Opinion: Make mine goo to go

By Skip Clement

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]n epoxy-based baitfish imitation developed by Bob Popovics, a New Jersey-based fly-fisher, photographer, fly tyer, restauranteur, and an all-around nice guy gave the world “Surf Candy” from which a thousand new derivations of flies claimed familial relationship.

Epoxy still has its followers, but so much more is possible with UV cured resin and it’s so much more manageable.

Like most of the best flies ever, “Surf Candy” doesn’t look like any particular baitfish. At least mine don’t – so say my friends

The thinking behind “Surf Candy” had to be bluefish because Popovics said to me, last year at the Renzetti Fly Fishing and Rod Building Fair in Titusville, Florida, developing it (the Jersey shore) had to do with wanting a slender fly that could survive a few rounds with toothy gamefish. The latter has everything to do with bluefish. Anyone who has been bitten by one knows.

“Dats What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout.”

UV light, self-tied flies exploded the various possibilities for tyers, especially newbies and dabblers. With both imagination and craftsperson-like dexterity they could, respectively, rapidly become intermediate tyers or exceptional tyers. The blue light Clear-Goo fantastico took epoxy’s place… almost overnight. Like glass fly rods did to bamboo and graphite fly rods did to glass.

“Wait a minute”

There doesn’t seem to be a wait a minute revival going on with tyers turning back the pages to epoxy like there has been to the “wait just a minute” pause that glass fly rods have. It’s just so easy to use and choose the UV resin addiction. It even has affected sales of Sally’s “Hard as Nails” with hydro versions of blue light curing materials… replacing that old standby. However, not for me, I’m very in much in favor of easier softer ways. Hard as Nails is too easy to use to pass up.


  • Hook: Any short shank 1/0.
  • Body: Natural or synthetic hair.
  • Eyes: Mylar – size 2.
  • Thread: Thin
  • Popovic’s FLEX Fleye.


Author Skip

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