Get a handle on your dubbing

Avoid a furry mess

Dubbing Organized into organizing containers
When it comes to dubbing, you'll see a lot of methods to both collect and contain the various fur, fuzz and fibers. I remember my first fly tying kit from High School and it included a couple of small bags of hare's ear dubbing and a synthetic dry fly dubbing in just a couple of colors. From there, my collection has increased just a tad over the past 24 years and I found it's important to keep better track of dubbing so I'm not buying the same stuff over and over again and so I can find what I need. With that said, I've broken it down into two points of focus: Collection and Containment

Right off the bat, here's a universal truth for anyone that really gets into the tying gig: You will collect far more dubbing than you can ever use (see the monstrosity above). That being said, start your collecting by remembering that if you like a certain style of dubbing, you'll more than likely want to use it in a variety of colors. Point being, when you buy a package of say Hare's Ear dubbing, get as many colors as you think you'll use in the color scheme that most closely matches the type of tying you'll be doing (i.e. trout vs steelhead vs salt water etc). The little boxes that are most common for dubbing storage are pretty cheap, so it's easy to fill one up with a given "set" of dubbing colors. Probably the best scenario for someone who wants to collect dubbing colors is a lot of dubbing can now be purchased pre-packaged in the 12 compartment boxes and it comes labeled and ready to go. Even if you don't like the container method, it still behooves you to collect your dubbing on more than a package-by-package basis.

Dubbing container labeled with colors
The 2nd and likely most troubling part of dubbing is how to effectively store and contain it all. In addition to the obscene collection above, I also have a desk drawer filled with individual baggies of dubbing that include duplicates, one-off's and home-grown stuff I never ended up using much. I like either the 12 compartment style boxes or taking bigger craft store storage containers (or tackle boxes) and drilling holes in them. I have a couple of 20 compartment boxes, with bigger compartments, that I drilled out (upper photo at the top of the photo). They're nice because I use these for longer fiber dubbings and dubbings that exceed the 12 colors on the smaller boxes. 

Regardless of how you organize the dubbing, it's a good idea to label the boxes -- especially if you've taken the dubbing out of their original containers.

And finally, if the compartment containers don't float your boat, there are a plethora of other options from storing dubbing packages in a 3-ring binder or peg board pegs, to storing dubbing in labeled film canisters to storing them in jars or other smaller clear containers. And if that's not enough, here are a couple other suggestions I've seen floating around the interwebs. Enjoy...

Photo/Idea by Jason Jones, Az by the Fly

Dubbing Tower from Oasis Benches