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flyred06 01-23-2009 04:34 PM

bluegill poppers
When it comes to blue gill poppers, what is your favorite collars. And which do you like best foam or wood bodies?

So far mine are yellow with red dots on a wood body. They are purchased. But I am tying for the first time this year and will be using some foam for hte first time.

jeffnles1 01-23-2009 05:45 PM

I tie my own and most that I end up using and catching fish on are green.

I use a tuft of maribou in the tail, wrap some hackle betewwn the end of the body and the curve of the hook, and glue 2 craft store eyes.

I've used markers and paint to color them up but quit that a while back. I didn't see one bit of difference between the marked up ones and the plain ones. I think the maribou tail's movement and the size and shape of the popper body is all that really matters.

I also use yellow and have found it to be better on bright days and earlier in the evening. The closer to dusk it gets, the better the green works.

Hope this helps.

flyred06 01-23-2009 06:04 PM

That sounds good. I am currently trying to find ways to make poppers. Do you like wood or foam better.

jeffnles1 01-23-2009 11:27 PM

I find wood and cork to be a pain. I use foam for the ones I tie. I use the kinked shank Mustad popper hooks.

I have tried the pre shaped foam popper bodies and they work, especially when you put the pointy end toward the hook eye and make a "sneaky pete" type popper.

Motly, I just buy the foam "rods" (LRO has them) and cut them to the lenght I need for the popper I'm tying.

I put a thread base down and put a few drops of super glue on the thread. Use the bodkin or a large needle and poke a hole through the length of the foam. Then, before the glue dries, slip it over the eye and down the hook shank. The super glue holds it good and tight.

Then, tie on the tufk of maribou. For green, I use either red, green or black maribou. Then some hen hackle feathers in color of choice, usually the same color as the maribou but have gone crazy here too. I've used buck tail, and dry fly hackle too.

Sometimes, I'll put a few strands of Krystal Flash or tinsel in the maribou tail. It all works. I'm not sure the flash does much.

Another fly I tie is a gurgle pop. They are crazy simple to tie.
Lay down a thread base
Tie in a tuft of maribou for a tail
Use some sparkly dubbing or palmer a soft hackle up the hook shank
bring thread back to the tail.
Lay a stirp of 2mm craft foam over the hook with the end just shy of the hook eye.
Tie in just in front of the hook shank
fold it over, bring the thread to the middle of the hook
tie it in
move to the front
tie in
rubber legs are optional
trim the top piece just a little longer than the bottom piece.

These things are DEADLY.

Here are links to a few photos of the poppers and gurgle pops.

I can't claim originality on these patterns, I have made changes to the originals but I didn't invent them.

None of these are difficult to tie and they catch bass, bluegill and crappie when they're hitting on the top. Just for grins, I tied on a gurgle pop and used it on blacktail deer creek in Yellowstone and caught a few brook trout on one. It was kind of funny using a bluegill fly on trout in Yellowstone. I would imagine they had never seen one of those before and probably thought it was some kind of grasshopper. They did like them though.

Gurgle Pops

Foam Poppers

Troutman 01-24-2009 11:36 AM

I like Chartreuse green or Chartreuse yellow the best. Black is my next favorite, then white.
I prefer to use foam, because its easier and I can whip out a handful pretty quickly. I've been working on my deerhair spinning skills, but haven't made a lot of "bluegill flies" out of those yet.
some sneakys I made last weekend

working on deerhair first attempt tied on a tmc 200 #12 stimulator hook
A deerhair pattern I borrowed from my friend Mike (Appalachian Angler)

blockheads are easy to make

of course they do like the smallmouth sized poppers also

gverholek 01-24-2009 05:09 PM

How do you get the taper on the Sneakies? Are you making them or buying them?

Kent 01-24-2009 09:19 PM

Here's mine - not really a popper though it does pop a little - with just a little strip - makes some commotion but let's it stay in the target zone with the legs awigglin'..

I call it the Tokyo Spider - as in the old japanese monster flix - ala the Spider That Ate Tokyo.........

jeffnles1 01-24-2009 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by gverholek (Post 62263)
How do you get the taper on the Sneakies? Are you making them or buying them?

I bought the cone shaped ones for the Petes. I suppose one could make them by sanding down a straight body, but by the time I've done that, I could have purchased a package from LRO and had it delivered to my house, so I just buy them.


Troutman 01-24-2009 10:57 PM

Kent, you've got some great original patterns. I'm looking forward to coming by T-fest and watching you tie.

flyred06 01-26-2009 12:25 PM

Kent I also have tied up a bunch of those tokyo spiders. I can not wait to use them. Troutman I like those poppers you have made also. And I definately got to to use the gurgle pops. I have only tied one popper as for now and it is terrible. Thanks for the photos and advise on the foam rods at LRO.

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