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Flex Fleyes

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New Jersey’s fly-tying legend has developed a new series of flies that will revolutionize the way we tie baitfish imitations for catching both fresh- and saltwater game fish.

By Bob Popovic


During the 1980s, I designed a pattern and way of tying that made it easier to make a silicone fly. With my method, you no longer needed to tie on multiple layers of sheep fleece for the head and then precisely trim the fly to shape; you simply formed the head with a quick application of silicone. This was a neat little fly for imitating midsize bait such as silversides, bay anchovies, mullets, and mackerel. I called my new pattern the Simple clone. The common bond between the original silicone fly and the Simple Clone was an inner core of squishy fleece. The fleece made the fly feel more natural than many other patterns.

The first Simple Clone had no inner core, which made it tedious to keep the head from collapsing and the silicone from adhering to the hook shank. Adding an inner core of fleece solved this problem; the extra fleece acted as a buffer to prevent the silicone from penetrating from the outside of the head.