Bass Bandit

Discussion in 'Fly Tying Step by Step' started by GAT, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

    Nov 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    This is a pattern I developed long ago (it was a pattern I used for my flytying column). Originally, the bodies were sold by Edgewater but Rainy's bought them out and for some reason, changed the name of the body shapes. The Edgewater body was originally called a Chugger. Rainy's calls it a Half Cone. So, if you wish to tie (craft) this pattern, you'll need to buy Rainy's Half Cone bodies in size medium or large (depending on the size of pattern you wish to make).

    I like the semi-soft foam bodies because the bass tend to hold onto the suckers a tad longer than a hard foam or plastic body.

    When I first tied the pattern, dome type eyes were not available so I used post type doll eyes. Nowadays, I use the self adhesive eyes instead of the doll eyes as shown.

    The pattern is a slider or diver or whatever you want to call it. The design is meant for the popper to dive when you retrieve it. However, because the foam is so buoyant, the bug struggles to the surface when you relax the line. This gives the critter a great presentation so the bass may hit it when it dives or when it is struggling to the surface. You can also pop the bug on the surface so you cover a lot of bases with this guy.

    The Bass Bandit:


    Hook: Gamakastsu 1/0 or 2/0 rubber worm hook (the barbs on the shank help hold the body in place)
    Thread: Black 8/0
    Tail: Pearl Flashabou or flash
    Legs: Medium size, round rubber legs, white or yellow in color
    Hackle: Black saddle feather
    Body: White, with black spray-painted black, medium or large size Half Cone from Rainy's
    Eyes: Post type doll eyes or adhesive type dome eyes


    These are the materials and tools I originally used to build the fly. If you use the adhesive type eyes, you won't need to pierce the body with a tooth pick for installation of the the eye posts. The drill bit is used to clear the body hole as the manufactured hole is sometimes obstructed by foam.


    You build the body first. To obtain the dark back, use black spray paint (vinyl or plastic model paint is preferred) in a can or air brush. I use a screwer and affix the body a foot or so away from the spray nozzle. Use light coats to "fog" the back. By slightly rotating the body in relation to the spray, you can control how far down the body sides the paint is applied. Once the paint dries, use the drill bit (about the same diameter as the hole) to clear the body mounting hole. Then install the eyes. This completes the body and the crafting part of tying the fly.


    Now the tying part. Clamp the hook in the vise. Secure the thread and tie in a dozen or so strands of flash and a 2.5 length of the rubber leg material just above the hook point. The flash should extend to the hook bend. It doesn't hurt to add a drop of CA (super glue) at the wraps.


    Tie in the hackle feather just in front of the rear leg wraps.


    Make three to four wraps with the hackle as close together as possible. Tie off and trim excess. Center and attach a 3 inch length of the leg material. Remember to keep all the material tied close to the rear as possible because the body will force the legs and hackle to the rear when it is installed.
    Run the thread forward to create a thread base and whip finish near the hook eye.


    Coat the hook shank and base wraps with super glue and slide the body over the eye and toward the rear until the eye clears the nose of the body. Twist the body as needed so the body is perpendicular to the hook gap. Let the glue dry for a hour or so... just in case.


    If all goes well, you should end up with something like this:


    You can mix and match colors as you'd like. A friend ties his with a yellow body with a green back in an attempt to imitate a swimming frog. He took a trip to Florida and did great with the yellow and green color combination.

    I use the spray technique on a number of my bass popper patterns. Once you become familiar with the technique, you can create multiple colored bodies by slightly turning and spraying specific sections of the back and side of the body. Most of my pencil poppers are made with the spray technique to create a darker back than the belly of the body.

    Like these:

    Chris Johnson and FinLuver like this.