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Natural or Synthetic Dubbing


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Poll: Natural or Synthetic Dubbing

This is a public poll. Other members will be able to see which options you chose

What dubbing do you mainly use?

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#1 cjsnyder1234

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:06 PM

Well I wanted to see what type of dubbing most of you guy prefer to use. Natural, synthetic, both or even a mix. Also if there are patterns that you would use one over the other. I have found myself using both but still not really sure when to use one over the other. Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,
Christian

P.S. This is pertaining to nymphs mostly or wet flies for cold water fish. I.E. Steelhead or Browns

#2 dpshr

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:18 PM

Seems like I use more natural dubbing for dries and synthetic/natural for wets. I don't know why I feel this way or tie this way but I do....



#3 tidewaterfly

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:46 PM

I use a mix & it doesn't matter if it's for coldwater or warmwater species. I have all kinds of fur & synthetics I can use but for the most part the basis for most dubbing I use is simply rabbit fur with whatever I choose to add, so I use more natural than synthetic. I also rarely tie dry flies so 99.99% of dubbing I'll use will be for nymphs or wet flies. I like the natural materials more than synthetics, but the synthetics can add sparkle & flash to dubbing that the natural doesn't possess. 

 

IMO, what you choose can be a personal choice, as they both work. For patterns with subdued colors, more towards the natural I would go with more natural material in the blend, but as the color gets towards bright it can have more of the flash & sparkle that synthetics may add. For me, I would still stick to some natural material in the dubbing, regardless of color, primarily because I believe they have a movement to them that most synthetics don't have and feel that adds a lot to a pattern. Color & flash or sparkle are not the only features I strive to get from a dubbing material. It's movement is important too. I particularly like a "buggy" appearance to dubbings. 

 

One thing I don't care for with any dubbing used for "natural" coloration is a monotone color. I like the mottled affect which IMO is more natural. Rare is anything in nature that is monotone in color. That's why I prefer to blend my own! It takes a bit more time compared to simply pulling it from a package, but I like the end result better. smile.png



#4 mikechell

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:50 PM

I bought a bunch of dubbing from FTD ... and it's all I use.

I don't have a problem with making your own mixes, etc ... just seems like too much work to me.


Barbed hooks rule!

I am not lazy.  I just truly enjoy doing nothing.

My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.

quondam fidelis


#5 tidewaterfly

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 05:40 PM

Mike, the same could be said for tying your own flies! rolleyes.gif

 

I've got some of the dubbing from FTD too. Good stuff, but not what I like as a stand alone material.

 

We're all different in what we like! Probably a good thing too, otherwise these polls & discussions could be pretty boring! smile.png



#6 mikechell

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 05:54 PM

Mike, the same could be said for tying your own flies! rolleyes.gif

Not at all.  My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.

Gain means monetary OR emotional.

I save a ton of money by creating my own flies.  Plus, I like catching fish on flies I've tied.  So, for me, that's not work since I get BOTH gains.

I don't get anything from mixing dubbing.  To me, it's one of those things that will catch more anglers than fish.

 

But, like I said, "I don't have a problem with making your own mixes, etc ..."

Like you said, "We're all different in what we like! Probably a good thing too, otherwise these polls & discussions could be pretty boring! smile.png"

I am not trying to change anyone's mind ... just stating my point of view.


Barbed hooks rule!

I am not lazy.  I just truly enjoy doing nothing.

My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.

quondam fidelis


#7 Crackaig

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 06:14 PM

Horses for courses. I use the appropriate dubbing for whatever I'm tying at the time.

 

One thing that I discovered years ago is that a mixture of colours to produce the colour that is required will out perform a dubbing dyed to the final colour. Remember most flies are viewed from below against the light. A mix shows very different to a flat colour when viewed in this way.

