Useful Fly Tying Tools
By Larry Jurgens

As a fly tyer for 40+ years I have collected many tools, both good and bad. About a month ago I purchased a couple of tools from Front Range Anglers that were intriguing. One was a Dr. Slick 5" Dubbing Hook e/w Half Hitch Tool and the other was a Barr's™ Dubbing Teaser.

The first tool that I will report on is the Dr. Slick 5" Dubbing Hook e/w Half Hitch Tool. For many years I have used the fly-tying industry standard, the Cal Bird Dubbing Tool and have been completely satisfied. I have tried many different types of dubbing tools from a bent paper clip to the ball bearing type. For small dubbing loops the Cal Bird has been my go-to tool.

After using the Dr Slick Dubbing Hook I am now going to retire the Cal Bird Tool. The hook on the Dr Slick tool is of good quality steel and is really stout and does not bend. The design of the "hook" is excellent and the dubbing loop is not prone to move around on the hook when spinning. The handle is of brass and is a large enough diameter that it is easy to spin. The design with the bend in the hook shaft makes it very simple to wrap the dubbing loop without using hackle pliers. This is a major improvement as far as I am concerned since you can hold the tool close to parallel to the hookshank. The half-hitch part of the tool is perfect for tying off your dubbing loop without changing tools. I do not usually tie off my dubbing loops but now it sure is nice to know that I can if I want without changing tools.

I thought that the Barr's™ Dubbing Teaser was a tool that really wasn't required and was another "gimmick" tool, many of which I have purchased in the past, used once or twice and put away forever. In the recent past my best dubbing teaser was a piece of "hook" Velcro glued to a piece of screen door trim. With this along with a bodkin, I had every situation covered. I decided to give this tool a "fair" workout without any bias. Boy was I surprised; this is a really good tool. The biggest surprise was how easy it was to use on very small flies and how much you can control how much dubbing that you can pick out and/or how little. Using this tool you don't seem to get under your thread wraps and only grab the dubbing. It was very easy to pick out dubbing right up next to the wing case without disturbing the wingcase. The only drawback to this tool is the round handle -- I would prefer a "hex" handle which wouldn't be as likely to roll off my tying table.

In my opinion these are two very useful tools and well worth the expense. In fact for a fly tying tool these two tools are very inexpensive. The Dr. Slick 5" Dubbing Hook e/w Half Hitch Tool retails for only $4.00 and the Barr's™ Dubbing Teaser is $5.99. This basically means that for $10 plus tax you will have two excellent and very effective fly tying tools on your fly-tying bench.