The turbo spinning block for dubbing [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: The turbo spinning block for dubbing


mattzoid
11-11-2003, 10:45 AM
Just bought this gizmo because I needed really fine dubbing that I just wasn't getting for my spey flies. This thing works like a champ and you can spin all kinds of stuff into it.

I haven't tried feathers with it yet. Turned out a lot mini hare leaches with it today. Anybody else have one of these and what else have you mixed and spun into your dubbing?

This is the pic of it.
http://www.siman.cz/tools/06_tool.html

Matt

fredaevans
11-11-2003, 01:45 PM
trying to run one of these down. End game was the manufacture had 'gone out of business.' Wonder if someone's started it up again?

Apparently these things do a very good job and make 'short work' out of an otherwise tedious process.
fae

mattzoid
11-11-2003, 03:20 PM
Got mine at Ted's here in Seattle. Think you might snag one from hareline.

Matt

t_richerzhagen
11-11-2003, 07:41 PM
Matt,
Could you pm me a link to where you bought it?
Thanks
Ted

flytyer
11-12-2003, 12:39 AM
You could make your own easily enough. Put an open hook in a block of wood and on the other end put a crank handle attached to an English style hackle plier.

To use it, string a wire (copper, silver, or gold) between the hackle plier and the open hook. Put the dubbing material on the block, and crank the handle until is forms a dubbing brush. You can also make it out of a low rpm electric motor (no higher than 40 rpm though) and let the motor do the work for you.

You could also use a rotary tying vise to produce dubbing brushes. Just remember to use wire because it will stay together after the dubbing brush is made.

Personally, I'll either split the tying thread9 yes, you can split 8/0 thread), or use floss and split it to produce a dubbing loop. This is far easier than making a loop of thread, just as strong, and if formed from floss (or UNI Stretch), it has a more intense color saturation. Syd Glasso tied his flies with this technique. This technique will also cause you to get very good at using just the right amount of dubbing to form the body with none left over.

t_richerzhagen
11-12-2003, 09:16 AM
flytyer - thanks for the help. I had made up my mind to buy one, but think I might try your techniques first.

Igor
11-12-2003, 10:53 AM
Hey Ya'll

The manufacturer of the Turbo Twisting Block is very much in business - and doing quite well.

There are (as of last Saturday) 3 Blocks still available at Ted's Sport Center. Another dozen will be on their shelves in January of 2004. If enough interest in the tool is generated, they'll be available in better fly fishing shops in Puget Sound by Q1 of 2004.

Both HareLine and Orvis have stopped carrying the Block and none exist in their inventories to the best of my knowledge.

If anyone needs more details on the up-coming availability or a ringing endorsement on the Block, just drop me some private e-mail.

Igor

sean
11-12-2003, 12:14 PM
I also made one but this turbo block looks nice. I do use the split thread technique whenever I can but also like to use brushes.

I was reading Dick Van Demark's book "Steelhead Fly Fishing in Low Water" and he details a spinning block in this book. Pretty easy to do and works great. The book also contains quite a few interesting dubbing blends. After reading it I am never going to use unblended dubbing again.

All you need is a 2X4 and 4 eye hooks. Here is the sequence I just threw together to get the idea across.

Here is some pictures of the block:

Place 4 eye hooks like shown and cut nothces in the side and bottom of the block. In the notches make sure to slice into them with a razor blade. This helps keep whatever material you are using for a dubbing loop locked in:

http://riggenransom.com/block1.jpg


Take you dubbing loop material and knot it to form a loop and place in the block like shown:

http://riggenransom.com/block2.jpg


Place in your dubbing material on the single strand:

http://riggenransom.com/block3.jpg


Place the other side of the loop on top of the materials like so (of course the dubbing should be laid on better):

http://riggenransom.com/block4.jpg

Then just spin the loop. Lightly wax the floss/thread as this will help keep your dubbing noodle from unwinding when you take it off the block.

This is an easy solution that costs nothing to make.

-sean

flytyer
11-12-2003, 02:20 PM
Sean,

If you use gold, silver, or copper wire with the method you detail, the dubbing brush will stay together and not unravel, even if you cut it.

Folks,

As can be seen, there are several methods of producing dubbing brushes and most cost next to nothing to make the dubbing twister.

mattzoid
11-12-2003, 02:27 PM
I really like my spinning block. However, I admire the guys committed to doing it with devices of their own making. I kind of look at it like this, I wouldn't try to do a brake job with just a pair of vise grips. I always make sure I have the right sockets, torx, wrenches, compressors, etc.

