Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Zudbubbler" Bass Popper

Inspired by Tom Loving's early 20th century bass popper the "Gerbubble Bug", the Zudbubbler features the unique square head design that makes a hearty pop with very little movement. It's tapered design makes it easier to cast and causes less interference with hook sets, and the many rubber legs make it an irrisistable treat that Large and Smallmouth Bass find too good to pass up. The steps below will guide you through the tying process I use but by all means, get creative! Feel free to email me with your comments or questions at matt@mattzudweg.com

The supplies above are my favorites for tying the Zudbubbler. If you don't have a Zuddy's Leg Puller you can use a bodkin and thread puller... it just takes longer. Green, Chartreuse, Yellow and Black are my favorite ZB body colors, but I have caught numerous bass on every other color offered as well.

Step 1: Using the Leg Puller, poke a hole through the ZB body from back to front keeping it as centered as possible.

Step 2: Slide the ZB body onto the hook and attach your thread (6/0 Uni-thread or similar) just behind the body. This will help you keep track of where the body will be glued later.
(Don't use gel spun thread for this fly as glue will not hold to it as well)

Step 3: Add your favorite color of marabou to the top of the hook, being careful not to advance forward of your starting point yet.

Step 4: Double over a rubber leg and tie it in on the side of the hook. Repeat for the other side as well.

Step 5: Tie in a webby schlappen feather by the tip, color is your choice. I like a color that is contrasting to the popper body and marabou feather.

Step 6: Wind some dubbing onto your thread (Ice Dub is my first choice), and advance forward to where you started your thread.

Step 7: Palmer the schlappen feather through the dubbing and tie off at the point you started your thread earlier in Step 2. Trim the remainder of the schlappen feather and continue winding thread from back to front enough to completely cover the hook... this will give the glue in our next step something to hold to.

Step 8: Run a bead of Zap-A-Gap or equivelant CA glue along the top of the thread base and slide the ZB body onto the hook, twisting around as you go to spread the glue evenly around the thread base. Align the ZB body so it's straight and allow it to dry for a minute.

Step 9: Poke the Zuddy's Leg Puller into the side of the ZB body near the front and poke it through the body diagonally so it comes out near the back. Slide a couple rubber legs in the Leg Puller eye and pull the legs through leaving a little more out the front than the back. Repeat this on the other side as well.

Step 10: Add a small drop of Dave's Flexament or Softex flexible glue to the legs near the front and pull the glue/legs into the body. Repeat on the other side as well.

Using a flexible glue is very important as a CA glue will distort the rubber legs.

At this point your Zudbubbler is very fishy and I normally don't spend any more time on it. If you'd like to however, you can add spots to the body with a sharpie and even eyes to make it even more "Frog-ish". If you are missing fish on the hook set, you can bend the hook a little to increase the gap.

Finished "Zudbubbler"

Captain Matt "Z" Zudweg guides for Feenstra Guide Service and also owns BoneYard Fly Gear.