For Christmas my darling wife gave me an Ekich model S bobbin holder. Upon opening the box, even though the frame is plastic it has a feel of quality and it fit my hand like a glove. It should for $70.
The tube is polished stainless though ceramic inserts are available with the high end holders. It gives you the ability to use about 2 feet of thread without resetting which is easily done. Just pull the spool off a little and the spring will relax then slip the spool back on. It took longer to type that sentence then it does to perform the task.
I tied nymphs with it using 70 denier thread. I have a tendency to be a little heavy handed and when I use the 70 denier threads I seem to break it at least once per fly. I broke it 3 times on this one.
Since it had been awhile since I have tied nymphs on three occasions I forgot to add materials. I unwrapped what I had done, placed the bobbin where I wanted it and added what I had missed. The automatic return is great.
After the first fly I checked the tube for any nicks and confirmed my suspicions, it was completely operator error, duh. Then I remembered what I had seen on the website and in a YouTube video. The spring tension is set to handle 17 ott thread.
I tied a second fly and relied strictly on spring tension of the bobbin holder. It is amazing how little tension will hold materials on the hook. I did not break the thread.
As of this moment I am very happy with it. I don't have to load a proprietary spool. It will retain the factory tension on the spool and will accept the common spools from most any manufacturer.
The only other thing I need to get used to is when I whip finish the fly. I need to reset the tension just by slipping the spool off a bit and replacing it or come up with a way to hang it.
Time will tell if the reason I like it is because it's new to me or if it really is worth the price of admission.