The BodyGuard Mantis was designed by Dave McKenna to match a common mantis shrimp that we found all over the flats of our Faraway Keys base camp. They were aggressive with long, sharp claws. They were very translucent and matched whatever bottoms we found them on. We had a few flies in our boxes that came pretty close but it wasn't until I came across a new material from Semper Fli that we really had a revelation in the pattern. "Guard Hair Chenille" was the magic material the BodyGuard Mantis needed to go un-refused on any flat. This new material has small pearl UV micro tinsel built into a very translucent microfiber that pulls light through the body of the fly just like the real thing.
We use contrasting rubber legs to match each color: Hot Orange/Tan rubber legs match our tan Body Guard, Pearl & Hot Orange rubber legs to match our white Body Guard Mantis and Hot OJ/Chartruese rubber legs to contrast the Olive Body Guard Mantis. We knew we had a winner on our hands when we tested the newly designed Body Guard Mantis. Two casts and two permit later, Rankin was ordering them in every color for his upcoming season at Fly Fish Guanaja!