Fly of the Month – Brain Dead Popper

Written by Paul Beel: J. Stockard Pro Tyer Team Leader and owner of FrankenFly

For this Fly of the Month I explain how to tie a simple Brain Dead Popper. This is a simple popper using the new Brain Dead Popper heads. You can tie them fairly quickly and they are a real fish catcher!

Brain Dead Poppers are block style poppers. Please see the previous blog on more information on these poppers, because you can turn them different ways to achieve various effects in the water. In this post I am just explaining the popper way.

Materials list:
Hook: size 2/0 Ahrex PR330 Aberdeen Predator or TP615 Trout Predator Long
Tail: Marabou Blood Quill
Tail: Legs of your choice
Body: Chocklett’s Filler Flash
Eyes: 8.5mm Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes
Head: Brain Dead Popper

Tying Instructions:
1. Place a hook in your vise.

2. Use Zuddy’s Leg Puller or a bodkin to poke a hole in the Brain Dead Popper so you will be able to slide the popper on the hook shank. It is better to put the hole lower so the popper will pop in the water column better. Please see photo to see the direction you need to place the popper on the hook.

3. Slide the popper on the hook shank temporarily. We are just doing this to mark the position of where the popper will be so we can tie our materials up to that point. Once you have the popper on, just wrap some thread up to the back of the popper. You may have to slide the popper out of the way and hold the position with your thumb or something.

4. Now you can slide the popper off and move your thread back by the barb to begin to tie in the tail. (You will have some bare shank near the front where the popper will go later.)

5. Take a marabou feather (you can use two if you want) and lay it flat on top of the hook shank with it extending from the bend. I usually make it as long as the hook, but you can make it a little longer if you want. Make thread wraps to hold it in place and cut off the stem if it extends pass the mark in the front.

6. Take two rubber legs and tie them on the side of the shank behind the marabou. If you make wraps in the middle of the legs, you should have enough to fold them around to the other side. The ends should extend to about the length of the marabou. Tie both sides down so you have two rubber legs on each side of the marabou.

7. Take your Chocklett’s Filler Flash and tie the end down behind the marabou and legs on the shank and then run your thread up to the front where your bare shank starts. Start wrapping your Filler Flash in wraps that butt up against each other all of the way to the front where your thread is. It may help to use your fingers to brush the Filler Flash back each time you take a wrap. Once you reach your thread tie it off and snip off the excess.

8. It’s time to make some thread wraps in the blank shank area you left so you can have something for your popper to slide over to be held in place. So build up some thread wraps and cover all of the bare shank to the hook eye. Keep making wraps back and forth so it builds ups a bit, but make sure your popper can still slide over it snugley.

9. When you are ready, make a whip finish and cut off your thread. Get ready to slide your Brain Dead Popper on, but first take some Krazy Glue or Zap-A-Gap and brush some over the thread wraps you made. As soon as you put the glue on slide the popper in place. Do it quickly, because the glue will dry fast and won’t allow you to slide the popper all of the way on. Make sure your popper is level.

10. Now take a Zuddy’s Leg Puller or needle, whatever you are using to help you pull legs through and make a hole in the back of the popper. You can see in the photo where I put mine. Stick it through. Put two or three legs through the hole of the leg puller and then pull them through the popper. You can put a spot of glue near each side to make sure they never come out.

11. All that is left to do is put your eyes on. I use Loctite Gel Super Glue for this. Just put a little dot on your eye and stick it on.

12. Your popper is now finished.

In Depth Review of New Daiichi Scud Hooks

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville UT, You can find Paul @:,

In this article J.Stockard Pro Paul Shurtleff reviews a new series of Daiichi Scud Hooks. Here are the links to each model and you can read Paul’s analysis below.

