I used to hate zonkers; those pre cut rabbit strips were like hell to tie with: too thick skin, too long hair, too wide strips. I stopped tying them until someone told me how to cut my own strips.
I used to hate zonkers; those pre cut rabbit strips were like hell to tie with: too thick skin, too long hair, too wide strips. I stopped tying them until someone told me how to cut my own strips. So now I cut real zonker strips, that can be used for small hook sizes and made from any kind of fur. And zonkers are really great flies; imitative with lots of key characters especially profile and movement.
|Hook||Straight eye streamer 6 or 10
|Thread||Tan, black or grey
|Tail||Tip of zonker strip
|Body||Flat silver tinsel
|Rib||Oval silver tinsel
|Wing||Narrow zonker strip, cut from tanned squirrel, natural gray
|Hackle||Squirrel fur spun in thread loop
- Start by tying in the ribbing at the hook bend.
- Let the ribbing pass under the hook to one eye width behind the eye
- Cover the ribbing and hook shaft with an even layer of thread
- Tie in silver tinsel where the tied in rib ends
- Turn the tinsel the the bend of the hook and back again to form en even layer
- Tie down tinsel and cut of excess
- Prepare a narrow (2-3 mm) zonker strip
- Tie in strip just behind hook eye with hair direction towards the anterior of the hook
- Pull tight the back end og the strip, and secure with first turn of ribbing
- Turn ribbing in open turns
- Tie down ribbing just behind hook eye (for further details see this article on tinsel bodies)
- Prepare a thread loop for spinning a hackle
- Separate loop and wax one thread
- Let a small tuft of loose squirrel hair stick to wax and get caught between tha threads
- Spin thread with a hackle plier or dubbing twister
- Turn 'hackle' 2-3 times round hook shank just behind eye while stroking back hairs
- Tie down 'hackle' and cut.
- Finish off fly and varnish