Divers and Sliders




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FenceRider Frog - Orange

This is the way that I tie the orange belly FenceRider Frog . It and a companion, the yellow belly FenceRider Frog, are my most productive topwater flies for bass and big bluegills.


Materials List


Hook Mustad 3366 Size 4
Thread 8/0 Uni-Thread and Flat Waxed Nylon Orange
Weedguard Mason Hard Mono 15#
Tail Crystal Flash Pearl
Tail Whiting American Cape Hackle Orange, Yellow, and Grizzly
Skirt Deer Body Hair Orange, Chartreuse, Black, and Green
Body Deer Body Hair Orange, Chartreuse, Black, and Green
Legs Live Rubber Small - Orange and Green
Eyes Molded Plastic Small - Silver or White

Tying Notes


The overall length of the FenceRider Frog, from stem to stern, shouldn't be much more than two inches.

I like to lash the weedguard and the tail materials to the hook with 8/0 thread to prevent bulky thread buildup.

If you're not comfortable with 8/0 thread, use 6/0, but nothing heavier.

Change to Flat Waxed Nylon thread for the deer hair work and back to the 8/0 thread to tie off the weedguard.


Tying Instructions


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Step 1

Clamp the hook in the vice and crimp the barb with needle nose pliers.


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Step 2

Attach the thread slightly forward of the hook point and wrap the thread one-third of the way down the bend.

Reverse the thread and lay down a base of thread to exactly 3/16th inch forward of the hook point. Measure if you aren't sure. I do.


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Step 3

Cut a three-inch piece of Mason Hard Mono for the weedguard and align the front of the mono with the front of the existing thread wraps.

Bind the mono to the shank covering it and the entire thread base with tight wraps as shown in the photo.

Size the weedguard now so you don't have to do it later with deer hair in the way.

Insert the tag end through the eye, adjust it to the appropriate size, and kink it.

Flatten the kink with needle nose pliers and remove the excess material.


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Step 4

Coat the thread wraps with Dave's Flexament that has been thinned almost to the consistency of water.


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Step 5

Take four strands of crystal flash, fold and cut them into eight strands.

Center the eight strands over the hook shank at the hook point and bind them down with three or four figure-eight wraps.

In the photo you are seeing the hook from the top.


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Step 6

Grasp all of the crystal strands and pull them behind the hook. Take three or four wraps of thread so that the thread ends up slightly behind the hook point. Return the thread to the hook point. Trim the Crystal Flash strands so they are about two inches long.


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Step 7

Prepare two sets of feathers for the tail consisting of one orange, one yellow, and two green grzzly rooster neck feathers.

Even the feathers and cut the stems so that the sets are about two inches long.


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Step 8

Attach one set of feathers to the far side of the hook with four or five wide spirialing wraps from the hook point to the front of the weed guard.

Return the thread with wide wraps back to the hook point.


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Step 9

Attach the second set of feathers to the near side of the hook with four or five wide spirialing wraps to the front of the weed guard.

Return the thread with wide wraps back to the hook point.

Make sure that the tail feathers are aligned properly. Adjust if necessary. Coat the thread wraps with Dave's Flexament, thinned almost to the consistency of water, and make close tight thread wraps from the base of the feathers to the front of the weed guard.


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Step 10

Tie off the thread with a Zap-A-Gap knot. Simply coat about an inch of thread nearest the hook with the glue and make 4 or 5 wraps on top of the existing thread wraps. Remove the thread after the glue dries, which takes only a few seconds.


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Step 11

Attach the Flat Waxed Nylon tying thread at the hook eye and lay down a thread base back to the front of the weed guard. Then take three or four wraps of thread forward and let the thread hang ready for the first bunch of deer hair.


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Step 12

To make the skirt, clip a clump of orange deer hair from the hide that, when compressed, is about the thickness of a lead pencil.

Comb out the underfur and put the hair, tips first, in a hair stacker. Even the hair and remove from the stacker.

Trim the butts.

Tie the clump in so that the hair is on the bottom of the hook shank and the tips extend slightly beyond the hook bend. Check out this technique at The Tier's Bench.

Leave the thread hanging while you prepare for the next step.


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Step 13

Next, tie in a "soda straw "size bunch of chartreuse deer hair on top of the hook shank. Let the thread hang for the next step.


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Step 14

Now, tie in a "wooden match" size bunch of black deer hair on top of the chartreuse deer hair as shown in the photo. Let the thread hang for the next step.


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Step 15

Now tie in a "soda straw" size bunch of green deer hair just as you did the other bunches.


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Step 16

Finally, tie in about a dozen black deer hairs using the same procedure you used with the other bunches.


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Step 17

Move the thread to the front of the hair and pull the hair back with a three finger pull back.

Make three or four wraps of thread plus one half-hitch at the base of the hair.

Pack the hair as shown in the photo with a hair packing tool. I prefer the Brassie Hair Packer.

Next, move the thread forward four or five wraps in preparation for the next bunch of hair.


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Step 18

To build the body, repeat the same stacking process as you did in steps 12 through 18 except, this time, you trim both the butts and the tips on the clumps of deer hair. The order of the hair should be orange on the bottom followed by chartruese, black, green, and black.


