Surf Candy

Published Feb 12th 2006

Epoxy candy for baitfish lovers.


Until now The Epoxy Miracle has given me quite a few fish and still is my favorite baitfish imitation. It is perfect under most circumstances.
But, sometimes it seems too small for the big sea trout, which come close to the South Swedish shore from January to March.

The spin fishers often use woblers and long, slim lures or spoons to imitate sand eels. Of course they get more distance to their casts, but they also hook quite a lot of their fish only 20-30 meters or less than 100 feet from the shore.
The idea is not new, but for years I have been using grey hackle flies and shrimp patterns for these fish - and that has worked well. But on a trip to Italy I used the Surf Candy for the first time and saw how fish-like it was.

Cruising Jack\'s Bay - From this guiding point, you could see the fish hunt for smaller fish and the Surf Candy.
Cruising Jack's Bay
Pop Fleye - ready for some swimming in the warm Italian sea.
Pop Fleye

My first fish on a Surf Candy - My friend Lars Persson and I fished for a few days on a holiday in Italy in 2004. The Surf Candy was the only fly, which brought fish to hand.
My first fish on a Surf Candy

To imitate a sand eel better, I needed a more robust fly than the Epoxy Miracle.
The Surf Candy as described in Bob Popovic's book Pop Fleyes is such a fly. Durable, translucent, long and very fish-like.
I haven't tried it for sea trout, but next week I will certainly give it a chance. Until then I will tie some following this recipe:

Surf Candy
TypeCold saltwater fly
Bob Popovic
Year of origin
Tied by
Kasper Muhlbach
Target species
Atlantic salmon (sea run)
Sea trout (sea run)
Steelhead (sea run)
Striped bass

HookShort shank.
ThreadFine, color to match fly ot clear monofilament.
BodyFlat silver mylar tinsel.
Under wingClear/white Ultra Hair or Super Hair.
Middle wingAdd 6-8 flash fibres like Flashabou, Crystal Flash or Lure Flash.
Top wingChartreuse Ultra Hair or Super Hair topped with dark grey, black or olive Ultra Hair or Super Hair.
Eyes3D prism eyes or other self sticking eyes.
Head and coating5 min. epoxy.

Tying instructions
  1. Attach the thread just behind the hook eye.
  2. Attach mylar tinsel.
  3. Turn the tinsel to the hook bend and back.
  4. Tie off.
  5. Tie in a bunch o clear Ultra Hair.
  6. If you want you can spread them around the shank to form a more round body.
  7. Tie in 3-4 flash fibres. Fold them back and secure them.
  8. Add a bunch of chartreuse Ultra Hair.
  9. Add a bunch of dark Ultra Hair.
  10. Prepare the epoxy. Mix well, and avoid adding bubbles by folding the two parts together.
  11. Apply the epoxy using your bodkin.
    Do not use too much. Add a small amount at a time. You have got plenty of time even though 5 minutes does not seem much.
    Make sure to add epoxy in the part of the wing, which goes from the hook bend to the eye.
  12. Stretch the wing using the index finger and thumb off your other hand.
    If you pull the wing as much as you can, you will get a slim profile. if you push the wing a little bit forward as the epoxy sets you will get a thicker profile moving more water.
    For Surf Candys I prefer a slim profile.
  13. Let the epoxy set.
  14. Add prism eyes.
  15. Add next layer of epoxy. If the epoxy starts dripping or running you have to rotate the or take it off. If you do not have a rotating rotating epoxy fly dryer, consider adding a second and third thin layer of epoxy instead of just a heavy second layer.
  16. Let the fly dry.
  17. Tie some more.
  18. Trim the fibres so that the wing becomes thinner towards the end.
You can use a red/orange marker to make gills between the epoxy layers and you can use different kinds and sizes of self sticking eyes to change the apperance of the Surf Candy.

Surf Candy -
Surf Candy

Step 1 -
Step 1
Step 2 -
Step 2

Step 3 -
Step 3
Step 4 -
Step 4

Step 5 -
Step 5
Step 6 -
Step 6

Step 7 -
Step 7
Step 8 -
Step 8

Step 9 -
Step 9
Step 10 -
Step 10

Ready for a swim -
Ready for a swim

Why chartreuse? Well, the white-chartreuse-olive color combination worked well for the Epoxy Miracle, so it is just transformed to the Surf Candy. Anyway, I am sure, that almost any light belly/dark back combination will work.
A summer variation of the Surf Candy, to be used when there are lots of baitfish around, could be an almost translucent fly with just 1-2 straws of flash.

User comments
From: Steve Reifsneider · seakit·at·  Link
Submitted October 17th 2006

Great Site!
I met Bob in 1991 and He was tying his Surf Candy than. I think it was either 1990 or 1991, his Candies were featured in American Fly Tyer.
I think this is one of the nicest sites I have seen in years!

From: Bob Fornadley · RDAEM·at·  Link
Submitted July 10th 2006

Dear Sir,
I love your web page but I noticed an error in your description of the "Surf Candy". This may go in the category of " who cares..." but it is an error nontheless. You state that the fly's origin date is 1997 and it is not. I own a framed (in shadow box and signed by Popovich on the card he gave me which is at the base of that mounted fly) "Surf Candy" tied by Popovich himself in front of me at the East Coast Fly Fishing Symposium held at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania in April of 1992. In addition the fly is largely of the same construction and is essentially a color variation of a "Sea Candy" which made its published appearance in "American Angler and Fly Tyer" in 1990. This is not meant as an attack by any means on you or your web page - I enjoy your format and keep your web site as a reference for myself. I have been a fly tyer for the past 42 years and wish to say that you put out quality work. I just thought you might want to take note of the error.

GFF staff comment
Comment to an image
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted March 4th 2006


Try clicking on the image... the picture is a part of an article, which tells you how to tie the fly...!


Comment to an image
From: stephen totman · stotman·at·  Link
Submitted March 4th 2006

very nice fly! it would be nice to have the recipe. thanks

GFF staff comment
Comment to an image
From: Kasper Mühlbach · kasper·at·  Link
Submitted November 7th 2006

I have tied some big Candies for the toothy pike. I hope I will have a chance to do some testing within the next month.

Kasper Mühlbach

Comment to an image
From: Anonymous  Link
Submitted November 7th 2006

Iam sure similar flies can be used for perch and pike shall be tested :)

Comment to an image
From: Wayne A. Chonko Sr. · pit254·at·  Link
Submitted April 8th 2006

these are habit forming. Got a hole box of them and never even fished the ocean yet. just love that epoxy. And the color and glitter endless . great

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