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Can you use sewing thread to tie flies? I have access to a lot of sewing thread and wandering if I can tie with it.

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Jack, I've been tying off and on for a couple of decades. I bought my first spool of "fly tying thread" last year.

I tie most of my flies with sewing thread (polyester ... not cotton). But most of my flies are hook size 12 and larger. At sizes 10 and 12, it's sometimes hard to keep proportionally small, with sewing thread.

So, if you're tying for bream, bass and other fish that regularly take larger prey, sewing thread is fine. If you're tying those tiny flies for ;fish that take midges and stuff, you might want to have some thinner threads available.

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I think it's fine for large flies, but it's too big (my opinion) for small flies. I've never tried it except on a Wooly Bugger, size 8, where it works just fine. As Mike said, not cotton, which will rot.

 

I tend to go as small thread as I can easily get, 70 denier, and some occasionally smaller. But not much smaller diameter, 8/0 does it for me.

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There are LOTS of sewing threads that you CAN use, but there are drawbacks you will soon discover with sewing threads. Most sewing threads are two or three strands that are then twisted together. These are fine for larger flies, but quickly build up more bulk than you want in smaller flies. Flies larger than size 12 is where I usually switch to lighter threads.

 

Most (not all,) sewing thread is "texturized," that means it is fuzzy which makes it a problem when finishing off smooth looking heads. Your heads may not look as nice, but the fish won't care.

 

It would be best to use only synthetic threads, and work on larger patterns. When you need to or want to tie smaller patterns, then you can still find "sewing" threads that will do the job as well as "tying" thread. These threads are not generally available in sewing shops, or craft stores, but there are some on Amazon.

 

These are some very good sewing threads you can purchase for tying even the smallest of patterns. Gutermann Skala thread comes in several sizes and make excellent tying thread. Gutermann sewing threads are available direct from Oshman Brothers (the American distributor,) but there is a minimum order of $25.00

 

Gutermann Skala 200 has a TEX size rating of 15 (similar to a denier of 135,) and is $16.00 for 11,000 yards that works out to be about 15 cents per hundred yards.

 

Gutermann Skala 240 has a TEX size of 12 (or a denier of 108,) at 17.50 for 11,000 yards is only 16 cents a 100 yard spool.

 

Gutermann Skala 360 has a TEX size of 8 (or denier of 72,) and is only 3.25 for 1100 yards or 30 cents a 100 yard spool.

 

These threads are all multi filament poly threads that perform much the same way as "fly tying" thread. They can be split, and will lay flat and are quite fine enough for most needs. These threads are much different from what one would usually find in sewing and craft shops. I have been using these for quite a while, and the cost is about 10% of a typical fly tying thread. Since they look and preform like "fly tying" threads I find no reason to spend upwards of $3.00 per hundred yards.

 

 

These threads all come on large cones (not standard size spools,) so you will have to re-spool the thread onto spools that fit you bobbin. Since I re-spool all my thread anyway to fit my auto bobbin, its not a problem for me.

 

One Gutermann thread that I can find in Joann Fabrics is Bulk Nylon. This thread is 2 or 3 times heavier than all the Skala threads, and I use it only on hooks larger than size 8. It is a multi strand thread that will lay flat, and is easily split to insert dubbing or other materials when using a "split thread" technique.

 

While these threads can all be ordered in many colors, I only use white. Any other colors I want can be applied with a permanent marker.

 

For someone starting out, purchasing a single 11,000 yard spool of thread could be a lifetime supply. It makes 110 hundred yard spools.

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...which, if you have to mail order the thread anyway, why not get fly tying thread?

 

Like the others, I've used standard sewing thread on larger flies. It works fine, even if it isn't as pretty. Cotton coated polyester is the most common type of sewing thread. It will build fast, and look fuzzy. If you are making a bulky, fuzzy looking fly (like a size 4 woolybugger) what does it matter if you add a bit of extra fuzz to it?

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These are some very good sewing threads you can purchase for tying even the smallest of patterns. Gutermann Skala thread comes in several sizes and make excellent tying thread. Gutermann sewing threads are available direct from Oshman Brothers (the American distributor,) but there is a minimum order of $25.00

 

Gutermann Skala 200 has a TEX size rating of 15 (similar to a denier of 135,) and is $16.00 for 11,000 yards that works out to be about 15 cents per hundred yards.

 

Gutermann Skala 240 has a TEX size of 12 (or a denier of 108,) at 17.50 for 11,000 yards is only 16 cents a 100 yard spool.

 

Gutermann Skala 360 has a TEX size of 8 (or denier of 72,) and is only 3.25 for 1100 yards or 30 cents a 100 yard spool.

 

 

 

These threads all come on large cones (not standard size spools,) so you will have to re-spool the thread onto spools that fit you bobbin. Since I re-spool all my thread anyway to fit my auto bobbin, its not a problem for me.

 

One Gutermann thread that I can find in Joann Fabrics is Bulk Nylon. This thread is 2 or 3 times heavier than all the Skala threads, and I use it only on hooks larger than size 8. It is a multi strand thread that will lay flat, and is easily split to insert dubbing or other materials when using a "split thread" technique.

 

While these threads can all be ordered in many colors, I only use white. Any other colors I want can be applied with a permanent marker.

 

For someone starting out, purchasing a single 11,000 yard spool of thread could be a lifetime supply. It makes 110 hundred yard spools.

is this not a sticky somewhere yet? thnx for reposting.

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Unless you robbed a sewing shop or you mother, the cost is the same. My wife quilts. She could never complain about the cost of fly tying thread. Cheap cotton is cheaper than fly tying thread, but good nylon and polester and silk sewing thread is more money.

 

As stated here previously, some of the sewing thread goes on like rope. The tying thread flattens.

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