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I have been tying down to some #18 hooks but want to go down to maybe a #22 or #24. What thread would you recommend for these small flies. Thanks for responding

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8/0 if you have good thread control. If not, agree with 12/0.

Isn't the 8/0 thicker than the 12/0?

If I got the numbers right, the "-/0" rating system ... the smaller the number, the larger the thread diameter.

So, you'd need more control with the thinner, weaker 12/0 than you would with the 8/0 ... right?

 

I get a little confused with "-/0" vs. "denier" system.

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Yes. 8/0 is bigger diameter. If you can tie in materials securely and still not crowd the eye of the hook, you can get by with using the 8. Size 24 hooks are pretty friggin small though so I would lean more toward the 12 for those.

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Sometimes it can get confusing. The ott system is like wire and sheet metal gauges, smaller the number the larger the material. 6/0 is larger than 8/0.

 

The denier system is the opposite, smaller the number the smaller the thread diameter. 70 denier is smaller than 140 denier.

 

I use both systems, I have 10/0 and 12/0 for the very small stuff. I will use 140 denier for my larger fresh and saltwater flies. What I use the most of is UTC 70 denier.

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ought system is only useful in one brand and is a relative to diameter other threads in that brand

Denier system is only useful in the same material and is relative weight/mass of other threads in that material

 

We can add more confusion if we include the old fashioned number sizes of sewing threads as 50 or 60 cotton was common and (irrc) 30 was larger or the letter sizes of silk threads.

 

So for any accuracy in communication we must state the brand and material as well as the size number/letter.

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Not just one brand, and Danvilles uses both, but it really doesn't matter. Too often, we measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a piece of chalk, and then cut it with a chain saw.

 

The smaller the thread, the less likely you are to crowd the head or cause lumps and bumps where they shouldn't be. Use thread that is appropriate for the size, style, and your abilities. If you need bulk or strength, use a heavier thread. If you want flat, use a flat thread. If you want gloss, use shiny thread, and if you want to be really cool, use silk. If you can spin deer hair with 8/0 like Davey McPhail, have at it. It is far less likely for a fly to unravel than to be claimed by fish, rocks, and trees anyway.

 

I like to stick to natural materials vs. synthetic when possible and enjoy tying old patterns to original specs. But when it comes to hooks and thread we always get caught up in absolutes. Again, use what matches your abilities and bank account and enjoy tying and fishing.

 

"Slow down young fella. If you take your time, you'll get a more harmonious outcome." - Crossfire Trail

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danville, uni, mfc, nano silk, hook & hackle euro thread, griffin, bennechi, gudebrod (no longer manufactured) and veevus uses aught designations

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Also, don't be afraid to adjust the tension on your bobbins. I have seen many people that have trouble with 8/0 or smaller threads solve those problems by loosening the tension or grip on the spool. If you tie a variety of fly styles, I always recommend using different bobbins so you don't need to adjust all the time.

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