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robow7

Do mono loops work in preventing rabbit strip from fouling?

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Joe, I tied them long like that to imitate eels for Striped Bass, but the majority of long strip flies I'll tie are 4" to 6". I've tied some recently for Bass & Redfish, with both a loop & weed guards that have about 3" to 4" tails which seldom foul. smile.png

I love fishing for striped bass and blues when I go back to Massachusetts and they love eels. I remember casting a surf rod with like a 20" peice of black surgical tubing and a hook. Makes me want to get up there for this spring run.

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I really appreciate all the responses, so may I ask what length loop do you tie measured from the rear of the hook where it comes off at, for say a size 4 3xl streamer hook and 2.5 - 3" of loose tail ? I've got some 30 and 40# Berkley Big Game mono I would think might work. You speak of going to wider bunny strips and here I just bought some micro cut strips for the reason of trying to obtain a little more supple movement, all the while making them a little easier to cast on a lighter rod.

 

Tidewater, do you have a name for that fabric paint that is clear with a little flash, sounds yummy?

 

Joe, have any photos, just curious how wide your loops are?

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Not wider across the whole length. Wide over hook shank tapering narrow out the back.

 

I use a single strand, not loops and tie mine at most 1/4 length of portion extending past hook shank.

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I just tied some recently on size 2 O'Shaughnessy hooks, and they're about 1/2" extending past the bend with 3 to 4" strips so slightly less on a size 4. I don't measure them, just go with what looks right.

 

Yes, the wider strips on long flies, like 1/4 " to 1/2 " wide. But, I still use 1/8 to 1/4" wide the majority of the time. I've tied a few with strips as wide as 3/4" but not my favorites.

 

I bought a group of flies one time on Ebay several years, and primarily bought them to check out the patterns. There were some rabbit strip flies included that were about 6" long, and the strips were about an inch wide. IMO, that was too wide,as they were folded and I would bet they were very heavy when wet as I never used them. But they were interesting looking flies. That's what got me tying with wider strips. To that point, I used the packaged strips that were 1/8" to 1/4" wide. I had also seen some strips in a pack that were labelled Texas Magnum Strips, and they were real wide, like 3/4" to 1 " wide. I haven't seen any commercially produced flies with strips that wide however.

 

I don't recall the brand name of that fabric paint, but there are several. Scribbles & Tulip are two brands I've used, and that paint can have other uses. I've even coated popper bodies with it & used it for the "hot dot" on the backs of foam beetles. I usually just go & look at them & read the labels of colors I think I want to try. That's how I found the thicker stuff.

 

Joe, I make some surge tube lures with 3/8" diameter tubing that I've trolled with. Black, purple, fl. green, red, and yellow were all good colors at times. Usually made them about 15 to 24" long, but never cast the big ones. I've cast spoons & other metal lures with the surge tube trailer hooks. They all have their day.

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You know, i found that using a really thin zip tie instead of mono was a nice solution. Stiff and durable

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I long ago gave up on mono loops to keep rabbit strips from fouling... Instead I've used a simple technique that adds to the tail and prevents fouling at the same time.... Before adding rabbit I tie in a sparse amount of bucktail just forward of the bend and roll it around the hook shank, next comes any flash on top of the bucktail - then finally the rabbit strip, laid in right on top of the thin amount of bucktail. Works like a charm (and as a full time guide I get a front row seat as my anglers work the fly -over and over again...). As already noted by some very skilled tiers the shorter the rabbit strip - the less likely it is to foul... Done properly you barely even notice the bucktail, but it provides just enough support to prevent fouling. The following pics are the Swamp Rabbit - a tarpon pattern... The last bug shown is the Razor-cut Mullet - all use the same technique to keep the rabbit strip from fouling....

 

Since I've been a commercial tyer for a lot of years I've always moved towards techniques that are simple and very quick to use. The one rule about tarpon flies (no matter what pattern) is that they must not foul in use. That sort of stuff makes fishing guides really cranky....

