Popper Magic!

#1
Holy cow! Tried one of Leland's poppers I ordered from the Bellevue store (thank you Leland!) for the first time on a falling high tide in MA13. Got a boil first cast and I thought, "No kidding, this works!" About 15 minutes later I really got into them, just about dropping my rod from the startling takes. I caught big, healthy, fat cutts all morning, best fishing in years. Several of the fish had a golden color to them, is that from getting ready to spawn? It was so exciting to see fish boil and porpoise that hooking up was secondary. Also had great luck with Delia's squid pattern. I had most of my success in about 6-10 feet of water along seams. My first popper broke off pretty early so I am wondering about best tippet size and where to get material to tie up some on my own.

I experimented with different stripping patterns and found my best luck with hard aggressive strips followed by small erratic strips. So now I have some questions:

Best tippet size?
Is polar bear hair available or a substitute?
After getting beat up my popper didn't seem to float as well, do you use floatant on it?

The other helpful thing I learned today was thanks to
Bob Trigg's comment on another thread, "just go fish the beach and learn it at all tidal stages". I was worried that the high flood today wouldn't be productive, and boy was I wrong!
 
#2
Sounds like you experienced some of my favorite fishing! Here are a couple answeres to your questions from my experience...

Use long 0x/10# leaders, no need to go light on a topwater presentation, the fish are not shy.
Leland recomends streamer hair at his shop, but I use almost all synthetics on my sliders now.
When a head gets a little water logged, I switch to another dry one. I've tried some floatants and it isn't worth the time, just tie on a new fly.

I'm sure you'll get some other advice, but this is what has worked for me.
Cheers
 
#4
Sounds like you experienced some of my favorite fishing! Here are a couple answeres to your questions from my experience...

Use long 0x/10# leaders, no need to go light on a topwater presentation, the fish are not shy.
Leland recomends streamer hair at his shop, but I use almost all synthetics on my sliders now.
When a head gets a little water logged, I switch to another dry one. I've tried some floatants and it isn't worth the time, just tie on a new fly.

I'm sure you'll get some other advice, but this is what has worked for me.
Cheers

Steve,

On those 0X leaders do you add tippet material and if so , what size? Are you finding the heads locally or order them?

Thanks so much for your help. I have learned a ton from reading this blog. You guys really know your stuff!
-Steve Cifka
 
#5
olyfish, that boat looks really nice. Is it a Nexus?
Thanks Patrick,
Good call on Nexus Marine, but no, I built it with Scott Hauser here in Olympia. Light boat. Does 21MPH with a 4stroke 25hp (and gets 12mpg!) We modified the design (Skiff America) to more of a Pacific Dory bow to make it more seaworthy for the Northwest. It's been a great boat: shallow draft, semi V so it doesn't pound and you can easily control a drift with oars off a beach.

-Steve Cifka
 
#7
Thanks Patrick,
Good call on Nexus Marine, but no, I built it with Scott Hauser here in Olympia. Light boat. Does 21MPH with a 4stroke 25hp (and gets 12mpg!) We modified the design (Skiff America) to more of a Pacific Dory bow to make it more seaworthy for the Northwest. It's been a great boat: shallow draft, semi V so it doesn't pound and you can easily control a drift with oars off a beach.

-Steve Cifka
It's got a great looking sheerline, the cabin really sets it off. I've been in the NW wooden boat world for a while and have heard good things about Scott's Boats. I don't remember ever meeting Scott, but I bet we have a mutual acquaintance in Sam Devlin.
(sorry about the hijacking)
 

miyawaki

Active Member
#9
Sounds like you experienced some of my favorite fishing! Here are a couple answeres to your questions from my experience...

Use long 0x/10# leaders, no need to go light on a topwater presentation, the fish are not shy.
Leland recomends streamer hair at his shop, but I use almost all synthetics on my sliders now.
When a head gets a little water logged, I switch to another dry one. I've tried some floatants and it isn't worth the time, just tie on a new fly.

I'm sure you'll get some other advice, but this is what has worked for me.
Cheers
Steve pretty much nailed it.

Congrats Oly!

Leland.
 

miyawaki

Active Member
#10
Steve,

On those 0X leaders do you add tippet material and if so , what size? Are you finding the heads locally or order them?

Thanks so much for your help. I have learned a ton from reading this blog. You guys really know your stuff!
-Steve Cifka
Don't add tippet until you cut off or lose three feet of your leader! Reminder: the end of your tapered leader is your tippet.

Leland.
 
#11
Don't add tippet until you cut off or lose three feet of your leader! Reminder: the end of your tapered leader is your tippet.

Leland.
Thanks! Now I'm hooked. Wish I could have made your Popper presentation this week. Thanks for your stewardship of fishing the salt. What absolutely beautiful fish these are.
Steve Cifka in Olympia
 

mtskibum16

Active Member
#13
I've had decent luck with coating the foam heads with loon hard head when I tie them. This helps seal them and they don't get chewed up or waterlogged as quickly.
 
#14
It's got a great looking sheerline, the cabin really sets it off. I've been in the NW wooden boat world for a while and have heard good things about Scott's Boats. I don't remember ever meeting Scott, but I bet we have a mutual acquaintance in Sam Devlin.
(sorry about the hijacking)
Thanks. Yep Scott Hauser and Sam used to build together. Here is a photo.
 

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#15
oly, I generally start with 12' 0X leaders. Like Leland said above, I won't add tippet until I use up a couple of feet of the original leader.
oly, I generally start with 12' 0X leaders. Like Leland said above, I won't add tippet until I use up a couple of feet of the original leader.
No wonder I broke off...I started out with 4X tippet. Would 8-10 lb Maxima be a good choice?
 

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