The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

Tying Some Poppers

I have been asked by a few of my bass fishing friends and family to tie up a few popper patterns so they can hit the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers back near my home town of Tallahassee. I haven’t really tied a lot of poppers as I spend most of my time fishing the rivers and streams here in Colorado. However; I found it to be a nice deviation from the techniques, tools and materials that I normally utilize when sitting down at my tying bench. Tying foam poppers gives you the opportunity to work with various paints, epoxy, and stencils in order to make, well really anything that you can think up at the time. What I have created here, while not flashy or amazing, was still a lot of fun.

One bit of advice that I learned through trial and error was when working with epoxy. Getting a nearly perfect 50/50 ratio when mixing the two parts is really important. Failure to do this will lead to a coating on your popper that seems to never dry completely, it just feels tacky to the touch. There were really two tricks that seemed to work well for me. One, you can purchase epoxy mixing cups from your local hobby store. These cups allow you to measure the two parts before beginning the mixing process keeping the ratio nice and even. Two, on a piece of paper, use a stencil to create two circles of the same size. Fill one circle with the resin and the other with the hardener. Once each side fully fills your circles, you have equal parts and can begin mixing.

Oh, another good practice you should observe deals with the mixing itself. Whatever tool that you are using to mix your epoxy, be sure to never lift it out of the mixture as you are stirring. Doing so will trap air bubbles in the epoxy making it really difficult to get a nice glassy finish.

As far as painting supplies, you can really paint your poppers with any of the acrylic paints found at any hobby store. However, I did run across an interesting airbrushing tool that I think works great for this type of application. It’s called a Copic Airbrush. Instead of mixing paints and having parts to clean after every use, all you have to do with this system is load the next marker. It does use specific markers for the system, but the ease of use really caught my interest and after experimenting with the system, I am already thinking about all the other possibilities that I could use this for in my fly tying. Go to for more information.

Here are a few of my creations from this weekend


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