A look at rabbit zonker strips, peacock dubbing and a compact UV torch
THE British Fly Fair International always throws up some new and interesting materials, and among the products I picked up this year was this rabbit zonker from Frozen North Flyfishing. It comes in a great range of colours, both single shades and two-tone. The two-tone strips really caught my eye, and especially the ‘rhubarb & custard’ with its vibrant yellow fur and shocking pink tips, and the more subdued ‘razor grass’, which has a lovely grizzled effect in golden olive. The zonker strips are well prepared and are cut evenly. They are nice and supple so are easy to work with and even when working with them wet no colour leached out. The skin strip is around 4mm wide and the fibres coming off the skin are up to 3cm in length. Although the strips can work well on smaller patterns such as the Grass Booby (pictured, right) it’s when you use a long length in a Zonker or the now very popular Snake pattern that the material really shows itself off to its very best. With the Grass Booby I tied the zonker strip down only at the front end which, on a shorter pattern such as this, gives a lot more wiggle factor when the fly is retrieved through the water. The R&C Zonker is slightly different in that I have secured the zonker strip the length of the hook shank using the rib. When doing this it’s all too easy to trap the mobile fur which is the last thing you want. The way I do it is to part the fur using a dubbing needle, wet both sides so they stay separated, then rib between the gap, brush back down and repeat. The R&C Zonker is secured like this in about five places. Available in rhubarb & custard, tan olive, hulk, razor grass, hot apricot, raspberry ripple, olive black tip, and goldfish all at £4, and olive, shocking pink, white, light olive, marshmallow pink and black at £3.60. You get three 17-inch strips per pack.
“The zonker strips are supple and easy to work with.”
Rabbit zonker strips (l to r): rhubarb & custard, hulk, raspberry ripple, goldfish and razor grass.