Every fall, the Hareline Dubbin Company releases their new catalog which inevitably has a slew of new tying materials, some of which are a little more "new" so to speak than others. Every season when that new catalog arrives at my doorstep, accompanied by a generous selection of material samples, it is like the advent of a new holiday. "I dub this day Hareline holiday"! Ok, got a little carried away there, besides I'd need a definitive date to add to the calendar as it seems there is no defined date so to speak. At any rate, its an exciting mail day to say the least every fall when this cornucopia of goodness arrives.
This year there was a pretty solid haul of entirely new materials, as well as some additions to some older materials. I am going to give you a rundown of the materials that caught my eye, and have already either 1. made my life easier in some way, or 2. are entirely innovative new products. So to get things started, lets kick our holiday off with a bang.
1. Gary Krebs Blue Water/Predator Foam Popper Jig Set.
It would only be fitting for me to start off with a product that hits on my predator senses. I have personally been waiting on this one for quite some time and am very happy to say that it is now available. Gary Krebs has been known for designing innovative jig sets for all sorts of foam related flies. His first series of foam popper jigs are great tools for constructing poppers for panfish and bass, but were lacking in the larger sizes. Now you can build poppers up to just shy of an inch in diameter, and River Road Creations also supplies the applicable sizes of foam cylinders to do so. If you are looking for a quick way to build some of those larger foam poppers for those predacious fish in your life, look no further.
2. Grizzly Barred Flashabou
Anything grizzly barred is always a good thing. Barred markings are just so much more appealing to the eye for us and to the fish, maybe it’s a gimmick, but flies just look better with some barring in them. The folks who make flashabou have just kicked it up a notch with the introduction of six new colors of grizzly barred flashabou in both standard and magnum sizes. Like Hareline says, who needs hackles. This type of flashabou is a very nice addition to any streamer fly tiers collection.
3. Veevus 140 Power Thread
I am a total thread collector, its a problem to be honest. Besides hooks, threads are something that I just can’t seem to have enough of. I have tied with the UTC line of threads for years, and I love the fact that I am able to split them for dubbing loops and what have you. Since I first tied with some of the other sizes of Veevus threads, I have been nothing short of blown away by them. The 140 Power thread is no different, I have been tying many of my streamer patterns with this thread now for the better part of 3 months now and I can honestly say that I truly love all aspects of this thread. The 140 is very strong for its size as I have spun deer hair without it breaking. And like all Veevus threads, you can split it too, hopefully in the new year they expand the color range as this thread is worth every penny.
4. Double Pupil Lead Eyes
The number of choices for adding dumbbell eyes to your streamers is rather extensive these days. The standard painted lead covered eyes just got a facelift, and a rather nice one. The double pupil eyes that are now available give you even more options. For cost and sink rate, you really can’t beat lead eyes. Granted the paint will eventually chip, but you still can’t beat the overall appeal and price. Now, you get some new colors and great looking pupils too.
5. Veevus Body Quill
For some of you out there who like to tie nymphs with some moderately flashy segmentation, Veevus has added their own version of body quill which is very similar to that found by the makers of Czech nymph products body quill. The color range is vast and the material can easily be used on the spool with a bobbin, or cut to length and tied in. Stay tuned for some new tying videos using this stuff, great durable product.
6. EP Craft Fur Brushes
It was only fitting that Enrico came up with a craft fur brush to add to the extensive line of both natural and synthetic brushes that he already offers. This particular brush has a nice interior spine of semi rigid synthetic EP fiber which gives the craft fur enough stiffness so that it has some body. I have a couple of really cool and effective streamer patterns to unveil using these brushes which I think you will all like. Brushes simply make great flies, that take a fraction of the time to tie.
7. EP Game-changer Blend Fibers
With the advent of Blane Chockletts Game changer streamer, a whole series of products have been introduced to the market for alternative methods to tying Blane’s signature pattern. The Game-changer blend of synthetic is a game changing blend in my opinion as it has the perfect blend of flash and fiber. This particular material is a bit stiffer with a slight kink to it, and I have already played around with it for predator and saltwater patterns alike, and I like what I see thus far. Heck, I’ve even substituted it in the construction of the pike dart streamer and it has worked rather well. Yet another great synthetic option on the market worth checking out.
8. Sculpting Flash Fibre
Johnny King has found and been using this particular synthetic for a while now, and its finally available to the mainstream market. What sets this material apart from several of the other synthetics on the market is this particular fiber is relatively soft. You can actually stack and trim this stuff like deer hair, and it sheds water really well, making it a pleasure to cast too. There are a pile of color combinations for this stuff, and it makes some really cool heads and wings on streamers.
*Honorable mention “tiger barred rabbit strips” new colors.
Hareline is the leader in rabbit hair in my personal opinion. They offer entire hides, cut strips in a variety of sizes and with some of the best dyed effects that are out there. Well, they added some great new colors to the tiger barred series of rabbit strips that you should all take a look at. I mean seriously, 2 colors plus barring? Who does that? Hareline, thats who. All photographs courtesy of the Hareline Dubbin Company.
Well it may be a month late, but thats my round up of new materials that really piqued my interest. There are a slew of others that they released as well, and I suggest you keep an eye out as you may find something that you like. Tight lines and happy tying!
I could have braved the masses like the rest of the holiday shoppers; long lines, complete disregard for others, mad dashes in parking lots for the closer spots; but I didn't.
I could have sat on the couch, stuffed my face gluttonously with more of the left overs from a Thanksgiving feast, adding to the that ever growing winter waistline; but I didn't.
I could have spent the day raking those leaves that continue to blow over onto my lawn from the neighbors oak trees, curse those bloody trees; but I didn't.
I could have painted that molding that has taken its fair share of abuse over the years that is staring me in the face every day; but I didn't.
I could've went out on the Farmington River for the day and joined the masses of people who like myself had the day off and wanted to tangle with a trout or two. The day prior a few of my friends mentioned the river was pretty crowded; but I didn't.
Instead I decided to break out the glass rod, strap it to my backpack and head out with a friend on a hike to a small blue line, and hopefully touch a few of those wily little natives that I cut my teeth on as a kid. I can't think of a better way to spend a mild wet day in November, and I am thankful that I made the right choice.
You all know my fondness for my Flycraft Stealth, it has become my single favorite piece of gear hands down in the last season. Well Ben and Brandon are launching something special on Monday, here's a few pictures to get you excited. More to follow on Monday. For now, have a happy Thanksgiving!