Jan 13, 2010

Tandem hook bunny streamers are reproducing like

Ask and ou shall recieve. Jonn asked so here is a step by step instruction for the tandem hook bunny streamers I featured a couple posts ago.  

Firstly, plan ahead. You'll need two different colors of zonker strips, some body material (dubbing/chenille/yarn/floss) in a coordinated color and some flash.  You'll also need a small hook, a big hook, some monofilament or wire and some thread.  I intentionally wasn't detailed on the ingredients because I encourage artistic expression.  Read through this before starting so you can get an idea of the materials you'd like to use and how much of it.

Starting with the trailer hook, tie in.  In this example I'm using 210 denier black thread.  The hook should be small (by our standards); I'm showing a Mustad #4 nymph.  After tying in, wrap the thread to about the position shown.


Next thread some mono or wire through the eyelet, if your eyelet doesn't turn down like shown do not thread it through.  Mono will have some curl on it from being on the spool for so long, I straightened it the best I could but it is still a little curled.  Make sure the curl is "in plane" with the hook so your trailer hook will follow straight behind the main hook.  Locate the mono so that it extends past the thread postion shown above, then wrap tightly forward to the eye.  I used 40lb mono simply because thats what I keep handy, but something lighter should work and might be easier to work with.


Take the extra length of mono and bend it forward over the wraps you just made.


Tie down the "doubled over" mono tightly and advance the tread rearward to the hook bend. Add a glob of superglue to the thread covering the mono and let it dry.  Drying time is a good to make another one, cut zonker strips, drink some beer or take a leak.


Take a zonker strip that is a little longer than the hook shank and tie it in as shown, leaving a short tail.  I prefer a short tail to help avoid annoying wrap-ups while fishing.  You'll have to "part" the hair before tying it in so the thread doesn't hold it down.  Make sure to orient the strip so the hair "lays down" toward the rear of the hook.  I've used a white/orange rabbit zonker here.

Pro tip: In one of my trials, the strip I used was a little skinny and not very full and the fly looked anemic.  I recommend I nice wide (1/4" or so) strip with nice thick hair.


Tie in a length of body material.  It could be dubbing, floss, yarn or chenille or something else.  I've used olive colored chenille because the color matches my pattern and I happen to have some in stock.


Wrap the body material forward and tie it down.  Leave enough room behind the eye to allow you to tie down the zonker.


Fold the zonker forward over the top and tie down.

Pro tip: In one of my other trials I skipped the chennile and palmered the strip forward over an empty hook and tied down.  I didn't really like the way that looked.  That is an option for you, but I recommend the above procedure for a more streamlined looking fly.


Finish it off like you would any fly and add your favorite head cement.  I like to use whip finishes and superglue.  Be warned, the mono adds a degree of difficulty in whip finishing.


Set the trailer hook aside, you'll need it in a minute.  Next clamp a big hook; size and shape doesn't really matter much.  For these flies I'm using a Mustad #2 steamer hook but a #1 aberdeen or 2/0 plainshank would work well.  Tie in your thread, if you want to change thread color you can, but I'm sticking with the 210 denier black.


Tie in your trailer, do it just like you tied in the mono on the smaller hook.  I found the distance between the large hook and the trailer does matter, you want it located about like shown below. Make sure you have enough mono sticking out the front to fold back and tie down.


Again, fold back the extra mono and tie down securely.


Add some superglue to the thread and advance the thread to the hook bend.  You'll probably have some extra mono to trim off.  Go tie another fly, cut some more zonkers, get another beer or take another leak because the glue should be dry before advancing.


Tie in a zonker of the same color you've already used, making sure the hair lays reward.  The strip should be long enough to extend back to the trailer hook and then be palmered forward.  To do this, I decided on a tail length and folded the strip at that mark.  Then tied in the strip over my fold.  Advance the thread to about the half way point on the hook shank.


Palmer the strip forward to the thread and tie down.  Cut of excess.


Tie in a few strands of flash, keep it located on top of the fly.  The kind of flash doesn't matter as long as it sparkles and matches your pattern.  I used pearl flash and like a lot on my streamer flies, so I trimmed it as long as the fly. I also trimmed the ends irregularly.


Tie in the second color of zonker, again making sure the hair lays reward.  Leave a little tail to sit on top of the flash and make sure it's long enough to palmer all the way to the eyelet.  I used my folding technique again to tie it in


Tie in some weighted eyes, leave enough room to get a few wraps of the zonker in front and behind the eyes.


Palmer the zonker strip foward, make sure to get a few wraps in behind the eyes.  Wrap over the eyes and get a couple more wraps in front and tie it off. You can be done here or...


...add an optional weed guard using some more of the 40lb mono.  Fold it over the shank and tie it in with figure eights.  Finish the fly and add super glue to the head.  Presto you've done it!


Disclaimer, as of press time I haven't fished any of these.  I have even seen them in the bath tub.  Let me know if they're worth a damn.  I'm wondering if some lead wire should be added to the hook shank, all that rabbit skin is going to make this pretty bouyant.


  1. Nothing wrong with that Clif...although I think your trailing hook could be simplified a tad more by just tying your mono straight onto the main body hook then running the mono through the trailing hook eye and then back onto the main hook. This will not only save you time,weight but will also give the fly a little more movement with the free tail....But that's just my way and to be honest there is nothing wrong with the way you have rigged it up mate.
    Great tutorial and thanks. I might have to make a few of these up in the near future.

  2. Good stuff. Thanks Clif


  3. Before you cast these streamers, a suggestion that might help would be to put the fly in the water first and let it soak up a few seconds. It will make the casting easier and the fly will sink better. Once you let it sink and start retrieving it, the rabbit hair will come back to full life and be tantalizing to the fish.

  4. Simon, that is a great tip! I'm on it. Adding more action to a bunny fly might be overload for them fishies.

    SS, no problem my good man. Have fun.

    Mel, i learned that lesson with madtoms but I can't believe I didn't mention it here. Thanks for pointing it out...hope everyone reads your comment to get the tip.

  5. Clif, that's an awesome fly. But I gotta admit, it kinda looks like a chicken head when you put the eyes on it. :) I'll be out of town this Saturday. If you go to the ditch let me know how these work out.


Clif reserves the right to delete your comment if he is so inclined, but he is a pretty liberal guy so post away and see what happens.