I really like zonkers, especially the small ones. That’s why I made a small article about them, about the features and some tricks that I learned over time. I’m not a fanatic fisherman which use streamers all day long, I have a lot to learn, it’s clear, but I like to make various comparisons and understand why some materials work better than others.
I noticed that the skin is very important for streamers tied with zonkers. If it’s thin, it’s good, if it’s thick, it’s not so good. But in the latter situation there is a solution, to cut it in such a way that you have more hair and less skin.
The strips are also important, but I noticed that if they are too thin, the hair on them is too little. Over time I came to the conclusion that for small models on #10 #12 and #14 hooks, the 3mm wide strips are perfect.
The most dense in fur are the strips from muskrat, squirrel, mink and the last is weasel. There are small variations in hair density depending on the area: belly, sides or back… There are also differences between the ratios between guard fur and underfur. It all depends on what exactly you want to tie and what expectations you have from the material.
For example, a hair that is too dense on the skin offers less mobility, a too bulky appearance. But it offers an excellent silhouette in rivers with strong currents. Lakes may not be the best options fur zonkers tied with super dense. Instead, sparser hair offers more mobility…
Bellow I make a few photos of strips on millimetric paper. You will see better how long and how dense is the fur for each type.
When I use streamers I like those in white, black, white grizzly, dirty grey and cream. Then brown and green.
I enjoy a lot when I fish for bass and perch. Here is my favorite model for these fish: an ultra micro zonker tied with a small piece of skin with fur on it:
This model is tied on size #14 curved hook but I make it on size #12 and #10 quite often.
- Hook #14-10 curved
- Body: white or cream dubbing mixed with synthetic white
- Tail: red dubbing fixed as free tail
- Wing: green squirrel zonker strip
- Eyes: big in orange or red, enforced with UV resin to stay in their place even after strong fights
Below there are a bunch of them from my box. All in size #14-12 and #10.
October 13, 2022
I was waiting for that article! 🙂 Great one again. Small streamers are also my favoutite, they are easy to cast and catch different kind of fish. Wish there would be small soft heads for size 14 hook… It would make life easier.
And one more thing. I always miss lead wire from the recepie. Do you make them only without additional weight?
October 14, 2022
thanks for your comment :). Regarding lead wire, it is optional depending of water 🙂
May 24, 2023
You can get a smoother, tapered, body shape if you use lead tape, the kind used on tennis racquets, to weight the body rather than lead wire. You can wrap the tape, including in layers, or, if you wish to invert the hook, you can build up several successively shorter layers on the top side of the hook to get a fry fly that will rarely snag on branches or the bottom.
May 26, 2023
thanks for the feedback, very useful, I really appreciate it. I will try to apply your advice and make an article. In August I will be going to the north of Sweden and I want to fish with streamers as much as possible. I will take your advice into consideration 🙂