I just purchased a Cyclone Dubbing Brush Spinner from J. Stockard; the directions say to use thin wire. I was wondering if I could get away with using colored thread that would match the color of the body rather than thin wire?
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Dubbing brush tooldubbing brush
Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:02 PM
I'm not an expert on dubbing brushes, having only used them a couple of times, but my guess is that, if you used thread instead of wire, the whole thing would just unravel when you took it off the tool. Wire can be bent to a shape that it will then hold; I think that's why it's used for dubbing brushes. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong about this
A dubbing "brush" made with thread is what you get when you form a "dubbing loop" using a dubbing spinner or dubbing whirl -- the thread loop has to be attached to the hook at one end and the spinner/whirl at the other in order to hold tension on the thread. The advantage of the dubbing brush is that--because it's made with wire-- it can be formed off the vise and stored intact until you're ready to use it.
ADDENDUM: after writing the above, it did occur to me that you could try to use thread on the dubbing brush tool instead of wire, and just clip the ends of the thread loop with something when you're done, so it doesn't unravel. However, even if that worked, I still think the thread would have a tendency to want to kink and twist like crazy, rather than staying nice and straight like a brush made with wire, and you'd still end up with a mess. I'd just get the wire, myself, for the reasons stated above, and also because it adds a little weight to your streamer when you wrap it.
Okay, I'm done now.
"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman
Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:16 PM
" ... my guess is that, if you used thread instead of wire, the whole thing would just unravel when you took it off the tool." I second this.
I don't use dubbing brushes (made with wire) because I don't tie anything that large. I do dubbing loops on the fly, often. As stated above, you might be able to use a clip on the end, after twisting a dubbing brush with thread, if you're going to use it directly. But I'm pretty sure it won't "hold its shape" without clips.
Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:29 PM
Thanks guys... I never considered that the thread would unravel... duh!
Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:31 PM
Posted 16 July 2019 - 01:16 PM
Mike is right; a brush made of thread will unravel.
Colored beading wire is available at Craft Sores. Haven't tried it yet but it looks good.
This wire works fine: https://www.jsflyfis...re-x-small-size
Posted 16 July 2019 - 02:03 PM
I tried using small wire, but it broke (probably my fault for not setting the "machine" up correctly), so I went to brassie size and it worked like a charm! I've always had problems when I use the "two finger" method, and this solves that problem...
Thanks again for the suggestions, I appreciate them. :-}
Posted 16 July 2019 - 03:05 PM
I use wire making the brushes I use. I use 28 guage wire to make my brushes.
I find this lets me spin them tighter than 32 guage wire does.
Google Zebra Wire and there is a place called Fire Mountain...
I just ordered 3 colors of wire in 1/4 lb spools to make brushes.
Posted 16 July 2019 - 03:49 PM
dubbing brushes using waxed silk thread was used in the late 1880's and can be found in Halford, Frederic M. (Frederic Michael) book "Floating Flies and How to Dress Them"
leisenring dubbing brush
pre made dubbing brushes with thread on a card
great book to have
The fish care less than we do!
Posted 16 July 2019 - 04:13 PM
get some dubbing brush wire (DBW)
The fish care less than we do!
Posted 16 July 2019 - 05:31 PM
Flytire's posts are most salient. Dubbing brushes have been tied using thread for years, you just need to do a bit more work to keep them together and organized. Personally, I do not think thread is worth the effort, with all due respect to Leisenring, Hidy, Bird, et al. If just using thread, a dubbing loop is sufficient for me.
From my own experience, I find that stainless steel wire produces better brushes than copper which is more difficult to work with in my opinion (soft, greater tendency to twist rathe than hold shape, etc.). Either will work, however, you just have to be careful.
The whole point of making a dubbing brush is to speed up your tying, and does not really have anything to do with the size of the bug.
Posted 16 July 2019 - 07:04 PM
I use brassie and small size wire in different colors for my brushes and I only use brushes on big streamers.
Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:09 AM
Hi Spokane Dude,
We have used thread to make dubbing brushes by gluing one side of a thread dubbing loop before putting the dubbing in it. Then spin it and remove from the tool while still under tension and let it dry (while still under tension). We usually use two hackle pliers and a couple of rubber bands to suspend the still wet (and glued) dubbing brush until it dries. Mike is right though, the best is light wire. Take care & ...
Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:36 AM
get some dubbing brush wire (DBW)
Yep, that's the stuff I use: https://store.flyfis...-Wire-p/dbw.htm
And don't be afraid to use brushes on smaller flies. They aren't just for huge streamers. I use a lot of Arizona Diamond Dub in brushes on flies as small as size 8-10. It's just as effective in a dubbing loop, but I can make a 12" brush in barely more time than prepping a small dubbing loop on one fly and that brush will get me through several flies.
Posted 28 July 2019 - 04:56 AM
If you want to go back to historical dubbing brushes, check out "Flymph Forum". Those guys are all over the waxed silk thread dubbing brushes.