I call this streamer the Dumb Bunny because the only 2 materials used are dumbbell eyes and rabbit zonker strips. It’s kind of a mash-up between a Zonker, a Clouser Minnow and a Rubber Worm, rigged Texas-style. I like the fact that it can be tied with a lighter belly and a darker back, similar to most baitfish, and, well, fish. The hook is also hidden exceptionally well which makes it nearly weedless and helps to keep it from getting hung up on the bottom.
The hook I use is a size 6 wacky jig hook from the Do-It Mold Co. They’re super sharp and have a really nice, modern shape. I imagine there are some bass worm hooks out there that would also work. Anyway, mash the barb and get the hook firmly secured in your tying vise, with it oriented like this.
For thread, there’s no reason not to go a little heavier, here, 140 Denier Ultra thread. I’ve chosen fluorescent chartreuse to compliment the rabbit fur I’ll be using. Start your thread on the hook shank at the bend behind the eye, and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag. Continue taking wraps down the shank to just past the midpoint.
On this fly, I’m going to use a dark olive rabbit zonker strip for the back and fluorescent chartreuse for the belly. The belly gets tied in first. With the natural angle of the fur leaning back toward your hand, snip about 1/4” of fur from the hide. Then, to help with tie-in, make a low-angle cut down the hide with your scissors. Begin securing the strip to the shank and go all the way back to right below the hook point. Next, take thread wraps forward up the shank to the original tie-in point.
Start making touching wraps with the Zonker strip up the shank to just a little ways past that bend below the eye. Secure the strip with 3 or 4 tight turns of tying thread. Then reach in with your scissors and cut the excess strip off close. Coax the fur back out of the way and continue making thread wraps to ensure the hide is bound down really well. Wet your fingers and preen the rabbit fur down and back in preparation for tying in the dumbbell eyes.
For this size 6 hook, I like extra-small 1/60 oz lead eyes, but just about anything that’s not too large will work. You can use these eyes straight out of the package but dressing them up a bit, I feel, makes for a better looking fly. Small alligator clips affixed to bamboo skewers work exceptionally well when handling any dumbbell eyes. It may be a little overboard, but I use a nail file to flatten and shine both sides of the dumbbell, and then apply a coat of white Sally Hansen’s to each side. A piece of foam does an admirable job of holding the skewers while the Sally Hansen’s dries.
To make the pupil, snip off the very point of one of the bamboo skewers and use that same nail file to flatten it into the desired diameter for the pupil. When the white coat of polish has thoroughly dried, place a drop of black Hard as Nails on a scrap piece of paper. With the newly flattened end of the skewer, pick up just the smallest amount of black. One or two touches are all it takes to form a nice little pupil. Once this dries, applying a topcoat of fast drying clear will help to prevent chipping and fading.
Place the finished dumbbell at the back edge of the thread wraps and secure it there with the same wraps you’d use to secure the eyes on a Clouser Minnow, and end with your tying thread behind the eye.
Now, pick up the darker Zonker strip and with the fur naturally angled back toward your hand, snip the corners off the strip to form a small triangle. Place the triangle between the hook eye and the dumbbell and secure it with nice tight wraps of tying thread. Make sure it’s bound down really well so it won’t pull out. Do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and snip or cut your tying thread free.
Pull rearward on the strip and use your thumbnail to mark the back edge of the hook. Relocate this mark to the hook point and then push the point through the hide. Be extremely careful doing this as these hooks are ridiculously sharp.
Preen down the belly fur that runs along the back of the hook shank and carefully trim it off, all the way down to the hide. You want to leave the fur on the sides and inside the bend of the hook.
After trimming, this is how the fly should look. I highly recommend applying a liberal coat of head cement or even UV cure resin to all the exposed thread wraps.
The Dumb Bunny can be tied in a wide variety of colors, and Do-It Molds also makes a larger size 2 hook that’s suitable for bass, pike and even saltwater species.