This block is set with a hook on a weighted, ball bearing spinner. One flip of the finger and you have a dubbing rope in seconds that wont come apart. I'm having so much fun with it, I just spin stuff up and stick it in a zip lock baggy for later. I'll bet I can turn out five dubbing brushes in the time it takes me to split 6/0 thread and dub the shank of a hook and I've been tying since I was a kid in 1968.

Anyway, if Ted's sells out then everyone will have to make one or stick to the tried and true method splitting thread or dubbing loops.

I am still wondering about my original question. What else can one spin into a dubbing rope? What feathers work best? Half inch lengths of flashabou sucks, but gliss and glo works great. Any other ideas?

Matt

John Desjardins
11-12-2003, 03:07 PM
Matt, How about some hairs. Maybe deer or badger.

sean
11-12-2003, 03:25 PM
Matt,

Speybum makes great dubbing brushes by sticking a rabbit fur strip in the loop and cutting off the hide. He then spins that. You get the same great rabbit action but it sinks much better as the hide has been removed.

I would get a block like yours but a norvise is on its way for xmas and you get the same results.

Lety us know what brushes you come up with.

-sean

flytyer
11-12-2003, 03:57 PM
Lite Brite either by itself or added to some dubbing or chopped up yard works great too.

SDHflyfisher
11-12-2003, 09:06 PM
orvis sells them
but a home made one will probably work just as well

speydoc
11-12-2003, 10:19 PM
I have produced spey hackle from Amherst tail feathers and a wire core - I used the Roots machine, as you have to be able to stop the machine and pick the fibres out as you go allong. It sounds like a lot of work but actualy goes fast if you do a batch and get into the process - I will try and post some photos in the next week
speydoc

speydoc
11-16-2003, 04:27 PM
This is my first attempt at posting photos, so bear with me.
Here follows some shots of spey hackle made from Amherst centre tail

t_richerzhagen
11-16-2003, 06:18 PM
Speydoc
Please try again, as the photos did not get attached.

speydoc
11-16-2003, 08:28 PM
Retry!

speydoc
11-16-2003, 08:30 PM
3rd attempt

speydoc
11-16-2003, 08:38 PM
Well the single hackle seemed to come up, I will now try and post the bunch of hackles

fredaevans
11-16-2003, 11:51 PM
Speybum makes great dubbing brushes by sticking a rabbit fur strip in the loop and cutting off the hide.

Aaron has given me several strips (correct term?) of his 'wound dubbing;' don't have the time, etc., Great Stuff!!!! Works like a charm.
DOUBLE :D :D

mattzoid
11-17-2003, 01:57 AM
Oh man, my head is so full of ideas I'm never going to tie flies again, just make "dubbing brushes". Awesome stuff gentlemen.

Thanks,

Matt

John Desjardins
11-17-2003, 08:53 AM
Speydoc, Great looking Hackles!! I recently read "A Master Fly Weaver" and the author (sorry I can't his name) went through a lot of trouble to make similiar looking hackles.

Besides stopping to pick out the hackles when they get caught in the brush do you have any advice on making the hackles?

Don Johnson
11-17-2003, 09:01 AM
Brushes can be made with about any material imaginable but they really shine with stuff that's difficult to work with such as pig's wool, seal, polar bear underfur, deer hair, etc. With that said, the Nor-Vise works well in applying these materials to the thread without making loops or brushes (http://www.geocities.com/salmn8r/dubbeddeerhair.html for some pics).

If making brushes with thread or floss as the core, the brush can be saved by inserting the ends of the finished brush into slits cut in opposite ends of a piece of appropriately-sized card stock. This is the way Leisenring stored the dubbed bodies for his trout flies depicted in "The Art of Tying the Wet Fly".

An alternative to twisting the ends together is furling the material. Goto http://www.geocities.com/salmn8r/furledstinger.html to see how a Nor-Vise can aid in the furling of a piece of material (mono in the photos on that page). By leaving the hook out of the construction and evenly applying dubbing to the material, the ensuing furling will lock the material into place with the only thing needing to be done to preserve the furl is to tie an overhand knot into the loose ends. That furling technique may be something one can do with the turbo twisting thingy; it works fine with the Nor-Vise so I haven't pursued any other construction possibilities.

