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Discussion Starter #1
I guarantee I'll catch some heat from what my buddy calls "Fly fishing Elite" but this set up flat out works for me when I can't sight fish. Especially in stained to muddy water which seems to be 75% of the time where I fish. This may be a bit more than needed but I like the set up that much!

I am using the medium size Double barrel popper at the moment though I plan on ordering a pack of small to try. The medium gives of plenty of commotion, at times maybe too much. I rarely use the popper alone. I started out bream fishing on a fly and everyone used a popper with a black ant dropper. So fast forward and my dad and I were cruising a bank and I was faithfully trying to snag a red on the fly. Meanwhile he’s killing them on a popping cork and Vudu shrimp. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I tied on the popper, put a clouser under it and it was game on! Landed 8 fish in an hour!

So the set-up is as follows: #15 7ft tapered leader to the popper then I adjust my dropper to the conditions. Usually anywhere from 2-3.5ft. I use orange and Chartreuse since they are easiest to see at a distance and I am also using it as a strike indicator. I have caught 10-12 fish on the popper but 20-30 on the dropper. Also in areas with a lot of current don’t underestimate a dead drift using a fly with lots of movement like EP fibers or marabou. If I’m working the dropper deep and fast I go for the clouser. Shallow or dead drifting a Redfish crack with rubber legs.


Casting it on a 7wt with a heavy head works for me but wind kills the rig fast. I trim the redfish cracks down a bit to cut down on drag and tie the poppers a bit sparse. The swivel may not make a difference in the world but I like it. Below is an explanation on my popper from another forum(Bullnettler).

When I first started fly fishing it was for Bluegills and Red-bellies. Like everyone I loved the top water bites but as the day went on they would just come up and stare at it. It was then an old timer told me about using a dropper. I fished that way for the next 2-3 years. So here is my scaled up version. Recalling my younger years I remember wishing I could quickly add or remove a dropper according to the bite without compromising the hook gap. So this was my answer. It will float up to a 5/32 barbell head fly. With a bead chain fly it sets really nice on the water.






 

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It should work great. Freshwater trout fisherman have been doing it for years. In saltwater, a poppin cork and a gulp are very productive in dirty and/deeper water.
I do not choose to fish this way, but I do use the poppin cork for my younger kids if the conditions are not ideal.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It should work great. Freshwater trout fisherman have been doing it for years. In saltwater, a poppin cork and a gulp are very productive in dirty and/deeper water.
I do not choose to fish this way, but I do use the poppin cork for my younger kids if the conditions are not ideal.

Mike
I'm sure it's not for everyone but I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you elaborate on how you attach the swivel?
I started out with a Diariki 930 #2 hook. Then used some 30lb backing and started by tying it facing opposite of the hook shank for about a half inch then bent it back and wrapped it all the way down. I use gorilla glue to glue the head on. Then Loon soft head or Liquid Fusion for a glossy finish. The tail is black EP fiber with some strands of flash.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A cut piece of shrimp on the dropper really gets the job done lol
So does a bow and arrow. But I thought this was a fly fishing thread. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have thought about that but I like the thought of the extra hook. Strike indicators are used all the time. I use them right at the tip of my fly line blind casting because I can't see for crap. I can understand some of the purist arguments but not many. I believe some folks get to caught up in that picture perfect scenario they have in mind and forget how to have Fun.
 
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I have thought about that but I like the thought of the extra hook. Strike indicators are used all the time. I use them right at the tip of my fly line blind casting because I can't see for crap. I can understand some of the purist arguments but not many. I believe some folks get to caught up in that picture perfect scenario they have in mind and forget how to have Fun.
I’m all for having fun. Thanks for sharing your muddy water rig.
 

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Question, why can't you tie your dropper directly to the bend off your popper (hopper)?

It works on trout and they are not nearly as strong and usually not as aggressive. Unless you're tying the dropper in with hard mason or something stiff I think it would work just fine, and reduce weight. I think it would reduce fouling as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Question, why can't you tie your dropper directly to the bend off your popper (hopper)?

It works on trout and they are not nearly as strong and usually not as aggressive. Unless you're tying the dropper in with hard mason or something stiff I think it would work just fine, and reduce weight. I think it would reduce fouling as well.
You are absolutely right. Guys have been doing it with success for years. I think the improvements are slight at best. When I first started using the set up I was heavy in to spoon flies. Some spoon flies twist line horribly and this helped. Second some saltwater fish have a pretty toothy mouth and that knot right in the bend of the shank always worried me after a good fish. Third I personally feel like it leaves a little more of the hook shank exposed unobstructed so the mono may not deflect the hook as easy. Last but not least I think it's cool and I like it. I think we should always strive to improve. Some my see my setup as just that and some may chuckle at it. Either way if the improvements are minimal, they are still improvements.
 

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You are absolutely right. Guys have been doing it with success for years. I think the improvements are slight at best. When I first started using the set up I was heavy in to spoon flies. Some spoon flies twist line horribly and this helped. Second some saltwater fish have a pretty toothy mouth and that knot right in the bend of the shank always worried me after a good fish. Third I personally feel like it leaves a little more of the hook shank exposed unobstructed so the mono may not deflect the hook as easy. Last but not least I think it's cool and I like it. I think we should always strive to improve. Some my see my setup as just that and some may chuckle at it. Either way if the improvements are minimal, they are still improvements.
I think it's a cool idea, definitely haven't seen a saltwater popper/dropper that I can remember.

How does that size swivel compare to the owner micro swivels? I started using those when I throw spoon flies (not very often anymore).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've never used the Owner micros. I'm pretty sure they go down to 14. But if it got much smaller I couldn't tie my line!
 

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I’ve fished a popper dropper quite often in the salt when blind casting...”fun fishing”...it was super effective for sea trout in the keys around sprigger bank and around oxfoot bank. Pompano like it too...I’ve never used a swivel just tied to the popper hook. The only problem I ever had was if a pack of bluefish or Spanish mackerel passed. You would hook two fish...momentarily...then get cut off. It was still fun. I’m a hard core sight fisherman but you have to take a break sometimes and this rig attracts fish! Great post!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks a lot for the input. I got double rat reds once. The popper went under and I hooked the first 12" fish got close to the boat then it got extra heavy then another spirited run! Another 14" fish picked up the popper, fun times. Sight fishing is always my first attempt but it's not always practical. Thus why I said it was my second favorite set up. A #2 orange redfish crack on a 10ft leader being my top bread winner. Tight lines sir!
 
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