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Old 03-12-2013, 03:18 PM
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Default Dubbing ?

I've always thought dubbing was dubbing basically. I know it comes in differant materials; but, now I've seen the plastic boxes with about a dozen differant colors labeled "Dry Fly Dubbing" and a differant box labled "Nymph Fly Dubbing." What is the actual differance?
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

Good question, I am anxious to hear responses. Possibly the amount of water absorbed by such dubbing? I do not think I would want my dry fly dubbing to be quick to sink like I look for in my nymphs. That is just a guess though.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

super fine dry fly dubbing is waterproof other dubbing is just rabbit fur wich sinks faster.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

Dry dubbing is often very fine which helps it hold less water and keeps it floating high

Nymph dubbing is usually buggier.. meaning it'll include guard hairs and such to give it a more dynamic and buggier profile
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

Before there was the proliferation of synthetic dubbings that are now available, dry flies were primarily tied with the fur from animals such as Muskrat, Beaver, Otter or Mink, that contained natural oils which aided in keeping out the water & helped float them. The same furs could be used for nymphs as well, but plenty of weight had to be added to over come the tendency to float. Some materials also trap air better than others, so that helps with flotation too.

Rabbit, of course is an excellent dubbing for sinking flies, as it absorbs water readily, and there are other furs that do the same. When furs that did not float well were used to tie floating flies, they needed floatants added to the fly to aid in keeping them floating.

Basically, if you're selecting dubbings, or mixing your own, you'll want buoyant materials for floating flies & those that sink for sinking flies. There are now many blends that do both, and many colors.

As the others have said, texture is often a good indication of what a dubbing can be used for, but is not the only criteria nor does it guarantee the dubbing is suitable for a particular use.

If you're buying it, going with how it's labelled will usually result in the desired effect.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

Already got good advice.Some synthetic dubbings are now treated with special products to make them float.I use hare's hair/ears both for emergers and nymphs it works great,there are also some CDC dubbings you can use for dries.Just my two cents
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
Dry dubbing is often very fine which helps it hold less water and keeps it floating high

Nymph dubbing is usually buggier.. meaning it'll include guard hairs and such to give it a more dynamic and buggier profile
+1 to the above. For those of you who want more detail:

Before synthetics, we had only natural furs.

Some furs like sheep had only a single type of "hair" or fiber. And depending on source, again like sheep, some animals have natural oils that are good for dry fly dubbing because it came with a natural floatant. Fur from animals that lived in water such as beaver and muskrat also were thought to be good for dry flies. Tanning and processing removed the natural oils but the belief persists.

Other animals like muskrat, beaver, rabbit, etc have both underfur and guard hairs. Underfur is the fur closest to the skin and is soft and fine making ti great for dry flies that need fine and long fibers to make a smooth tapered body. Under fur is usually of a flat color.

Guard hairs are the longer, stiffer, and shinier so a dubbing mixture that had both the underfur and guard hair would be used for nymphs to give a rougher and spikier body.

There were other special furs taken from specific parts of animals such as hare's ear, which was take from the "mask" of an English hare. The mask is the face. This is the origin of the original "hare's ear" fly.

Click the image to open in full size.

A hare's mask has spiky mottled colors, and makes for a great fly for those of you that wand to try the real thing. Hare's mask dubbing could be mixed with other furs to make nymph dubbing. I presume this is also the source for the name for the Hareline Dubbing .

Another spiky natural fur is squirrel and it is used for many nymphs such as Dave Whitlock's red fox squirrel nymph.

These two furs, hare and squirrel were common sources of nymph dubbing.

For the adams dry fly dubbing I still use muskrat underfur which is a perfect adams grey. I pull off the guard hair before trimming the fur from the hide. There is a special tool called a dubbing rake that can be use to rake and mix the fur right off of the the tanned hide.

Click the image to open in full size.

Of the natural furs, white rabbit was the most common source of dry fly dubbing because it could be dyed and tanned. White rabbit fur was available from commercial rabbits raised for food. Gary Borger's book Naturals has specific formulas using Rit to dye white rabbit fur the colors to match insects.

Other furs such as mink, otter, red fox, etc can be used and were sometimes specified for famous patterns such as the Art Flicks's Hendrickson pattern using the pink urine stained underbelly fur from a female (vixen) red fox. In the days when I started fly tying, I followed patterns to the "T" and bought a female red fox pelt for the pale pink urine stained underbelly fur.

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockriver View Post
I've always thought dubbing was dubbing basically. I know it comes in differant materials; but, now I've seen the plastic boxes with about a dozen differant colors labeled "Dry Fly Dubbing" and a differant box labled "Nymph Fly Dubbing." What is the actual differance?
Flytier and I keep posting this link...

Almost EVERYTHING one needs to know about DUBBING...

UKFlyDressing - Dubbing Techniques

Bookmark it !!!

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Old 03-13-2013, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

I don't even know where to start with the thanks on this one. I feel like i just received my PhD. in dubbing. I appriciate all the great information guys. Thank you.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Dubbing ?

No kidding? I received some MAJOR schooling reading these posts. Thanks all!
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