Furling is a method that has a lot of potential in fly tying but doesn't seem to get a lot of press. The stingers depicted on the aforementioned page are an easy and fast way to start a tandem chassis and have really sped up my tying process for tying String Leeches. Applying dubbing to the material pre-furl or trapping a saddle hackle in the furl or by using materials other than mono (braided Dacron, lead core trolliing line, braided stainless, etc). are all options that work well and increase the versatility of the technique.

Also see:
http://www.geocities.com/salmn8r/rotarytechniques.html

mattzoid
11-18-2003, 03:39 PM
These are my latest dubbing brush flies. Only took about an hour or so.

Matt

flytyer
11-18-2003, 08:49 PM
John,

The author of the book you mentioned is George Grant. I had the pleasure of meeting him on Montana's Big Hole River several times when I lived in Montana. George was (I don't know if he is still alive or not; if so, he would be close to 100 years old right now.) a gentlemen from Butte, Montana who was generous with his time and knowledge of tying and fishing.

John Desjardins
11-19-2003, 08:29 AM
Thankyou Flytyer. I just had a mental block on George Grant's name.

JDJones
11-19-2003, 12:38 PM
This would seem to be a great alternative to splitting hackle(s) stems. Which, as anyone who has ever tried can tell you, is a royal pain in the butt. Now, only question is, how do you keep the hackle fibers laying flat rather than twisting all around the brush as you spin it?

metalhead
11-20-2003, 10:24 AM
teds is out of the turbo spinning block and didnt know when the next order would come in.

mattzoid
11-20-2003, 11:20 AM
Sorry Metalhead, but I thought that might happen. You might want to look up those distributers they list on the makers site and give them a call. I was at a local shop last night (River Run Angler, Aaron and Jack are God's gifts to Spey fishermen) at a fly tying round table and those nor-vises are pretty slick and can do the same thing. Aaron had one made with the spinning vise on one end, a holder on the other and a little micro table that could be elevated up to the wire where you could lay out dubbing, fur, feather, etc. and then spin it into a brush (check out some of these videos http://www.nor-vise.com/multimedia/video.htm ). If I hadn't bought a turbo spinning block, I would make one because right now, I just can't believe I have gone so long with out one or something like it.

Matt

Rando
11-20-2003, 11:29 AM
Demand is a funny thing. Have been using dubbing brushes for quite a while ever since watching Alec Jackson and some Portland tyers creat some of their steelhead patterns. I had always done it using wire, hackle pliers and a shepherds crook. This method was slow but it worked and I wasn't into mass production anyway. Came across the dubbing block offered by Orvis at Creekside Anglers and even though it was spendy I bought one. The increase in speed was amazing and what you can create is limited to your imagination. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and talked the local shop into handling a few. He couldn't give them away! Now the item is red hot and can't be found. Don't know if Hugh and those guys still deal in them but if you think you can't live without one give Creekside a call.

Rando

MJC
11-20-2003, 11:51 AM
5 minutes and a router with a V groove bit or a dado bit will make you a great dubbing block.

SDHflyfisher
11-21-2003, 05:30 PM
i used this technique w/ some hare's mask and it makes a really buggy look:D

speydoc
11-22-2003, 05:01 PM
John D
I wax the wire before applying the hackle fibres - the biggest trick is to go slowly and stop spinning each time the fibres "bind up" - in this manner one can pick the fibres loose before you "wind up" with too much of a mess
JDJ
When the hackle is finnished the spinning process it looks like a large bottle brush - in much the same way as one folds a conventional 2-dimention hackle, one can fold this 3-dimentional hackle - so the fibres are all in one plain - I then leave them to "fix" under a book
speydoc

fredaevans
11-22-2003, 07:46 PM
Roger on that!! Aaron makes these up and I've yet to fool around 'trying' to do my own when he does a knock out job far a 'buck and change.'

