In a effort to minimize expense and prevent purchasing materials I don't need, is there a wire size that you folks generally use for most of your midge and nymph patterns? I don't have the luxury of a local shop where I can look before I buy and its hard to tell from the sizes advertised by the various manufacturers which sizes may be too big or small for a particular pattern. I'm looking for a size I can use for a wide variety of patterns.
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Posted 27 September 2016 - 10:33 PM
Posted 28 September 2016 - 05:53 AM
I use the "small"' and "Medium" wire more than 'large" size. For wire bodies I might use "medium" more than the small in some size flies. In some midges I will probably use thread as a rib vs wire ( if I used wire it would be the small). I use the Ultra Wire, I think it's $1.75 a spool. I mostly use copper , gold and silver but keep red , black and olive as well. I don't stock the whole assortment of colors. You could do worse than to first stock copper, gold and silver in size medium for a whopping $5.25 and branch out from there as the need arises. Include your wire purchase in with other things you might order online and it comes off pretty painless. medium Ultra wire is .011 thick and the small is .009 thick FWIW.
If you don't know what to do for a rib try thread while you decide, and along the way somehow you just seem to accumulate the wire.. I've done it with all tying sizes of thread, I may even have made a rib with rod wrapping size A thread. Even sewing thread ( and my wife has every color imaginable to include silver and gold segmented tinsel in a fine size ). Thread won't weight the fly but it will give you the subtle ribbed effect. I've also used fine oval tinsel too ( expensive though and more fragile too). A couple of my salmon fly patterns call for oval tinsel in gold or silver.
John 7:38 ESV is about "Rivers of Living Water"
Posted 28 September 2016 - 06:47 AM
ultra wire diameters (yes i measured them with a micrometer)
i generally use the small and brassie sizes
craft store wire is too big for fly tying applications unless you can find wire in 30 gauge and smaller
The fish care less than we do!
Posted 28 September 2016 - 07:00 AM
If you need copper or silver wire look at the wire in an old extension cord or speaker wire.Different sizes depending on the cord.You can also find color wire in old electrical components.Transformers,coils,etc.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing........Than the worm. - Patrick F. McManus
Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:21 AM
For the last several years, I've found that I am using size BR the most. I have it in gold, silver, copper, red, and a few other colors. It's big enough for ribbing on size 12 and 14 flies, but not too big for size 18 nymphs.
Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:17 PM
Small Uni soft wire.
-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and The Sea
Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:22 PM
Posted 29 September 2016 - 06:18 AM
Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:17 AM
It's funny, I have wire and posted as such, but ya know what ? I don't very often use it. I'm more likely to use fine oval tinsel and that's on streamers. Copper John's and Brassie's are not a main staple of mine. And I don't tie many patterns that have a wire rib but more likely tinsel of some form. Hmmm.
John 7:38 ESV is about "Rivers of Living Water"
Posted 30 September 2016 - 08:43 AM
I do tie a lot of patterns using wire ribs, and it is always a size 38 (AWG.) I bought a 1# spool 30 years ago, and I still have about half of it left. When I want a little thicker rib, I simply twist 2 or 3 strands together. I tie all my Copper Jon's and similar patterns using slightly heavier wire salvaged from common electrical cords. I do have a few spools of Ultra wire that I picked up from a bargain bin at some time, but I have never used any of it yet.
Posted 08 November 2016 - 09:02 AM
This may or may not help but many years ago Gretchen and I worked for the telephone company. Our careers included the days when telephones actually had ringers instead of electronic "tweeters" or ??? The windings in the coils on those ringers and many other electronic devices have excellent fly tying wire. Take care & ...
Posted 08 November 2016 - 09:17 AM
" ... a size 38 (AWG.) I bought a 1# spool 30 years ago ..."
Utyer ... I just notice this post of yours. A 36 gauge wire AWG is only 0.005" in diameter. Please, measure the thickness of your 38 ... I am truly interested in just how thin that wire is.
Barbed hooks rule!
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Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis