Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bass Popper Tutorial

It's been a crappy spring for dry fly trout fishing.  I've been struggling to find a reliable hatch and rising trout for two months now, minus a couple 30 minute spinner fall sessions.  Instead of the typical mayfly hatch-matching tying frenzy I get into this time of year I've moved on to bass.

Poppers are awesome to fish and equally awesome to tie.  There are many ways to create these things, even kits that come complete with hooks and shaped foam.  This year I tried a new (to me) technique when I found some cheap cork at a local craft store.  I made a few, caught some fish, and now I'll share how I did it.  You can click on the photos for a better look, and feel free to leave a comment with any questions about this fly.

Step 1:  Start with the corks and a razor knife.  Make sure it's a fresh blade. (kids should ask an adult for help!) 
Step 2:  Cut a channel out of the cork carefully.  Cut away from the fingers  with firm even pressure towards the table. 
Here's a detailed look at the channel... try and make it look like a V if you can.
Step 3:  Get a hook with a wide gap and tie some thread where the popper's gonna go.  Make the thread kind of sloppy and the glue will stick better.
Step 4:  Apply a little super glue on the thread, and in the channel of the cork.    Don't use too much or it will take too long to dry.  
Step 5:  Wedge the cork on there.  If you got the cash or the time you can UV or epoxy the channel.    
Step 6:  Let the glue dry.  If you do multiple poppers at once the first one should be dry by the time you get the rest done.
Step 7:  Get a bodkin to make a hole for the front legs.
Step 8: Poke the bodkin through (kids again should ask for help here) making sure you are perpendicular to the hook, level, and not gonna stab your hand on the other side.

Step 9:  Get some permanent markers, colors are up to you!  You could paint it too, but markers are cheap and dry really fast.  
Step 10:  Color that thing up, pretend it's a frog or just make it crazy.  
Step 11: Add some eyes if you'd like.  
Step 12:  Grab a threader and pick out some rubber legs.
Step 13:  Pull the legs through.
Here's a detailed look of the legs. 
Step 14:  Get some clear coat.  
Step 15:  Make it shine!  Special Note:  If the marker isn't completely dry the colors will blend a little (I like that), however some of the marker color will come off on the clear coat brush then back in the bottle (that's not that great).  You could drip a little on and apply it with a bodkin to avoid that.   
Step 16:  Add some legs however, and with whatever, you want.  You can do this while the clear coat is still a little tacky just be careful.   You can add another clear coat layer if you'd like once your done. 
Step 17:  Go fishing and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Korkers Fisherman's Moc Review

At the start of this year Korkers revealed their new product line, and one shoe caught my eye right away.  The Fisherman's Moc was exactly what I was looking for, a comfortable shoe you can wear to and from the river, around the campsite, or at the local bluegill pond.  I bought a pair and have been wearing them around enough now to give a review with some pretty cool pics.  Check them out...

These shoes were designed to give your feet a rest after a long day of wading, and they do a great job at it.  My favorite part of the shoe is the heel and how it folds down so you can slip them on like slippers right out of your waders, and they are comfortable to wear around like that too.

The tread is Korkers Kling-On sticky rubber and it performs nicely when you're scrambling along a stream bank.  However the sticky rubber treads will inevitably wear out, and it's my guess the upper will outlive the sole.  If they update this shoe in the future I would like to see them put on the omnitrax sole system, or even a fixed hard rubber sole.  I will say after 3 months of regular use the tread is holding up nicely, but I haven't really put a beating on them like I want to.

The sizing length is accurate, however they are a little on the wide side so be aware if you have skinny feet.  The Fisherman's Moc are not for everyone (hence the name), but I love mine and I'm wearing them a lot more then I thought I would... they are just that comfortable!  If you would like to see more info, or get a pair here's the link you need.