Combining materials in a 'twist'

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Hans Weilenmann
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Combining materials in a 'twist'

Post by Hans Weilenmann » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:26 am

I posted a pattern I named Dirty Spider to the Dressings section, in which the hackle and the dubbed thorax material were twisted before wrapping the result around the hook shank. I find many useful applications for this generic approach across a range of patterns.

Dirty Spider

The image/recipe posting to another forum prompted a question to expand a little on the technique. I am pasting my response here.

I find the twisted technique quite useful across a range of patterns, and using a variety of material combinations. One can achieve excellent results, and the flies end up very durable even when incorporating traditionally deemed rather fragile materials.

This Dirty Spider uses a quite basic format of the 'twist' and I imagine you will have little problem understanding and replicating.

Run thread from eye to bend, tie in tail and form the dubbed abdomen. Select an appropriately sized starling feather, remove the lower 'fluff' leaving you only the barbs you plan to use. For a sparser look, strip one side. In the fly as shown I have left the barbs on both sides of the stem.

Stroke the barbs perpendicular to the stem, and tie in the feather by the tip just in front of the abdomen. Return the thread to the feather tie-in point.

Apply some dubbing to the thread and form a slender noodle, and push the noodle up the thread until it touches the shank. If you make sure the noodle is just slightly longer than the section of feather you will use, this will allow you to build a small head of dubbing in front of the hackle turns. (An alternative approach would be to split the thread, to insert some dubbing, and twist tight.)

Place feather and dubbed thread in line, running parallel, and clip on hackle pliers. Twist the feather/noodle into a 'brush', and wrap towards the eye, brushing the barbs towards the bend of the hook with each turn.

Once you have reached the eye, untwist feather stem from thread, tie off and trim excess.

Form a neat head, and conclude with a whip finish.

This basic technique can be expanded and tweaked - there appears to be no limit as to which materials can be combined to produce the look&feel one desires. Well worth experimenting with.

I hope this helps. Please share your results with us on the forum 8-)

Hans W
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Re: Combining materials in a 'twist'

Post by Soft-hackle » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:49 am

Great idea, Hans. The fly looks very "fishy" as well.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty.” Edward R. Hewitt
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Re: Combining materials in a 'twist'

Post by Klaas » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:24 am

Looks great Hans.
Nice to twist the hackle and dubbing together.

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Re: Combining materials in a 'twist'

Post by Roy » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:40 am

That makes an excellent and most durable fly,
not much is new but that I have never seen before,
thanks, Hans, good work,

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