Aaron RULES!! Suspect he could do his 'wire strips' in just about anything you want.

speydoc
11-22-2003, 11:33 PM
I am going to try to post some photos of speys tied with my "wire Amherst hackle"

speydoc
11-22-2003, 11:36 PM
Now for a single Pink Amherst spey

speydoc
11-22-2003, 11:51 PM
Sorry Guys - I am on a roll! I have finaly figured out my new toy(Didgital camera)
Attached is a Waddington shank spey, tied with a spun "hackle" of Artic fox

speydoc
11-22-2003, 11:55 PM
Now for a shot of a few wire brushes with Artic fox and flashabou dubbing

t_richerzhagen
11-23-2003, 08:53 AM
Speydoc - could you do a few photos of your sequence of making hackle from Amherst? Also, wire size and other details. It is not always easy to make it work right with some of these fibers. You have done the difficult development work, so please share.
Thanks

mattzoid
11-23-2003, 11:46 AM
Speydoc,

Those look great. Is this the kind of device you are using? I tried to spin ringneck center tail with the block, but it sucked as I couldn't clear the platform far enough to spin it with out knocking all the fibers out. My next vise will be the nor-vise.

Matt

speydoc
11-23-2003, 02:17 PM
Ted
I use the small UNI-French wire - will post sequence in the next week(currantly on-call for a few days)
Matt
The Roots machine I use is similar, but has an engine that I can stop abruptly and has the block stightly further out. Amherst centre tail is the only feather I put in a dubbing brush as it is the only one that I have not been able to strip from the quill with any consistancy - Ringneck strips very well, the trick is to soak it for about 12 hours.
speydoc

mattzoid
11-23-2003, 03:02 PM
Thanks Speydoc,

I was just trying to avoid the long soak. Guess I'll have to man up and grab the ringneck by the stem. Just in case any of you are still looking to buy a brush system, I found the one pictured above here: http://www.justflytying.com/twister.htm

Matt

Don Johnson
11-23-2003, 03:43 PM
Once the pheasant herl is sandwiched by the pieces of wire but still on the quill, you should be able to carefully cut the quill away with a scalpel or new razor blade. The works well when using straight-cut rabbit strips too. Anyway, this may allow you to preclude the soak.

Don Johnson

flytyer
11-23-2003, 04:30 PM
Speydoc,

These Amhearst tail speys are most tantalizing, very well done indeed!

metalhead
11-23-2003, 06:59 PM
speydoc, nicely done!i too look forward to a step by step photo description!

metalhead
11-23-2003, 07:26 PM
does anyone know what happened to the Roots guy??his web page has been down for sometime.last time i talked to him he was thinking about suing all these knock-off spinning machine makers.

mattzoid
11-23-2003, 07:32 PM
Don,

I tried that and with hair it's OK but those long fibers of ringneck or amhearst on the spinning block doesn't work to well. The fibers hit the edge of the dubbing trough. Need a set up like the nor vise with a table that will move out of the way before spinning.

Matt

Igor
11-24-2003, 10:09 AM
Matt,

May I offer a small suggestion? Try lifting your 'doubled' and tightened wire up and out of the groove of your Turbo Block as you spin your materials...it prevents the long'ish fibers or hairs from wrapping over on themselves or becoming trapped. The hub won't spin as 'freely' (because of the wire being 'off center') but it does work. It's very much like dropping the Dubbing Table out of the way when you spin materials on a NorVise.

Igor

t_richerzhagen
11-24-2003, 11:06 AM
Even with the NorVise, dropping the table may not clear the longer fibers, at least it did not for speybum when he tried it for me. Of course, you could also lift the wires with the NorVise.

I am looking forward to some hackles using pheasant and yak.

mattzoid
11-24-2003, 11:40 AM
I tried that Igor. Got the fibers in, lifted and spun. Fibers went flying everywhere. I'm sure I'll have plenty of practice before I get a Nor Vise.

Thanks,

Matt

Igor
11-24-2003, 12:59 PM
Hey Matt,

Like anything else it just takes a wee bit of practice. I actually got the idea for spinning hair into a 'hackle' from Gordon Mackenzie's book. After several disastrous attempts I found I got better results by really keeping the wire (stainless steel) as tight as I could and spinning the wire slowly at first.

BTW - Bravo on your decision to invest in a NorVise!

Igor

Brian Simonseth
12-18-2003, 04:13 PM
Mike got me to. I've played with it and it looks great need more time with it. Great for trout flys but who fishes for them. Steelhead could be ticket!!!!

Brian Simonseth
12-20-2003, 11:48 PM
It's great! I have been doing the old way for years, not any more.

mattzoid
12-21-2003, 11:10 AM
Santa is hooking me up with a Nor-vise too. It has the dubbing table which I plan on using for spinning big and thick fibered feathers. These two tools together will rock. My girlfriend was smart enough to wrap it up before I could get to it.

