How to Fly Fish With Poppers

How to Fly Fish With Poppers
Fly-fishing is a method of fishing that uses a specialized fly rod and reel, fly line, leader, tippet and lures. One lure commonly used in fly-fishing is the popper, which is designed to be fished on the surface as an attractor. The popper is designed to chug or pop along the surface of the water when retrieved. It imitates a small frog, toad or larger bug struggling on the surface of the water.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly rod and matched reel
  • Fly line, leader, and tippet
  • Poppers
  • Small pond or lake
Step 1
Set up the fly rod, reel, line, leader and tippet that match in size and weight. For example, when fishing a 7 weight rod, the reel should be appropriately sized with 7 weight fly line and leader and a corresponding tippet. Refer to the Orvis Knot Tying website, listed below, for knot-tying instructions.
Step 2
Attach a popper to the tippet using a clinch knot. To tie the knot, feed 3 to 4 inches of the loose end of the tippet through the eye of the popper. Wrap the loose end around the main line and feed the loose end back through the loop formed above the eye. Moisten the knot and pull tight.
Step 3
Cast the popper to the middle of the pond or alongside structures such as reeds, weeds, grasses, logs or rocks. Allow the popper to rest momentarily on the surface after touching down from the cast.
Step 4
Retrieve the popper by taking in small amounts of line at a time. The objective is to pop or chug the popper across the surface of the water. Pause periodically, letting the popper rest.
Step 5
Set the hook of the popper when a fish takes the bait. Allow the fish to submerge with the popper before setting the hook to prevent pulling the hook from the mouth of the fish.

Tips & Warnings

It is possible for a fish to take the popper while it is being retrieved or resting. Be alert for a strike at any time.
Use care when handling poppers during setup, as the hooks typically will be very sharp.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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