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Tying Gallery:
The STP Frog®
Fly


 

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 ®


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© 2003-2011

Tying the STP Frog® Fly

Print Version: Tying the STP Frog® Fly
You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view & print this file.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, go here to get it:

Go here for STP Frog® foam body cutters used to tie this fly.
Frog Foam
® material can be found here
2mm foam that you can spot yourself can be found here
Tied STP Frog
® flies may be found here


Back to Main Fly Tying Gallery

 


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4
  
Step 5
 
Step 6

Step 7

Step 8
 

Step 9

Step 10

Step 12
 
 
Step 14
 
 
Step 15

Step 16
 
  
Step 17
 
 

STP Frog®Tying Instructions


MATERIALS

  • Hook - Tiemco 8089® or equivalent (size 6 pictured)

  • Thread - Danville Flat, Waxed Nylon, Red

  • Body - Closed cell foam cut with the STP Frog® Foam Body Cutter from River Road Creations or use pre-spotted Frog Foam® material

  • Legs - Centipede Legs® from The Montana Fly Company

  • Eyes - Spirit River, Inc. 3D Molded® self-adhesive eyes, gold with black pupil (2.4 mm eyes pictured)

  • Weedguard - Hard monofilament

  • Glue - CA glue such as Super Glue® or Zap-a-Gap®

  • Markers - Sharpie® or Pantone® permanent markers - black and red

  • Optional - Larva Lace® Hollow Body Material

 
 

Step 1

  • Punch one underbody (white) and one overbody (olive green) using the STP Frog® foam body cutter

   

Olive and white are pictured, although many combinations are possible. 2 mm foam is available at most fly shops, although I use a variety of thicknesses ranging from 3 mm to the new thinner foams such as the new 0.5mm Razor Foam®from Spirit River, Inc.

 


Step 2 (Optional)

Tradition almost demands that the inside of the mouth of a bass bug should be red. If you like this look:

  • Color the front section of one side of each of the two foam bodies with the red marker

  • Allow to dry thoroughly before proceeding

(You may omit this step.)

 


Step 3

  • Place hook in vise

  • Attach the thread just behind the eye of the hook

  • Wrap back to the beginning of the hook bend - about even with the point of the hook

 
Step 4
 

I like a double weedguard (one strand on each side)
and there is an easy method for creating and tying it. If you don't want a weedguard, skip Steps 4 and 5 and try
the Leg Support System which follows Step 5.

 
  • Fashion a double weedguard from hard monofilament

  • For a size 6 hook, fold about 5.25 inches of hard monofilament in half

  • Crimp to a sharp point using flat-nosed pliers (The importance of this sharp point will be seen later.)

  Step 5
  • Tie in the open ends of the weedguard along the back of the hook, covering with neat wraps
  • Return the thread to the bend of the hook
  • Allow the pointed end of the weedguard to extend over the back of the vise
 
Leg Support System (developed by Doug Swisher)
  • Cut two lengths of vinyl tubing such as Larva Lace® Hollow Body Material about 1/4 in. longer than the width of the frog body (only 1/8 in. should extend beyond either side)
  • Very lightly lubricate the last inch or so of the material with floatant
  • Insert a loop of 3x tippit through the tubing
  • Catch the last 1/4 in. of leg material with the loop
  • Pull one (front legs) or two (rear legs) strands of Centipede Legs® material through each length of tubing
   

The tubing effectively supports the legs and prevents them from bending far enough back to foul on the hook bend - without sacrificing any leg action. The photo shows how well the legs are supported with this method. Extremely simple and effective,
this technique can be used on a variety of flies
that use rubber legs.

 
Step 6
  • Hold the white underbody on the side of the hook nearest you with the contrasting overbody on the other side of the hook
  • Make sure the fronts of the head are perfectly matched
  • If you have colored what will be the inside of the mouth red, make sure the red sections are both facing outward (they will be folded under and over later)
  • Take three turns of thread to the rear (slightly down the bend of the hook)
  • Wrap forward in wide turns to tie down the "tail" portions of the body sections

This creates the two halves of the "clam shell." Tying the bodies on the sides of the hook (for now) helps you avoid the hook point and keeps you from unnecessarily struggling to tie the underbody in some tucked-in fashion under the hook shank.

