How to Make Your Own Styrofoam Bass Popper Flies

Written by keith dooley
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How to Make Your Own Styrofoam Bass Popper Flies
Use styrofoam to make bass poppers. (fly fishing image by Brett Bouwer from

Fishing flies are used in combination with a fly rod to lure and attract a variety of fresh and saltwater game fish. Fishing flies are tied to imitate natural insects and even small rodents. Tying flies is a means for making custom fly creations that are suited to a wide range of fishing conditions and situations. Top water poppers are often effective when presented to species including bass. A popper can be made with styrofoam as the popper body.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Styrofoam
  • Spray paint
  • Knife
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Dry fly hook
  • Fly vice
  • Fly tying thread
  • Feathers and hackles
  • Epoxy
  • Rubber strands
  • Lure eyes
  • Head cement

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  1. 1

    Form a conical shape for the popper body from a piece of styrofoam. Use a knife to cut the cone shape for the popper, then sand smooth with fine grit sandpaper.

  2. 2

    Spray the styrofoam popper body with spray paint using colours such as black, green or brown. Set the popper body to the side to thoroughly dry.

  3. 3

    Place a dry fly hook in the jaws of a fly tying vice. Position the bend of the hook between the vice jaws with the shank on top and hook point on the bottom.

  4. 4

    Wrap the shank of the hook with fly tying thread to provide a base for attaching feathers and hackles. Begin the thread wraps just below the eye of the hook and wrap down to a point just above the bend in the hook. Wrap the thread back up to the eye then down again.

  5. 5

    Attach feathers, hackles, yarn and other materials as desired to create a tail for the popper fly. Wrap the materials securely in place with thread. Tie marabou fibres followed by feather hackles to form a tail. Tie the materials up to the mid point on the hook shank leaving room for the styrofoam popper body.

  6. 6

    Apply epoxy to the hook shank just below the hook eye. Slide the styrofoam popper body over the eye of the hook and onto the shank. Allow the epoxy to dry for 2 to 3 hours.

  7. 7

    Tie a 2- to 3-inch length of rubber strand around the hook just below the styrofoam popper body. Even the strand to form two legs on the popper.

  8. 8

    Glue lure eyes to the popper body with epoxy and allow to dry for 2 to 3 hours. Apply a coat of head cement to the thread wraps on the popper.

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