Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby Bazzer69 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:34 pm

How do you guys blend your dubbing! I tried issuing a coffee blender but the wool just matted up in to a lot of small balls. :lol:
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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby wsbailey » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:40 pm

An old time fly tyer showed me how it used to be done. He held the dubbing between his thumb and forefinger and brushed it away from himself with a toothbrush. He said it removed the "shorts" from the dubbing. The "shorts" are what end up as little balls of fiber.
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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby daringduffer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:30 pm

I have some Australian opossum that is very close to the lemon spaniel as shown on my screen from this link:http://www.flyleaves.dk/tup%27s_indispensable.htm

Image


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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby Bazzer69 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:39 am

Anyone know of a source of a original fly or some dubbing so I can get a forensic lab to figure out the exact recipe?
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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby Tom Smithwick » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:28 am

There is a humorous anecdote about Vincent Marinaro in Harms and Whittle's book "Split and Glued by Vincent Marinaro". The book is about rod building, but Vince was also well known as an innovative fly tyer. It seems he became interested in the Tups pattern, and wanted to experiment with the exact, original dubbing. He located an Amish farmer who had the proper variety of ram and made a deal for the fur. So the farmer held the ram down while Vince went to work with the shears, enduring an all but unbearable stench. The ram bleated with embarrassment, the farmer laughed uncontrollably, and the farmer's young son stood dumbstruck with astonishment at the antics of the crazy "Englishman".
The book was illustrated by Kim Mellema, who does the outstanding logo work for the Catskill's Rodmakers annual meeting. The illustration below did not make it into the book, and I wound up with it. I hope it brings a bit of humor into your day.

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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby wsbailey » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:59 am

Bazzer69 wrote:Anyone know of a source of a original fly or some dubbing so I can get a forensic lab to figure out the exact recipe?


You're kidding, right? I already posted a link to a well researched recipe.
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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby Bazzer69 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:26 pm

wsbailey wrote:
Bazzer69 wrote:Anyone know of a source of a original fly or some dubbing so I can get a forensic lab to figure out the exact recipe?


You're kidding, right? I already posted a link to a well researched recipe.

According to the quote from a member a couple of posts ago Molly Sweet introduced the Lemon Spaniel in 1965. Hence my confusion and my quest to verify the original ingredients.
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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby wsbailey » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:19 pm

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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby PhilA » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:28 pm

The history of the Tup's Indispensable is very well chronicled, largely by G.E.M. Skues. The following is from a brief history that I wrote almost 10 years ago, but nothing has changed...

The Tup's Indispensable was designed by R.S. Austin, a merchant and fly tyer of Tiverton, England. Austin developed the Tup's around 1900 to imitate a specific mayfly spinner, and he called the fly The Red Spinner at the time. Author G.E.M. Skues introduced Tup's Indispensables to the world through his writings. Skues corresponded with Austin, experimented with both dry and wet versions of the fly, and even suggested its current snappy name to Austin. Skues' praise for the Tup's brought notoriety to both the fly and to Austin. Theodore Gordon, Eugene Connett, James Leisenring, and other 20th century American authors similarly praised its magic. They all credited its success to properties of Austin's dubbing.

Austin shared the recipe for his dubbing blend with only two people, C.A. Hassam and G.E.M. Skues. This secrecy was part of the fly's allure. If you wanted genuine Tup's Indispensables – and Skues' writings insured that you would – Austin was the only source. Secrecy didn't deter others from attempting to guess the ingredients, and many absurd creations were marketed as the real thing. They were all wrong, however, and Austin himself supplied the only authentic Tup's Indispensables. Tying them became somewhat of an Austin family industry, but success carried a price. Austin tired of tying such large numbers of one fly, and he once confided to Skues that his local river "stank of Tup's Indispensables from [its headwaters] to the sea". After Austin died in 1911 and after his daughter retired from fly tying in 1934, the Austin family gave Skues permission to publish for posterity the dubbing recipe. Skues revealed the magic in a 1934 article published in the journal of The Fly Fisher's Club of London.


Rather than copy that article here, have a look at a post on the Classic Fly Rod Forum by "Ken M 44" in 2008 (http://classicflyrodforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=7721&start=20). Proportions of the ingredients are not listed in Skues' article, but the components of Austin's secret dubbing and Skues' modifications of the recipe are described in detail. For example, Skues substituted Austin's red mohair with red seal's fur.

Thanks to the generosity of "narcodog" for the most elusive of Tup's ingredients and to an acquaintance of the spaniel persuasion, my attempts to recreate the magic are...

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Last edited by PhilA on Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rams Scrotum wool for Tups Dubbing, it really exists!

Postby Bazzer69 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:36 pm

Looks like this has been beaten to death over on the Classic rod Forum. I might add that the Barry mentioned and who has posted there is not me! But I would still like to obtain some dubbing from the early 1900’s. A impossible task? Yes I imagine it is but there is no harm in trying
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