 
Step 7
  • Wind back to the bend of the hook in neat, even turns
  • Slowly rotate the tied-down "tail" sections of the foam until the olive green color is on top of the hook and the white foam is on the under side
 
Step 8
  • If you have a rotary vise, invert the fly
  • If not, carefully remove the fly and place it in the vise upside down
  • Tie in the hind legs (2 strands) just ahead of the bend of the hook with several x-wraps, orienting them so the legs stick out to the sides
 
Step 9
  • Wrap thread to about three eye-lengths behind the eye
  • Attach the front legs (single strand) using several x-wraps
 
Step 10
  • Bring the two halves of the "clam-shell" forward and hold with your thumb and forefinger
  • Using moderate, steady pressure wind the thread around both halves at once
  • Take five to six turns behind the head
   

Be careful to avoid cutting the foam with the thread -
moderate pressure is best

  Step 11
  • Take the thread through the corner of the mouth nearest to you
  • Take one turn around the hook shank behind the eye
  • Make sure that the head is centered around the hook shank
  • Take another turn around the hook shank
  • Pass the thread out of the corner of the mouth on the far side and wrap once around the back of the head to ensure that the head stays centered
  • Pass the thread back through the corner of the mouth on the far side
  • Take two turns around the hook shank behind the eye
 
Step 12 (Finishing the weed guard)
  • Invert the fly
  • Poke a small hole on the white underside just ahead of the thread wraps with a bodkin or large needle

For you Southerners, no jokes about "frog gigging," please.

 
Step 13
  • Remove the fly from the vise
  • Move the weed guard into position around the hook bend
  • Poke the sharp point of the weed guard through the hole made in the bottom of the throat
  • Hook the weed guard over the shank of the hook, just behind the hook eye
  • Return the fly to the vise
  • Hold the mouth open
  • Tie down the tip of the weed guard with several turns
  • Whip-finish
  • Trim thread
 
  Step 14
  • Trim legs to length: front legs about 1.25 in. long for a size 6
   

I like the back legs just a little longer than the body. The front legs should be kept fairly short, but still long enough to have some action when the fly is twitched.

 
Step 15
  • Remove from vise
  • Hold the fly in your hand by the bend, holding the legs back out of the way
  • Turn the fly to one side and coat the inside of one side of the body with a very sparse amount of CA glue
   

LESS is better than more. Excess glue will make it difficult for the glue to set quickly and can make a real mess of the body.

I like to use a Super Glue® pen for this step,
since it allows me better control over the glue.
Press the tip onto a piece of scratch paper to release a small amount of glue. Then, touching only the tip of the pen to the small puddle of glue on the scratch paper, proceed to transfer a very small amount to the inside of the body.

   
  • Avoid getting any glue on your fingertips or the legs of the fly
  • Carefully close the sides of the body, mating the outside edges, and hold until the glue sets.
  • Turn over and repeat on the other side
  • Allow body to dry thoroughly

At this point the body has been closed as is beginning to take on the look of a real frog

  Step 16
  • Still holding the hook by the bend, attach gold and black (or yellow and black) eyes using self-adhesive eyes or CA glue for other types
   

When using self-adhesive eyes, I find that using
the very corner of a single-edged razor blade
makes them easy to remove from
the backing and much easier to place in the
correct position on the head.

 
  Step 17
  • Use the black permanent marker to create spots on the back and head sections of the upper body (Most frogs have elliptical-shaped spots, but don't be afraid to modify the pattern to match frogs in the area you are fishing.) You can also use pre-spotted From Foam® material, available in olive, yellow and tan
  • Extend some of the smaller spots down onto the side of the upper body
  • Leave the white underbody unmarked
   

While I like the natural look of the olive and white body,
don't be afraid to experiment with yellow, white, red and even purple overbody colors. Not only does this provide additional variety to your tying of the STP Frog®, these color combinations are proven bass attractors and each may have their place on any given day of fishing.


By the way, we do have some nice bass in Montana - and they really do like this fly. In fact, we have tested the fly across the country with the same great results. The gurgling sound made when the fly is chugged is perfect - not too loud, yet still attention-getting - and the action is extremely realistic. Best of all, since the mouth is effectively vented at the sides, you can "swim" the frog back toward you, just under the surface, without the fly spinning in the process. This is a particularly deadly tactic along the edges of weed beds.

"Proof of principle"

Copyright ©2004-2011 Doug Swisher
Reprinted with permission

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