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I tie in a sparse amount of bucktail just forward of the bend and roll it around the hook shank then finally the rabbit strip, laid in right on top of the thin amount of bucktail.

 

Capt. Bob,

I'm not sure I understand what you're doing with your bucktail. Do you tie in some bucktail and twist or roll it around the shank to make a ball on top of the shank and tie it off? Or, are you making a loop of bucktail off the rear just as one does with mono but a much larger loop? or does the bucktail just extend out past the shank much like calf's tail or bucktail are often used as an underwing for support, but if that is the case then I'm not sure what the "roll" has to do with it. Any photos by chance?

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robow7, by "roll" he means he's distributing the bucktail evenly around the hook.

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I try, really, to keep my rabbit strip tails short specifically to prevent this issue, but when I'm tying a fly that has a long tail, I'll use the mono loop and right after tying it in, a dense dubbing ball. I then tie the zonker strip tail tight up against this dubbing ball, which has the effect of kicking the tail up slightly, helping it to avoid the lower part of the hook bend. Generally this, combined with a short mono loop, is enough to prevent 80% of the fouling I might see otherwise.

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Thanks Tidewater for saying what I meant to say... When you spend long hours at a vise filling orders you try to simplify your tasks and using your hands with a minimum of wasted motion is the only way to go.... Instead of carefully distributing that "sparse amount" of bucktail I just tie in a very small amount on top then with one rolling motion distribute it all around the hook shank - then flair it a tiny bit as I make a few additional turns of thread... What that accomplishes is sort of a nest or support for flash and finally that rabbit strip to lie on (instead of using a mono loop. It not only works like a charm but I use the exact same technique when setting up for a very full maribou tail.... The principle is the same the same, the softer materials are laying on a support of just a few bucktail fibers and if you use the same color maribou or rabbit strip as the bucktail it's hardly noticeable at all... Here's a few pics of a redfish pattern (the Slinky series - the natural in brown, the neon in fl. orange, and the red and white - each maribou tail has a support under it of a sparse amount of bucktail....

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thanks guys for the further explanation. If the bucktail is to be used as an underwing of sorts, has anyone used calf tail since it is a little stiffer vs. the bucktail if the bunny tails are not to be too long? or is the better movement of the bucktail desired since it prevents the fouling anyway.

Again, thanks for the input as this is all quite educational.

 

Btw, Capt. Bob, beautiful flies !

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Calftail may work on some size hooks/flies, but part of the reason to use bucktail is the length. You won't get that with calftail. Also, as Capt Bob has said the bucktail flares a bit, and calftail doesn't.

 

Capt Bob I knew what you meant as this is not the first time a topic like this has been discussed & you have described your technique before. I too tie a lot of flies in the same manner.

 

Cold, I don't use that "ball" technique much now, but have done it in the past. Actually any material, fur strips, hackle or hair can be "propped up" by doing that and is a good method to help prevent fouling. When I tie Tarpon patterns I take it a step further & make thread wraps around the base of the hackle or rabbit strip right where it's tied to the shank above the hook bend to stiffen that base even when I used a "ball" on the hook shank. I'll even sometimes allow the tails to be tied slightly down the bend as that moves the pivot point behind the hook point. It's not pretty, but it works.

 

When I was tying Keys style Tarpon patterns for guides in Key West, I was told that what I was doing worked, as they all reported that they never had one of my flies foul while casting. Of course the shorter tails on such patterns also helps there too. Not the same as some of the long rabbit strips or hackles used for other types of fishing.

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Innovative ... Gotta like Pat Cohen's approach to things!

Over 20+ years ago myself & Jimmy Nix worked on this problem.

The loop idea was already out. Like Pat said though medicore at best results.

 

What we came up was very similar, We tried many different materials but basically either some stainless steel wire or some 50# mono about 1”-1.5” out the back and the rabbit was glued to that with epoxy or CA glue.

 

This was before the internet and YouTube.

I still do it that way to this day but now I’ll be doing at Pat’s way because its simpler and easier.

 

Freaking internet & Youtube, everyone’s an expert overnight.

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