Author Topic: Dubbing Brushes  (Read 4625 times)

Kirk Dietrich

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1670
Dubbing Brushes
« on: January 17, 2012, 11:51:03 AM »
I made a post in the fishing reports and it got off on to the material I used for tying the fly. Someone suggested starting a post on dubbing brushes. So, does anyone roll their own or have you purchased them? What's your favorite and how do you use it.
Basically to me, dubbing brushes are a form of dubbing loop. Certainly not an evolution or replacement for a dubbing loop as that is quite handy but dubbing brushes as long as they have been around have just eluded me mostly due to my insistence on sticking with dubbing loops that seemed to do pretty much the same thing as the dubbing brushes I had purchased in the past. The brushes I purchased did not impress me much and my dubbing loops often gave me as good if not better buggy bodies than the usually thick wired brushes.
That is until I received a dubbing brush twister as a gift with some ultra thin SS wire. Twisting my own brushes is proving downright as addictive as tying making brushes from various materials and color combinations, its crazy; I spent 3 hours last night doing nothing but making dubbing brushes.
It takes me about 15 minutes to make the 18" brushes pictured below but I'll get anywhere from three to eight flies from each one depending on the application.
Anyway, here is a pic of the twister I have. There are many variations out there and if you search Youtube, you can find out how to use them and probably even how to make them.

Kirk

My dubbing twister. This motorized one is nice for making large brushes but I plan on making a manual model for shorter brushes and portability.


This is how they look off the twister all fluffed out ready to be palmered as a skirt, collar or body.


The same brushes combed down as they would be when I use them for tails on flies.

PaulHansen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 02:40:11 PM »
Nice Job on the twister!!

Gordon Bryson

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 484
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 08:43:28 PM »
Those are really neat Kirk.  I made a manual winder using an old Zebco spin cast reel.  Just took the spool, etc off and epoxied a cup hanger to the main shaft.  Turning the handle as you would reeling in a line twists the dubbing into the wire loop.  I don't use them very much, but it works well.  And I'm a lot like Gene, I like to make my own tools.

Kirk Dietrich

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1670
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 09:21:34 PM »
Thanks Paul.

Good idea Gordon with the spin reel, I was going to make my own when I received this one that a guy I know built and gifted to me. I'm still gonna make my own, a smaller one that will be more portable.

Kirk

goflies

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 631
    • Gulf and Ozark Flies
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 05:19:55 AM »
I'm a big fan of the EP pre-made brushes, particularly the anadromous brushes and the sparkle brushes, as well as the new Tarantula brushes with built-in rubber legs, but I'd also like to make some on my own. I tried using a grooved board and a drill to make brushes, but no matter how evenly I spread the fiber out on the wire, by the time it twisted up enough, all I had was scattered clumps of fiber at odd intervals up and down the length of the wire.  What am I doing wrong?

Rick Zieger

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 07:15:54 AM »
My son made me one.  I like the brushes.
Most of my Hares Ears are tied with these.
It is addictive to use the tool to make brushes.
Have made some brushes using red wire or Hares Ears.

Rick

Thad

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 36
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 07:26:14 AM »
Kirk, thanks for pointing the way.  I saw some good how to make examples on the Internet.  One used the Fin Nor tying vise for the spinner.  The vise itself looks pretty neat. 

Thad

Kirk Dietrich

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1670
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 08:27:39 AM »
Rick, sounds good - funny how creating something as mundane as a dubbing brush can be addictive. What kind of wire are you using?

Goflies, hard to say what you're doing to get clumps other than the material being spread unevenly, which is a real challenge for me. However, as you pointed out, you do spread the fibers evenly, so I'm not sure.
Now, I have noticed that when these things twist, the end nearest the twister twists tighter sooner than the rest of the length of the brush. If you go preening out the wrapped fibers before they are bound tight enough by the wires, then they will pull out, leaving gaps. Even though the wire extending out past the material is twisted tight on each end, the wire holding the materials in the middle, especially if they are thick, may not be wound tight enough to hold.
I generally get the brush wound tight enough to hold the materials which twists them around the wire pretty densely, then I use my dog brush to fluff everything out. Then I'll hit the twister some more to tighten things up more, then fluff with the brush - I'll repeat that three to five times.
Also, as with tying, sparse is the way to go. The thicker the materials, the harder it is for the wire to twist around them and the more that will pull free when fluffing up. I'm using about half as much as I did when I first started and am getting a lot less waste. Although the "waste" I had when I overloaded the wire was put in to a bag and used to make another brush.
Have you tried searching Youtube for some dubbing brush making videos? There may be a clue or two there.
I tried making a brush with all silicone legs and it was a mess, the wire would not bind tight enough to hold them in. I think I may have to try again with some sparse hair and a fewer number of leg material; maybe the hair will help bind the legs in.

Thad, not a problem; I'm just a follower of this old method myself but glad to help. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

Kirk

Gordon Bryson

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 484
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 09:56:24 AM »
Kirk, where do you get the fine stainless stee wire?  Sounds much better than using copper.

Kirk Dietrich

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1670
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 11:49:10 AM »
Gordon, I get it from Cascade Crest Tools. Not sure how much is on the spool but I got quite a few 20 inch brushes from one spool so, its a pretty good deal.

Kirk

Lane Pelissier

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 09:21:16 PM »
My favorite is the EP shrimp brush in white or tan.  I also like the streamer brush with the rubber fibers.  Both are pretty sparse.  I want to try the new EP brushes that are 5" across.

0119

  • Guest
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 05:56:00 PM »
I tried the 5 inch brush and thought it was sparse. I like the andromous brush even though it is sparse it lends itself to a vague profile. I've had good luck with it when snook are hitting glass minnows in ultra clear water. I'd like to try using the 5 inch brush with the short brush underneath it like he does in his videos.

Rick Zieger

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 07:25:04 AM »
Kirk,  I have been using wire from craft stores.  Found size 32, 30 and 28 in gold, silver and red.
Has worked well for me. Goingto try some fine round rubber legs I have in a brush soon.

Rick

Kelly L

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 12:13:20 PM »
http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/tyingtips/part361.php
I plan to make one of these, once I get a piece of wood. 


This is what I use now, it is mainly for larger brushes for baitfish patterns, I rarely use it though.  I use fine copper wire, add to one end of the eye screw....run wire down middle, attach to second eye screw.  Add dubbing, pull wire over dubbing, and get to the end, twist it up.  Very manual, but it does a decent job.  I don't have anything fancy like you do there Kirk, I wish I did!  I want to make a Clark Dubbing Block for flymphs and nymphs.  Otherwise I don't use these dubbing brushes much. 

smallie_stalker

  • Warmwater Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 666
Re: Dubbing Brushes
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 09:42:55 AM »
I've used the EP sparkle brushes with the rubber in them a little.  going to give the new tarantula brushes a try soon.  don't have the time to make my own & tie flies.