I've been looking around online for more supplies, dubbing in particular. It seems as though there are many many different types of dubbing. So my question is.... Is there a particular type of dubbing that will be a good "general purpose" to start with?
We haven't gotten that far in the instruction in the tying class that I just started, but a few of the instructors were showing their tying kits at the first class, and a couple of them were carrying the 12-color kits: JS Fly Fishing: Rod Building, Fly Tying: Hareline Ice Dub Not sure WHICH kits they had (one had at least two of them)...
I was going to look for the same at the Somerset, NJ show.
A good general dubbing is just regular hares ear dubbing in various colors, or hares ear plus (the plus has a bit of sparkle to it)
The ice dubbing is great for certain stuff, but for more traditional flies, which i guess you guys will be tying at the classes, hares ear is fine.
Awesome possum is good too, a bit softer than hares ear, with longer guard hairs, it will give a more buggy look to your flies.
Basically, any soft natural fur is good for dubbing, as you can see from the species the dubbing in the various kits are from.
The boxes are a pretty good deal as you'll have to tie a lot of flies to run out of one color.
Look around your local fly shops too. I came across awesome possum packets for .87c each in my local so i bought up 7 or 8 colors. You can never have enough fly tying materials in my opinion.
Even though I have heaps of Packets & Containers of different Dubbing Materials,I mainly use Floss,Synthetic Wool,Patches/Fur on The Skins,Mohair Wool because I don't end up with as much mess if I strip the Dubbing directly off as I need it.
I bought a Wapsi 12 color Antron box from Cabelas. That's sorta my standard. It may be a little shiny for some dries, but it's inexpensive, a variety of colors and it's easy to learn to dub. You can always mix in other textures, more shine, longer fibers etc.
P.S. Free nylon dubbing in assorted colors at your local carpet warehouse. Mix the color you want, chop the fibers to the required length. Look around where they cut the capets to size.
For dries I like a fine synthetic dubbing like Super Fine- it's available in two different 12 color assortments in dubbing box for around $16 or individual color packets. The synthetics don't wick up water and just a wisp of it will make a nice slim body.
For nymphs and wets i like something a bit coarser-- mostly i just use a natural Hare's Mask, but Haretron or Haretron Plus (with some synthetic flashy material added) is popular.
For someone just starting out and tying traditional patterns, I'd get a natural Hare's mask for nymphs and then a 12 color Superfine Assortment for dries (since there are 2 different Superfine assortments I'd get the one with black, brown, blue dun, blue wing olive, amber, light cahill, mahogany, brown olive, adams gray, olive, pale evening dun, and hendrickson pink to start)
A natural color mask will have several shades of earth tones/colors you can pick from.
I'll echo Fontinalis, JoJer and Peregrines: I like the super-fine assortment too for dries - I've had that same container of a dozen colors for probably a dozen years! It doesn't take much to dub a #14 dry fly. For nymphs, go with the Haretron, the addition of Antron is rarely rarely going to be a hindrance but way more often the "brightness" of the yarn adds attraction. Antron is a proven fish attractor. And like Mark said: a natural mask covers the time you want a drab, natural looking fly.
The Containers of Dubbing are available in many of the different types of Dubbing,I've seen them for $11.99 - $14.99.
The Ice Dubbing from Hareline which comes in many colours is a good product especially The Peacock colours.