A new flatwing from the Culton bench: The Bombardier

Long before I fished for stripers, I was aware of striper plugs. I’d see rows of them in gleaming packages in the local sporting goods store (remember those?) and think that some day I’d like to throw one and catch a big bass. I remember liking the blue and white glitter-flecked Atom plugs.

I also remember the Bomber. Something about that plug in basic black said badass cow catcher. Would that translate to a large flatwing? One way to find out.

Creating a striped bass fly that draws from the color and energy of a plug is not new. Ray Bondorew did it it in Stripers and Streamers with his Yellow Rebel. My goal was not to make a carbon copy of the Bomber Long A, but to capture its essence. So, lots of black saddles and bucktail. Some purple to jazz things up. A glowing core of light blue and chartreuse. High contrast jungle cock nails. And some seductive flash tied “Razzle Dazzle” (thanks, Ken!) style.

I like this fly 9″-12″ long. It shines when fished on the greased line swing. Cue up The Gap Band!

The Bombardier


Hook: Eagle Claw 253
Thread: Black 6/0
Platform: 30 hairs light blue and chartreuse bucktail, mixed
Pillow: Black dubbing
Support: Black neck hackle, curve side up
Tail: First, 3 black saddles, second, 2 strands silver Flashabou, third, 1 black saddle, fourth, 2 strands light blue Flashabou, fifth, 1 black saddle, sixth, 2 strands red Flashabou, seventh, 1 black saddle, eighth, 2 strands purple Flashabou, ninth, 1 black saddle, tenth, 2 strands black Flashabou, all Flashabou to extend 1″ past longest saddle
Body: Purple braid
Collar: 2/3 black and 1/3 purple bucktail, mixed
Wing: 30 hairs black bucktail
Topping: 7 strands peacock herl
Eyes: Jungle cock
A more detailed look at the Bombardier’s explosive energy.



You get the idea.



The Bombardier Rogues’ Gallery:

Twenty pounds, short line swing, 2017



Fifteen pounds, greased line swing, 2017



17 comments on “A new flatwing from the Culton bench: The Bombardier

  1. gande61211@aol.com says:

    You dropped a bomb on me. One of the best all time tunes ( but only the long version!)

    Beautiful flies!

    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  2. Erik says:

    The color “Blurple” is the bomb! See what I did there? Thanks for sharing, heading to the vise right now….

  3. David Studeman says:

    Great Flatwing pattern! Thx for sharing – I look forward to tying this one!

  4. WillK says:

    I have a strong suspicion a lot of bass would enjoy that 🙂

  5. cfishdarien says:

    Hi Steve….a retail price on the “bombideer “love to buy 2 o r 3 yikes…..

  6. Frank says:

    Beautiful fly Steve. Something ’bout that black and purple combo. I’ve mentioned to two of my coworkers that I might stare at them when they wear those colors and then explained about the “blurple” colored Bomber. I now have a restraining order against me…

  7. Pierre Sauvé says:

    Beautiful as all your other flatwings. A video of how you tie a 7-9 saddle flatwing would be enlightening.

    In the meantime, if you don’t mind, two questions: when tying in the tail materials, do you cut them short forward of the tie-in point or bind them (or some of them) up to or shortly behind the eye of the hook? If we substitute Krystal Flash to the specified Flashabou, would it be one strand for one strand or two (or more) for one?

    Thank you

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Pierre. Yeah, I know, I need some flatwing videos. Keep bugging me until I do. To your questions. 1) I remove the excess fluff/fibers from the tie-in point of the saddle to the butt of the stem and clip the stem if it’s longer than the shank. When I tie in the feather, the stem gets clipped short of the eye, about where I’d end the body braid wraps. 2) Your choice. But note that Krystal flash will behave differently than Flashabou, so the effect will not be the same. Will that matter to the fish? Ask them and they will let you know. Hope that helps!

  8. jerry kells says:

    We need a video on how to tie this bad boy, you said to bug you and the water is too warm to fish for trout

    • Steve Culton says:

      Jerry! Consider me bugged! But right now I have to cut the lawn and then make some pizzas for dinner. I appreciate the follow, the feedback, and hopefully this fall I will get back to making some vids. Feel free to bug me again…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s