Since its launch, Nano silk has been embraced by fly tiers the World over. An obvious advantage is Nano thread pretty much remains unbreakable, especially in the realms of fly tying. However, for my money, that the thread lays flat and can be readily divided using a dubbing needle is just as important. This idea of splitting thread to form a rudimentary dubbing loop lends itself to endless possibilities in terms of creating hackles, or dubbed bodies with fur and feather.
Naturally, beginners shy away from this technique as at first sight the method appears daunting and only reserved for those possessing Zen like skills! Yet, by following the simple steps below, you’ll soon be creating interesting patterns that are almost bombproof! One word of advice, I’d recommend you begin with Nano Predator (6/0) silk, which will be easier to divide. Once you’ve gained confidence then scale down to 8/0 and even 12/0. I’m happiest relying on 12/0 that allows me to dress more delicate flies, down to size 18/0.
Mobile Caddis Pupa:
Hook: Grub/Emerger size14
Thread: Semperfli Nano 8/0 yellow silk
Rib: Semperfli brown micro nymph glint
Body: Caddis green superfine dubbing
Hackle: Pine squirrel
Step 1: Having formed the body of your fly, lightly tensioned thread is carefully divided using a fine point dubbing needle. Note: if you find a slight twist in the thread then rotate (spin) the bobbin holder anticlockwise when viewed from above to align the multiple thread filaments.
Step 2: Using a material clip, offer up your chosen material between the split thread.
Step 3: Pinching your thread immediately beneath the materials holds it firmly in place whilst you spin the bobbin holder in a clockwise direction (viewed from above) to form a tight rope.
Step 4: Releasing your grip gradually allows the thread to twist evenly and form a controlled dubbing rope. Simply releasing spun (loaded) thread can initially throw materials out of the loop before it properly forms. Note: due to being tightly spun your thread will intensify in colour now.
Step 5: Using damp fingers, any materials are best stroked rearwards to prevent unwanted fibres becoming trapped as you wind the rope forward.
Step 6: Touching turns (used here) obviously form a dense, generous hackle. For a more wispy appearance, or palmered style then proceed with open turns.
Paul Procter Feb 2018