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Alas Babylon

Types of thread

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I see the color of thread listed in most fly recipes but what about waxed or not, flat or not, 6/0 or 8/0... any guidelines to follow? This feels like a dumb question but humor me please.

Thanks

AB

 

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No question is dumb! There are no rules to picking a particular thread other than it has to fit the size of the fly being tied. Otherwise it's primarily a personal choice. Generally speaking, the smaller the hook size the finer the thread you'll want to use. Some tiers may use a fine thread on larger patterns. I have a friend who tied all his saltwater patterns with 6/0 thread. I prefer a larger thread for most saltwater tying.

 

As far as waxed or not, waxed thread is waxed to help hold the material while tying dubbing on bodies. Thread doesn't have to be waxed to work for tying. Waxed thread also will absorb less water on flies were head cement is not used, as on dry flies. Some head cements don't work well with waxed thread either, as the solvent dissolves the wax. I found this out many years ago. Again, it's a matter of personal choice which one you decide to use.

 

Now, I've been tying for a long time & mostly use Danville threads, even though I've tried others. I've just used them for so long I don't see any real advantage for me to change now. I'm sure others will have there favorites too. I use 6/0 thread for dry flies, wet flies and small nymphs, from size 10 hooks down. For larger nymphs, & wet flies I use a 3/0 thread. For bass or saltwater flies I use flat waxed nylon or sometimes mono thread. This is generally what I stick with, but it's not set in stone, and I will change things around some, especially when tying new patterns.

 

I also tie jigs, and use a nylon jig thread which is a round twisted nylon. I also use the flat waxed sometimes. They all get the job done.

 

These are my choices, and should give you an idea what can be used for various hook sizes, but this is not what everyone will use.

 

I hope this helps answer your question.

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No question is dumb! There are no rules to picking a particular thread other than it has to fit the size of the fly being tied. Otherwise it's primarily a personal choice. Generally speaking, the smaller the hook size the finer the thread you'll want to use. Some tiers may use a fine thread on larger patterns. I have a friend who tied all his saltwater patterns with 6/0 thread. I prefer a larger thread for most saltwater tying.

 

As far as waxed or not, waxed thread is waxed to help hold the material while tying dubbing on bodies. Thread doesn't have to be waxed to work for tying. Waxed thread also will absorb less water on flies were head cement is not used, as on dry flies. Some head cements don't work well with waxed thread either, as the solvent dissolves the wax. I found this out many years ago. Again, it's a matter of personal choice which one you decide to use.

 

Now, I've been tying for a long time & mostly use Danville threads, even though I've tried others. I've just used them for so long I don't see any real advantage for me to change now. I'm sure others will have there favorites too. I use 6/0 thread for dry flies, wet flies and small nymphs, from size 10 hooks down. For larger nymphs, & wet flies I use a 3/0 thread. For bass or saltwater flies I use flat waxed nylon or sometimes mono thread. This is generally what I stick with, but it's not set in stone, and I will change things around some, especially when tying new patterns.

 

I also tie jigs, and use a nylon jig thread which is a round twisted nylon. I also use the flat waxed sometimes. They all get the job done.

 

These are my choices, and should give you an idea what can be used for various hook sizes, but this is not what everyone will use.

 

I hope this helps answer your question.

Tidewaterfly that is just what I was looking for . Seems to me there is a lot of information that is passed over in some of the books for beginers but I guess we don't want to decimate a forest to put every little possible fact in a book for newbies. Thank you for the guidelines. Huge help. :yahoo:

AB

 

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AB, there is a ton of information available now. Wasn't the case when I started tying. There is also many more materials & thread choices available. I think writers sometimes just take for granted that the reader has a certain amount of basic knowledge & knows what to use. That's not always the case, but that's one of the great things about this site. Someone can answer the questions that need to be answered!

 

You're Welcome Anytime! :)

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I see the color of thread listed in most fly recipes but what about waxed or not, flat or not, 6/0 or 8/0... any guidelines to follow? This feels like a dumb question but humor me please.

Thanks

AB

 

To keep it simple, I use 8/0 (or 70-denier) for all my tying down to about #20 flies. This includes flies in the #4-6-8 range. Although the larger flies traditionally call for 6/0 or 3/0, the 8/0 stuff works fine and with just a few extra wraps. About the only time I upsize thread is when I'm tying down larger clumps of hair, and especially when spinning / flaring hair clumps, and then I'll jump up to kevlar or GSP. When I go down below #20 flies, then I use a finer thread.

