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  1. #1

    Default Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    I've been thinking about tying up some Eng Thengs which is basically a Flash Back Pheasant Tail with yellow biot legs. Its my favorite nymph, I've caught more fish nymphing with that fly in more different places than anything.

    I know a tyer can substitute materials all they want, but since I am new to tying I'm just wondering if you all think using Mr. Peacock Dubbing from Fly Tyers Dungeon would be a good looking substitute for peacock herl. One of the main reasons I'm thinking about subsituting is to I've read and heard in videos that dubbing is often more durable than peacock herl.
    -Tom Wilson
    Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    Hi Tom,

    I took a look at the picture in the link and........Although it is rather a dark exposure it looks as if there is a rib over the peacock herl. I tend toward using what I have before I order some substitute so I would wrap the herls and then use a fine wire rib to give them some tenacity. Unless you have a bunch of brittle peacock they are easier to cut and wrap than dubbing a thread, at least for me they are.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    I tend toward using what I have before I order some substitute
    Hi Ard- I'm the same way, but I am fortunate to have both and the herl I have is nice. I was just thinking out loud and what others thought. Herl as you mentioned is easier than dubbing, but I haven't used the that dub yet. I didn't think about the rib...that does certainly make the herl more durable. -Tom
    -Tom Wilson
    Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.

  4. Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    I would say give it a try. I too have both. I use the Peacock dubbing more and more for the reason you stated...brittle. I still use peacock however, on smaller flies.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    Umpqua Feather Merchants distributes a material called Arizona Synthetic Peacock. It is available in a variety of colors including natural peacock.

    I like to use peacock colored Ice Dub as a substitute for peacock herl. Sometimes I will mix in pearl UV Ice Dub in for an added effect.

    Dennis

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    Quote Originally Posted by Joni View Post
    I would say give it a try. I too have both. I use the Peacock dubbing more and more for the reason you stated...brittle. I still use peacock however, on smaller flies.
    Thanks Joni I'm going to give the Fly Tyers Dungeon (FTD) Peacock dubbing a try on the Eng Theng. Is the FTD Peacock dub the one you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
    Umpqua Feather Merchants distributes a material called Arizona Synthetic Peacock. It is available in a variety of colors including natural peacock.

    I like to use peacock colored Ice Dub as a substitute for peacock herl. Sometimes I will mix in pearl UV Ice Dub in for an added effect.

    Dennis
    Dennis- I do like ice dub I used black on a bunch of brassies I tied up and I think they look real nice.
    -Tom Wilson
    Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    Another thing you can do to make the herl more durable, is wrap your thread around it before wrapping it on the hook, not saying to not use dubbing, I experiment all the time, but I have found that wrapping the thread around works. but then again, so does ribbing the fly with a fine wire or nylon ribbing.

    d

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    I love the ice dubbing materials, and use them quite a bit. I only use them in black, peacock, and green for some reason. Smaller PTN's seem to benefit from the extra translucence of synthetics, and I also add a bit of synthetic peacock dubbing to my hare's ear fur when tying thoraxes on GRHE's. A wee little bit really makes the thorax come to life when wet.

    As for peacock herl itself, I think that using too much at one time can diminish its effect. Tying 5 strands in means 5 stems will be wound around the material, so I go with as few strands as possible. Stroking the herl from the tip to the root of the stem will make the fibers stand out much better, but too much stroking will remove fibers. One or two downward strokes goes a long way, and allows you to use fewer strands.

    P.S. I just looked at the Eng Thing, and should say that I only use synthetic dubbing for smaller thoraxes and collars. A full
    body might look okay, but I use real peacock, usually wound with ribbing or made into a rope with 8/0 thread.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    I use both too. If you look real closely at the colors in peacock herl it's pretty easy to mix your own. Here's a rough recollection to what's in my mix: med tan, and green opposum; a bag of AZ syn peacock (stands were too short and hard to dub so it went in the mix); peacock ice dub; bronze lite brite (use lots of bronze). It made a huge batch, is very easy to dub, and looks close to as good as the real stuff on a fly. IMO, nothing can look as good as the iridescent look of the real thing.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dubbing in Place of Peacock Herl

    Well not to "me too", but... me too. =)

    I've used the synthetics and they look okay, but they haven't fished as well for me. Herl isn't expensive and is easy enuff to tie with, so I prefer to use the real deal. As far as the suggestions for making it stronger, I'll toss in a couple.

    You can use the 'smoke colored' invisible thread found in sewing stores which is an extremely fine monofilament to make a rope out of 2-4 strands of peacock and then wrap these as a single strand. Tie in a length the mono and peacock herls (by their tips), then fold the mono and use a pair of hackle pliers to grab the strands and mono together and twist them together to form a rope. Don't twist it too tightly, or the mono will cut the herl and herls will break before you wrap the rope on the shank.

    On larger flies you can do the same with very fine wire. Making a "brush" like this is more durable than simply ribbing over the herl after wrapping it. You can also apply a thin layer of head cement to the shank before wrapping and this helps make the body more durable.

    Another thought about the ribbing over a herl body- when I do this, I prefer to wrap the rib counter the direction of the herl so the ribs cross the stems in the opposite direction to help keep it from unraveling.

    There was a comment about using too much and it diminishing in effect- this is true if you use the butt end of the strands, but if you tie in from closer to the tips, the stems are much thinner and don't adversely impact the look of the herl as much.

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