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Step 19

Once you finish step 19, use the three finger pull-back, take three or four turns of thread plus a half-hitch at the base of the hair, and pack the hair with the hair packer.

Move the thread forward four or five turns. There still should be room for you to repeat the stacking process one more time. Orange on the bottom followed by chartreuse, black, green, and black.


Step 20

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When you finish the stacking process use a half-hitch tool as shown in the photo to make two half-hitches. Then remove the thread.


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Step 21

Now the fun begins. The frogs body is ready to be trimmed.

Remove the frog from the vice. Holding it belly up with the tail and skirt protected by your fingers, begin to trim a path with your curved scissors down the center of the fly from the front to the back.

Continue removing the hair until the trimmed belly suits you. Look at the photo in step 24 to see how the belly should look.


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Step 22

Turn the frog over, hold it by the hook, and use your curved scissors to rough trim the top of the head as shown in the photo.

Trim from the front to the back of the body. Make sure to leave some hair at the rear for a collar.

Trim the left side then the right side of the body from the front to the back roughly forming an arrowhead shape.

Then, trim the top so the body will slant upward from the front to the back.


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Step 23

This is the way your frog should look after it has been rough trimmed. Except for the belly the bug will get its final trim after the weedguard is attached in the next step. So, be sure that you are satisfied with the belly. You certainly need to leave ample room between the belly and the hook point. You might want to use a razor blade to give the belly one last trim, if you think that it needs it.


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Step 24

Put the frog back in the vice. Poke a whole with your scissors tip into the center of a one-inch square piece of plastic bag and place it over the hook eye.

Attach the 8/0 thread. Wrap the thread back against the plastic until the thread is as tight as it can be without the fear of breaking. Doing this should provide some space at the hook eye to tie in the weedguard tip.

Insert the tag end of the weed guard through the hook eye and bind it down with a couple of thread wraps.Adjust the guard so that the kink is in the hook eye.

With your scissors, trim the tip of the weedguard material flush with the front of the hooks eye.

Catch the tip with the thread and bind it down with several wraps of thread. Form a neat thread head. Tie off with two half-hitches and remove the thread.


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Step 25

Remove the frog from the vice. Clamp a pair of forceps onto the hook eye and hold it over a "Hot Pot" of steaming water.

The Hot Pot is what college students keep in their dorm rooms to heat up water for soup, coffee, or cocoa. Put about an inch of distilled water in the bottom of the pot before you plug it in.

Steam the frog until the hair is standing at a right angle to the hook shank. You can see the bug grow before your eyes as the steam stiffens the hair.

Don't skip this step. It makes the final trim with the razor blade so much easier.


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Step 26

Now it's time for the final trim with half of a double-edged razor blade. The best way to separate the blade is to cut the blade in half lengthwise with a pair of household scissors.

Hold the frog with the tail materials protected by your thumb and fingers and begin by shaping the sides of the frog and rounding off any sharp edges. Hold it upright for part of the trimming and turn it over so that its belly side is up to trim from all angles.


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Step 27

When you're satisfied with the sides of the frog, move to the top and continue shaping the body. Trim the hair by using a sawing motion with the blade.


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Step 28

Here is a side view of the frog after the final trim is complete. Notice how short the collar is. Remember you have two cutting tools to use during the trimming process - the curved scissors and the razor blade. They are not mutually exclusive. Change from one tothe other during the trimming process, as needed.


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Step 29

Here is the top view after the final trim. All that's left is to install the eyes and the legs.


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Step 30

To install the eyes you can either burn or cut eye sockets. If you cut the sockets, use the tips of your scissors. I prefer to burn the sockets with a burning point as shown in the photo. Check the Tier Resources page for places to purchase a burning point tool.


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Step 31

If you burn the eye sockets, clean the burned hair out of the sockets with your bodkin or a round toothpick.


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Step 32

Turn the frog on its side and coat the eye socket and the area just behind it where the legs will be installed with thinned Dave's Flexament. Turn the frog on its other side and repeat the process. Then hold the frog upright and coat the collar with Flexament as well.


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Step 33

Put a dollop of Household Goop in each eye socket. This is best accomplished with a round toothpick.

Household Goop can be purchased at any hardware store or household center.


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Step 34

Pop an eye into each eye socket.


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Step 35

The last step is to sew in the frogs front legs. But, before you do, make sure that the glue you applied in step 33 is completely dry. It takes at least a couple of hours for the glue to cure. I generally set the hair bug aside and let it cure overnight.


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Step 36

After the glue has cured, flatten the collar with your fingertip and sew three rubber legs through the frog, as shown in the photo, with a Whitlock Leg Sewing Tool. Next, trim the legs to a length that suits you. I like them about one-half to three-quarters of an inch long. Directions for making and using the leg sewing tool can be found on the Tier's Bench page.


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Step 37

Congratulations! Your FenceRider Frog is finished and ready to be fished.

Copyright 2018 Ward Bean, Council Bluffs, IA, All rights reserved.