I’ve been tying poppers with Flymen Fishing Co . Surface Seaducer foam popper heads for a while and really enjoyed the results so far. The newest product from the line is a baitfish inspired head designed for bigger articulated minnow patterns.
“The Howitzer is a next-generation soft foam popper head that provides new options for tying articulated baitfish poppers. The Howitzer imitates the head of a small baitfish that is splashing and sipping at the surface of the water. It’s designed with a deep recess at the back of the head so that an articulated body and tail of a minnow can be embedded seamlessly into the back of the head. As a result, the body of the minnow hangs down in the water (roughly at a 45-degree angle) and moves enticingly in a position that can be seen by predatory fish from a long distance and offers them an irresistible profile and an easy opportunity for a meal!”
Here is a simple articulated Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish pattern from Flymen below which gives you a nice look at how the heads fit onto the hook and how they work with body wrapped materials.
If you would like to try it out for yourself or would like some more information, visit the product page on the Flymen Fishing Co. website.
Once again, fly tyers can enjoy another innovative product from the R&D labs at Flymen Fishing Co . Faux Bucktail is the latest product to hit the shelves and it brings some new choice to the market. The new Faux Bucktail addresses some of the issues found in natural bucktail
“However, as fly tyers, we share in the general frustration of the difficulty of finding quality bucktail with long fibers on a consistent basis. We wanted to create a synthetic fiber with similar features to bucktail and properties that would allow it to be used as a more multi-purpose tying material with improvements over existing non-tapered synthetic fibers.”
The synthetic hairs come in a 6″ length, providing lots of room for even larger hair flies. Most natural bucktail is in the 3-4.5″ range. Tyers have a palate of 12 vibrant colors to choose from. It features a natural-like crinkle in the fibers and tapered tips. The hairs are not hollow and will not flair like the natural bucktail, so this should be taken into consideration when using the Faux Bucktail in place of natural.
Here is a simple baitfish pattern from Flymen below which gives you a nice look at how the material handles on the hook.
My thoughts on the bucktail are that it looks like a promising material to tie with. I’m impressed by the tapered tips, long length, and ease of use, but I think the 6″ length may be wasteful for the needs of most tyers. Tying smaller flies will mean that you have a lot of waste product. I would like to see aa smaller length available down the road, say 4″. Another issue that I believe will pop up is the lack of give in the solid fibers. When using bucktail, the hairs can be compressed and this helps to keep them in place (and can cause the most hollow to flare).
I have not yet had a chance to tie with the Faux Bucktail but will be getting the chance to soon. The material has a lot of potential and I am looking forward to seeing the new fly patterns that emerge with it. If you would like to try it out for yourself or would like some more information, visit the product page on the Flymen Fishing Co. website.
Martin Bawden has done it again with another innovative product from the R&D labs at Flymen Fishing Co . The new Shrimp & Cray Tail adds a bit of realism to your crayfish and shrimp patterns while adding the weight and leverage required to turn over the fly patterns.
Think about it – as fly tyers we put a tremendous amount of creativity and innovative use of materials to realistically imitate the appearance of shrimp or crayfish eyes, feelers, mandibles, and other body parts, and then blow it by placing an unnaturally shaped piece of metal in the place where the tail of the fly is supposed to be.
The tails come in 3 sizes to accommodate hooks sized #8 to #2 and larger, and currently come in gold and silver finishes. We would love to see a wider range of colors in shrimp and crayfish colors down the road, but a little paint in the meantime should suffice.
I’m fully expecting to see a slew of new patterns incorporating the Shrimp & Cray Tails in the coming months, and can not wait to get my hands on some to try out my own crayfish and saltwater shrimp patterns. Small and medium sizes come with 20 pieces per package and 15 pieces in the large size. They will retail for $5.95 per package. Fish-Skull® Shrimp & Cray Tail™