 

Once you have been tying for a few years you will amass a good collection of dubbings. It is worth taking tie to play with the various different ones. Find out what effects you can make with them. Then you will be able to pick the dubbing that will give you the effect that you want in a fly. One dubbing may be used in a variety of ways to produce different effects. The problem is so few people really think about what is going on when you dub a material. This isn't the place for me to expound on it, and what I have so far written would be too long to post here. Now that other issues are getting resolved I hope to be able to concentrate on this. Hopefully it will help a few people, and blow some myths out of the water.

 

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#8 shoebop

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 06:17 PM

I do not choose dubbing based on whether it is natural or synthetic but based on other criteria. Color, texture, and other properties that it will impart to the pattern. Many times that may require mixing dubbing materials. I do not care for 100% sparkle dubbing in insect patterns but a little bit is fine. Streamers are a different matter.
Shoebop

#9 cjsnyder1234

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:30 PM

Some really good points made here, I have found that is it hard to get the effect you want out of the pack and have recently got myself a coffee grinder to mix a few customs up. I have yet to try out the quick decent dubbing but I am sure they will find a way on my bench one of these days. I tend to buy hare's masks and shave them then add a bit of flash or whatever I find I might want as an end product. One thing I have looked for is a place that has a dubbing mix database for ratios of materials for some nice custom dubbing but it is probably to much work to put one together seeing as the combos are endless. I guess trial and error is the path for now. Thanks for all of the input dubbing in my opinion is one of those things that can make a pattern really pop and set it apart but that is what this hobby is about right?  



#10 tidewaterfly

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 08:55 PM

Yes sir, there are many good points here! It's likely that if you give 100 fly tiers the exact same materials to blend dubbing with, and told them to use it for a specific pattern, you would get 100 different blends and all them would work well in the pattern. IMO, the hobby is about tying the way we all see fit, and of course tying flies that catch fish. 

As you should be able to tell from the replies, all of us do just that! 

 

A long time ago I figured out that all flies will catch fish eventually, no matter how we tie them. Some of the worst looking flies I've tied caught the most fish. Some will certainly catch better than others, but we don't usually know how well until we tie them & use them. Same with dubbing. Make up some blends, tie some flies & go out & let the fish tell you what they like. I doubt you'll ever make a blend that won't catch something!

 

Yes, try different things & see for yourself what you like best. Probably the fish will eat whatever you come up with! Most of all don't over think it & have fun with it! wink.png



#11 kennebec12

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 01:22 AM

For me a lot of times it's about the size of the fly, I find that natural dubbing tends to be much finer and works better on smaller flies for nice slim bodies. The primary dubbing I use for most flies comes as a mix of synthetics and rabbit.



#12 wschmitt3

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 12:27 PM

I use Whitlocks SLF on most of my nymphs that require dubbing. It is a mix of natural and synthetic.


-I like fly fishing. Call me Will.
 
"The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood."
 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 


#13 utyer

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:01 PM

I started tying before there was much synthetic dubbin on the market.  I use the traditional animal skins, and since I had access to a fur stores trimmings, I could get a lot of natural furs like mink, beaver, fox, for nothing.  I started blending those, and as synthetics came along, adding them to my collection of furs.  

 

Yarns of all kinds found their way into my dubbing, and now most of my dubbing blends contain yarns.  I have been able to find very fine textured yarns that work well for dry flies, and other yarns that work well for wets and nymphs.  I don't think I have used anything but home made blends for the last 25 years.  I do on occasion purchase a package of something, but then I find a way to make it myself.  

 

One way I keep track of the blends I make is to measure how many inches of different yarns I put in the mix.  I have coffee grinders, but for making a large quantity, and kitchen blender works better for me.  Coffee grinders can easily grind up things like flash and ice dub into powder.  It helps to dull the blades before using the coffee grinder.  


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#14 CptnMayo

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 08:37 PM

Considering I just received my grandfather's HUGE selection of fly tying materials, vices, etc.... all natural dubbing! Why spend the money if it isn't necessary!



#15 Dominecker

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:26 AM

I like the natural dubbing for most nymphs and such. Seems to look "buggier" and have more movement. I use synthetics more and more for dry flies though, simply because most don't soak up water like natural dubbings do.