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dflanagan

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Played around on a few classic wets tonight with the uni 6/0. It's definitely my technique that's causing the problem. Did fine until the head and then got carried away on a couple. One fly turned out great with a small head. The pic shows what happens when I lose track of number of turns.

That particular fly I'd be inclined to tie with UTC70 fwiw.

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yup you dont need 267 turns of thread to make a head :)

 

In my defense, I only had 264 turns on this one. :D

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Could you please explain exactly what you mean by 'fraying"? I have never had any thread fray, which to me means individual fibers in the thread are breaking. If, however, you are referring to the 'opening' or 'ribboning' of the individual fibers which is the flattening of the thread, that does occur with Danville, and even more so with UTC. That is one of the reasons Danville 6/0 is usually my first choice. You can open it (e.g. for smooth underbody) by spinning the bobbin holder or 'cord' it up by spinning the other way; very versatile.

 

Thanks, Bob H

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I've had fraying, in the strands breaking definition. If I don't sand the rough skin off my finger tips before tying, I can break strands catching on the callouses. Also happens if I catch the thread on the hook point while wrapping.

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Yep, just fraying...strands of the thread breaking. I'm sure some of it is the hook point, some rough fingers, but I've had it happen with brand new spools right from the first use. Mostly with UTC.

 

I know about twisting the thread clockwise or counter-clockwise. I'm always spinning the thread to flatten it out. Probably don't tighten it up as often as I should for certain applications, though.

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Could you please explain exactly what you mean by 'fraying"? I have never had any thread fray, which to me means individual fibers in the thread are breaking.

 

bingo

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that fuzzy look that comes from callused fingers isn't fraying?

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I don't think individual strands of the thread need to break to "fray". They can break and fray but I also think the surface can wear and get rough without breaking strands and I think that also meets the definition of fraying. We may not agree on the definition, but like tjm, I think of fuzziness of the thread surface as fraying even if the individual thread are not broken and unwinding.

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I use Uni 8/0 for most tying. You need to not be afraid to adjust your bobbins by slightly bending the frame. I used to constantly break 8/0 to the point I thought the thread was old and brittle. Loosened up the bobbin and have loved it ever since. I agree not to focus on hook size as much as the materials you are using and the desired outcome. I use 8/0 for #20 on up to #2 streamers. I would much rather purposely build up a head to the shape and size I want than getting to the end of the fly and realizing your thread control sucked butt. I use 6/0 or even 3/0 to spin deer hair but I've watched Davie McPhail spin deer hair with 8/0 and never break it.

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The only time I have seen "fraying" is from nicking the thread with the point of the hook, tinsel, or wire, or from rough skin. Also when losing control of my dubbing brush.

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I have tried a lot of threads. I settled on Uni. I mostly tie size 12 or larger as I tie for Salt, Warm water and Steelhead. I can't see tiny stuff antmore. McPhail uses 8/0 Uni for most of his demos.

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I think of fraying as the fibers that make up the filaments of thread (or rope) coming unraveled, untwisted, pulled apart, not by being cut but by wear or stress. When I hit the hook point there is no fraying or tearing involved, the hook simply cuts straight through some or all of the thread filaments. Rough skin is most common cause of frayed thread, followed by rough tools. I always had trouble with rayon/acetate fraying, hated floss bodies because of it. The "flat" nylon threads that lay on like floss also fray from just touching them. Untwisting thread can cause fraying because the twist is what holds the fibers together to make a filament or the filament together to make a thread.

If the hook cuts only part of the filaments, those filaments may come untwisted or unraveled and eventually end up as being frayed.

 

My knowledge of the language though is as it was spoken/written in the mid-twentieth century and I have noticed that some words no longer carry the same meanings nor connotations that they once did. Perhaps this is another case of that sort.

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I think of fraying as the fibers that make up the filaments of thread (or rope) coming unraveled, untwisted, pulled apart, not by being cut but by wear or stress.

Well ... when a few strands of tying thread get cut, then they'll unravel, etc.

It'd be great if the thread stayed together after a knick off a hook point, but it doesn't.

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Knicked, frayed, and broken thread is a part of tying. If you catch the hook point pull out a couple of inches and restart and trim as if it was broken.

 

I use mostly UTC 70 denier. If I get smaller than size 18 I switch to Danville 12/0. I will use UTC 140 on size 8 and larger.

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