One of my favourite patterns for dusky kob is the flat nose silicone mullet. This fly has got an absolutely deadly action if tied correctly, and will bounce about erratically on a jerky retrieve. It’s my go-to fly for kob and I have taken more fish on this pattern than any other. Juan Coetzee introduced me to the side-to-side action of the silicone mullet tied with a blunt nose, and it’s also a very effective pattern for leervis.

An estuarine kob that took a flat face silicone at dusk

An estuarine kob that took a flat face silicone at dusk

I have modified the traditional silicone in two ways. Firstly, I have replaced sheep’s wool that’s traditionally used for the head with closed cell foam. This essentially turns it into a surface pattern, even on a slow retrieve. For this reason, it’s also an excellent fly to use in shallow rocky bays in the surf. This allows the fly to be retrieved slowly on an intermediate line, without getting snagged on the bottom.

This pattern is especially effective in the surfzone where its neutral buoyancy keeps it in the strike zone for longer

This pattern is especially effective in the surfzone where its neutral buoyancy keeps it in the strike zone for longer

Secondly, I also lay bucktail fibers onto the silicone covered head to form a smooth transition from head to tail, creating a more desirable profile and silhouette.

a selection of silicones, ready to do their thing

a selection of silicones, ready to do their thing

Tying instructions
1 – Tie in a long but sparse tuft of bucktail at the bend of the hook. Using a Gamagatsu SL12 size 4/0 or similar will keel the fly nicely.
2 – Tie in 3 strands of flash material on each side.
3 – Secure a block of closed cell foam on top of the shank with superglue. Cover the foam with tread wraps, creating a round profile. Tie off.

4 – Cover the Foam with a layer of clear silicone.
5 – Select sparse tufts of long bucktail and lay them onto the foam head and push into the wet silicone. Using different colours bucktail, it is possible to create a dark-over-light coloured fly.

6 – Allow silicone to dry out completely. Trim bucktail fibers sticking out towards the front flush with the foam. Stick on film eyes with Superglue.
7 – Apply a second layer of silicone over the head and also on the nose of the fly. Using a small spatula shaped object, the nose of the fly is molded flat and at right angles with the sides of the body. I like to use the back of a bamboo chopstick for this.



  1. Leonard Flemming 6 March, 2015 at 08:48 - Reply

    Beautiful Conrad! I am busy playing with a jig-fly as tied by Jimmy Eagleton; the concept is similar to your Lead-Ass Mullet fly and the action simulates that of a paddle tail fished jig-style with spin tackle. Thus far, it has produced the same results (number of fish landed) as the jiggery spin fisherman in certain spots. What I found amazing about the technique is that the fly never snags; instead, the substrate can be ‘felt’ along the retrieve – “There’s a rock…Ah sand, oh another rock…Hmmm, no resistance, must be a drop-off, BAM fish on!”.

  2. Edward Truter 6 March, 2015 at 08:57 - Reply

    Howsit Conrad, check out this:

    Sondor Cordex Foam, it’s a cylindrical foam that I’ve used for when one needs a long foam cylinder in the fly. Very easy to use, just slice it open and glue it onto the hook using Genkem contact. Have you tried experimenting with the face if this fly by cutting it at an angle, say about 60 – 75 degrees, something like this .

  3. Conrad Botes 6 March, 2015 at 08:59 - Reply

    Hi Leonard. I need to tie this fly with you. I have not have had mayor success with the lead ass.

  4. Conrad Botes 6 March, 2015 at 09:03 - Reply

    Hi Ed. I will definitely try the cylindrical foam. Haven’t tried the slanted face, but it should work a charm, I’m sure it will work like a charm. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Derik Nieuwoudt 14 February, 2016 at 14:21 - Reply

    How about adding a small glass bass rattle in the foam. I use it in my normal rock and surf baits it drives cob crazy.

  6. Matt Johnson 27 June, 2020 at 10:34 - Reply

    Is there a preferred density of foam for this pattern? Can I use any old foam or should I use a dense closed cell foam?

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