Video: How to Tie the Composite Loop Zonker

I am lucky enough to sit next to Tom Rosenbauer here at HQ, and as I was watching this video of Tim Flagler teaching us how to tie this gorgeous streamer, Tom stopped at my desk. He said, “You know, I have been tying flies for fifty years, and I still learn something new from every one of these videos.” Then we marveled at the process by which Tim creates the dubbing loop for the fly’s body. At one point, Tom said, “Wow, Tim, that is fussy.” But he followed that up with: “I’m gonna try to tie some of these today.”

In his latest how-to video, Flagler–of Tightline Productions–demonstrates a cool process for creating what he calls a “composite loop,” made up of several kinds of dubbing. It’s a trick he learned from OPST (Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics), and the results are simply stunning. Don’t be put off by the several steps required to make the dubbing loop, for none of them is difficult. And watch how Tim preens and controls the dubbing to wrap it and then brush it out.

          Composite Loop Zonker
          Hook: 2X-long nymph hook (here, a Dai-Riki #730), size 6-10.
          Thread: Black, 6/0 or 140-denier.
          Tail support: 30-pound-test Maxima Ultragreen or similar.
          Adhesive #1: Fly Tyers Z-Ment.
          Back/Tail: Sculpin Olive pine-squirrel zonker strip.
          Dubbing #1: Pearl SLF Prism dubbing.
          Dubbing #2: Cream rabbit-fur dubbing.
          Dubbing #3: Red rabbit-fur dubbing.
          Dubbing #4: Pearl SLF Prism dubbing.
          Head: Black tying thread.
          Adhesive #2: Head cement.

Tools you will need:

  • 3X5 Post-It pad
  • popsicle stick
  • chip-bag clip
  • dubbing wax
  • dubbing spinner
  • bodkin
  • stiff-bristle toothbrush.

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