Re: Easiest loop dubbing method
Guess it depends on the size of fly and the thickness of the body you're seeking. Many times, I'll spin the thread flat and split the thread and add dubing directly into it, then spin it back to trap the fibers (size 14 and smaller flies). Yep, I do still use Danville Flymaster and Champion Silk thread at times!
If I'm tying a bulky nymph, like a stone, sometimes I'll use a fine copper wire for my loop, apply a tacky wax and spread the dubbing through the loop, then spin it. This adds a bit of weight and also toughens the fly,helping the buggy dubbing stay put- works well when you're blending fur and synthetic or natural fibers.
For salmon/steelie flies where I want more open/translucent fibers in a dubbed thorax, I'll tie in and use a thread loop of a color that compliments the dubbing then "fold" the fibers over onto one side of the loop before wrapping it- this makes it easier to pick out or brush the fibers and then if necessary, you can trim them to shape.
I've used any number of dubbing tools, I find the Dubbit tool too long and a bit awkward,a torpedo shaped sinker with an opened loop works well, the DynaKing dubbing whirl is pretty convienient, but my favorite is the old original style Cal Bird dubbing tool... the one they sell now is sorta flimsy, but if you can find an old one they're nice. As for a pick/brush, I use a .22 cal gun barrel brush for larger, heavier flies and a tool I got from my dentist that's used for cleaning teeth for small flies.
And yeah... I have a dedicated dubbing blender (aka coffee grinder) and if I'm making a LARGE batch of dubbing for tying stone fly nymphs by the dozen, I have a dedicated blender and I do the "mix materials with water, add into blender, pour through a strainer, allow to dry on a paper towel" deal... I know, I know... OLD SCHOOL =)