Wool Roving – a New Dubbing Material

I was walking through Hobby Lobby the other day when I found a package of Roving. This material may not be new to some but it is new to me.  Roving is a sliver of cotton, wool or other fiber drawn out and slightly twisted in preparation for spinning yarn.  It is also used for needle felting. This package contained four balls of wool roving, about 2 ounces, in earth tone colors.  The potential for dubbing was immediately obvious.


Package of Roving from Hobby Lobby

Here is the package. The cost is $6.99.  This package contained about 12 different colors, greens, browns and grays, ideal for fly bodies.  The Roving fibers are very long and hold together well.


Roving ready for use

To use it, unroll the ball and pull off a sufficient quantity for the size fly you’r tying.  Attach the Roving to the hook with the tying thread and advance the thread to the eye of the hook.  Then wrap the roving to the tie off point.  The roving holds together well so you do not need a dubbing loop or to wind the tying thread along with the dubbing.

Fuzzy Nymph

Fuzzy Nymph

Wrap loosely and use a dubbing brush for a fuzzy nymph.

Nymph with tight body

Nymph with tight twisted body

Or twist the Roving together to form a rope and wind around the hook.  This gives a segmented looking abdomen to the fly.

This material is especially useful for tying large flies.  Using Roving is much quicker than using the direct dubbing or dubbing loop method.  However, it is also useful for smaller flies.  Try it and let me know what you think. >>ML