Hopper Project 2013

Project Hopper 2.0

Green and black barred legs.
As you have seen with patterns like the Rainy's Grand Hopper, Crosslink foam is a great material that can be used to sculpt a great hopper body.  It's a very dense, hard foam that is almost like fishing with balsa wood, but with more forgiveness during the tying.  I like to use an x-acto knife to cut the general shape of the fly, fine tune it with razor scissors, and finally I round off all of the harsh edges with a lighter (very little heat does the trick!!!).

Yahtzee!  Success with the Project Hopper.  It's more durable than I thought.

In the first version of this hopper I used knotted round rubber legs, but it's hard to get them to sit just right on the fly due to the angle of the knot that is tied.  I have been going over a potential leg-fix in my head for a while, and I finally got the legs laid out on a hook.  I cut the thick section out of foam, but the thin section is 20# monofilament that has been colored and barred with sharpies.  I made about a 12" section of black-barred orange and black-barred green to start off with, and yellow, blue, and red legs will be soon to follow.  The notch in the legs is made by gently heating up tweezers and bending them to shape.  The two sections of leg are welded together with super glue (mono + foam + super glue = indestructo).

I began the project with a Gamakatsu B10S #6, but it was a little too light for the fly, and it would land upside down about 40% of the time.  This hook is more heavy, and makes it land just right.

Slooper Hopper 1.0 with Gammy hook and knotted legs.

As summer nears I'm sure I'll make more modifications to this work in progress.  If any of you out in blogger-world have any input of how to improve this fella, feel free to leave a comment or two.  Also, should we do a video on this one?


Hook: Allen S402BL #8
Thread: UTC 140 Hopper Yellow
Body: Rainy's Tan Crosslink foam 6mm (cut and burned to shape)
Back Legs: Rainy's Tan Crosslink foam 2mm (cut and burned to shape) and 20# monofilament colored with markers
Wing: Rainy's Tan Crosslink foam 1mm colored with marker, and natural deer hair
Pronotum: Rainy's Tan Crosslink foam 1mm
Antannae: Rainy's Tan Round Rubber Legs (fine)
Indicator: Rainy's Orange Crosslink foam mm
Front Legs: Rainy's Natural Round Rubber Legs (Medium)

Orange and black barred legs.

Front view

Bottom view