Adding dubbing - what’s the secret?

Armitage Shanks

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Just started tying a month or so ago and it’s mostly going well. Just one problem - how do I get dubbing to stick? If I try and twirl it around a single, waxed thread it doesn’t seem to bite and if I try and twist into a doubled thread loop, I can’t manage to get it to bind. What’s the trick?
 
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Hi like you i had the same problem, only advise i can give is less than half of what you are trying to put on your thread i had watched many videos on dubbing and they all have the same denominator running through their video what ever you are tying to put on cut that amount in half at least
good luck :)
 
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Hi like you i had the same problem, only advise i can give is less than half of what you are trying to put on your thread i had watched many videos on dubbing and they all have the same denominator running through their video what ever you are tying to put on cut that amount in half at least
good luck :)
O and only twist in one direction don't twist back and for and yes as Roadrunner said light lick of the thumb and finger will sort you out :)
 

BobP

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Step 1. Take a pinch of your selected dubbing material.
Step 2. Halve it.
Step 3. Halve it again.
Step 4. Dub onto hook.

Joking apart, dubbing is one of the more difficult tying methods both as regards assessing the amount of material you need and getting it to stick onto the tying thread.

Practice first with soft materials like rabbit, or hare. The method I use and have been doing for well over 40 years is as follows: damp your finger & thumb - a quick lick is enough. Pick up the material between that finger & thumb, but don't make it into a ball but have it spread out. Apply the material to the thread and twist once. That should be enough to get a grip on the tying thread and now you grip the top end of the material and begin to twist your finger & thumb together with the material between them in ONE direction only. Work down the thread and dubbing spindle.

Now begin to wind the fur onto the hook. If it begins to look a bit loose stop winding and twist the material again between your finger & thumb to tighten it up.

Once you have got the hang of soft materials you can begin on harder and more springy materials like seal fur.

If using a dubbing spinner the best are the Darrel Martin type that are quite heavy and have two spring arms with a hook on the end. To use this, and I do it a lot, extend the thread from bobbin to hook to about 6-7". Holding the bobbin in the right hand place your left forefinger on the thread about half way down. Keeping that hand still wind the thread over the hook a couple of times to the right of the loop you are forming and make sure that one turn at least goes to the left. This will secure the loop. Now hook the spinner into the loop making sure both hooks are engaged. Place your selected material into the loop and spread it our a bit. Once it is in just spin the spinner as often as you need to form a tight rope. Wind on, tie in and secure. Cut off the spare.

While you are learning how to dub the various materials forget about tying complete flies and just concentrate on the dubbing.
 

Wee Jimmy

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Just started tying a month or so ago and it’s mostly going well. Just one problem - how do I get dubbing to stick? If I try and twirl it around a single, waxed thread it doesn’t seem to bite and if I try and twist into a doubled thread loop, I can’t manage to get it to bind. What’s the trick?
As well as following the above advice you should try user friendly dubbing materials such as mole or rabbit at first until you get into the swing of it.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I find rubbing a spot of moisturising cream into my fingertips gives much better traction than licking them. ;) It wants to be a non-greasy type. Vaseline 'Intensive Care' is pretty good.

Col
 

wobbly face

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Some threads take dubbing better than others, gel spun can be a pain. Also get some soft tacky type wax. You only need a bit smeared on the thread and wipe any excess from your finger and thumb before picking up dubbing. Don't use with soft dubbing as it can ball up but is good with seal and spikey dubbings. Once you get the hang of dubbing, you'll probably won't need any wax.
If you watch Davie Mc you'll see him using a patch of wax that's on his finger.
 

doobrysnatcher

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addin to all that above i find when after twisting your noodle of fur on to the thread you should give a light turn over the section of hook you want to dub to create an anchor point then continue making your noodle and wrap as needed if its coming off the thread just re anchor it
 

LukeNZ

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The most effective way to dub in my experience, irrespective of skill level, is to use a Norvise - if you do a lot of dubbing (nymphs, flymphs, traditional wets, etc,.).

For those familiar dubbing using Norvise they will already be aware - but basically you put the bobbin over the opposite rest to the vice, with the thread on the vice/hook centerline.

Then spin the vice and just touch the edge of your dubbing material onto the rapidly spinning thread; the thread grabs the dubbing and you continue to run the dubbing down the spinning thread for the length of dubbing rope you require. Gives really even and well trapped dubbing rope. Better than you can do consistently using normal/traditional method.

I use a Regal Revolution as my main vice - as I tie mainly streamer variants, but - if I need a dozen PT nymphs, or Hare’s Ear flmphs etc,. in a flash; then the Norvice can’t be beaten for its efficiency, accuracy and quality of repetition.

Will see if I can add a video of dubbing method below..


 
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Wee Jimmy

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Some threads take dubbing better than others, gel spun can be a pain. Also get some soft tacky type wax. You only need a bit smeared on the thread and wipe any excess from your finger and thumb before picking up dubbing. Don't use with soft dubbing as it can ball up but is good with seal and spikey dubbings. Once you get the hang of dubbing, you'll probably won't need any wax.
If you watch Davie Mc you'll see him using a patch of wax that's on his finger.
Actually Davie prefers not to use wax for dubbing.
 
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The most effective way to dub in my experience, irrespective of skill level, is to use a Norvise - if you do a lot of dubbing (nymphs, flymphs, traditional wets, etc,.).

For those familiar dubbing using Norvise they will already be aware - but basically you put the bobbin over the opposite rest to the vice, with the thread on the vice/hook centerline.

Then spin the vice and just touch the edge of your dubbing material onto the rapidly spinning thread; the thread grabs the dubbing and you continue to run the dubbing down the spinning thread for the length of dubbing rope you require. Gives really even and well trapped dubbing rope. Better than you can do consistently using normal/traditional method.

I use a Regal Revolution as my main vice - as I tie mainly streamer variants, but - if I need a dozen PT nymphs, or Hare’s Ear flmphs etc,. In a flash, then the Norvice can’t be beaten for its efficiency, accuracy and repetition.

Will see if I can add a video of dubbing method below..


great video never seen that one before, i have a stonfo elite i might do the same (will try tomorrow)
 

Hardrar

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Yes, less is more !! Also, lightly moisten your thumb and forefinger before twisting around the thread
Agreed, moisten thumb and forefinger- but also types of thread matters- the modern synthetics have their uses and are budget friendly, but nothing beats pure silk, I only use Pearsalls or Veniards. For flat bodies, then Rayon.
What thread you using?
 

delray

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Armitage Shanks; thanks for asking this; I've been on this 'technique' today for at least 3 hours and have got nowhere, in the end questioning if the stuff in the packet was indeed a dubbing material, and of course the more frustrated you get, the worse you get. A few days in and so far all I've mastered (I call it mastered) is tying in the thread and using a whip finish tool, and what a performance that was. If anybody wants to order a squirmy wormy for October let me know.
 

taffy1

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As has already been mentioned, very little & often, sweaty palms/hands does help, trapping the first part of your dubbing against the shank of the hook & continuing the process is also good advice.
 

Hardrar

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A lot of the synthetic “dubbing” material simply isn’t any good. I gather most of my own materials except silk, jungle cock, tungsten beads and hooks. 99% of stuff sold for fly tying, is pure fad and a waste of a lot of your hard money.
What is the dubbing you’re trying to use?
Rabbit, Hares mask and Mole are three of the easiest to dub onto silk thread.
Don’t “tie in” squirmy worm material. Either build a “ pip” of thread and Uv resin, at the rear of the hook and skewer it on, or bind two loops of elastic band onto the shank, that you can open up with scissors to thread replacement squirmy material on with.
 
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