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Quentin 05-01-2005 06:13 PM

Non-fouling rabbit fur strip
I've tied a lot of flies using rabbit fur strips but always seemed to have problems with the tail wrapping around the hook or the weed guard or the mono loop that is supposed to prevent fouling. I recently tried putting a coat of Soft Body on the first half of the tail and it works great. After tying in the tail, I put Soft Body on the skin side of the rabbit strip from the tie-down point to about half the length of the tail. I applied a heavier coat near the hook and thinned it out towards the middle of the tail. The Soft Body stiffens the rabbit strip enough to prevent fouling but it still has great action.


flysully 05-01-2005 06:46 PM

Thx, Quentin, for your anti fouling suggestion for tying with rabbit tails. We'll give it a try. Always looking for a new way to prevent that hook wrap.

Dble Haul 05-03-2005 12:33 PM

For larger flies I use a loop of 24 guage galvinized wire, but I'm going to try your idea with the Soft Body. It sounds like it should work well enough.

Quentin 05-03-2005 01:39 PM

I've only tried it with smaller flies with ~2" tails made from 1/8" wide strips. The tail never got wrapped on the hook at all :cool: . I'll have to try it on some larger flies to see if it does the trick on those as well.

I'm not sure how long the anti-fouling effect will last either. The Soft Body may crack or separate from the rabbit strip after extended use or multiple hook-ups.


Doublespey 05-03-2005 02:04 PM

another variation
I've been using a bit of Zap-a-Gap on the skin side of rabbit strips (steelhead) flies for a couple years. Just a bit back as far as the bend of the hook keeps the strip from fouling and doesn't impede the action.

Flies that have lasted 5-6 trips have shown no lessening of the "effect".



TheSeph 05-03-2005 10:52 PM

my method
I use a piece of HARD mono in the 25-30 lb class range to form a loop no bigger than 1/2 inch that trails out behind the bend of the hook on the dorsal side(top side if hook is downward).
I then tie the rabbit strip in on top of this 'shank extender' which acts to help prevent the skin from wrapping back under the hook bend

tie in mono to one side of hook(think lateral line of a fish) then double it back and tie the other end of mono to the opposite side of the hook. shape to size.

Also, hook style plays a role in this. I see the most problems with larger hooks that are 'bass' style hooks. I can dig up some pics possibly if unfamiliar with different hook gape styles.

dewey 05-05-2005 09:35 AM

I bet if you combined the wire/mono loop with the zapagap trick, so the skin is glued to the loop, it would really do the trick.

Smcdermott 05-05-2005 09:42 AM

Lately I have seen two patterns that use EZ-Body to prevent the rabbit from fouling. The first was an updated version of Boyle's Bonito Bunny in one of the recent FFSW issues. The second was a pattern developed by the guys at First Light for chasing SBFT. Both use mono or a thread puller to pull the forward section of the rabbit through the ez-body and then tie off on the shank leaving a proportionate amount of the ez-body to the rear. I have used about 1/2 to a full shank length depending on the size of the fly. I haven't had a chance to fish them but I doubt either of those guys would put out something that wasn't proven.


BigDave 05-05-2005 09:44 AM

You can also try threading the zonker strip through some easybody tubing and leave the end (tail) sticking out. This eliminates fouling but still gives you the zonker wiggle. The first light guys came up with this to my knowledge and it works great...give it a shot.

Quentin 05-05-2005 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by dewey
I bet if you combined the wire/mono loop with the zapagap trick, so the skin is glued to the loop, it would really do the trick.

I did try that with one fly with a mono loop and it worked great. The mono loop may not even be necessary for narrow and/or short tails, but may help with the wider/longer tails. Most of my existing rabbit strip flies already have the mono loop but still get fouled, so I will probably glue the skin to the loop to fix them.

I haven't tried the ez body trick yet but I did consider that as an option.


Bob D 10-28-2006 08:18 AM

Be sure to use some softex on the EZ Body to prevent fraying from numerous casts.

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