Fly Tying: Painting poppers with the Copic air system

Looking for a cool way to make realistic poppers for fly fishing? There are several ways to color or paint them, but honestly, nothing beats the airbrushing method using the Copic airbrushing system.

The Copic air system allows you to blend colors and really get some realistic, creative patterns going on. It’s certainly a little more expensive than other more traditional methods, but your poppers will be coated with seriously more awesomeness when you’re done. I’d guess the bass and bluegills will love them more as well, just a hunch.

Check out this quick video of Brendan Toner showing you how he paints up a popper using the Copic air system:


The Copic air system is actually not very pricey if you’re using it for small amounts of painting. The system uses traditional Copic markers along with a compressed air setup (or compressor) to provide the flow. Copic markers usually range in the $6-8 range for individual markers.

The air systems can be had for as little as $30-35 for a basic, entry level kit up to $325-$400 for a kit with an air compressor included. The individual compressed air cans run $12-$20 depending on the size you choose.

All in all, a great little setup to produce some awesome poppers if you’re into that sort of thing. You can get more info on Copic and their air systems over at the Copic website.

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You can check out more on Brendan at his website, located at or follow him on Instagram at @nickdolte.


Cory Perry
I'm a husband, father and fly fishing geek living in Greenville, SC. I'm down with slinging flies, tying flies and spending every minute I can enjoying the vast outdoors with my family and friends.

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