Invicta Flies - Deer Hair Popper, page 3
Tying Instructions (continued):
Step Five- legs
If you choose to add legs to your popper, there are a few different ways to do this, each with different results. I'm going to use a method that puts two legs directly out to the sides, and two more that protrude from the bottom out to the sides. To do this, use round rubber leg material, medium or large in diameter. Turn the hook over in the vise to perform this step on the underside of the hook.
the top of the strands again, going down on the far side in front. Take two turns of thread in front.
Basically, we have criss-crossed the thread over the strands to tie them in. You will notice this flares the rubber a bit where the thread has pinched it down. Push back on the thread with your fingernail and thumbnail to pack the legs into the deer hair. This will force one strand under the other. Take one more tight wrap of thread to hold it in place, then cement well. Allow this to dry before continuing with the body.
To get two legs on each side protruding from the same spot, use flat leg material tied in the same way, or tie one strand on top of the shank, another on the bottom. You can also tie in one strand, spin a clump of deer hair, then tie in another strand in front of that (be sure to tie these in on the underside of the hook shank).
Rubber strands tend to misbehave and twist. Keeping your criss-cross wraps down to a bare minimum, and not applying too much tension to the thread will help with this.
Step Four- finishing the body
Spin another clump of chartreuse deer hair in front of the legs, then a clump of brown. Finish up with the olive deer hair up to the hook eye. When you pack and compress the last spun clump, you should have about half a hook-eye's width of space left on the shank. This space will give us room for the weedguard and enough space for a clean whip finish knot at the end.
You can use either scissors or a razor blade to shape the body. Try both. I do better with scissors, others do better with a razor blade. If you use the blade, be sure it is brand new. You might get away with two bugs on one razor, but beyond that the edge is dulled enough to be inadequate. This of course will vary depending on the quality of the razor.
One of the most useful tools to help shape a deer hair body doesn't cost much... a flat toothpick. Mark on the toothpick with a fine pen to show how wide the face should be (the length of the hairs out from the hook shank) and how short to make the belly hairs. Then just trim the hair where the marks are. Put the toothpick in the hair longways to show where the shank is. This will help you visualize a balanced shape.
Take your time when trimming the hair. Do it in two or three seperate sessions if necessary. Stay relaxed, make your cuts, turn the fly over and look around to check the progress from all angles, and measure with the toothpick often. I like to cut a generally geometric shape first, starting with the bottom, then the top, and finally the sides. From here I simply round off the corners.
Pull the rubber legs down out of the way when trimming the sides. If you're holding the fly by the hook bend to trim, use the same fingers to hold the leg strands.
right side up). Round off the edges on the bottom for a softer landing on the water, or leave it flat to make the fly "smack" when it hits. Both styles have their uses.
Step Five- finishing touches
Eyes- First decide what kind and how big. Doll eyes (moving black pupils) are nice on poppers and can easily be found in white or yellow. Optionally, for a more realistic look, the molded 3-D eyes work very well. In the photo below is a 7mm doll eye (on a size 6 bass bug hook). For a smaller, more subtle eye, go with a 4mm on this size of hook. If the eyes are sold in inches, use 5/16" (which is slightly larger than 7mm) for a large eye, or 1/4" (slightly larger than 4mm) for the smaller eye.
There are two different ways to apply the eyes. One way is to trim out a slight depression in the body where the eyes are to placed...a socket where the eyes face straight out to the side. Another way is to simply "push" the eye onto the body, forcing the hairs rearward. This later method can produce a color pattern where the deer hair fibers flare rearward from the eye and end up facing a little more forward.
Use Goop, Zap-A-Gap, or similar waterproof adhesives to glue the eyes on. Experiment to see which product you like to use best. I prefer something thick enough to smear a drop onto the deer hair where the eye is to go. Then I just place the eye onto the glue and move into position.
time for it to dry. Now you can trim any extra long fibers from the face.
And there you have it! The first few may take some time to tie, but the finished product is usually well worth it and something to be proud of. The more time you invest in your bass bugs, the better you will become at tying them, and the better your flies will perform. The only thing left to do is offer it up to the local bass to get their approval.