Articulated Popper: The Yellow Belly Frog
Designed and tied by John Collins
This pattern demonstrates how the Articulated Shank can be used to add articulation to surface flies such as poppers and sliders. This is an exciting growth area in fly tying and offers some significant advantages over the traditional methods of tying poppers:
- The articulation typically promotes more movement from the fly.
- Tied “hook up”, the popper automatically becomes weedless and when a fish strikes, the number of hookups significantly increases due to the hook position.
- A hooked fish is no longer able to leverage a long popper hook shank in order to throw the fly. This results in a higher percentage of landed fish!
Thread: 6/0 Olive Green
Hook: Mustad C52S BLN #4
Popper Body: EZ Popper Foam, Long Bodied Mounted on the Articulated Shank
Articulated Shank: 35mm ( 1 3/4″) length
Front Legs: Two Green and one Yellow Medium Round Rubber Legs
Back Legs and Hook Body: Two Hen Neck Feathers Dyed Olive and Two Hen Neck Feathers, one Olive and one Yellow, tied in by tips and Palmered Forward
Body Step 1:
Paint your Popper Body the Appropriate color you desire then heat a Bodkin and push it through the body. This will give you a hole through the poppers body for your Rubber legs
Insert a Bobbin threader through the hole and then insert three medium rubber legs through the loop in the threader.
Pull threader back there by pulling Rubber Legs into body and out the other side so length is even with tips on the other side of popper body. Cut Rubber Leg loops with scissors and trim both sides so all legs are even.
Hook Dressing Steps
Attach Hen Feather, on far side of hook, half way down hook shank. Shiny side towards hook with tip curving outward from hook.
Attach feather on near side of hook with tip pointing out in opposite direction. After feathers are attached, cover hook shank completely with thread right up to the hook eye
Attach two Hen Neck feathers, by the tips at the base of the feathers that were mounted in steps one and two.
Palmer Hackle the two feathers together, covering the hook shank by winding forward to hook eye. Tie off and clip excess then proceed to tie a neat head.
Attach dressed hook to Articulated Shank with point of hook mounted up. Mount shank in vise with clip side up and tie closed with with Kevlar thread. Hook should ride point up.
Carefully squeeze some CA glue into slot on bottom of Popper Body
Take finished Popper Body and press down onto Articulated Shank. Make sure shank is completely embedded inside of Popper body, with the shanks clip side up. This will keep the shank from ever spinning inside of the Poppers body.
Note: Dry fit body on shank before tying. You may need to make slot deeper and wider in order to fit properly over shank. This can be accomplished by running slot over a hacksaw blade.
After embedding Shank, fill excess space with an instant Epoxy, such as Clear Cure Goo or Bug Bond.
Paint over cured epoxy with color that matches the color of the Poppers belly.
Note: Smaller bodied Poppers can be mounted in the 20mm (3/4 inch) Articulated Shank, such as the one pictured above. Hook dressings and mountings (Up or Down) as well as Popper body colors can be changed to fit the Tier’s preference. This is just one example of how Articulated Shanks can be used in the making of top water Poppers.