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Post by hankaye » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:04 pm

Howdy All;

Think I may have placed my HOOKS query in the wrong Forum, maybe it should be here?


Ruard's post of his #8 is the provoker of this question.

As a beginner, should I attempt to mix my own dubbing or should I get some generic.
A.) If Generic which is the one that YOU would choose.
1). Multi pack or individual
2). Who's? (supplier)
B.) If 'DIY' what (supplier), and how (heard about the coffee mill, so what else do YOU recommend), do YOU do it?

As always, Thanks to YOU all;
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Re: Dubbing

Post by Soft-hackle » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:34 pm

Hi hank,
Mixing your own is much better and you can vary the mix. Hare's masks are not expensive, and the fur from various places on the mask gives different appearances and colorations. Nowadays, they have masks dyed in various colors, which makes them even more versatile. Recently, I purchased a bleached one, and I think it's beautiful. You don't absolutely need a coffee mill, although it's probably better for mixing large batches. I. however, prefer to mix by gently pulling the the hair with my thumbs and forefingers, repeatedly. To me, preserves the length of the hair, which I find desirable. Mixing in the grinder may cut the hair fibers.

Of course there are other great dubbings as well like mole-again, now available in different colors. Fox squirrel is great as well and is quite spikey.

Many tiers prefer to use colored dubbings which are loosely mixed of various colors. This, in my opinion, is also very desirable and natural and better than one color dubbings. Look at some of the great flies, posted recently, with their multicolored dubbing mixes. These are wonderful and alive.

For a start, you could try a ready mixed dubbing like natural Hare's Ear from Hare Line. It'll work fine, but there's nothing like mixing your own.

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Re: Dubbing

Post by wayneb » Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:37 pm

Hi Hank;

If you've never used dubbing before, I suggest you try several different types to see what is easiest for you to get initial success with. For me when first starting, I found rabbit dubbing easiest at first then followed by other natural dubbing such as squirrell, etc. It gets easier with practice and you can progress to more challenging blends.

Again, making your own dubbing isn't that difficult, especially using a coffee bean grinder. Again start with something simple and/or a recipie found online. Once you get the hang of it, experimenting can be a lot of fun.

Hope this helped;

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Re: Dubbing

Post by Ruard » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:32 am

Hi Hank,

If you start with rabbit zonkerstrips you can collect quite a lot of colors and rabbit is not difficult to dub on a thread. Mixing long fibers and very short fobers makes it difficult. The fibers of rabbit are soft and of the correct lenght. If you dont have a grinder you can use a little glas can with a lid on it: put in the different hais and colors, shake it for a while, dry it and you have a new blend.

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Re: Dubbing

Post by GlassJet » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:41 am

Soft-hackle wrote: For a start, you could try a ready mixed dubbing like natural Hare's Ear from Hare Line. It'll work fine, but there's nothing like mixing your own.

I would second that - a natural Hare's mask is a must - trout cannot resist hare's ear!

Then there are loads - synthetic dubbin mixes and all sorts.

Seal's fur in varying colours is good too. Used a lot in Irish dressings, which I am very into at the moment.

One of the best I am using at the moment is dyed Argentinian Hare's Ear. I got my selection box from here:
http://www.flytyingboutique.com/store/D ... ProdID=143

The dyes they use are natural dyes and the colours are absolutely beautiful. Again, blend the colours - just a touch with natural hare's ear makes all the difference. And it catches fish. ;) I really can recommend this dubbin - lovely to work with. The above is a UK supplier btw - but sure someone will know somewhere that stocks it in the States?

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Re: Dubbing

Post by skunkaroo » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:09 pm

Dubbing, eh?

Well. I would second the recommendation about starting with rabbit fur. It is by far the easiest to dub and in neutral colours makes a good binding agent for more complicated blends. You'll want "natural" colours to start with--tans, greys, browns. Later you can start adding a few dyed colours into the collection, but start with the basics.

Once you've got the basics down and you feel comfortable with the whole process, you can start getting adventuresome. I would look at adding squirrel (the next easiest to use), and hare's mask. Both of these will impart texture into your dubbings. If you have trouble with either you can always add a pinch of rabbit as a binding agent.

Now solid colours and single source dubbings are very versatile, but there are very few things in nature that are uniformly "seal brown #33", so you'll want to start blending colours and materials. The easiest way to do this is to blend by hand--i.e. pinch both materials together in one hand and draw the material in pinches with the other repeating until the two (or three, or four) are suitably blended. If you decide you've got the perfect blend and you want to do it in bulk, get yourself the coffee grinder and mix up a batch. Here's a tip: whether you're doing it by hand or in a grinder try and make sure all the fibres are approximately the same length--they will blend better and you'll avoid balling or twisting (particularly with the grinder).

Because we're mostly purists here, I shudder to recommend it, but you can use (gasp!) synthetics. There are several manufacturers out there that produce good synthetic dubbing material, and don't be afraid to pick up a pack or two to experiment with. Just keep in mind that the synthetics will melt if over-heated and lose some of there properties (such as reflective shine) if stretched--good to know if you're using them in a blender.

Here's a little off the cuff table for ease of use. Others might rearrange and add a few, but this is just a starter:

  • Soft furs (Rabbit, Squirrel, Fox underfur, etc.)
  • Polyester based (soft) synthetics
  • Textured Soft Furs (Hare's Mask/Ear, Pig, Horse, etc.)
  • Antron based (hard) Synthetics
  • Shredded mylars (holotinsel, angel hair, etc.)
  • Hard Furs (seal, polar bear, etc.)
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Re: Dubbing

Post by hankaye » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:18 pm

WOW ... great replies. Awsome advise.
Thank YOU ALL ...Keep those cards an letters commin' ...
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Re: Dubbing

Post by letumgo » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:42 pm

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Re: Dubbing

Post by William Anderson » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:52 am

My favorites are mole, mink, hare's ear, fox, pine squirrel, beaver and kangaroo. All very inexpensive and easy to find. I remember about 7 years ago when I started collecting dubbing and I was really trying to narrow down what it was I was going to need/use the most and Jim Slattery said "what are you trying to limit your collection for? collecting hides is half the fun." It was nice to get permission to stock pile enough fur to keep an eskimo family warm. It's fun.

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