: Popper problems
06-12-2006, 04:39 PM
Greetings o wise men from the fly-talk forum
When the evenings here in the Netherlands become longer and warmer. I'd like to spend them poppering the dutch ditches for yellow perch. Because this is a type of flyfishing that is seldom performed here, I can't buy any poppers in the flyfishing stores. So I developped my own micro poppers made from cork sticks that are being used for carp fishing. The result of this you can see in the pictures below.
These little flies tied on a size 8 to 10 hook can be compared to your panfish poppers I think. The flies work wel and make a lot of noise on the surface only the problem is that, when fished, they start spinning. In the beginning this is not a big problem but at a certain point, the whole leader starts twisting, what is very annoying.
I tried fishing them with a heavier leader point and puting rubber legs on them for more stability but none of this seemed to help.
Does anyone of you guys know the answer to this problem or is it simply impossible to make a micro popper go stable through the water.
I'm looking forward to your suggestions!
06-12-2006, 09:52 PM
The twisting is happening during your false casts so rubber legs aren't really going to help. They'll only stabilize it for maybe one false cast, then they'll provide extra momentum on all the subsequent casts and actually make the problem worse. The reason it's happening is that your flies are uneven. One of the feathers is probably bigger than the other or flares out more than the other. All you can do is make sure your flies are as uniform as possible. The hook also needs to come through the head so that it's perfectly even too.
One solution to your problem is to switch to a different fly. Yellow perch love fast moving white streamers. :)
06-12-2006, 09:57 PM
You could make the shape more uniform by substituting the wound hackle and full feather tail for just some stripped hackle, like the tails on dryflies.
Couple things -
1) use a straight eye hook, not a down eye
2) slit the bottom of the foam and push the hook in securing with some zap-a-gap, don't try to center it in the foam
3) forget about the forward canted cup mouth, a straight cylinder works just as well, for instance livebody foam. Otherwise get the pre-formed popper heads with the slit in the bottom for the hook shank
4) I have found that legs do help prevent spinning although you mention it doesn't - perhaps the other items above are overcoming the legs ability to add a little stability
06-13-2006, 09:10 AM
The points above are all very good and could be contributing to the spinning, but if I had to pick only one it would be the leader. Move up the diameter size of your tippet, and shorten the overall length of the leader. That's what will probably help the most.
Since I only tie big bangers for salt water I am always using a heavy leader tippet so I don't have the breadth of experience some do on small FW poppers. However I am curious how leader would prevent spinning in lighter applications. This would infer that the line and tippet provide significant resistance to torsional forces, such that it would overcome the tendencies to rotate when pulled on the water due to direction and angle of pull, shape of leading edges, and keel weight (hook).
06-13-2006, 10:36 AM
Juro, I'm referring to a reduction in torsional forces during casting, not while working the popper on the water. In my experience, a small popper will spin on the water as a result of the leader having been twisted during casting. As the leader gradually untwists on the water, the popper spins in unison.
A higher diameter tippet (in relation to popper size) will resist this twisting during the cast more than one of a lower diameter. And by reducing the overall length of the leader, there is just simply less leader to twist, reducing the opportunity for any twisting to happen in the first place. My freshwater popper leader lengths rarely exceed six feet.
I see said the blind man http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk3/images/smilies/cool.gif
So the consensus is that the spinning is occuring during the cast, and that a stout leader will resist spinning. Makes perfect sense! In fact maybe even adopting Mason or the more readily availble maxima or other quality leader would help that cause in addition to diameter.
I still respectfully maintain that root cause of the rotation is design, however if the popper is working and catching fish it ain't broke don't fix it and understanding the role of the leader is key. It's common to change a magic fly/popper and lose all the mojo.
Something I hadn't thought about, and a good trick to have in the bag of tricks!
06-13-2006, 11:04 AM
I agree that the fly design may be one of the root causes, but as you've just said sometimes the fly is the hot ticket and you don't really want to change it. That being said, the easy solution is to alter the leader, not the fly.
Good discussion, all around. :)
06-13-2006, 04:12 PM
Been there done that! In fact I posted about the same issue a couple of seasons back. I know exactly what you're dealing with. I love to throw gurglers and all maner of surface nasties that are all aerodynamically abyssmal. They just wouldn't work the same if they were :) And its true that heavier tippets are less affected.
Last season I was describing this same problem to a conventional fisherman and mentioned how it screws your cast up like using a spinning bait without a swivel. So, he digs in his tackle bag and pulls out the tiniest swivel I ever saw. I swear it would struggle to sink a size 28 olive emerger and was rated 30lb :lildevl: I picked up a few at a local store and will be trying them out this season. Even with the smallest warmwater popper I have no concerns over the weight of the swivel compromising the action of the popper and if my early-life spinning experiences are anything to go by, the problem is fixed. Watch this space for results:smokin:
06-14-2006, 12:31 PM
Thanks for the tips. I'm making a new serie of poppers at this moment and I will be testing them soon with the different techniques that are mentioned. As soon as I have some results I let you know.
06-14-2006, 06:09 PM
Yes, any fly with Bulk will spin on the back cast and/or retrieve if not symetrical and or if the face is not perpendicular to the hook line. It takes trial and error. In the interim, I'd suggest you try the Lefties bug design I've posted a few threads down. I tie them all the time in 10# and never have this issue. They are VERy effectivve on our panfish and bass. I'd love to hear how they work for you. P.s. using a loop knot wil also help.