assist a first time popper tyer (material, techniques, tutorials)?

always enjoy seeing your craftsmanship, thanks for sharing

God Bless & Good Fishing

07-25-2008, 08:58 AM
Nice little poppers. I like 'em alot, how long does it take to tie 'em? I'd like to get into tying my own flies, but dont really have the extra money for start up. Anyways, I digress, lol. Let me know how well they work I'm going to try to get my hands on the bigger "stealth bomber" flies and land some largemouths. Great fishin to ya! :biggrin:
Mark <::><

07-25-2008, 10:07 AM
Tying craft foam poppers are about the easiest and cheapest way to make some. I buy the 2mm foam in sheets for about 80 cents for about 14" X 20". It comes in all the basic colors. you can also get some thicker 6mm foam if you buy the foam doorhangers.
I use those for the cube poppers. Craft shops like Hobby lobby or art supply stores usually carry it.

basic tail materials are all thats needed. squirrel tails, calf tail, or deer hair strips. some rubber legs from spinnerbait skirts. A cheap saddle hackle.
I use lots of zap a gap and head cement to keep everything tight and glue every step throughout the tying process.
A double edge box cutter blade and a straight edge for slicing the foam.
I like a wide gap hook for better hookups and ease of removing with forceps from the fish's mouth.
I can tie a bunch of SBs' in 30 minutes if I precut the foam patterns and have the tail materials ready.
The block head poppers take some time if you want to epoxy the foam on the hook. Usually I try to keep some precut and expoxied to the hook. Then when I need some, I just have to tie on the hackle and tail.
I don't spend a lot of time making them pretty, As you know, the beat up buggy looking flies usually work as well as the new perfectly proportioned ones do.

David Knapp
07-25-2008, 02:02 PM
Gary, I'm glad those hooks worked out for you. Those are some good looking bugs...I might have to try to make a few myself...

08-11-2008, 10:38 AM
Gary, Are you still using the template from the website for the SB or have you got it down to a science cutting them out? I ask because I can't get mine as compact as you do, I cut out mine from the templates and Ted and I found some of the wide gap hooks last week at LRO but I'm still having a little trouble with them turning out good. I'm using the 2MM foam but it doesn't look thick enough, kind of flimsy so to speak. Thanks--Bran

08-11-2008, 03:31 PM
Bran, Yes, I'm using the templates from Kent's site http://www.flyfishga.com/stealth.htm
On the template form, I use the smallest on the left for the size #8 hooks and the largest on the right for #2,4,6 stinger hooks. make sure you glue each step along the tying process. it keeps it from twisting on the hook. I also wait until the fly is completely tied before doing any trimming.

Maybe Kent will see this post and can offer any suggestions.

08-12-2008, 08:05 AM
Gary, I found the problem last night. I got out the 2mm foam sheets that I just bought and it's obvious now that the craft foam I'd been using must have been 1.5 mm. Amazing how much difference that will make but I tied one bass SB in sz 4 with the B10S stinger and it looks much better. Thanks-Bran

08-12-2008, 10:32 PM
Hey guys, `glad y'all are liking the SB. I took some photos tonite as I tied a blue one - may give you some idea of the proportions that I use. Though there's lots of ways to change it and get different results in movement, floatability, dive, etc.

But anyhow, in this fly I've used a # 6 Gama B10S and the middle pattern on the template. This is my standard tie for black bass.

You can use other hooks, but you'll have to experiment to get the right size foam. Too much foam for the hook size/weight and the hook won't be enough ballast. Then the fly wants to land sideways or upside down. To little and it floats to low (tho' that could be good - I just like to see mine and to be able to make a big commotion when I want).

If the photos don't make sense, let me know. http://flyfishga.com/images/sb_tie_collage.jpg

Big blow-ups & tight lines,

08-13-2008, 10:32 AM
Nice tutorial,makes sense to me!
Kent, what rod are you using to throw the bigger sizes of the SB? They are very aerodynamic flies and I primarily use an old fenwick glass 6wt for the smaller freestone rivers, but I've been looking at the TFO fast rods for the bigger tailwaters. What are you using for client rods?
We don't really have the heavy grasses and lily pads to contend with, so I'm looking at 6 and 7 wt rods.

08-14-2008, 10:03 AM
Thanks Kent, That helps me for sure. I tied one a couple of nights ago on the red eagle claw sz. 6 wide gap bait holder hooks. I had to be careful of the baitholder tabs but on the other hand they do a great job of holding everything up top on the hook.

08-14-2008, 12:39 PM
Gary, I prefer a 5wt or 6 wt to throw my standard #6 SB. A 4wt will do it for a good caster, but it's a lot more work. Plus I'll often throw it with a dropper down about 24" - fairly cumbersome and wanting a larger loop.

As to which TFO, I like (and use) `em all :cool:. No, really. ;)You should definitely try TiCR, CRX, and the Axiom. All are quite powerful. The TiCR is the fastest if you measure rod speed by tip vs mid flex. If you measure rod speed by the rebound rate of the blank, then the answer is probably different. But man, all this is pretty subjective and dependent on the individual. All three deservedly have their diehard fans. You should throw them & see which fits.

Bran, happy it helps. To keep the body from twisting - before putting the thread on the hook, I hit the hook shank with a small file - very lightly, 2 or 3 times. The Gammy hook is very slick and a good, tight thread base is the key to no spinning. Make tight wraps about halfway down the shank, then use the smallest drop of superglue & finish the wraps. When I tie down the foam at the back and the center, I also just wet an half inch of thread with super glue.

08-16-2008, 09:01 PM
Kent -

What hook are you using for the smaller sizes? Gamakatsu's website shows the B10S only down to #6. I'd like to make some #10's but I'm not sure what hook to use.


08-17-2008, 06:12 AM
Steve, I don't really `em tie smaller than the #6 much. But for smaller sizes, the Gamakatsu SC15 will work. Strangely, though it's a saltwater hook, it's a lighter wire than the B10S and comes in smaller sizes. It's also smaller for the same # hook.

For small topwater bugs for bream (& bass), I tie the Tokyo spider (http://flyfishga.com/spider.htm).