*The foam popping head should be completed first. See tying notes for tips on construction.
Hook - 3XL, 2XH streamer hook-sz. 4
Thread - black 120 denier or clear mono
Popping Head - craft foam tied in at head one piece behind the other until the front 1/3 of the hook is foam. (4-5 foam pieces) cement each piece together with super glue and shape as desired.
*coat foam head with nail polish or fabric paint for extra durability
Tails - tie in a short tag of black krinkle fiber, fish hair, or buck tail to serve as a foul guard followed by 4 black saddle hackle tips tied about 1.5 times the length of the hook. (keep those feathers you cut off to use for the body!!!) Last, tie in six stands of purple/black polar flash or krystal flash on each side of the tail.
Rib - clear mono or fine silver wire *wait to wrap forward until final steps!
Body - with the feathers from the tail you cut off previously, line up three feathers by the cut tips and tie in but leave them to wrap forward after you have tied in the rubber legs and advanced your thread to the foam head.
Rubber Legs - tie in two black rubber or silicone legs on each side of the fly just behind the foam head.
*trim the leg length to just inside the back of the hook to prevent fouling
Final Steps - wrap the three hackles forward and tie off behind the foam head. wrap the rib through the feathers to increase durability and tie off behind the foam head. coat the small thread head with head cement or super glue and you are good to go!
This foam popper is fun to make and the color combinations and options are endless. Make sure to follow the steps in order to make the tying process as simple as possible. Tying the foam heads first enables you to have them prepared and ready to tie in batches and when the flies are finished they are immediately able to be fished. Don't skip the rib as it will extend the life of your fly dramatically! The shape of the foam head can be square, round, flat, or cupped. I prefer a small flat head as it pushes a lot of water. By cutting a strip of foam and rounding the front you can easily tie a popper head from one piece rather than cutting out individual pieces. Each time you tie the front of the strip to the fly and cut off, you round the top of the strip and repeat until the head is finished. Then you can shape and coat the foam head as desired. Tying the foam head this way enables you to tie smaller poppers that displace a lot of water for their size and you do not lose hook gap. The foam head is all on top of the hook.
These poppers catch fish. Based on the day and conditions, experiment with your retrieve to see what the fish are wanting. Sometimes fish will want a steady pop, a pop and sit, or sometimes they want it walked across the water. I have had big bass come up and sip this popper like a trout taking a dry. Always let your popper sit on the surface, after casting, until the rings dissipate. Sometimes fish will be looking at it and hit before you make your first pop. If you pop it too early, you could potentially miss a fish. There is no need for a long leader with this fly. A short, stout leader of six feet with twelve pound mono tippet will do the job. Check out the video below where this popper takes a nice Spring largemouth bass!