Dubbing For The Poor
I can remember when I first started tying as a kid and could not afford items for fly tying. I was using a pair of vise grips for a fly tying vise, sewing thread, any feathers i could find. and my dubbing consisted of what ever mixture I could find in the dryer lint trap. These days you can find dubbing in just about any color, texture and flash. But there are those days when I need a certain color that I just cannot seem to find. So here are two ways to make your own dubbing.
The first and most convenient way is to purchase a small portable coffee grinder. If you can find one with a clear lid even better. A coffee grinder will mix up just about any dubbing you can think off including rabbit, beaver, and synthetics.. If you want antron type dubbing just visit your local carpet shop and ask for any old carpet remnant samples they may be closing out. Just trim the carpet fibers from the remnant, add them to the grinder and mix for a few seconds. You will amazed at how many colors you can come up with by adding a pinch of one color and a pinch of another. You can even add flash to your dubbing by putting in small amounts of flashabou.
The second way to make up your own dubbing is by placing the wanted colors in a jar with some water. Put the lid on the jar and shake your cocktail until you feel you have the contents thoroughly mixed. Now strain the dubbing onto a paper towel and dry. This is much more labor intensive and time consuming than the coffee grinder method and takes much more experimentation before achieving desired results.
Once you achieve the desired colors you want, then you can start keeping a recipe book. Just remember, always wet your finished fly when experimenting with dubbing colors as the finished product will always be darker than you anticipated.
BY CAPT. MARK BONAME 2/27/2011