1924 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte green
1925 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte brown
1928 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte gray
1929 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte black

I’ve fully tested all of the new sample hooks sent to me. What I’ve discovered is that these hooks are VERY STRONG! They do not want to bend at all and they are NOT brittle either. They are reluctant to bend but will bend (under extreme pressure) instead of instantly breaking off. I tested 1 hook from each pack of each color and stress tested each hook color to the breaking point. What I discovered is that there is NO difference (that I detected) in strength between colors either. This is not a thorough test since each color of sample hooks received was in a different size. However, from what I could tell, comparable companies hooks in the same size ranges proved to be fairly equal as far as strength goes. I am quite impressed with the strength. What I did notice is that whatever coating Daiichi puts on these hooks makes them VERY SLICK! They’re almost dangerously slick… so much so that 2 of the sample size hooks survived the “Nano Silk” test (where I break a hook in my vise with Semperfli’s Nano Silk Thread) and I had 2 hooks slip out of the jaws of my Regal during stress testing making a horrible snap sending a cold chill down my spine! I have never had a hook pop out of the jaws of my Regal before up until stress testing these hooks, I am quite impressed with the strength to say the least. In fact, that’s one thing I’m going to caution for consumers and a recommendation for Daiichi for production packaging. These hooks are extremely slick: They can and will slip out of the jaws of vices under heavy pressure. That could be due to the stainless jaws of my Regal (which are slick anyway) but it should be something to caution anyway in my opinion.
Tying on these hooks was great. As mentioned before, scud style hooks are typically not my first choice to use but they were great to tie on. Tying on these hooks was like tying on any other hook with the exception of there being very little hook flex under thread pressure like there is on other similar hooks. I understand that these hooks are heavy wire extra strong hooks but it’s still something worthy of noting. Because of the coating and next to zero hook flex, that’s where the caution of the hook popping out of the vise comes in. Having a hook pop out of the vise can cause damage and chipping of vise jaws (not to mention a sharp projectile potentially flying across a room!) so again, something to caution. However, the slick coating of these hooks didn’t cause any issues while tying, the thread stuck on pretty good actually and I had zero material roll with a light thread base. I’m not sure whether that same thing would happen if there wasn’t a thread base, I’m just saying that I didn’t have any issues that way.

Continue reading → In Depth Review of New Daiichi Scud Hooks

Fly of the Month – Yewchuck’s Shrimp

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Steve Yewchuck, Beacon, NY, You can find Steve @:

This shrimp pattern was tied for a friend who was headed on a Bonefish trip and was looking for a larger brownish pattern. It’s based off of classic realistic shrimp patterns but uses modern materials.

Hook – Partridge sea streamer 1/0 or Ahrex SA 220 Saltwater Streamer Hook
ThreadUTC 70 brown or any brown 6/0 thread
Heads EP Fibers tan
Antenna 2 Flashabou pearl fibers
Eyes – 60lb mono/UV black resin
Legs Buggy Nymph Legs tan
ShellScud Back brown
RibUltra Wire medium brown
Body dubbingSenyo’s Laser Dub tan
TailFlymen Fish-Skull Shrimp Tail medium

1- start by running thread the length of the hook from eye to the bend and spin a clump of EP tan fibers to form the head making sure they are 360 .
2- next tie in two Flashabou fibers in on top making the antenna.
3- next the eyes are tied in one on each side . The eyes are 60lb mono melted flat on the ends and covered with black uv resin. The resin must cover the flat melted ends to stay connected.
4- tie in the scud skin with the head trimmed to a triangular shape on top. Pull the skin over the head and out of the way.
5- I then dub in a short section of tan dubbing which the legs are tied into . Make a few thin wraps of dubbing over the leg that you have held in place. Positioned 4 legs on each side .
6- tie in the brown wire on the side and pull towards the head out of the way.
7- then make a tapered dubbing body back to the eye of the hook leaving room to tie in the metal shrimp tail.
8- after the tail is tied in run some dubbing over it to hide the attachment point.
9- I then lay the scud skin down on the back of the fly and wrap the wire forward forming the segmentation.
10- bring the wire under the scud skin and trim it tieing it off with a whip knot . I then put a dab of super glue to secure the knot.
11- trim the scud skin to finish the fly .