• Inside look: Designing the Surface Seducer Double Barrel
  • Post author
    Martin Bawden
  • fly fishingfly tyingpopper fishingsmallmouth bassvideo

Inside look: Designing the Surface Seducer Double Barrel

Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper and slider body

Putting the POP back in popper flies.

This may be the most exciting time to be involved in fly fishing!

In recent years, fly fishing has rapidly evolved at an unprecedented rate.

No longer restricted to trout or salmon, fly fishing has become "anything goes if it's on the fly," with fly anglers now able to actively target and land virtually any species of freshwater or saltwater gamefish on a fly rod. 

As fly anglers expand their horizons, the hunt for more species in widely varied types of fisheries across the world is rapidly driving the need for innovation in the fly fishing industry with specialized flies and equipment for enticing and landing these fish.

There's nothing like an aggressive fish absolutely crushing your fly on the surface!

Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper

One of the biggest growth areas in fly design is the development of next-generation topwater flies and fishing techniques to catch these non-trout species.

This is done primarily with various foam popper, slider, and diver flies, and anglers are quickly discovering this is one of the most fun ways to fly fish!

Using bass bugs on a fly rod to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass has always been popular, but innovative new styles and tactics for a wider range of species are rapidly being developed by fly anglers in many fisheries across the globe. Some examples include small, buggy foam flies for panfish and carp, larger size poppers for freshwater monsters like musky, pike and peacock bass, and specialized saltwater poppers for inshore species such as redfish and larger offshore species like amberjack and sailfish.

This progression led me to create the Surface Seducer® Double Barrel™ popper & slider body.

Surface Seducer logo

The Double Barrel is one of the first products in Flymen's new Surface Seducer® product brand, which will expand into a full range of modern foam fly tying products over the next few years.

Surface Seducer foam popper body range

My design goals for the Double Barrel popper & slider body were to create a better general-purpose, soft foam body that was easy to tie with and had features and functionality that would enable fly anglers to overcome the limitations of current products in the market.

It needed to be versatile in terms of function, colors, and sizes to tie a broad range of flies for all species, from panfish to sailfish.

Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper and slider

It seems to me that the emphasis on having a loud popping sound (and action) has somehow gotten lost over time, and most popper bodies available to anglers today have either a very shallow cup face or no cup face at all!

Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper and slider body

To remedy this, my concept was to imagine the two round barrels of a double-barreled shotgun being merged together until they were almost (but not quite) a single barrel.

Merging both barrels together and tapering the body toward the rear gave the front of the body a broader and deeper front cup with an aggressive top lip, all of which combine for a bigger pop.

Surface Seducer popper and slider fly

This design approach also created the multi-purpose versatility I was looking for. Not only can the Double Barrel be used as a popper, but it can be reversed and used as a slider-style foam bug or as a diving foam baitfish head.

Surface Seducer foam popper body

One of the other unique features of the Double-Barrel is the recessed eye sockets. This takes foam fly design to the next level by enabling anglers to easily embed 3D eyes deeply inside the body and adding a coolness factor to every fly!

Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes

Foam flies are typically more impressionistic than realistic, so we created a set of striking new popper eyes in bright, attractor colors to complement the vibrant colors of the Double Barrel body.

Mix and match the new range of Dragon Eyes to make your flies really pop!

Surface Seducer popper foam fly hooks

To complete the ultimate platform for fly tyers to build poppers and sliders off of, we created a range of Popper Hooks sized to match the Double Barrel. 

The hooks are versatile and standardized so you can use them with other foam bodies and products available on the market.

Popper tying made easier for everyone!

One of the key overriding design goals for every Flymen product is ease of use.

Making a fly tying material easy to use and quick to tie enables even a novice fly tyer to create a fly that not only catches fish, but looks great!

Popper fly tying and fishing is a LOT of fun, but traditionally not many fly tyers ever get into tying poppers, which is a real pity.

Examining this further, I came to the realization that many fly tyers are simply discouraged by the traditional messy (and often time consuming) part of making poppers, i.e., the painting, the airbrushing, and the clear-coating battle with 5-minute epoxy!

For many fly tyers, gearing themselves up for this is a deterrent.

So how do we enable and encourage any fly tyer, regardless of skill level or time constraint, to easily get into tying poppers?

The solution is the unique way we have manufactured the Double Barrel that makes even the most basic, entry-level fly look fantastic!

Surface Seducer foam popper bodies

We achieved this by molding (not machining) the Double Barrel in order to create a strong, smooth, and shiny surface in 6 bright, vibrant colors. This “popper skin” gives you a professional, finished-looking foam popper body straight out of the bag!

Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper head and Dragon Eyes

What does this mean? It means that at the most basic level, there is no requirement to paint, decorate or clear coat your popper! A fly tyer can simply mount a Popper Hook onto the body, add Dragon Eyes and some feathers for a tail, then go fishing!

Your fly will look great and you'll catch fish.

Making the entry level such a great starting point enables a fly tyer to easily progress into tying more advanced flies.

The next level of popper tying may simply be adding a clear coat to the foam body to make it more durable, using clear nail varnish or UV light hardening products like Loon UV Clear Fly Finish or 5-minute epoxy.

Because the colors of the foam are so vibrant, the clear coat alone makes it look like the popper is painted!

Steve Yewchuck fly tyer the Dead Ringer Surface Seducer Double Barrel

"The Ring Leader" by Steve Yewchuck.

The next level up from clear coating may be progressing into airbrushing, painting, or using permanent markers to decorate the body and then adding a clear coat to seal and finish the fly.

The sky's the limit… for anybody!

I encourage you to unleash your creativity in an exciting growth area of fly fishing that perhaps you haven’t tried yet.


