Well if you’ve been through our fly patterns & fly tying category you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we prefer and strive to create simple and durable fly patterns. One of the tools that we use to achieve these goals is our home made wire dubbing brush maker!
The wire dubbing brush is a very kewl concept! As the name implies, instead of spinning dubbing between thread, it spins it between wire resulting in a brush of superior strength!
Now why would you want to take the time to build one of these tools when you could just head to the store and purchase one? Well, no reason really, other than the fact that you’ll spend a whole bunch more money for a product that won’t do anything more for you than a home made version will. But hey money’s not everything so if the DIY idea is not your cup of tea then no worries – a quick Google search reveals that you can get similar units delivered right to your door step from anywhere between $50.00 – $250.00 (plus taxes and shipping of course)! On the other hand, if you’re the kind of guy that likes the satisfaction of “doing it yourself”, along with saving a bit of money while your at it, then this project is definitively for you!
- 1 12″x4″x3/4″ piece of MDF board
- 2 Beveled Rubber Faucet Washers
- 2 3/4″ Wood Screws
- 1 Arrow Nock (I just bought a toy arrow at the dollar store!)
* For a grand total of about $5.00! (even less if you can find a piece of scrap MDF)
- Screw Driver (head to match wood screws)
- Drill (bit size slightly larger than arrow shaft diameter)
- Hack Saw (or Dremel tool)
- Wood Glue
What to do with it all:
First things first we need to measure for and drill 3 holes and the first of these holes is for the arrow nock on the bottom edge of the board:
- Measure half way across the bottom edge of the board and mark it with your pencil.
- Use the hack saw to cut the toy arrow about 3/4″ above the nock.
- Find a drill bit just slightly bigger than the diameter of the arrow shaft and drill a 3/4″ deep hole on your mark.
- Apply some wood glue to the arrow shaft and install it into the hole you just made.
- Adjust nock and let set with the openings in the “V” at 12 and 6 (see picture above)
The second and third holes are made on top of the board and are for the faucet washers:
- Measure and mark a point 8″ from the edge of the board that you just installed the arrow nock in and about half way across from the side edge. *Use the same distance from the side edge for this hole as you did for the arrow nock hole. (see picture above)
- Measure and mark a second point 10″ from the edge of the board that you just installed the arrow nock in and about a third of the way across from the side edge. (see picture above)
- Use wood screws to install the faucet washers into these 2 holes flat sides up. (see picture on the right)
Next we need to take our hack saw (or dremel) and make a small 1/2″ or so groove on the top of the board directly above and in line with the arrow nock:
And finally, we need to flip over the board and using the hack saw or dremel tool make a small groove across the bottom of the plastic arrow nock:
And once your done all that you should have a product that looks something like this:
OK I know what your thinking … how the heck is this crude looking piece of fly tying furniture going to help me to tie stronger fishing flies??? Well, mount up a spool of fine wire into a bobbin, grab a bag of your favourite dubbing and sit back and watch the following instructional video!
When & how to use a wire dubbing brush:
You can use wire dubbing brushes on any fly that you currently use dubbing on. A good rule of thumb is to try and match the colour of the wire with the colour of the dubbing that you are using or with the colour of the rib (if any) that you are using. Also, the smaller the fly the smaller (finer) the wire you should use. When forming the dubbing brush try to spread out the dubbing evenly to avoid building up any lumps in the brush … but if it happens simply use your scissors to even things out. To see a wire dubbing brush in fly tying action you can check out the video on our Triple F Leech post.
And just because … here’s another how to video with a very similar approach to the low cost dubbing block!
That’s it folks! Enjoy!