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Bob Petti's Bass bugs
By Bob Petti
Soft foam bugs are new to me. The first one I ever saw was tied by my friend Gary Stevens. He used a section of cylindrical foam insulation to create a popper head, adding a tail of bucktail and a hackle skirt. He fished it with great success for smallmouth bass on some of our home waters. Being so bouyant and so light, it lands softly and doesn't kick up much water when "popped", so it's perfect for those little smallmouth streams we love so much. One disadvantage of the stuff is that it's not all that great to paint, and it only comes in "insulation" colors - shades of grey.
A recent article by Martin Jorgensen caused me to run out to my local craft store and hunt up a supply of closed cell foam sheets so that I could tie up some Morrisfoam divers. I was lucky that I found a good supply on sale for 25 cents a sheet, so for a couple bucks I have a lifetime's supply of assorted colors.
Other types of foam bug bodies are available. "Edgewater" is a company that distributes many different styles of pre-formed soft foam bodies and most of the big mail order supply houses carry an assortment.
They are a bit pricey, but virtually indestructible and are available in a variety of colors.
Certainly soft foam bass bugs have their time and place. Some say the texture and "give" to the body will result in the fish chewing on it a bit longer, giving you a precious few extra moments to drive the hook home. They float well (indefinitely), and might be a bit lighter than hard bugs. The drawback to soft foam is the limitation on what you can do with colors. Some foams accept waterpoof markers, others don't (as well). None really accept paint very well, so you're pretty much limited with what you can do.
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