More Dubbing Brushes

More Dubbing Brushes

Viking Lars | Saturday, 22 January 2022

I’ve spent more time making and tying with dubbing brushes. So far only big bait fish imitations for pike. Mainly because I really need to replenish the boxes of pike flies. I’ve given away almost all of the old ones. Now the ambition is, as far as it’s reasonable, to stick to this tying technique for the subsurface patterns.

To begin with I only tried the white/chartreuse and black brushes. Pike like perch and I wanted to make a perch-colour-themed one in the same style and at the samt time try the tying technique on other hooks. The ones last week were tied on a long shank hook, and I wanted to explore the possibilities on short shank hooks and see what was possible.

The colours I blended in the brush fit a perch very nicely, I think. Just to add a little flare of realism, I added the orange throat and a solid, olive back (which you can hardly see, so I’ll skip that). I also tried making few different brushes, where I mainly changed the density of materials. Be careful with densities - it’s important to keep the brush sparse enough that as much material as possible contacts the wire. That essential for durability. Basically I aim to keep the brush sparse enough that I can see the steel core when it’s spun.

The bottom fly is on the long shank hook. A tail, an “abdomen” of three-4 turns of a “sparse” brush. A middle section of Polar Flash and a “thorax” with 3-4 turns of “sparse” brush. It slims down a little in the water and in all modesty, looks so alive that you could expect to swim forward and bite the leader off.

The top one is tied on a much shorter shanked hook (Ahrex XO 774). Tail, body only of dubbing brush, a slightly denser one this time and with a bit more bucktail and the same head. The Pro Sportfisher SoftHead squeezes the materials a little together, creating a higher profile and the denser brush/increased amount of ducktail retains this shape much more than the other fly. It off course slims down when pulled, but immediately flares open again to a very natural, perch-like profile.

In any pike fly, flare and/or mobility in the fly, even when it’s static, is imperative. “Fishing the hover” - just ever so slightly moving the fly can be deadly on slow days. I was taught the technique years ago by Morten Valeur (owner of Ahrex Hooks) and I’ve caught many pike with the fly nearly static, just “hovering”.

I have a few ideas for salt water bait fish imitation using dubbing brushes, which I’ll explore. I’ll tie just a few, because everything - and I mean everything, even the most stainless of stainless steels (as in the dubbing brush wire) rusts in salt water. The thin wire might not last long before rusting, even with rinsing after fishing. We’ll see if it works or rusts.

Have a great weekend,