A yellow and black popper has always worked best for me. Originally, I used a cork body that I filled, sanded and painted. Things were much easier when Edge Water started selling closed foam pre-shaped bodies. Evidently Rainy's bought out Edge Water because I can no longer find an Edge Water body and Rainy's sell the same bodies with different model names.
Feathers have a tendency to lose their shape when wet so I tie this pattern with no feathers for the skirt or legs. I want the popper to maintain a "V" shape to the kicker legs so they close and flare as I retrieve and pop the bug. I'm able to accomplish this effect by using synthetic materials that tend to hold their shape better when wet. This pattern is a killer for me when it comes to fooling LMB in the farm ponds I fish near my home. I also tie it in all black and that color also works but not nearly as well as the black and yellow combo.
No animals where harmed in the creation of this popper.
Body: Rainy's Bass Pop or Half Cone style pre-shaped body (I prefer the bodies with the flat bottoms), medium size
Hook: Gamakatsu Worm Hook, size 1/0
Thread: 6/0 any color (the body conceals the thread wraps)
Tail: Red Unique Hair (from Hareline)
Skirt: CCT Body Fur (from Barlows Tackle)
Kicker Legs: Yellow Unique Hair
Rubber Legs: Optional
Eyes: Self adhesive dome style, 1/4 inch size
Clamp the hook in the vise. Position the body above the hook shank so you know what portion of the shank will be concealed by the body. Attach the thread within that zone.
To help keep the body from shifting on the shaft, attach a length of rubber leg material. This works as a sort of "motor mount" so the body can twist and spring back into position without breaking free of the shank. Again, make sure the wraps will be concealed once you install the body.
Trim away the excess rubber leg. Tie-in a small bunch of red Unique Hair fibers to they do not extend pas the hook bend. You can add rubber leg material at this point if you desire. The legs would extend over the hook bend and cut to desired length.
Tie-in a length of the Body Fur as you would a hackle to create a skirt.
Trim away the excess Body Fur and tie in a goodly number of yellow Unique Hair fibers across the top of the shank. Use figure 8 wraps to secure. The body will force the fibers to the rear when you push it over the shank and for a "V" shape. You can trim the fibers later so they extend about the same length as the body.
Whip-finish and trim away the tying thread. Apply gel type CA (super glue) to the forward section of the wraps. As you push the body over the hook eye and to the rear, it helps to use a twisting motion so the glue covers all the wraps. One the hook eye is clear of the body and the kicker legs are in a slight "V" shape, you're done. Make sure the body is flat at the bottom of the bug.
Trim the kicker leg fibers as needed. Leave the pattern to dry. Once the body is secure to the shank, you can add the eyes as desired. I don't trust the self adhesive properties of the dome eyes and always use a drop of the gel CA on the body where the eyes are placed.
In the off chance you feel you can't live without adding rubber legs, here's a simple technique for installing the legs through the body.
You need a sewing needle with a large eye (like a carpet needle). Run a strand of rubber leg material through the needle eye and insert the needle through one side of the popper body so it comes out exactly on the opposite side.
Pull the needle though the body so the leg material is clear. At this point you can pull the rubber legs through the body and cut the loop at the needle eye. The leg material will slide through the body so add a drop of CA glue on the rubber legs so you can pull that section into the body. The glue will hold the legs in place. Trim the legs to the desired length.
BTW: I have no idea how these attachments got here or how to get rid of them.
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