The Articulated Aggravator and Dubbing Loop Platen

8 comments / Posted on / by


By Herman deGala

As with most of the flies that I design I was trying to solve a problem when I created the Articulated Aggravator.

I was looking for a fly that was different from what I was already fishing for smallies, amongst the riprap of a dam. I needed something I could throw into the face of the dam, which would drop as it followed the face of the dam, where the smallies are often hunting in the rocks looking for juvenile crawdads.

I also wanted the fly to have a lot of movement as it was stripped. I have noticed that the crawdads are not just one color but have a variety colors such as olive, orange, rust and even touches of blue. I wanted the fly to have a variegated texture like the crawdads on these rocks.

I was also looking for a material that was relatively cheap and available. I always get turkey quills, pheasant rumps and pheasant tails from my hunting friends during the season. I have always admired Jerry French’s method for tying composite loops and his use of materials. I wanted to use these techniques but needed a way to scale it down for my target species.

The answer was a simple platen for managing the material. This platen allows me to combine a variety of materials in a cohesive manner and create dubbing loops with every imaginable combination of material at the scale I need them. My hope is that you will think of your own combinations and that this technique gives you a way to incorporate different materials in your patterns.

Below is a link to the plans for the platen. It’s made from a piece of 1/8” thick self-healing mat that is 8” x 10”. You should be able to make 4 platens from that 8” x 10” mat.

Platen Plans

Here’s a video where i use the platen to tie the Articulated Aggravator.


Herman deGala

Signature Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. /

Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

8 thoughts on “The Articulated Aggravator and Dubbing Loop Platen

  1. Herman,
    Great intellectual insight in what it takes to register develop confidence flies.
    Also, like the fact that material is inexpensive and available.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge for all anglers.

    • Good question! No, haven’t had that problem. Been using this technique for a long time, even before the wiggle shank was released. What is key is flattening the fluorocarbon in two spots and matching the up.

  2. Pingback: Tippets: Haunted by Waters, Herman deGala’s Articulated Aggravator - Pesca y Bits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...