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Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
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I'm new to fly tying and am curious about materials. I see Kevlar thread, etc. I would think standar sewing thread might not hold up to wear, water, rot, etc. But I was at a thrift store and couldn't pass up a bag of thread and tools. There were two pair of scissors, one of which was very neat. They are pretty old and don't have the ring for your thumb and finger. They are more like tweezors, except they have thin, sharp scissor ends. I like those a lot.

Anyway, there was a lifetime's supply of cream, or caddis, colored thread that is labeled as Kevlar. I figure that would work great. The other spools are labeled as carpet or button thread, extra strong, etc. Would they be ok? Keep in mind, I doubt I'll be tying more than a couple patterns.


EDIT: Never thought I'd say this, but I'm gonna need a bigger bobbin...

Posted on: 2012/7/5 10:31

Edited by Maurice on 2012/7/6 9:44:38


Re: Does it have to be "fy" thread?

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From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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No, it doesn't have to be 'fly thread".

All the same, you'll have some issues with the way you're considering doing it. The first and foremost will probably be thickness. Most conventional sewing thread is pretty heavy for (trout) fly tying use and this can mean lumps of thread or oversized heads on your flies. This is mostly a cosmetic issue, but sometimes it can matter from a fishing standpoint. For the sake of durability, you probably would also want to steer clear of cotton thread for the most part and use nylon or some other synthetic.

Be careful with kevlar. It can be nasty and cut your fingers because of its strength. Additionally, most kevlar thread I've seen is also too large in diameter for use on smaller, trout-sized flies. Its good thread for making big flies for pike, bass, etc. though.

Posted on: 2012/7/5 12:48


Re: Does it have to be "fy" thread?

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Thanks. I found several threads, no pun, on this topic via the Search function. Seems the Coats & Clark thread I have is good for midges.

Thanks for the advis eon the Kevlar. The spool I have seems very thin..600+ yards.

I have a local shop where I can get thread and I doubt I'll ever miss a car payment due to the amount of thread I buy. I was more curious than anything. Like I said, I really like the tweezor-scissors that came in the bag and figured I could always use this thread for practice, or pass it on to the Mrs. I kid you not, I paid $1.50 for the entire bag, so I'm thrilled!

Posted on: 2012/7/5 13:08


Re: Does it have to be "fy" thread?
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Just try it and see, as long as it was cheap.

As RLP said, sewing thread is rather thick and I may add, not very strong for the diameter.

Kevlar thread is very slick and hard to work with as well as being hard to cut. Don't ruin a good pair of scissors on it.

Buy some decent fly tying thread, especially if you're a beginning tyer. Good materials as well as decent tools makes tying a lot easier.

Good luck - have fun.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 7:37


Re: Does it have to be "fy" thread?

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Your standard sewing thread will work. I use it all the time. I have never had an issue with it falling apart or rotting. Plus if you fish a lot many of your flies will either fall prey to snags or fish long before the thread would go.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 8:23
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Re: Does it have to be "fy" thread?

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Quote:

Leteras wrote:
Your standard sewing thread will work. I use it all the time. I have never had an issue with it falling apart or rotting. Plus if you fish a lot many of your flies will either fall prey to snags or fish long before the thread would go.


Being new to fly fishing, I'm sure I won't have to fish a lot to lose my flies! But I agree. Plus, it's a start. I didn't buy them to save money, I just saw the tweezor/sicssors and couldn't pass up the bag for a $1.50.

Some of these spools are wooden and marked 19 cents. Some of the thread is thicker for larger flies, except the thin Kevlar. Should be interesting...

Posted on: 2012/7/6 10:41


Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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2011/3/23 22:10
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A lot of stuff you can use for fly tying that is labeled as such, but I don't think you should go that route with tying thread. You don't need every color under the sun, just your basics; white, brown, olive, and maybe a bright orange or red. Other than that, you can just take a sharpy to the white thread and bam, any color thread you want. As a beginner that's what I would do, and that's what I did do. Now I have hundreds of spools of thread; too many to know what to do with.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 10:59
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Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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Whenever I use regular thread, I usually run the thread through a bar of wax that seems to help a bit with durability. If you look at a lot of the North Country Spiders, most of them are tied with reguar or silk thread run through some wax. Hope this helps. You also do as suggested, buy white tying thread and run it through a sharpie, multiple colors for cheap.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 12:45


Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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Just my opinion but fly tying thread is pretty inexpensive. Why would you buy thread designed for sewing? Because it's cheaper? I would stick with thread designed for the job at hand.

Posted on: 2012/7/6 12:56
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Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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I think the question was could he use the thread he got in the grab bag of stuff he got with the scissors. Yes he can. I have tons of spools or fly tying thread and also tons of spools of sewing thread. Some sewing thread is very thick and can be used to make realistic legs. Also really the only thread color you really need is white. Sharpie markers will become your best friend. They make them in so many colors.

Posted on: 2012/7/7 8:02
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Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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Thanks guys.

Posted on: 2012/7/7 18:06


Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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everyone's being very helpful but have missed the point that you inherited a collection of some old timer's threads.

the coats and clarks is de rigueur in some olde timey patterns. due to its age, i would wager its actual silk thread, and not nylon.

don't be so quick to throw it out or dismiss it, although it would be preferable to use that in patterns that require thread bodies, as shepad points out.

waxing the thread will change its colour, as will getting it wet. you will be required to experiment. did you also get a chunk of cobbler's wax in the bag? as noted, the kevlar thread will destroy bobbins and scissorses.

as for the rest, by all means spend $10 to buy spools of black, white, yellow, green, and brown thread.

Posted on: 2012/7/7 20:49
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Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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Quote:

gfen wrote:
everyone's being very helpful but have missed the point that you inherited a collection of some old timer's threads.

the coats and clarks is de rigueur in some olde timey patterns. due to its age, i would wager its actual silk thread, and not nylon.

don't be so quick to throw it out or dismiss it, although it would be preferable to use that in patterns that require thread bodies, as shepad points out.

waxing the thread will change its colour, as will getting it wet. you will be required to experiment. did you also get a chunk of cobbler's wax in the bag? as noted, the kevlar thread will destroy bobbins and scissorses.

as for the rest, by all means spend $10 to buy spools of black, white, yellow, green, and brown thread.


Thanks. I did some research on the Coats and being on wooden spools, I figure they had some age to them. There was no wax in the pack, but I did see another set of thread that had a candle, so now I know why.

I did, however, buy a new toilet wax ring for 50 cents. Not sure why. I read some guys were using it while tying, so I grabbed it.

I am confused about the Kevlar though. At French Creek, they have various Kevlar spools. Why is there Kevlar thread for tying, if it's that harsh on bobbins. Is Kevlar a brand name as well???

Posted on: 2012/7/7 22:20


Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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Here's an article on thread that you might find useful....

http://frontrangeanglers.com/newsletter/feb05/choosingthread.htm

Posted on: 2012/7/7 22:32

Edited by Heritage-Angler on 2012/7/7 23:11:34
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Re: Does it have to be "fly" thread?

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no, its kevlar. you know, the stuff they make bullet proof vests out of.

you'll be hard pressed to break it. you devote your old crappy bobbin and scissors to it and tie hair flies and eggs from it.

toilet seat wax works. use an old lip stick or chapstick tube and fill it up with it. that's different though. that makes the unsticky sticky.

cobbler's wax just makes it darker.


Posted on: 2012/7/7 22:56
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