Bob Popovics isn't exactly known for his traditional way of doing things, and his new product just emphasizes this
Pop Fleyes... yes fleyes not flies. That's what Bob Popovics calls his flies, and that's the reason for the strangely sounding name of his new product, a fish shaped foil with printed eyes and adhesive on the back, all ready to stick on the side of your baitfish imitations and cover with epoxy or one of the new LCR's.
Already when pioneering saltwater fly tying with Surf Candies, Poplip Flies, Jiggies and Siliclone Fleyes, Bob Popovics showed that he was willing to experiment with different materials for his flies. He has used the more "traditional" epoxy, silicone sealant, Softex, all kinds of fancy flash and foils and shiny eyes and a wealth of colors.
His excellent book Pop Fleyes clearly demonstrates how innovative he is and shows how to tie a long row of his now-classic saltwater flies.
So it came as no surprise when the Fleye Foils popped up (no pun) as yet another Bob Popovics invention. The foils are pre-shaped fish sides with a shiny, iridescent surface and gills, mouth and not least eyes printed onto the foil. The idea is that you tie your fly using traditional materials like hair, feathers, synthetics and flash, and then add the Fleye Foil on the sides and secure them with epoxy or even better, the new Light Curing Resins.
The result can be a close-to-perfect imitation of a small silvery baitfish, and combining the foils with different colors of base materials, markers and maybe some color in or under the resin, will give you an endless degree of freedom regarding color combinations.
The foils come in three variations: Silverside, Sand Eel and Bay Anchovy all available in four sizes apart from the Silverside, which does not come in extra large. The main difference is the shape. The tying method is basically the same, although some tyers are already experimenting with different uses of these new foils.
The foils are made by the Swedish company L2DM, whose selection of fly materials is no less than stunning, spanning from shrimp and crab shields, stonefly legs and dry fly wings to the new Fleye Foils. Their selection is huge, and hints that fly tiers with a wild fantasy and a slight stroke of madness are behind.
My own use for the classical style US baitfish patterns is limited, but I will under all circumstances try to get my hands on some of these foils to pay around with. They seem very useful and the resulting flies very life-like.