Friday, 20 March 2009

The Ballydoona Bomber

For all of you in the States & Canada that have never heard of the Ballydoona bomber, let alone fished with one, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. It was the very 1st fly I started fly fishing for pike with, and was designed by a chap called Alan Hanna from Ireland. Its main feature is an off set triangular foam head placed at the eye end of the hook. Anyway this is for all you tight arse pike fisherman out there that like to get creative with cheap ass products found from your local craft shop.

One can use foam from a block off course, which all fly shops will stock, but for a tenth of the price I will be using foam sheets 10 cents ea from my local craft shop.

Take sheets of foam and cut into 30mm wide strips

Then cut the strips into 50mm lengths. Glue these together and wait for it to set

Then cut through the foam blocks at 45 degrees like this. Trim all the edges also at 45’ angles to suite the size hook you are using.

I very rarely use eyes on my heads but for this I bought a meter of this double sided plastic wrapping paper with holographic balls on it and cut 2 out to use for eyes.

Here is the finished product. You don’t have to, but I like to coat my foam heads with some clear varnish just to give it a shiny finish especially with the holographic eyes I have used.

What you tie behind the foam head is entirely up to your own imagination. A longish strip of around 150mm of Zonker fur would suffice, but I also like to tie in plenty of flash and super stretch Floss onto mine as well. Here I have used a strip of artificial fur, a generous amount of Silver Tinsel flash, Gold fff flash, Green super stretch floss and two different coloured green Marabou feathers for hackles. Lastly I also cut 2 strips off the foam 2mm to use for legs.

Simple, easy & above all tight arse cheap to make. And don’t be fooled by what it looks like ……yes! - go ahead and laugh, but this is a killer fly & will catch you tons of fish.

Technique to fish this fly

I have found that the best way to get the most out of this fly is to fish it with a slow sinking intermediate line. Cast out and give the line a few seconds to start sinking. Then strip back with short sharp strips. The line draws the fly under the water but floats back to the surface. The deeper the line goes the longer you can keep the fly under the water bobbing up and down.

Here is Alan Hanna explaining how to tie an Al's Eel as well as some great footage of this fly through the water.

Big pike on the fly from Johnny Saunderson on Vimeo.

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Anonymous said...

Beautiful movement, I have to make some of those !

dry flies and deadbaits said...

I've got to tie me up some of those for the pike hitting the shallows in the coming weeks!

I especially like the look of the al's eel, looks easy to tie, my kind of fly haha

Anonymous said...

i love this idea but i just cant seem to get the heads as smooth of a cut as you do.What do you use to cut the heads and what type of glue do you use?

All about the grab said...

I use a Stanley knife blade to cut through the foam and I use UHU all purpose glue in a tube. Once I have the desired shape I then coat with some nail varnish to strengthen.