Video: How to Tie a Saltwater Popper, Part II

In last week’s video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions demonstrated how to build the foam body of a saltwater popper. Now it’s time to finish the popper by attaching eyes, coloring the body, and adding a tail. The techniques Tim uses here will allow you to create an array of poppers in different color combinations to mimic the local baitfish or create different kinds of attractor patterns. Just watching this video, I came up with a half-dozen patterns and color combos that I’d like to add to my fly box. I’m sure that once you’ve got this system perfected, you can start adding even more elaborate patterns and multi-color schemes. At the end of the video, Tim warns that once you start experimenting with making poppers, you might not want to stop.

In order to finish the poppers, you’ll need a bunch of tools you may not already have sitting on your tying desk. Here’s a list:

  • 6-inch square of closed-cell foam
  • X-Acto knife
  • painter’s tape
  • burnishing tool
  • Copic markers in various colors
  • Copic Air Brush System Kit
  • craft brushes.

You probably won’t create these one at a time, but will rather set up a production line that will result in a bunch of poppers. If so, investing some money in the Copic Air Brush System Kit ($69 on is certainly worth it. Poppers work great for a number of saltwater species, as well as bass (large- and smallmouth) and pike. If you tie up a bunch, post pictures to our Facebook page so we can see how you did. 

Saltwater Popper – Part 2 of 2 from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.


          Saltwater Popper (Part II: Finishing)
          Eyes: Prismatic Eyes.

          Glue: Zap-A-Gap.

          Color: Copic Marker pens.

          Coating: 5-minute epoxy.

          Thread: White, 6/0 or 140-denier.

          Tail: White and orange bucktail.

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