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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Meridian, Texas
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    282

    Default substitute for dubbing

    Is there anything I can use other than dubbing for the body of the dry fly such as peacock herl.

  2. #2

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    You bet! There are other things, but be careful, many materials will absorb water more quickly than synthetic dubbing, even when floatant is applied.
    You can try chenille, yarn, peacock herl, or even thin closed cell foam.

    Are you having difficulty with dubbing?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Meridian, Texas
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    Thanks for the reply, John.
    I have less trouble with natural dubbing materials than with such synthetics as antron. I was looking for an easier way to tie the bodies of such flies as stimulators, adams, elk hair caddis, et.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    Hi barham,

    You are new to the site and we don't have a good feel for what experience you have with tying flies. So I need to ask if you have tried a dubbing loop or waxing your thread? Both of these can help dubbing materials. As Fysh suggested, stay away from materials that soak up water.

    Here is a link for how to use a dubbing loop.

    Frank

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,019

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    For dubbing bodies on dries, a little goes a long way. The best thing to do is to use just enough wisps of dubbing to "color" the thread as opposed to making a noodle of dubbing and trying to dub a body with that.

    Synthetic dry fly dubbing with really fine fibers like SuperFine or Fly Rite make this easy and they don't soak up water like some coarser materials like rabbit or hare's ear. They come in a single bag in a variety of colors to match different colors or in 12 color assortments in a dubbing dispenser

    Some of the easiest to use and least expensive alternatives to dubbing:

    peacock herls, and pheasant or turkey tail fibers can be wrapped up the shank to form a body

    moose mane- use both a black and white hair (you'll find some of both in the same package) and wrap them together and you'll end up with a stripped body pike a mosquito

    thread-for small dries say size 18 and smaller, just a body of the tying thread

    Other materials that are used for dry fly bodies but are a bit more difficult to work with:

    "cdc" (cul de canard) feathers can be wrapped up the hook shank

    Hackle quills or stripped peacock quill can be wrapped up the shank to for a dry fly body. Soak the hackle quills in water for a few minutes first to make them easier to work with.

    Turkey or goose "biot" quills from the leading edge of a primary flight feather
    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pinedale, WY
    Posts
    19,011
    Blog Entries
    50

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    barham: The others have offered excellent advice, one thing that I do when not opting to use a dubbing loop is to put a little dubbing wax on my first finger and thumb and then grab a really small piece of dubbing, if you can pull the dubbing fibers out of the package so they align vertically before you twist them on the thread that seems to help also and like Mark says uses a very small amount at a time. It works much better to use small pieces of dubbing and making 2-3 goes at it than it does to use a larger piece and try to do it all at once. It is much easier to add then subtract material.

    Larry
    Larry


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,607

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    It's best just to bite the bullet and learn to dub

    I don't see this ever mentioned but it's easier to get the dubbing to do what you want it to do if you twist it on in the same direction that the thread fibers twist. And that means to twist it on clockwise
    I personally find that motion difficult to do well with my right hand, so I resort to doing it with my left.... and I can't do anything with the left hand.
    I feel your pain
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Upper Mojave Desert
    Posts
    1,823

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    Quote Originally Posted by barham View Post
    I have less trouble with natural dubbing materials than with such synthetics as antron. I was looking for an easier way to tie the bodies of such flies as stimulators, et.
    Many times I have used antron yarn (bright yellow and fl. orange) for bodies on Stimulators. I also use it for Lime Trudes.
    I agree with the others about perfecting dubbing skills. It just gives you more options like fine tappered bodies, etc.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    I think the "just enough to color the thread" advice is spot on. Most of the problems with dubbing come from overloading the thread and trying to wrap a body with dubbing that's either loose of not fully attached to the thread. You can always go back and add more dubbing, if you haven't colored your thread enough on the first pass. If you can just about see it in your fingers, then that's probably just about the right amount to dub onto the thread.

    And, generally, to get a really hairy, buggy dubbed body, you don't need more dubbing, you need a different kind of dubbing.

    Pocono

  10. #10

    Default Re: substitute for dubbing

    Another option with wax is to get just a smidgen on your finger tips, rub your hands and finger tips together quickly to create friction and heat. The wax will melt, adding just enough "tackiness" to your finger tips to help you dub easier. Dry rough skin does not help in the dubbing process!

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