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mattzoid 11-11-2003 10:45 AM

The turbo spinning block for dubbing
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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.


fredaevans 11-11-2003 01:45 PM

Waaaay back when, someone on the board was
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.

mattzoid 11-11-2003 03:20 PM

Got mine at Ted's here in Seattle. Think you might snag one from hareline.


t_richerzhagen 11-11-2003 07:41 PM

Could you pm me a link to where you bought it?

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

another way
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.


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:

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

Place in your dubbing material on the single strand:

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

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.


flytyer 11-12-2003 02:20 PM


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.


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?


John Desjardins 11-12-2003 03:07 PM

Matt, How about some hairs. Maybe deer or badger.

sean 11-12-2003 03:25 PM


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.


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

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