Originally Posted by dean_mt
Dave Hughes is one of my other favorite fly tier / writers. I have adopted many of his wet fly techniques. But I have to say I am not familiar with this spinning block devise you have. Can you explain the method of twisting? When use dubbing loops its always just right on the hook, and it works great, but I can see how having a set of pre-fabbed threads would be a lot more efficient.
Leisenring made it a point to pre-spin, and store all of his bodies… of course his method was to roll them on his pants leg which he describes in detail in his book. According to Dave Hughes' book, Leisenring's "student" Pete Hidy took this action off the pants leg and onto this spinning block. Basically you just need about a 5-6" piece of wood (notched in the center on the lower end), a couple pairs of finish nails (to line up the thread), and something to pinch down the thread (I stretched a material clip – spring – across the top of mine).
-1) Catch the thread in the material clip and run it the length of the block, between the finish nails.
-2) Roll out some more thread (a little more than what would be needed to stretch back to the clip) and let it hang in the bobbin off the block – resting in the notch.
-3) Take some super tacky wax and blot it on the thread – both in the working area, and on the part hanging off the block.
-4) Now take a small amount of your dubbing material, prepare it, and place it flat on top of the thread stretched between the nails)… spread it out about 2-3 inches.
-5) Now in your left hand, take a "hook type" dubbing loop tool (many of these are home made as well) and hook the hanging thread just below the block… then with your right hand, swing the bobbin up and bring the thread down between the nails (pinching the material between the two threads) and place it in the material clip.
-6) Now spin the loop tool a few times and then pick it up out of the notch in the wood while maintaining slight tension… this will twist the material into a perfect dubbing rope.
-7) Now grab both ends of the threaded loop and remove it from the block – maintaining tension – and then place it onto an index card with slits cut on each end. In time the wax will set nicely and you will have a virtually indestructible body.
Pre-spinning the bodies accomplishes two things; first, it reduces the time required to tie these flies, but secondly (and most important) it virtually guarantees that the material will be captured perfectly between the two strands of thread before twisting it into a rope.
Not sure if I described it sensibly here or not, but Dave Hughes goes into great detail on this subject in his book Wet Flies
. Outside of Leisenring's The Art of Tying the Wet Fly
– which is the soft hackle Bible as far as I'm concerned – Dave Hughes' book is the best I've seen/read on the subject of tying/fishing soft hackles.
Hope this helps...