Tie articulated baitfish poppersto offer predatory fish a vulnerable easy meal.
Design by Martin Bawden.
The Howitzer is a next-generation soft foam popper head that provides new options for tying articulated baitfish poppers.
The Howitzer imitates the head of a small minnow (or baitfish) that is splashing and sipping at the surface of the water. It's designed with a deep recess at the back of the head so that an articulated body and tail of a minnow can be embedded seamlessly into the back of the head. As a result, the body of the minnow hangs down in the water (roughly at a 45-degree angle) and moves enticingly in a positionthat can be seen by predatory fish from a long distance and offers them an irresistible profile and an easy opportunity for a meal!
Seamless connection for fly bodies A recess in the back of the head allows an articulated minnow body and tail to be embedded, creating a smooth transition from head to body.
Smooth, strong popper skin Clear coat it, paint it, or keep it simple and fish it as is.
Deep cup & extended top lip Effortlessly trigger loud and aggressive pops... And strikes! Boom! Recessed eye sockets 3D fly tying eyes, such as Surface Seducer® Dragon Eyes™ and Fish-Skull® Living Eyes™, can be securely embedded deep inside the popper head, making for a stronger and more durable fly!
Recess for body A recess in the back of the head allows an articulated minnow body and tail (created using one or more articulated shanks) to be joined and embedded seamlessly.
Light and easy to cast The ultra-lightweight foam keeps weight to a minimum making your flies easier to cast.
Two available sizes allow for a wide range of fishing applications • Medium: Great all-round size for tying general-purpose poppers to target species such as bass or seatrout.
• Large: Caters to tying larger big-game poppers for species such as pike, musky, peacock bass, golden dorado, barracuda, and other large predatory species.
Bright, vibrant colors Available in White and Yellow Chartreuse to cover most baitfish colors.
Medium Length 20 mm x Width 19 mm x Height 14 mm. Fits #2 - 2/0 long-shank streamer hooks, 20 mm Fish-Skull Articulated Shanks or Fish-Spines, and 6 mm eyes. Large Length 26 mm x Width 24 mm x Height 19 mm. Fits 3/0 - 5/0 long-shank "predator" style hooks, 20 mm Fish-Skull Big Game Shanks, and 8.5 mm eyes.
Howitzer configuration options
A variety of articulated baitfish poppers can be tied using different combinations of the Howitzer head + hook + shanks. The weight of the metal shanks causes the body & tail to hang downward in the water (between strips) and positions the mouth of the popper in the best angle to pop effectively.
Here are 3 basic configurations to consider:
• Single hook in the front: The hook is mounted in the Howitzer Head and an articulated body and tail (created by daisy-chaining one or more articulated shanks together) is connected off the hook.
Example: Hook + shank + shank +shank.
• Single hook in the back: An articulated shank is mounted in the Howitzer Head and an articulated body (created by daisy-chaining one or more articulated shanks) and a tail with the hook is attached to it.
Examples: shank + hook or a shank + shank + hook.
• Two hooks (back and front): The primary, bigger hook is mounted in the Howitzer Head and connected to it is an articulated body (created by daisy-chaining one or more articulated shanks) and a tail with a small stinger hook.
Mounting the Howitzer on a hook or Articulated Shank Step 1
Tie your fly body completely, leaving some room near the hook eye to slide on the Howitzer popper head.
Select a bodkin or heated needle of roughly the same diameter as the hook or shank.
Insert your bodkin from the tail socket and slowly push it through the foam body until it comes out the cup. Make sure it comes out in the correct position, which is slightly above and just past the bottom lip.
Put a liberal amount of clear-drying Super Glue Gel on the hook shank.
Slowly but firmly mount the foam fly body onto the hook. Position as desired and leave for a minute or two to dry.
Painting & decoration The smooth, strong, and shiny outer "popper skin" on the Howitzer gives you several options for decorating your popper. There are various methods and techniques to customize your poppers and a wide range of materials available, such as paints, air-brush kits, clear coats, and markers. You can make anything you want, from a quick, basic popper to much more complex works of art. It’s up to you!
There are different approaches you can take based on your needs in terms of time and the degree of difficulty:
• Basic: If you wish to keep it quick and simple and go fishing, tie your popper without clear coating or painting the body. The Howitzer’s smooth outer skin and vibrant colors give your popper a bright, finished look. • Clear coat: Cover the Howitzer body in a clear coat to increase the durability of your popper and make the bright, vibrant colors really pop! Various clear coats could be used with the most popular typically being Epoxy (30-minute) water-based urethane adhesives such as Liquid Fusion, Sally Hansen’s Hard-As-Nails, or the newer UV light-curing resins such as Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish. • Decorate and clear coat: Add spots, stripes, scales or shades of color to the unpainted popper body with a permanent marker or paintbrush, or create more complex painted patterns with an airbrush system. Then add a clear coat to protect your artwork during fishing. • Paint, decorate, and clear coat: This is the most time-consuming approach, but the reward for your efforts is a beautiful and durable fly. Mount the Howitzer on the hook, then paint it with a primer followed by several layers of paint to create a great canvas on which to decorate your body and finally finish it off with a nice clear coat.
Q: What kind of foam is the Howitzer made of, and is it hard or soft foam? A: The Howitzer is made of an extremely durable soft foam (EVA Closed-Cell Foam).
Q: What types and sizes of fly tying eyes are compatible with the Howitzer? A: We have designed the Surface Seducer® Dragon Eyes™ to fit the Howitzer, but virtually any type of 3D Eyes on the market, including Fish-Skull® Living Eyes™, can be used to create great looking flies!
The Howitzer's eye size compatibility is as follows:
• Medium Howitzer: 6 mm eyes. • Large Howitzer: 8.5 mm eyes
Q: Which hooks fit the Howitzer? A: Matched as follows:
• Medium Howitzer: #2 - 2/0 long-shank streamer hooks. • Large Howitzer: 3/0 - 5/0 long-shank "predator" style hooks.