by Fly Fisherman


A dubbed body, although one of the oldest methods of imitating a natural body, is a most attractive and effective structure for bodies of flies. One of the simpler ways of building your dubbing is to clip or tear off small sections of the fur spreading it on the knee in a line of about one or two inches. Take a piece of well waxed tying thread six or eight inches in length and holding it taut with the thumb and forefinger of each hand, spin or roll the thread as it touches the patch of prepared fur. The wax will pick up the fur making a “yarny” strip which is wound on the hook the same as would be done with yarn.

Some tiers roll the dubbed section between their palms, one way only, to make the dubbing adhere better and more compact but it would be advisable to avoid this unless necessary. In preparing the thread of dubbing it makes a more lifelike body if the “furring” is tapered somewhat so that the section at the tail base is thinner than toward the thorax or upper end of the body. Another dubbing method is slightly more difficult but, with practice, results in finer, more secure dubbed bodies. Lay a ten- or twelve-inch piece of waxed thread lengthwise on the leg permitting the longer end to drop over the knee cap. Place the clipped or pulled fur on top of the thread a couple inches from the upper end and extending the fur approximately one and a half to three inches down toward the knee cap. When this is done place the second finger of the left hand on the thread firmly an inch or so below your dubbing. Then place the thumb of the same left hand above the dubbing holding down so that the thread is fairly tight. Pick up the loose end of thread that has been extended over the knee and carefully draw it over the left finger holding the thread so that the two sections of thread are together, one below and one on top of the dubbing.

Holding the ends of the thread down with the right hand disengage the left finger while holding the two threads together with a free finger of the right hand. Grasp the two threads below the dubbing between thumb and index finger and start twisting gently. After the twisting is started grasp the two free ends of thread with the right thumb and index finger and continue the twisting. Drawn quite tightly you will find that the thread will hold much of the twist when released at either end. Secure the thinner dubbed end of your strip to the hook and wind the body. Continual twisting as the body is wound makes for better security. If one wishes he can prepare a number of these dubbed strips, storing them on a card between slits cut in the sides of the card to hold the ends.

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