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Tying thread


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Saturday February 18th 2012

I was thinking about doing a frontage on all my flitting tools, but as today's PoD, a quick shot of my tool caddy, shows that subject would fit better in a 6-part article series.

Instead let me talk about tying thread a little. If you could keep only one thing to take with you on a desert island from your tool caddy, it would be the tying thread, right? I mean, you can do with out scissors, hackle pliers, needles, whip finish tools, bobbin holders, glues and varnishes. But it's hard to ti a fly without some sort of thread!

For say 95& of my flytying, I use UNI thread. And of those 95%, I use UNI 8/0 say 80% of the time. For simpler flies of some size, 6/0 really speeds up the tying! For smaller (say 16 and smaller) more complicated dries I often use Gordon Griggiths Sheer 16/0, which is a lovely thread that is relatively strong and produces very little bulk. The same thread is also good for more complicated nymphs and when even that gets too think, I sometimes go to Danville's SpierWed.

But for everything from dries size 18, to complex salmon tube flies 5 inches long, I use UNI 8/0. It's a lightly waxed thread that does everything I need. It's strong, it's thin and it comes in a host of colours. In fact, I can't think of a thread I like better!

When tying, I always make sure to unspin the thread to encourage it to lay flat, but I also intentionally spin it, to cord it up. By doing that in the right direction, I can make the thread "fall" to the left, onto my fingers with doing loose wraps, and a corded up thread also gives really great grip on materials like zonkerstrips and other soft stuff. If I need even more grip, I occasionally use wax.

Do you have a thread you use for almost everything, or do you you lots of different ones? If you look closely in the PoD, you'll also see a bobbin holder loaded with fine copper wire as I've just been tying some small Pheasant Tails, and if you look even closer, you might be able to spot a Waterhen Bloa and it's thread, real Persall's Gossamer Silk on a bobbin holder in the back of the caddy.


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