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Natural furs tend to be more life-like than synthetics and rabbit fur is no exception. It has been said that rabbit fur is one of the most life-like materials available to the fly tyer. It should also be noted that when tying with fur still on the hide makes a very durable fly.
strips of rabbit fur are available at most fly tying shops. Rabbit fur
can easily be dyed and sold in a wide variety of colors. From earth
tones to bright and vivid colors, you have a wide selection of choices.
It is also common to find two tone colored strips where the tips are
dyed darker or with bands of alternating colors. Most fly tying shops
will have a large selection of colors.
Available in the standard cut or crosscut strips. The strips are normally cut in 1/8 inch width for fresh water flies and 1/4 inch width for use on larger salt water flies. As a beginner fly tyer you might not notice the difference, but when placed side by side it is very obvious that the hairs are pointed different directions.
Cross cut strips are most often wrapped around the hook shank and palmered towards the rear of the fly.
Most traditional patterns use cross cut strips for the body because it produces a more natural look and flow to the fly, but in recent years it has gained more acceptance to use standard cut strips on the body for a more pulsating action when in the water. When wrapped around the hook, the cross cut strips will lay at a 45 degree angle and standard cut strips will stand at 90 degree angle.
Standard and Zonker strips are the same cut,
just different terms used in the fly tying world. On a zonker fly, a
strip of standard cut rabbit fur is tied down the length of the hook
Standard cut strips are used when tying the
tail on a fly. On many zonker fly patterns, you will use a single
standard cut strip for the body and tail.
Standard cut strips are cut from the center or along the back ridge of the rabbit, from the head towards the tail. Cross-cut strips are just the opposite.
RABBIT MASK DUBBING
The average rabbit hides are 8 inches wide by 12 inches in length. The hair along the center ridge of the back are the longest. The sides of the skin are from the belly and used for dubbing.
When buying any hair
or fur that is on the hide, the hide should be soft and pliable. The
hide should be scrapped clean of any residue.
Also check the section on feather care and storage for more ideas pertaining to this subject.
FLY TYING HAIR AND FUR
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.
FLY TYING HAIR AND FURS