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Pattern Index

Rabbitail Fly
by Don Avondolio

I first discovered the Rabbitail Fly during a charter out of Cape Lookout, North Carolina in late October when Capt. Dave Deitzler demonstrated a tying technique that caught my eye immediately.

Rabbit skin is widely used for tail material to create an enticing, undulating action.. This "live action" motion is hard for gamefish to resist, It simulates a swimming baitfish or eel. The problem is that the material often fouls on the hook curve, making the fly useless.

A technique to prevent fouling is utilized on this pattern. Use 60 pound-test-mono (about a 1-inch long segment) and use a low flame to melt a bead on one end. This is the same technique some tyers use to create shrimp eyes and antennae.

Prior to tying the tail section onto the hook shank, insert the balled end of mono thru center of rabbit skin. This should be about one-half inch from end of hook. A drop of Zap-A-Gap on the balled end will fasten the rabbit skin to mono nicely.

This fly can be tied in several colors. All black is great for night and white is suggested for daylight hours. An excellent alternate at night would be dark red.

1 Prepare balled mono as specified above.

2 Cut a rabbit strip about 2.75 inches long

3 Using a regular shank hook size 1/0 (stainless) wrap the shank from eye to bend with a matching color 3/0 thread.

4 Guage about halfway down shank, and lay rabbit tail on shank top. Do not tie the tail on yet. Pierce the center of the skin with needle or bodkin, and insert the mono so that the ball of mono is approximately one-half of an inch from the rear of hook.

5 Tie the rabbitskin on the shank.

6 Select a matching color deer body hair and cut a bundle that's about one-quarter of an inch in diameter. Hold it against the shank on and angle of about 45 degrees, and wrap twice fairly tight. Pull the thread and flair the body hair. Repeat this step several times until hair is built near hook eye. Tie off and whip finish.

7 Shape the spun deer body hair with sharp sizzors. You're looking for either fish-like or eel-like appearance.

8 Add stick-on or decal eyes and cover with Flexament or other secure adhesive.

9 Add a small drop of Zap-A-Gap to the mono ball. This will lock the rabbit skin to the strand of monofilament line, and the Rabbitail Fly won't foul on a cast.

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