Fly Tying Dubbing from past to present -in East Europe

In the early modern years of fly fishing and fly tying   the dubbing was limited to various  natural fibers. In East Europe like Romania, Bulgaria, ex Yugoslavia, Poland and ex Czechoslovakia the main source  for this materials was hare,  rabbit,  sheep and even shepherd dogs.

Rabbit Dubbing

rabbit dubbing














Muskrat Dubbing



muskrat dubbing














The natural fibers cut in different sizes and added using dubbing noodle technique to make the body of the flies – was most common way to tie bodies. Another method was to make a dubbing rope using tying thread as support for a better way to make the bodies. Anyway in those times was easy to catch fish because the rivers  had a lot of fish,  there was no pollution and not so many fishermen.

Fishing in Romania, Ukraine and ex Yugoslavia was simple,  a hazel rod with a  line made of horse hair was enough to catch a lot of fish. In countries from Europe like Poland and ex Czechoslovakia was a different situation: the local  guys was all the time very passionate and attached to fishing and fly fishing,  a local culture was developed in time. A lot of local fly fishing  books from  old period  show this passion for tying flies and fishing with flies. The culture for tying flies started to be more and more developed  compared with other parts so they started  to develop  this  common but fantastic material called dubbing.

The dubbing started to be classified by texture and color and started to be used  in different ways to obtain different effects . So  guard hair from wild rabbit and hare, fox and nutria started to be used in tying nymphs. Soft underfur  started to be used in tying wet flies and dry flies. They used bee wax , pork grease and duck grease to make the dubbing impermeable to water.  Also natural dye was used to give  different colors and shades (like onion skins and nut leafs or nut rind).

In time and with experience  the  hair from rabbit and hare  started to be  the ” bread” for making bodies. White hair from  domestic rabbit started to be most used in tying because  was easy to be colored. Also wild rabbit and hare was and is very appreciate. The main colors from these two animals are simple beautiful.

For example bellow is a dubbing based of guard hair from hare from Romania

hare guard  hair dubbing














A mix of hare, wild rabbit  guard hair with soft underfur in special proportion that will offer a great final aspect and texture to bodies of flies is this buggy dubbing:















Wool started also to be used but more for big fly pattern because the fibers are not so fine like underfur from rabbit,fox, muskrat and nutria.

A dubbing made of  hare musk hand cut will offer you the possibility to have the best bodies for small nymphs, emergers and even torax area for dun  dry flies.

mad rabbit dubbing made of hare mask














When the petrol industry exploded in early  years the synthetic fibers offered a new door and a new perspective. From that moment everything increase in exponential way: fibers  with strong and stiff texture or fibers very soft and impermeable , easy to dye and easy to be mixed with natural changed  fly tying world. From  those years the sky was the limit in  tying world.




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