Week 9 – Dub in Layers for Better Tapers
For some fly tiers, dubbing can be a complete mystery and frustration. Dubbing loops are not too difficult. It is an easy process to place some stuff between two pieces of thread and then twist it up. But when it come to twisting dubbing on thread they can never seem to get it quite right so they have a nice tapered body. Usually, way too much dubbing material is placed on the thread and the resulting body looks like a dust bunny from under the couch. The easy solution is to think in terms of layers; like onions and Ogres. If you dub you body in layers your can get it perfect every time.
When you begin to apply your dubbing to the thread make certain to put on about half of what you think you need and then half of that. Make your dubbing noodle very sparse and about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Wrap the dubbing on the hook up to where the body ends. Then wrap your thread back down about 3/4 of the body to the tail. Apply another dubbing noodle (a little shorter) to build up the body and the taper. Then bring your thread back down between 1/4 and 1/2 of the body. Apply another short dubbing noodle to finish off the body and the taper. If needed, you could even apply a small amount at the end of the body to get the taper just right.
By applying your dubbing in small layers you have greater control over the resulting body. It might take a little more time but in the end your flies will look better, last longer and you will gain more experience in this method of dubbing. Eventually, you will be able to apply the correct amount of dubbing on the thread in the correct manner to complete the dubbed body in one attempt.
In the mean time, do yourself a favor and dub your bodies in layers. Save the headaches for something less meaningful.