Rod Wrapping & Tying Musky Bangers

 4/0 Musky Bangers

Black Musky Banger Popper Flies
4/0 Musky Banger Popper Flies


Materials for Bangers & Other Popper Flies
  • 4/0 Musky Bangers
  • Hook:  4/0  Preadator Hook VMC 7250BN here
  • Thread:  210 denier Chartreuse Flat Waxed Nylon here for color
  • Tail 1:   Sparse Long Bucktail,  Magnum Opal Flashabou 3 strands folded
  • Tail 2:   1 or 2 Saddle Hackles vertical on each side, 3 Mag Opal Flash folded
  • Body:    Chartreuse 210 thread and glue
  • Shouder 1:  Medium Short Bucktail spread over top 60% of shank
  • Shoulder 2:  Medium Bit Shorter Bucktail on top 60% of shank
  • Shoulder Flash 1:  3 Strands Mag Flash Opal Shortened 2inches & Folded
  • Collar Flash:  Ice Dub or (Ice Wing fiber broken & stacked shorter) Center Tied on top 60%, Front Fibers Pushed back
  • Collar Flash 2:  3 Strands Mag Flash Opal Shortened 2 inches & Folded
  • Heads:  Prism Tape over half of a 3/4 inch Diameter Foam Cylinder

I cut the head's back face at a 25 degree angle so the Bucktail Shoulders and the flash fiber collar can be tied inside the overhanging Adhesive Foil Tape.  Some glue can be spread over these inside adhesive surfaces and allowed to dry ahead of putting the head on the fly so it i won't stick to tying materials.  I use Liquid Fusion pure urethane resin for this and reinforcing tying thread on tail and body materials. 

A sheet of Prism Tape split lengthwise in half will be a good width to match the foam cylinders cut in half with the 25 degree angle.  There will be some tape overhang.

Use a thick needle tool to start a hole near the bottom edge of the back face, go about half way through.  Use a dulled toothpick to mark the back hole while coming through square from the front face to touch the tooth pick.

Stick on eyes are nice, Red nail polish is reasonably durable for a gill stripe.

Wrapping New Guides on Rods

I replaced a broken section of my Bluegill rod with a substitute that required re wrapping some guides.

Low Tech Rod Wrapping Method

Use masking tape on one foot of a two footed guide to position the guide then wrap the thread over the other foot.  For single foot guides, start them held in place with a thin strip of masking gtape that leaves half the outside of the foot free.  A heavy book with optional added weight can be laid over the thread to tension it.  210 Denier FlyMaster+ worked OK.

  • Starting the Thread
  • Position the thread under the start point, 1/16 inch before the guide foot.
  • Do one vertical wrap by hand then several more wraps angling around toward and past the guide, tape this end to the blank. 
  • Keep some tension while turning the blank to get one turn over the first angle wrap, some nudging of the underlying wrap is needed to get it held down.
  • Turn the Blank guiding the wrapping thread angle so each turn falls against the previous turn. 
  • You are heading toward the guide foot, up over the foot also binding down the tag end of thread. 
  • Half way down the guide foot stop, cut off the excess tag end.
  • Wrap down a Whip Finish Loop   Find a 10 inch piece of free thread form a 5 inch loop and snug this up under the lead wrap of wrapping thread.  The loop is 1/2 inch long, pointing past the endpoint of where your thread wraps will end.  Wrap down this loop to the end.  This loop will be used to pull the tag end back under the wraps.
  • When your wraps are done, Keep Tension on the thread and cut it off with 7 inches to hold onto.  Push this tag end through the Finish Loop so it can be pulled back under the wraps.  Cut of the excess close.


I switched to lighter stripping guides on my two 9 weight rods and moved them closer to the handle for less wrap and slap of the shooting line around the lower blank.   I put lighter single foot ring guides in for the second stripping guide.  This reduces the weight forward, less rotational inertia slowing the casting stroke so more line speed with less effort.  They will cast a bit further and will occasionally need one less false cast.

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