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uni thread / floss
« on: January 04, 2012, 15:59:01 PM »
Right a question....

I've tied 1 or 2 flies in the past but just started getting into it.
I was tying a pattern the other night and struggled with the dubbing on uni thread ( it was working lose and curling as i worked it onto the hook, got there in the end with a bit of swearing ).

Question is should I be using floss rather than uni thread for dubbing and when should I use each, or does it matter??

I've done some cracking flies will post a pic or 2 when I get the photos sorted. I very proud of myself :z14.

Cheers Adam.

Irvine Ross

Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 17:09:09 PM »

Definitely use thread for dubbing. Floss would make your body too bulky.

Try rubbing a bit of wax on your thread before applying the dubbing. Also, when you wind the dubbing onto the thread, only twist in the one direction. So squeeze, roll, relax your fingers to go back to the starting point then squeeze , roll again.

Keep at it :z16



Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 19:07:08 PM »
Hi Adam,

What is the dubbing?

make sure that you only try to wind the dubbing on to the thread in one direction.  If you are still struggling, split the thread with a needle, pull out a small pinch of dubbing into a line, insert the dubbing into the thread and then spin the bobbin.  Other option would be to use a bit of sticky dubbing wax.

If it is seal you are using, put a pinch into the palm of you hand and rub it into a ball with fingers of your other hand to lock fibres together then pull into a line and then wind on to thread.

I almost always use wax (sorry for any offence caused to any "proper" fly tyers who may be reading this)

Floss is used as a body material in its own right for things like Stoats Tails, Allys Shrimps and many other salmon flies.



Euan Innes

Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 19:34:06 PM »

I almost always use wax (sorry for any offence caused to any "proper" fly tyers who may be reading this)


Out of curiosity, which wax do you prefer Ben?
I find cobblers is just that and most other waxes are too hard, need melting which then goes hard again and becomes cobblers. Me licky fingers and twirl because I could never get the wax right. :z6

Living with deep, full breaths is the way of the trout. Fish, it seems, are the ultimate teachers in breathing.
RC Cone

Sandy Nelson

Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 19:41:19 PM »
use a bit of sticky dubbing wax.

Me too :z16 The Wapsi one that comes like a big orange lipstick :z16
just touch it to the thread and its like magic, it also allows you to vary the quantity of fibres for different effects
with little effort, we like it easy :z7

John Geirach 1999 "Millions of trout have died of old age before i could catch them and there's not a damn thing i can do about that"


Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 19:48:42 PM »
Cheers guys will go give it a bash just now. I knew about twisting it only 1 way, I think maybe my problem could be that im using my hair wax :z4 as I havent yet bought any proper wax.

Ben, Im using a seal substitute, can you suggest any better ??

Also, whats a good hackle to use, I will be tying mostly crunchers, spiders that sort of thing I only have about 4 flies i would use regularly. ( if it aint broke dont fix it motto ). The hackles ive bought are ok but just your standard cock hackles they do the trick but was wondering if there are any really nice ones to use??

Other than that I seem to be a natural ha ha well I think so.

Thanks again.


Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 20:53:42 PM »
Yup, it is the Wapsi stuff I use except mine is in a white stick and has Orvis written on it.

Cobblers wax is something I only tend to use on pure silk and I will keep it in a bag in my pocket for a while first.  Tacky wax such as Wapsi is too tacky for touch dubbing with mole or similar and does not have the same effect as cobblers on pure silk spider bodies.


Get some tacky wax, Orvs, Wapsi, whatever but it should come in a tube that looks like prit stick.  Don't bother with seal sub, when buying seal make sure it is genuine baby seal and make sure you use a lot of it, preferably a whole seal at a time and tie in dozens  :z4  Cookshill seal is about as good as you'll get.

Dubbing for crunchers?  I always thought the recipe called for pheasant tail fibres wound for the body but don't really think it matters much.  Get a hares mask dyed in each colour you use and dub that.  Hare is very easy to work with and you can get a lot of different textures of dubbing from a mask.

For the hackle I'd probably get a hen cape and use that, you'll get a nice one for about 6 or 7.  Hen will do spiders fine too although I like game feathers such as partridge if the pattern is anything other than black.  For black spiders I use either black hen or magpie scalp, you get a whole head (still with beak attached) for about 3 and there is loads of hackle on it.  Probably to softest most mobile black hackle I've come across, very thin stem which requires some care when winding.  I tend to keep cock hackle for dries only and then it would be Keough, Metz or Whiting saddles rather than necks.  For palmered wets, Kates, Zulus etc I use a cheaper genetic cock neck (Veniard, Keough tyers grade) or a decent Indian cape then put a head hackle on with hen.



Barry Robertson

Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 21:20:14 PM »

I dont think your crunchers will be up to much with cock hackles Adam, try something like this .....


Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 22:13:00 PM »
Ben - Thanks again, no the dubbing isnt for crunchers, that was just a general question. Thanks for the rest of the info will get onto the orvis website.
Club in hand heading to the beach for some seal bashing since I need a whole one per fly. :X1

Baz - aye the cock hackles are s#*te for crunchers whats the name of those in the pic ??


Re: uni thread / floss
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 23:21:21 PM »
Hi Adam,

Generally I use the following dubbings for the following things (generally).....

Orvis Superfine - river dries & small stuff

Hare - nymphs, spiders, dries, anything more or less

Fox squirrel - nymphs and spiky stuff / thoraxes

Pine squirrel - as above

Baby seal - loch wets / dries

Ice dub - bodies on streamers and salt flies, a small pinch of it lifts natural dubbing like seal.

Mole - tiny stuff and for "misting" silks

I have loads of other dubbing but it just sits there, the above are the only things I ever seem to top up.

Then feathers Baz has pictured is a Greenwell hen cape.




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