Matt

Igor
12-22-2003, 08:45 AM
Yo Mattzoid,

Before you even think about un-packing your NorVise, I'd HIGHLY recommend you do the following;

Treat your Lady to a marvelous night out - you know, dinner, a movie, et nauseum.

Make sure her 'honey-do' list is completed...and then some.

Do anything and everything it takes to get in her good graces.

Why?

I can almost guarantee that from the moment you secure the thread post and give the hub its very first twirl, you're gonna become a bonafide NorVise spinnin', flytying, girlfriend-ignoring PIG.

Above all, do not watch the "Tips and Tricks" video with her. This'll only lead to more resentment on her part with her saying, "I swear, you love that NorVise more than me, and I'm sorry I ever got it for you."

Igor

"Welcome,...welcome to the Machine" - Pink Floyd, rock stars and NorVise users.

mattzoid
12-22-2003, 10:01 AM
Igor,

Thanks for the advice. Dinner was last week. This week santa is hooking her up too. Diamonds are a girls best friend and she will be wearing my drift boat.

Matt

speydoc
12-27-2003, 10:07 PM
Well, I previously promissed to post a sequence of how to create a spun spey hackle from Amherst centre tail - I hope it was worth the wait.
I have not used the Roots machine as it is no longer available & the following system can be homemade.
The first photo is of the dubbing system ready with the Amherst still on the quill

speydoc
12-27-2003, 10:07 PM
Well, I previously promissed to post a sequence of how to create a spun spey hackle from Amherst centre tail - I hope it was worth the wait.
I have not used the Roots machine as it is no longer available & the following system can be homemade.
The first photo is of the dubbing system ready with the Amherst still on the quill

speydoc
12-27-2003, 10:21 PM
Second shot - Amherst cut & ready for spinning

speydoc
12-27-2003, 10:42 PM
I am having trouble with posting and wiil try another time

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:34 PM
Second shot

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:36 PM
Third shot - close up of Amherst after cutting

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:43 PM
Fourth shot - I clamp and cut the dubbing wire so I can lift the entire hackle up of the board as I start spinning it

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:49 PM
Shot five - close up on the hackle as it starts to spin, if the fibres start to bind up - stop spinning and pick them out before restarting the machine - allways keep firm tention on the wire

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:51 PM
Shot six - wide angle as the hackle is spinning

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:54 PM
Shot seven - close up on the hackle with a needle being used to pick out a fibre before it binds up

speydoc
12-30-2003, 11:56 PM
Shot eight - trimming the butt ends to neaten up the hackle

speydoc
12-31-2003, 12:02 AM
Correction to the last photo - this is the hackle end on to show the bottle brush efect that is present before one folds the hackle to get a flat workeable hackle. The attached photo is the one on trimming the but ends

speydoc
12-31-2003, 12:04 AM
Final step - folding the hackle flat

speydoc
12-31-2003, 12:27 AM
For comparison I have a shot with the spun hackle in the rear, next is split Amherst centre tail(very time consuming), followed by stripped Golden pheasant side tail & stripped Amherst side tail - stripping is the simplest and fastest way to produce a hackle from these thick stemmed feathers - unfortunately not all feathers strip well, the Amherst centre tails are the most difficult which is why I produce a spun hackle from them as they are amongst the prettiest feathers to use.Of course one can always use the centre tails just as a beard - this is certainly the fastest & simplest way to use them, but not necisarily the most fun!
The "machine" is simply a small electrical engine with a hook attached - the one in the photos was obtained from a fly shop in Kamloops - one can make some thing similar from a small handhelled fan(obtained from any of the "dollar stores" in the summer in Canada) by removing the fan and replacing with a hook - I would also remove one of the two batteries and replace it with a nail, cut to size, to slow the engine down.
speydoc

MJC
12-31-2003, 12:41 AM
NICE informative pictures and great looking hackles. Thank you for taking the time to post them. Take care, MJC

metalhead
12-31-2003, 01:03 AM
speydoc, great hackle job!!do you make house calls??

mattzoid
12-31-2003, 01:14 AM
Speydoc,

Thank you for you time and effort. Great work.

Matt Burke

speydoc
12-31-2003, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the comments guys - ever since I got my didgital camera I have been looking for an excuse to play with it, this post did just that - exellent post, Matt. In terms of what one can do with "dubbing" brushes the only limit is one's imagination.
Metalhead, careful - I have been looking for an excuse to head up north! - did you get that parcel yet?
speydoc