New Jersey saltwater legend Bob Popovics revolutionized saltwater fly tying with his Surf Candy, originally introduced to the wider world in 1988. For a great history of the pattern, read Tom Rosenbauer’s article about the pattern on Midcurrent. Popovics’ pattern used two-stage epoxy, which looked great but was a little tough to work with. There are now better ways to skin that cat.
In this great video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions shows you how to create a killer Surf Candy by using pre-made foils and UV-cure resins in the place of epoxy. (Click the links in the recipe below to find the specific materials you’ll need.) The resulting pattern looks like a real baitfish, and you don’t need to put them on a drying wheel overnight. By the way, although this is a classic saltwater pattern, it works great for warmwater species, as well.
Hook: 2X-heavy, 2X-short tarpon hook (here, a Mustad C68SZ), size 1/0.
Thread: Clear monofilament, .006.
Belly: White Clear Candy Crush Niceabou.
Back: Olive Candy Crush Niceabou.
Head/body: Fleye Foil, medium.
Lateral line: Pearl Flashabou.
Coating #1: UV-cure resin (here, Solarez), thick.
Coating #2: UV-cure resin (here, Solarez), thin.
Coating #3: UV-cure resin (here, Solarez), ultrathin.
Tools: Bodkin, scissors.