Using other materials in a dubbing loop

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Nick Clayton, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Lately I've seen many references to using materials in a dubbing loop that are not traditional packaged dubbing. I've gotten decent at spinning loops for use with simi seal dubbing and such for making nice shaggy bodies, but I'm not real sure how one would go about using other stuff in a loop.

    In Big E's recent SBS for the Fish Taco he mentions putting the ostrich herl in a loop rather than just lying around the hook shank. Also seen squirrel tail mentioned as used in loops, as well as krystal flash/tinsel type stuff.

    I've tried to wrap my mind around the concept, but I'm struggling. Anyone offer any clear insight?
  2. I use dubbing loops to evenly, sparsley and securely lash deer, moose rabbit, badger or really anything else as a hackle.
    It also works great for fragile stem feathers like aftershaft, ostrich or peacock herl so you can wrap them tighter and provide a more durable end result
  3. You can spin almost anythings in a loop, like Pat said. I did a SBS using rabbit (on my squimp) a couple of weeks ago and it works great, it was the only way to keep the body of the fly the same color as the tail and also gave it a full body and legs, all in one move. Big-E just posted a SBS using rabbit as well. Anything you can cut up into little pieces you can put in a dubbing loop.

  4. Ok, now cutting it up into pieces to put into the loop I can understand. I guess where I'm losing it is as in the case of the Fish Taco SBS that Big E did, he mentioned putting the ostrich herl in a loop rather than securing to the hook shank. Now on that fly, the herl extends back past the end of the fly, like a wing. I'm having a hard time picturing how you would accomplish the same by cutting the herl up and putting into a loop. Or am I missing something?

    Anyway, thanks for the responses. That certainly does help to clear things up.
  5. Here's how you put it in the loop.

    Look for an upcoming SBS on an intruder at the weekend and I'll spin some ostrich.

    Once you spin it then the you will need to stroke it to the back as you wrap, much like you do with hackle or wrapping marabou.
  6. Awesome, thanks a lot for the photo Eric! That definitely helps clear things up.
  7. Nick,

    If you find/think it easier make a DIY Dubbing Block. There's a bit of info if you Google it. Jay Nichols has an interesting video on YouTube tying an intruder style fly using a dubbing block where he overlays ALL of the materials in the fly into one loop. A couple of wraps and it's done.

    Big E: Looking forward to the SBS as you're a very good tyer.

  8. I saw a stonefly pattern at Swedes Fly shop in Spokane that he ties using rubber legs in a dubbing loop. It had 2 beads in the body and the spun legs were used to make the abdomen then trimmed. Very durable looking fly, heavy too.
  9. I like to spin fur-based materials in dubbing loops, like you would with Arctic Fox or Rabbit fur on intruders. If your looking for a sweet long, barred hackle I also like spinning Amherst Pheasant in a loop, but that takes alot of prep work so I try not to do it that often. I find spinning ostrich or rhea in a loop to be more of a pain in the ass then time well spent. The key though is making sure your stems don't overlap or it will bunch up, making it not flow properly in the water. Placing it on manually is easier and faster (in my opinion)
  10. The petitjean magic tool is useful for putting different types of material in a dubbing loop. You can also use a potato chip bag clip, but the two-stage method with the magic tool makes it easier to mix materials.
  11. if your up for it try doing a feather blend. take a peice of wire and fold it over 2 different color marabou feathers. then twist it in your vice. just like a dubbing brush. works great in about any fly you use marabou in.

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