We just finished up a great couple weeks at Alaska West with our good friend, professional fly designer/tyer, and Deneki blog contributor, Stuart Foxall. As you might expect, he showed us a few things, and today we thought we’d share one of those things with you.
As a commercial fly tyer, speed is critical to being able to turn out quality flies in a timely manner. Its also critical for guides who appreciate a good nights sleep as opposed to early morning tying sessions. Thus, when Stu shares one of his shortcuts he uses to spin beautiful and durable flies as quickly as possible, needless to say, we listen.
Stuart Foxall on Scruffy Dubbing
I see a lot of tyers struggle for an age with dubbing loops to create shaggy bodies and dubbing balls. Here’s a really quick way of getting more or less the same effect with half the effort!
First attach dubbing by twisting around a well waxed thread using your thumb and index finger. This will create a ‘rope’ of dubbing which can be wrapped as a body or a dubbing ball.
Here, we’ve wrapped in our dubbing as a body and added a short length of silver tinsel. Wrap the tinsel over the body to protect the dubbing body (no need to do this with a dubbing ball). Don’t cut off the excess ribbing yet.
With a strip of Velcro or coarse dubbing brush, scrub that dubbing to death! The reason we haven’t cut off the rubbing is if it slips at this point and pulls out loose it would be too short to tie in properly again.
Notice how scruffy the body looks now. We have essentially increased the profile and ‘buggy’ nature of our fly in much the same way that a dubbing loop would with half the effort. The same technique can be used to increase the profile of dubbing balls for a more substantial prop as well!