DVD Review by Denny Conrad

This review of the Rope Dubbing with Don Ordes DVD was written by the late, great Denny Conrad, of Conranch Hackle, and appeared on Fly Anglers Online.

As many of you know I have been tying flies for many years now. I am a somewhat of a fly fishing bum. Today I mostly tie for my own fishing pleasure, but I also tied commercially for a few years.

As I look back over my years of tying I asked myself if I were honest with myself, what area or part on my tying actually needed improvement. There have been many material additions to my tying bench over the years, and many of them, though beautiful, are really not user friendly, and one of these is DUBBING!!

OK, I said it- dubbing. Yes, I could use some help or I needed to do something that would not only make my dubbing better but also faster. Knowing this, about five years ago I was attending a show on the circuit.  I had a sales booth there, which gives me very little time to wander around and talk to and watch the tiers. Knowing that Don Ordes was tying, I made arrangements for someone else to handle sales at my bench so I could go watch him.

So I was fortunate to renew my friendship with Don and sat and watched and talked with him for about an hour. He was demonstrating his method of Rope Dubbing and it was fantastic. Not only could he dub to perfection, but he could rope-dub any and all materials. And the speed at which he dubbed was unreal. He got segmentation and taper in one pass- no ribbing or multiple passes required, and the fly was near bullet-proof! So, being an old guy that has tied forever I did not do one thing I should have. I should have taken my vise over to his vise and had him talk me through the several sequences he was showing me while I was doing it. Nope, being a hard head I had it all down pat. When I arrived home I had forgotten it all. It wasn’t Don’s fault, because just like a lot of other older tiers, I just flat out forgot what I saw. Dumb Dumb!! LOL! So I was still stuck with my old method.

Recently Don and His Fantasy Fly Co joined FAOL as a Sponsor. I knew he had done a DVD on his Rope dubbing but had not yet heard from anyone that used it or had even purchased one. The publisher and I were on the phone as we are at least once per week. I jumped at the chance to do a product review of the DVD since I had seen him do it in person.

It arrived a few days ago and I have been blown away. It has 24 tying sequences and covers all the hard to dub products. I watched the entire DVD, then sat down at my vise and for the first time in my 65 years of tying I turned out a multicolor Emerger in less than one minute! It was a good one too!! Was this a fluke? Nope, I continued tying using the DVD and Rope Dubbing technique. Today I will lay my flies down beside anyone and I can find no fault my dubbing at all.  I am a happy camper!  Thank you Don!

It is important to not fall back on your old dubbing practices, but use the techniques as Don shows them step-by-step on the DVD. Miss the basics and you’re back to doing what you’ve always done. Been there, done that.

Don did not put out the DVD to get famous or ‘make money’ off of his technique. He demonstrated it for 8 years in public, giving it away for free, and did the VFB article in 2002 as free instruction. He finally decided to do a DVD because of many requests from tiers like me, who have a hard time remembering a technique. And his rope-dub method has so many sub-techniques to remember also. What he also found over those 8 years was that there were no competing methods to what he was doing.

Putting a 1st class DVD together, like Don did, is not cheap, as he used professional videographers to make it. He wanted to do a top-notch video because that’s the way he is. So I will add that this DVD is very professional and has outstanding photography – it is not a ‘do it yourself’ DVD.

I would say if you are a new tier with few or no bad habits developed yet, get the DVD and learn a method for dubbing that will last you a lifetime. If you are an old tier like me and know it all- like me- but honestly think you could improve your tying & dubbing, I assure you the DVD will help. I just wish I had this DVD & information 20 years ago.

Here is Don’s web site http://www.fantasyflies.com, or you can go to Don’s Sponsor page on this site to find it.

This is the URL that will tell you lots more about his DVD and where to buy it if you want: http://www.fantasyflies.com/ropedub_dvd.php. Take a look at the reviews, too, at the bottom. You may see some names you recognize. Also go to his rope-dub flies’ page for just a few samples of what is possible.

Since rope-dubbing is a technique, not a recipe, you will be in charge of how you use it, to expand your tying envelope and get creative in your own patterns.

I’ve been tying with this method for a week now, and catching fish on rope-dubbed flies. But you need to get and use Don’s DVD to use it properly and take advantage of all its properties.

I personally feel that every tier who wants to create outstanding flies would benefit by having this DVD in his box of tools. By the way, there are no tools for you to buy; you already have all you need at your tying bench. And put your wax away, too- it’s not needed either.

Place me at the top of your list for DVD2, Don. I am ready for some advanced Rope Dubbing.

Denny Conrad
Conranch Hackle

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