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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been messing around with gurglers lately, and using the search function I didn’t notice anything that stood out for this-what style do you prefer? From what I’ve noticed there seems there are three main types, a single layer of foam tied tight to the hook, a double layer (folded over) tied tight to the hook, and both a single or double layer with the back end bowed off the shank with the front tied tight.
Does each pattern do something different/perform differently or is there a benefit to any particular style that you have noticed?
 

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Can't remember the last time I saw a photo of a Gurgler done the way Jack Gartside did them... That might just tell you something since Jack's patterns were so unique (and so effective...) that tyers will be doing them a hundred years from today... Wish he was still around and I met him only once when we sat next to each other at the only National show ever done down here in south Florida...
 

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Can't remember the last time I saw a photo of a Gurgler done the way Jack Gartside did them... That might just tell you something since Jack's patterns were so unique (and so effective...) that tyers will be doing them a hundred years from today... Wish he was still around and I met him only once when we sat next to each other at the only National show ever done down here in south Florida...
I think the gartside type is the best casting one ever made. All the giant triangle ones etc. look cool, but, are impossible to cast in wind at all.
 

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Can't remember the last time I saw a photo of a Gurgler done the way Jack Gartside did them...
I tie variations of the gartside gurgler almost exclusively. Its the best combination of durability, castability, and action out there for gurglers IMHO.
 

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I am really happy with the performance of the 239 'gangster gurgler' -- the double foams floats them high, they push a lot of water, the color variations seem to work. My father ties very standard gurglers, and we'll often fish the same mangrove bank and i'm convinced I get more snook to eat. Maybe I'm just a better fisherman ;)

http://instagr.am/p/CUtQODMjueE/
 

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I am really happy with the performance of the 239 'gangster gurgler' -- the double foams floats them high, they push a lot of water, the color variations seem to work. My father ties very standard gurglers, and we'll often fish the same mangrove bank and i'm convinced I get more snook to eat. Maybe I'm just a better fisherman ;)

http://instagr.am/p/CUtQODMjueE/
That 239 gangster gurgler is very nice. Check out the galactic gurgler from space coast flies also. It’s killer too!
 

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I've goofed around with Gurglers for a while and when looking at action, sound, and castability, I just go with the original recipe: 2 x 3mm foam tied back first, then a layer of cactus chenille or whatever, then tie the front down and trim a lip. Bucktail tail has enough action in the water but less likely to tangle when casting a wind-resistant fly, casts beautifully and doesn't hold (much) water.

The 2 layers of foam also allow the tier to use one color on the bottom (that will be more visible to the fish) and a different color on top, which makes it easier for the angler to track the fly in the water. @Rookiemistake I think I use 6mm foam with a single piece, and 2 x 3mm if doubling up.

I think we can goof around with other ways of doing it and as long as it makes that basic gurgling sound it's gold - I tend to avoid a lot of the variations tied commercially because they add a bunch of material that soaks up water and makes it a pain to cast and I doubt they are much more effective.

I will say, I've done some bigger ones with a long craft fur tail and it does some very cool stuff. the lip on the front makes the fly stop immediately after stripping, but the tail keeps it's momentum so it kicks out to the sides. I think Chocklett talks about this effect on some of his musky flies.

@Jordan_Lee sounds like "both a single or double layer with the back end bowed off the shank with the front tied tight." is more of a slider type style?
 

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I knew Jack, not well but friendly. We both tied for years at the Fly Fishing shows in the North East. His patterns and views on fishing were surely out in front. I don't believe I've seen a commercially or otherwise produced gurgler tied Jack's way in a very long time. His patterns were super simple. Sparse bucktail, some flash, foam and a palmered hackle body. That's the starting point for the thousands of variations that are out there. Amazingly most every variation will take fish because the foundation of the pattern is solid.

I have always been a tinkerer with existing patterns and have had great success over the years with improving patterns. I think that most of my tinkering has to do with thousands of hours on the water observing fish. My thoughts on the evolution of the gurgler. I think that the original created a great illusion of a baitfish or small group of baitfish being pushed to the surface. The streamlined design and ability to push and create sound really mimics this scenario well and the fish have stamped their approval. Fish will be taken on Jacks version forever!

Throughout the evolution the other scenario that seems to play out often in the predator vs. prey relationship is the damaged, wounded fish that lays sideways on the surface. Whenever huge schools of bait are congregated near the surface there are always fish laying on their sides slapping the water. Very common with Bunker aka. Menhaden. All of us who spend time on the water have seen this. I think that a lot of the Gurgler variations out there do a decent job of imitating this other ringing of the dinner bell, sideways silhouette.

It is my opinion that the 2 scenario theory that the original and the more modern variations cover is further proven by the fact that fish will take the original with fairly quick steady retrieves while the other more widely tied versions excels with short burst of action followed by pauses. Neither is as successful when the fishing technique is reversed.
Both styles have their place in the fly box since both mimic and sell the illusion of vulnerability and trigger the predatory strike in different ways.

Here are some variation that I tied for one of my clients. I believe these particular patterns imitate when bunker or other baitfish roll on their sides and slap at the surface. These work really well for Striped Bass up north. I have also had good success with these on various species in Florida. My #1 fly when big Jacks are about.

Included top and bottom view

Artificial fly Bait Fishing lure Fishing bait Fish hook
Gold Terrestrial plant Art Rectangle Space

Water Bait Fishing bait Fish Fish hook
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Cory Michner, this is what I was referring to
Pollinator Insect Butterfly Arthropod Moths and butterflies

Artificial fly Insect Fishing lure Arthropod Bait

It seems like it would be a bit of a pain to cast and probably spin and twist up your leader/line more than one with the foam tied more tightly like this one.
Insect Arthropod Wing Feather Fashion accessory

Thank all of you for your comments, and I look forward to getting some more tied up.
 
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