AirHead popper? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: AirHead popper?

07-10-2003, 01:08 PM
Now that Leland has me hot for fish on the surface, this type of fly looks very interesting - anyone used such a beast yet? Comments?

It's a popper with the head made from compessing some tubular mylar back onto the hook to create a large air pocket, then coating it to trap the air inside.

One benefit seems to be that the fly is lighter and therefore easier to cast, and should float higher in the water that with a foam head.

Jim W

07-18-2003, 11:50 AM
I've used the airhead extensively and with great success down in Baja. It actually rides pretty low (on mustad 34011s I tie them on), but stays right there through just about any chop. Spits water like a real baitfish. I usually tie them with pearl mylar and NO dorsal or tail coloration, and I've had tuna take them at the surface and down deep when NOTHING else was working. I do carry lots of permanent markers in different shades so I can color them on the water, but generally don't.

I've since abandoned the pattern for crease flies because they are actually quite time consuming to create (air tight ones that you can squeeze and not compress that is), and I really like to limit my exposure to soft-tex. Oh, and crease flies tied on size 6 34011s work quite well in Puget Sound:D

07-18-2003, 12:38 PM
Thanks Phil,
I tied one last night and will give it a shot this weekend - I used silicone to seal the head - had troubles getting the tubing to stay at a pleasing shape - actually ended up with a slightly concave face, so it should have interesting movement.

I am also going to try a crease fly - have you done a crease sand lance pattern yet?

Jim W

07-18-2003, 07:59 PM
Silicone? Let me know how that works for you. It would be nice to have a less toxic alternative. I tried softbody but it takes so long to dry it was unworkable for the airhead. I would imagine you wouldn't be able to get that "squeezability" level of airtightness that you can with softex from silicone, but I hope to find out I'm wrong. Also don't worry about head shape. They often "come out how they come out", and the erraticness or should I say erraticity :hehe: on the retrieve is a good thing. Casting shouldn't be affected by head shape.

As to the crease flies, I do tie them skinny, give them a coat of pearl sparkle t-shirt paint, tint the sides pink, and the back olive, put on prismatic eyes and give them two coats of Sally Hansens nail polish. A magic marker gill slash never hurts either.

I can't really call them a sand lance because I keep the tail short. I have enough trouble with wrapping tails on my tube flies for the sound, I don't need yet another pattern that fouls! :tsk_tsk: Just a little tip. Don't worry about the artfully shaped bodies you see in the catalogs. Keep 'em flat top and bottom and make the backside come to a point above the hookshank. Also keep the face vertical. Easier to tie, easier to cast, and great action. You will get incredibly fast at them if tie up a dozen... I may hit kayak point with my pontoon on Sunday. I'll probably stay sub surface with my presentations though...

07-22-2003, 10:05 AM
The silicone was a failure - did not pass the squeeze test with one coat - did not want to add more due to weight....

Thanks for the info on the crease flies - I would have gotten carried away with the atrtisty of it all for sure. Will try tying one next.

Did do an all silicone coated pattern based on a Cam Siegler fly - basically a surf candy coated from head to tail. I am liking the transparency of the pattern and think the fish might hang onto it a little longer, but did have issues with it sinking to the side - I think a larger gap hook would help ask as a keel.

Did get a few hours at Ft Flager yesterday mid morning - had one follow on a popper, saw a few small jumpers, saw one bait fisherperson hook up on a nice fish for a bit. All in all it was quiet.

07-22-2003, 11:16 AM
I saw the sigler jr. pattern you are talking about in "innovative saltwater flies" Apparently he has trouble with it sinking to the side too. That would explain the 1/0 spinnerbait gaff he ties them on:hehe: Talk about fish killers!

Who knows though, that sinking to the side action might be the ticket for opportunisitic feeders.

If we ever meet out there we'll have to swap some flies!