welcome to the FAOL fly of the week!

"Wiggle Bug"
Text and Photo by Deke Meyer
Credit for invention of this fly goes to Larry Tullis*
From: Tying Bass Flies; 12 of the Best
Published by Frank Amato Publications, P.O. Box 82112, Portland, OR 97282
call: (503)653-8108, or email.

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Fly Tying Terms

Wiggle Bug

"There is no doubt that bass find wiggling, diving flies irresistible, and the Wiggle Bug does just that. It's underwater action is similar to a flatfish lure or any number of crankbaits. You can form your own Wiggle Bug body from beach sandal foam, but your best bet is to use the EdgeWater Wiggle Bug kit that includes the foam, hook and instructions, or buy EdgeWater Wiggle Bug Sticks, which are the shaped foam bodies. (EdgeWater 801-825-8982) You may want to examine or purchase a completed fly, particularly for the placement of the foam on the hook.

Tying Tips:

Be sure to center the hole where hook eye goes through foam, using a needle with the same diameter as the hook wire, or the needle available from EdgeWater. When tying in body waterial, be sure to leave plenty of room to insert the hook eye into the foam. To secure the foam use Zap-A-Gap cyanoacrylate super glue or EdgeWater's Aron Alpha super glue.

The Wiggle Bug is tied without a weed guard: The guard would hinder its swimming abilities; when fishing, if the Wiggle Bug hits a snag, the lip causes the fly to flip up over the obstacle, allowing you to continue the retrieve.

Materials List:

Hooks:  Wide gap,ring eye streamer hook, sizes 6-4/0 (Daiichi 2461 recommended).

Thread:  [to match foam or hackle].

Tail:  Marabou, varied colors; Crystal Flash, Flashabou optional.

Body:  Foam, varied colors; chenille or yarn underbody.

Eyes:  Optional, doll eyes with stem.

Tying Instructions:

1.  Debarb hook, attach thread, wrap complete hook shank with thread, then apply cement. With thread at front of hook (leave room at the head for the foam), tie in body material (and optional hackle or ribbing.) Trim excess, cement tie-down area.

2.  Wrap thread to the rear of the body. Wrap body to the rear, ending body just above the hook point (then the optional hackle or ribbing). Tie off, trim excess, cement tie-down area.

3.  Hold the foam body so the flat side is up, then using a thick needle, puncture a hole in the foam. The needle must be : A) in the center of the foam; B) back from the front of the foam (the beveled part) the distance equal to the hook gap; C) angled to the rear at a 45 degree angle. (Foam will be turned over to install on the fly; you may need to shorten the foam to match the hook.)

4.  Apply Zap-A-Gap or Aron Alpha super glue to the top of the body. With the lip to the front and pointing down and with the beveled side down, slide the hole in the foam over the eye of the hook. Center the foam over the body and securely tie down, squashing foam. Thread is wrapped so foam is to the rear of the tie-down spot; thread tie-down is centered over point of hook. While super glue is still flexible, make sure foam is centered over the hook.

5. Tie in marabou tail (about body length) on top of rear of foam, in same tie-down area as the previous step. (Tie in optional Flashabou or Crystal Flash.) Trim excess. Whip finish with Extended Reach Whip Finish tool. Cement tie-down area well. Remove fly from vise and check foam alignment.

6.  Optional: install doll eyes."[To install doll's eye in foam, using a drill bit the same size as the eye stem, hand-twist the bit to form a hole in the foam. Put a drop of super glue in the hole and insert the doll eye stem into the hole.]


EdgeWater foam color variations include black, white, chartreuse, yellow, purple and blue. The underbody allows you some creative freedom because of the variety of materials and colors you can incorporate into the fly to entice bass. You can use yarn, chenille, sparkle chenille, dubbing, or pearlescent tubing over yarn or chinelle. You can add body hackle or rib the fly with sparkle chenille or tinsel.

Fishing the Fly:

Use an open style knot that leaves a small loop of monofilament in front of the fly when you fish the Wiggle Bug, or it won't swim properly. Optionally, use a regular fly-to-tippet knot (such as an improved clinch knot) to tie on a small snap for attaching the Wiggle Bug. [Note: the eye is barely visable!]

If the Wiggle Bug doesn't swim straight, you can push the end of the diving lip to the side, modifying the swim path the bug will take when you retreive the fly. Fishing the Wiggle Bug takes a bit more effort because the fly is bulky and its lip sticks out, slowing your cast. However the Wiggle Bug is't really all that much more work to cast than a large popper.

Retrieving the Wiggle Bug is demanding, because you must work the fly fairly fast to get it to dive and swim, particularly when fishing from a float tube or pontoon boat. You may need to pull your rod to the side while you strip line, and fin backwards if in a tube. The extra effort is well worth it, though, because bass attack the Wiggle Bug with gusto. Also, experiment with the retrieve, re-casting to a "bassy" area several times. I've had bass pounce on the Wiggle Bug as soon as it landed, but most bass need to see the fly swim to assault the Wiggle Bug as a meal. ~ Deke Meyer

Larry Tullis also sells the finished Wiggle Bug, and the kit for tying it. He may be reached at:Larry Tullis 585 E. Canyon View Dr. (1150 N), Ogden, Utah 84404 Ph. 801-399-0025, email: ltullis@peoplepc.com.

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