 

Personally, I don't worry too much about waxed/unwaxed, bonded/unbonded, etc... Sure, I know they're different, but it's a subtlety, not a major factor.

 

 

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I primarily use 8/0 Danville for wets, nymphs and dries, but just picked up some 6/0, 8/0 and 10/0 Guidebrod for a VERY good price (i.e. store's cost), as they no longer make fly tying thread from what I understand.

 

I use GSP (gel-spun) for deer hair spinning and stacking, as do others. http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?s=&...st&p=343928

 

 

One thing I would suggest it that no matter what thread you use do the following to learn its characteristics:

 

Clamp a hook in the vise, and tie on whatever thread using your jam knot (where you wrap back over top of the thread from the eye towards the bend).

Once that is solid pull (not jerk) straight down with your bobbin holder so that the thread does not contact the tube in any way.

Continue to pull with steady pressure until the thread breaks.

Rinse.

Repeat.

 

Do this a few times until you get a feel for how much pressure you can put on the thread you use until it breaks.

Barring nicks from the hook point, or contact with the bobbin holder tube, you will now have an idea of how hard you are able to pull down without breaking the thread, generally.

 

Caveat: sometimes the thread will break for no apparent reason no matter what you are doing. I suspect that it due to the fact that threads are subject to the same manufacturing defects or weaknesses as any man-made object. :dunno:

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I see the color of thread listed in most fly recipes but what about waxed or not, flat or not, 6/0 or 8/0... any guidelines to follow? This feels like a dumb question but humor me please.

Thanks

AB

 

To keep it simple, I use 8/0 (or 70-denier) for all my tying down to about #20 flies. This includes flies in the #4-6-8 range. Although the larger flies traditionally call for 6/0 or 3/0, the 8/0 stuff works fine and with just a few extra wraps. About the only time I upsize thread is when I'm tying down larger clumps of hair, and especially when spinning / flaring hair clumps, and then I'll jump up to kevlar or GSP. When I go down below #20 flies, then I use a finer thread.

 

Personally, I don't worry too much about waxed/unwaxed, bonded/unbonded, etc... Sure, I know they're different, but it's a subtlety, not a major factor.

Thanks for the insight. I am mostly using 6/0 and I can get along with that but when I get to the 8/0 it shows I still have a heavy hand. I will not be working with any #20s in the near future.

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I primarily use 8/0 Danville for wets, nymphs and dries, but just picked up some 6/0, 8/0 and 10/0 Guidebrod for a VERY good price (i.e. store's cost), as they no longer make fly tying thread from what I understand.

 

I use GSP (gel-spun) for deer hair spinning and stacking, as do others. http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?s=&...st&p=343928

 

 

One thing I would suggest it that no matter what thread you use do the following to learn its characteristics:

 

Clamp a hook in the vise, and tie on whatever thread using your jam knot (where you wrap back over top of the thread from the eye towards the bend).

Once that is solid pull (not jerk) straight down with your bobbin holder so that the thread does not contact the tube in any way.

Continue to pull with steady pressure until the thread breaks.

Rinse.

Repeat.

 

Do this a few times until you get a feel for how much pressure you can put on the thread you use until it breaks.

Barring nicks from the hook point, or contact with the bobbin holder tube, you will now have an idea of how hard you are able to pull down without breaking the thread, generally.

 

Caveat: sometimes the thread will break for no apparent reason no matter what you are doing. I suspect that it due to the fact that threads are subject to the same manufacturing defects or weaknesses as any man-made object. :dunno:

Thanks PK. I will do some testing of the breaking point and gosh yes do I ever know about the point of the hook. I tend to crowd the bend and pay the price but that is getting better. I appreciate the advice.

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keep this as a bookmark

 

http://www.flyfisherman.com/ftb/ssthread/index.html

 

download this catalog. chris helm talks about thread.

 

http://www.whitetailflytieing.com/PDF/2009v1.0.0.pdf

Thank you for the web sites. I'll add them to my list. The forum is so huge that even a search leaves a lot of ground to cover. Time saved getting answers = more time at the vise.

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