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  1. #11

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    Get a single edge razor blade or and exacto knife to cut materials off of your practice flies. You can reuse the hooks.

    One of the most difficult skills is dubbing. You can practice that with homemade dubbing.

    First is obtaining the materials.

    Natural fur is composed of two kinds of hair. The fine hair is the under fur and the longer hair is called guard hair.



    The underfur is used for dry flies and a mixture of underfur and guard hair is used for nymph dubbing. So for dry fly dubbing you must hold onto the guard hair with one hand as you nip the fur next to the skin with your other hand and then pull the soft under fur away from the guard hairs. If you are making nymph dubbing you can use a much of the guard hairs you want to make the rough. spiky dubbing.

    You can also use snips of yarn to make dubbing buy cutting short pieces of yarn, then using a comb to separate the fibers. You can use different yarn colors and consistencies.

    Then you must mix the dubbing to get the random fiber placement and colors. You can use all synthetic, all animal fur, or mix a combination.

    There are 4 ways of mixing dubbing. By hand, by mixing in soap and water, by mixing in a blade coffee grinder and finally with air turbulence (automotive air hose, or canned air in a closed container).

    It’s the perfect rainy day project, combat premature dubbing loss with Mohair | Singlebarbed

    Mix your own dubbing | Global FlyFisher | Making your own or improving store bought dubbing. I recommend that all dubbing be passed through a coffee or spice grinder prior to using. The grinder tends to separate and air out the fibres providing a lighter product than would be normally accomplished by just using the blend out of the bag.

    Fly Tying: A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial by Dennis Shaw – the limp cobra



    Here is how I dub:

    Dubbing
    Last edited by silver creek; 09-16-2017 at 09:28 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Wyanet, IL
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    That's good stuff Silver!

    And the info in that "Complete Dubbing Techniques" is great.

    Harry
    9' 5wt. outfit. Now also a used 9' 8wt outfit.
    Brand new to fly fishing. Full of ridiculous questions. But I want to learn.

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  5. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Isle of Lewis, UK.
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    Harry, Silver's spot on about re-using the hooks on flies you (or the fish!) don't like. Hooks are an essential aspect of fly tying. Their shape, weight and quality all matter from a fishing point of view. Have a look on line at the vast range now available to us, read the recipes for the flies you intend to make and buy a couple of dozen of the appropriate shape and in a couple of sizes if relevant to that pattern.

    I'd not recommend skimping on cheaper hooks - buy from a respected maker. You're going to put time and a little money into making and fishing them so to suddenly find they're soft or brittle or blunt would be soul-destroying.

    If you strip down old flies you have already fished check them well for sharpness and strength before starting and discard any which aren't perfect.

    Have a look at Davie McPhail's videos on YouTube. He is very clear, as is the camera work. While I doubt his Atlantic salmon fly tutorials will be of any relevance to you check one or two out for technique - it's often easier to see (and do!) on a big fly than a wee one. There are quite a few patterns there I'm sure will work well for you like the foam Daddy. Hell, I'd eat one of them!

    Btw, flytie09 mentions Sally Hanson's Hard As Nails. It's a nail varnish many of us use to finish the heads and comes in a small bottle with a nylon brush applicator. Some like to cut this back a bit to make a more precise tool for our purposes. Also, if I'm tying a fly with a tinsel body I'll often give that a coat or two for protection from sharp teeth, prior to tying in the upper body. These days there are many strong, plasticated tinsels on the market but the older metal tinsel gets lacerated easily and some flies get destroyed by the first fish to attack it - a bit peeving if it's a minnow!

    Best of luck with it. I've got to say, fly tying opens up a whole new world in fly fishing, several worlds, in fact, and there's great satisfaction in catching fish on a pattern of your own making - and invention.
    And you'll never look at kid's plush toys in the same way again!

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  7. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Atlanta/West Yellowstone
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    I own more fly tying books than anyone should need, but the Craven book is the best one.

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  9. #15

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    If you are going to get serious about fly tying, I suggest 2 books. the first is the one you mentioned, which is Ted Leeson's and Jim Schollmeyer's, The Fly Tiers Benchside Reference. This is a reference book which means it shows various methods of performing the steps in tying flies. It is NOT a beginners book and so it is NOT the first book you should buy. If you want it, it is listed below.

    The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference: Ted Leeson, Jim Schollmeyer: 9781571881267: Amazon.com: Books

    The first book you should use is a beginner's guide. Charlie Cravens is the most recent and is very good. It is probably the best, but Charlie has his idiosyncracies. He is right handed but ties left handed. Ignore his suggestion that you do the same.

    Amazon.com: Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying: Modern Techniques for Flies That Catch Fish eBook: Charlie Craven: Kindle Store

    It is cheaper here:

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/cha.../2677864122292

    The basic tying book I used was Fling and Puterbaugh, The Basic Manual of Fly Tying. It is simpler than Craven's. Both may be in your library.

    The Basic Manual Of Fly-Tying: Fundamentals Of Imitation: Paul N. Fling, Donald L. Puterbaugh, Nick Lyons: 9780806986548: Amazon.com: Books
    Last edited by silver creek; 09-17-2017 at 12:33 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  11. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Wyanet, IL
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    Thank you folks.

    I've bookmark a couple more fly tying web pages and added to my list of recommended books.

    Harry
    9' 5wt. outfit. Now also a used 9' 8wt outfit.
    Brand new to fly fishing. Full of ridiculous questions. But I want to learn.

  12. #17

    Default Re: What kind of materials can I use to practice tying flies?

    Man if you don’t have the funds to buy much stuff, you can still learn. When I was about 10 I got a vise, and we didn’t have money to buy the “ fly tying stuff”. And I used sewing thread ( there are some thinner shinny ones) feathers from birds I shot,or found dead, rabbit and deer hair ( tyed a lot of bass bugs, frogs, muddler minnows) from hunting. Used rit dye my mom had to dye hair and feathers. You just have to use your imagination, i didn’t have any problems catching fish on them either.

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