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Fly Tying
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Omni-hackles. Dayum

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We're all different. What I like most about fly tying is creativity and invention. I appreciate and admire well-tied traditional patterns and even tiie them. Occasionally. But not often.


What I like is new. I work hard at it. I don't expect everybody to be that way. That's just me.


Interestingly.............try as I might some of the best ideas happen by accident.


I make a lot of dubbing loops, for dry fly hackles and for wet fly fuzz balls.


If you twist any dubbing loop long enough the fibers snag adjacent fibers and quickly turn into a yarn-like tube suitable for a body material but not in anyway suitable for a hackle. If you don't twist the dubbing loop enough the fibers are not securely held, and then the fly is all too likely to unravel in use. Catch 22.


A while back it occurred to me I could twist only a little, so the fibers stayed splayed out somewhat like a hackle feather, and then wind that down onto a shank wetted with water based fabric cement. Holy moley. It worked.


I was making some fuzz head sculpins last night--that way, for the 100th time--when I realized I might not have to twist the dubbing loop at all. Just comb out the fibers and place them between two strands of a thread loop, where both strands are pre-wetted with fabric cement. Wet the shank too. Now wind the loop without ever twisting it. At all.


Now it's easy to pull the last rotation's fibers back while you wind the next so the resulting fibers all stick neatly straight out at right angles to the shank. They stay put too because they're getting wound down onto a thin layer of fabric cement. Twisting isn't in any way required.


Some fibers are nearly impossible to twist up into a traditional dubbing loop. But if you aren't twisting it doesn't matter. You can mix synthetic flashy fibers in with lamb's wool or badger guard hairs. Or what ever you want. Some techniques are tricky but worth learning because the result is so good. This technique begets a good result with less fuss rather than more. I like it.


Photos will happen eventually.

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