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kicker19 09-20-2013 02:21 PM

experimenting with rabbit fur
i came across a pretty sweet deal. my bother and his wife do leather work, so they get some interesting items some times. last visit with them they just so happened to have 3 rabbit furs that they gave me, one dyed zebra, one dyed leopard, and one natural

after some research and time at the tying bench, i came up with some patterns




i would wrapped the hook shank with lead wire so it had some sink ability. the eyes are not weights, they are actually a pull cord for a ceiling fan. i wanted the eye look without the weight of dumbell eyes. after some more research i discovered that if you cut the hide from head to tail, the fur sits upright when tied, but if you cut the hide sideways, the fur lays over. which works for under bellies


i have not fished them out yet, they at least look like they will work. any suggestions on problems you see, let me know, i'm still new at tying.

Rip Tide 09-20-2013 04:33 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
You're going to need a support under the tail to keep it from fouling

Here's how I do it :D
Ideally, you should tie in the tail first, then tie in your mono loop support OVER IT, clilp the excess mono and then tie in the remainder of the fly over the shank.
That way you can pull the tail up through the loop and it will be trapped in place
This is the best illustration that I could find

Here's another way that my friend Gary originated :thumbsup:

bigjim5589 09-20-2013 04:43 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
They look great! You've discovered what many of us have already! Rabbit is awesome for tying. One problem that does arise is it tends to foul around the hook sometimes. There are ways to help prevent this but nothing is 100%. Some folks like to use a loop of stiff mono tied inline with the hook shank so it extends straight back from the rear of the hook shank. This works.

Another way is to use some type of stiffer material tied around the forward part or parts of the hook, that aid in keeping the rabbit strip away from the hook. Think in terms of a Lefty's Deceiver.

I tie mostly bass or saltwater flies with rabbit strips, and have tied them quite long, like 8 to 10" long. They foul sometimes, but as effective as they are it's worth the occasional annoyance it causes!

One very simple fly that works on many species has a straight cut strip tail & the body is cross cut strip wrapped along the shank. You can add some flash material too if you like. You can also add a wire rib over the wrapped strip to aid with durability, but not everyone does that. Just work the wire down into the hair if you go this route.

Let us know how they work for you! :)

Rip you beat me to it! Great illustration!

brucerducer 09-20-2013 06:24 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
By golly RipTide, that's one of the most innovative techniques I've seen
in a long time. I like your method in the first photo too.

I've wasted all kinds of hours on "extenders" like that, and how to add some length to a streamer.

I am really excited about that. Great post!


kicker19 09-20-2013 07:04 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
Ard & bigjim thanks for the reply. I was not aware of the tail fouling the hook. Will definitly start adding it, I have enough fur then I know what to do with right now. I have been having a small issue. If I put the bottom strip on by piercing the hook through the hide, then tie on the top strip, how do I get the two pieces to stick together at the hook shank? I tried using Hard as Nails cause that was the only thing available at the time. Super glue maybe ??

bigjim5589 09-20-2013 07:27 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
Not sure what you're doing, but for making flies such as a double bunny streamer, I use a product called "Tear Mender". It's not cheap, but it stays flexible & works great for rabbit strips. It's also waterproof. Super glue & Sally Hansen's has it's uses, but both dry hard so not the best choice with strips if you want them to stay flexible.

Rip Tide 09-20-2013 08:31 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur

Originally Posted by kicker19 (Post 593997)
Super glue maybe ??

You need a flexible cement like GOOP.
There's lot's of GOOP varieties, including Shoe-Goo. They're basically all the same

kicker19 09-20-2013 10:02 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
The double bunny was what I was attempted to tie. As a matter of fact I do have a bottle of shoegoo. It's always amazing the type of items we use to make bugs, HORAY arts-n-crafts time !

JoJer 09-20-2013 10:39 PM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
Don't forget to try clipping and chopping up some hair for dubbing. Makes great nymphs.

fq13 09-22-2013 07:10 AM

Re: experimenting with rabbit fur
Those are some nice looking flies. I wouldn't worry too much about the fouling, its a momentary hassle, but I will try that mono loop trick. Bunny strips rock. I have taken to using them rather than marabou as tail material for most of my streamers. I've had good success on baby tarpon, sea trout, bass, and bluegills. Its a very "fishy" looking fly in the water.
Try tying in a strip for a tail, a chenille sparkly body, and a hackle collar, or alternatively, a buck tail and a little tinsel as an over wing, with or without lead eyes.

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