About Martin Bawden:

Martin Bawden Flymen Fishing Company founder CEOMartin is the founder of Flymen Fishing Company and the head product designer. When not on the water “field testing,” he can be found tying at fly fishing events. Articles on his innovative fly tying products and fly patterns have appeared in various fly fishing publications.

  • Post author
    Martin Bawden
  • fly fishingfly tyingpopper fishingsmallmouth bassvideo

Comments on this post (15)

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I have to say that I really do love these Popper heads. I used to make my own out of cork or Balsa. Sealing, painting, adding legs through these materials was a real pain. Your Foam takes markers well, it’s easy to pull legs and they take UV Epoxies well for a GREAT finished look. I have caught my PB Largemouth Bass and my first Pike ever on Frog style Flies that I have tied with theses heads. Love them!!! Wish there was a tool a little larger than the large (and small one) I have to make the holes for pulling legs. PS, Also love your Howitzer Heads. I have tied some Floating, articulated flies for Pike with these.

    — Dave Hudak

  • Dec 03, 2020

    hi there , i hope this is the right place to write . are you the one that made the double barrel popper head ? if so i was wondering what the material is what you make your heads out off ? i have loads off ideas and all the stuff a company have sent me has been wrong . i live in sweden and you cant get the right stuff here and i have to order it over seas . which is taking time and cosying me a lot off money . i hope that you can point me in the right direction . or which it might be one off your secrets i dont know . thank you for your time for reading this , if you have ha ha . would be nice for a reply , been using your popper heads for a while they are great , thank you ,
    lee :)

    — lee henderson

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Is there a list of material somewhere for tying this ?

    — Kevin Zyvoloski

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I must compliment you on a fine product. The large Surface Seaducer Double Barrel is easy to cast and makes quiet the commotion on the water surface. I recently returned from a redfish trip in Louisiana. During the time on the boat with Capt. Ron Ratliff, I asked him if he ever fished top water for redfish. His response was no. I must have set a thought in him because later in the day he said ’let’s do something different" and pulled a huge Double Barrel from his box that he tied for large jack crevale. I tied it on with a non-slip loop knot and started casting. The wind was blowing strong making it difficult to see redfish. We drifted towards a point and a huge redfish erupted on the popper, not once but twice. The third time being a charm, she was into my backing in no time. The end result was a 33 pound redfish in the net and a beat up Double Barrel in her mouth. Awesome product and yes, I will have a supply in my box.

    — Jim Burchette

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I been reviewing online more than eight hours today for http://cheapcalgarypainting.com & Inside look: Designing the Surface Seducer Double Barrel, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all
    website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be
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    — Patti

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Suggest you make up kits that includes all the items one needs to tie up brim poppers
    Suggests 12 per package
    My 2 cents

    — Phil Johnson

  • Dec 03, 2020


    Please try the X-Large size for tying big saltwater poppers, I think it will work well for what you are looking to do.

    — Martin Bawden

  • Dec 03, 2020

    How about making something big, big, big for amberjack and false albacore. If you don’t tie tube flies, it’s hard to find a popper body big enough to bring jacks up off wrecks.

    — Rip Woodin

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I have had the pleasure of getting a hold of a few of these heads a little early and have put them to good use on my home waters catching stripers, specks, redfish and bass. They make a really cool spitting and popping noise that really attracts fish! They are easy to tie with and making great looking bugs!

    — Capt. Gary Dubiel

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I was excited to see this new line come out. I fish a lot of warm water species and love using poppers. I used the double barrel popper this past weekend and was very pleased with it. It very easy to fish, I was able to make large pops and small pops on the water without any difficulties, and this allowed me to really key in on what the fish were into that morning. I also love the fact that it comes in different colors for those who don’t like to paint their own heads. Defiantly will add some custome tied ones to my web site for those who don’t tie their own to buy. Thanks Martin for bringing out yet another great product.

    Tight lines
    Daniel Moss

    — Daniel Moss

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I don’t have time for tying my own flies. Where can I buy these already tied??

    — Al Privette

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Great product. I have a lot of people wanting my bugs. Very user friendly.

    — William Defayette

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Anthony and Brian, thank you very much for your positive feedback and constructive suggestions. The simple tip on a better way to thread rubber legs is super! I hadn’t thought of that and will make for better flies. Thanks.

    — Martin Bawden

  • Dec 03, 2020

    morning guys ,,although I fish a quieter popper ,, I can see the use for choppy flats and bluefish in murky shallow as well .. colors???? looking for purple ,,or do u have white and permapen the color my self
    as all ways thank you for your innovative products that help me be a better flyfisher on the water
    all the best cbrian— feather bay guiding

    — cbrian moran

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Hello Martin
    This is a decent workable design that a beginner or experienced fly tier can use with ease to produce a professional looking popper. I like the unique double-barrel shape, compressed eye sockets and compressed lip of the popper body.
    While I like and appreciate the design, I would not advertise this popper body as a brand new invention as very similar soft-bodied popper bodies and hooks are already available at Rainy’s Float Foam Fly Fishing Company and have been around for several years. They use the exact same popper building concept. I am a very big fan of your fly designs and this is another good one. One suggestion for adding the rubber legs to the popper body:
    Do not thread both are all three rubber leg strands through one hole in the body. They will clump together when wet and their action will be muted. Instead thread the rubber legs through the foam body at angles to make a slight “X”. This will keep the legs separated and provide maximum kicking action and movement when the popper is twitched or retrieved. See Anthony Hipps Soft-Boddied Popper Article in the summer 2006 issue of Fly Tyer Magazine for how the legs are threaded for maximum action.
    God Bless and Tight Lines
    Anthony Hipps

    — Anthony Hipps

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