Tag Archives: Fly Tying tips

Make Your Own Dubbing by Fly Fish Food

Making your own dubbing is something most fly tyers want to try out. It’s not just for economical reasons, but more for the desire to get a blend with certain properties. I use quite a bit of fox hair in the patterns I tie for clients. I will sometime save the underfur to create a custom blend which matches the hair. The underfur on it’s own is dull, but by adding a little bit of UV pearl ice dubbing, some seal or both, I can get a customized mixture with the properties I’m after.

Cheech uses a beard trimmer to quickly get the hair off of a pelt, and mixes the hair with other dubbing in a coffee grinder. There are a few different methods of mixing the dubbing such as the hair dryer method, water jar method, coffee grinder method, compressed air, pet grooming combs, Hareline dubbing mixer and hand mixing. Which one you use depends somewhat on the length of the fibers you plan on combining and the type of fibers.

I usually mix up more than needed, and package the extra into a ziplock bag. Make sure that you keep track of the ratios that you blend together so that if you need to mix up more material in the future, you won’t have to guess.

Specific to this video is the use of the beard trimmer. I have to admit that I’m also struggled getting the hair off the pelt in any quantity, and will be getting a trimmer to use for the tying table. I really love the idea. Cheech also shows how to match the fiber size, an important detail that will ensure you get a nice even blend. Have any other tips on blending dubbing? Let us know in the comments.

Dubbing Links

Hareline Dubbin’s Custom Dubb Kit
Compressed Air Dubbing Mix


Youtube Channel: Fly Fish Food
Youtube Video: DIY Dubbing
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Website: FlyFishFood.com


Fly Tying with Rhea Feathers Tip by April Vokey

April Vokey dispenses some great advise on how to handle, prepare and of course how to tie with rhea feathers. April has a ton of experience tying with rhea as can be seen in the fly patterns she ties in pursuit of steelhead and salmon. She is also the force behind flygal.ca, which happens to sell a range of the feathers dyed in mainly steelhead colors with a few trout colors in the mix.

There have been tons of steelhead and salmon flies requiring rhea feathers which are similar to ostrich, but the barbules on each herl are much smaller, giving the rhea herls a much slimmer profile. They are also stiffer and so the tend not to collapse into the fly as much once it is dunked. Flies such as Intruders, Hoh Bo Spey and a myriad of custom locals only patterns.

Buying rhea can be tricky, as not many retailers carry them, and the feathers can cost $10-15 each depending on the quality. Ask around for a good reliable source. Online is even trickier as you may get the lesser quality feathers (yes, this has happened to me). Have a peak at the video for some advise on how to go about tying with rhea and maintaining durability in your flies.

Learn more at AprilVokey.com.

Be sure to check out this and other videos on April Vokey – Fly Gal Ventures Youtube page and check out April Vokey – Fly Gal Ventures aprilvokey.com and flygal.ca.