January 19, 2011

mason's children

Unassuming, a spool of mason line strikes no fancy to the casual fly angler. Hell, even most fly tyers would look past this spindle of ghastly colored fluorescent pink twine, not even thinking twice about its use behind the vise. It is only in the deep dark reaches of a mad scientist, where upon a routine Saturday morning at the local store, one finds an oddly placed item lurking in the depths of the clearance aisle and thinks,
"fly tying material!".

Mason Line
Composed of nylon, polyester, and/or polypropylene, mason line hardly seems like an ideal material to the typical fly tyer, especially when it comes in cerise. Fluorescent pink isn't typically a color most tyers reach for, unless you're a steelheader or fish Alaska. To the dubbist, the same situation applies; no need to make hot pink dubbing if you won't be tying hot pink patterns. Ah so, but if you're crazy enough behind the vise, good things begin to happen.

Mason Line, frayed out
This particular brand of mason line has a composition that is very antron like. In fact, when chopped up and blended, this line resembles STS Trilobal dubbing from Hare-Line. Almost spot on. I don't typically dub flies in straight pink, unless I'm tying in collars on a batch of Pink Squirrels. However, I do use quite a bit of pink synthetics to add highlights to my dubbing blends. This stuff is righteous. I'm a firm believer that good things don't just happen, you make them happen.

mason line dubbing
mason line dubbing, natural light
The best thing about the mason line? I picked up a 75 yard spool of it for $1, nearly a quarter of it's retail price. Mad indeed.


  1. my wife buys the neon four pack (yellow, pink, green and orange) at menards for garden work. the orange in particular is great for dubbing carp flies.

    you can tie the unshredded twine on a hook ala sawyer's killer bug. with or without a wing.

    the next time you're in that aisle pick up some jute twine...great when macerated...for dubbing.

  2. Thanks for the tip!