tie this popper in three sizes: 4, 8, and 12. I use a
Mustad 3366 wet fly hook for the size 4 and standard dry fly hooks
for sizes 8 and 12.
your favorite material. Here are some examples using (from L
to R) squirrel tail, calf tail, woodchuck fur, and Widows
Tail and Underbody: My favorite tails
are made using a hank of Widows Web. Zelon, Poly-yarn, Antron,
and other synthetics will work fine, too. Tie in the tail and
wrap the hank forward as shown in the pictures below. Cut off the
excess and return the thread to the back of the hook as shown at the
Foam Underbody: Use a pair of straight
scissors to cut off a 5/16" wide strip from a thin (2mm) sheet of
"Fun Foam", which is readily available in craft shops or stores like
WalMart. (I use a slightly wider strip for a size 4 and a slightly
narrower strip for a size 12.) Attach the foam underbody to the
shank in three places. I spread a bit of head cement or similar
product on the underside of the foam. Use 15-20 wraps at the first
the foam and wrap the thread to the midpoint. This is the
second tie-in point. Tie down the foam with 25-30 wraps, to build a
base for the legs. Tie on a pair of rubber legs, one on each
side, with 10-15 thread wraps.
Wrap the thread forward to the third tie-in point.
Tie down the foam with 15-20 wraps, forming a lower lip just ahead
of the wraps.
Pull the foam forward over the foam underbody. Tie
down the foam with 10-15 wraps over the third tie-in point, forming
the upper lip of the popper. Trim the upper lip to be a little
longer than the lower lip and use scissors to trim the corners of
I finish the tying by bringing the thread under the body
and forward to behind the eye. Finish off with a few half
hitches behind the eye.
Turn the popper over and coat the thread wraps with head
cement. The foam will get battered after a few dozen fish, but the