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Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

Joined:
2012/4/5 8:50
From Lancaster, Pa
Posts: 194
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I am at a loss staring at catalogs or online stores.
I need to know What are the staples of threads and such that should always be on hand. The never leave home without them types.
Anyone that can help here it would be very much appreciated.

Posted on: 2013/9/20 5:21


Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2006/9/16 15:52
From Bucks County
Posts: 621
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Gaeronf posted this back in September 2012.





A Beginner's Guide To Fly Tying Thread #1



Recently I have seen on multiple different forums a lot of people just starting to get in to fly tying. I wrote this up because I figured it would help at least some people.
Starting out fly tying can be very stressful. There are so many things to think about when first getting started; What hooks should I buy, what brand tools should I use, what vise should I get, but one question that is overlooked a lot of times is "what thread should I use?" Thread, at first glance, is really quite simple. It's just thread, right? Wrong. Threads come in all different colors, sizes, strengths, and textures. Thread is a topic that could be elaborated on, explored, and discussed about for pages and pages, but this post will cover just a brief overview. Many often underestimate or overestimate the importance of thread. Beginners will often not take enough care in thread size and type, and will often go crazy in regards to color. The main topics that we will be discussing are flat thread, bonded thread, GSP thread, size selection, and color selection.

Flat Thread

Flat thread is great for many different things. It's flat properties allow it to cover more of the hook shank with less wraps making it an all around "more efficient" thread. This also means it will build up less bulk as you wrap, allowing you to make more slender, realistic abdomens for your flies. But, this also comes in handy when tying smaller flies, when quick buildup is detrimental. The slow buildup creates a nicer finish when adding hot-spots in flies, or finishing a fly behind a bead. The flat aspect will also allow you to make extremely smooth under-bodies that are needed for woven bodies, floss bodies, and quill bodies. Flat thread in general can be split easily (by fingernail, needle, etc.) for split-thread dubbing techniques. On the down side, flat thread will fray a little bit more easily on the hook point than bonded threads. There are many brands out there for thread, but I recommend UTC Ultra Thread. It comes in many different sizes and many different colors, which will be discussed later in the post.

Bonded Thread

Bonded thread, in my opinion, is quite useful but has less of a place reserved on my bench that flat thread. Bonded thread is typically stronger, and does not fray or break as easily as flat thread on the hook point. If you look at a "cross section" of both threads, you can see that flat threads look like a straight line, but bonded threads look more like an oval. By this, you can easily make the conclusion that bonded thread will not create as smooth as a finish and it will build up much more quickly. This is both a positive and a negative, depending on your purpose. The oval shape allows you to use bonded thread for a ribbing material, and even segmented bodies. It builds up quickly, which is nice if you need to make a bulky (and not necessarily smooth) underbody for a fly. It's great for covering up lead, and the cord like properties naturally make it more "grippy" and it holds/secures materials very well. Although split thread techniques can be used with this thread, it is extremely difficult and I would not recommend the split thread techniques with this type of thread.
Just like the flat thread, there are a multitude of bonded thread manufacturers, but I recommend UNI-Thread. It also comes in a ton of different colors, and a lot of different sizes.

GSP Thread

GSP is not a different "shape" (flat/bonded) thread, but is a thread that is manufactured a little differently. GSP stands for gel spun polyethylene. It is approximately two times as strong as Kevlar, at the same diameter. These threads are a very useful tool in a fly tier's arsenal, so it is deemed appropriate to discuss them now. GSP threads can be used in very fine sizes and still remain extremely strong. A couple things to not first, they are extremely slick. You typically can not "cut" this thread with your scissors; typically a slicing motion is needed. Continuing off that statement, when starting a fly, a base of super glue or adhesive is heavily recommended. These threads do have their place though. Their most practical uses include bass bugs, large streamers, and egg flies. Their implications are really for when "Cranking down" is a necessity. The small sizes (50 denier) are remarkably stronger than any other type of thread close, so they are extremely helpful when tying slender flies. There aren't as many GSP manufacturer, but my top 2 brands I would recommend are Ultra GSP Thread, and UNI-Cord (GSP).

If you feel so inclined to read about size and color selection, you can read that here.


Posted on: 2012/9/23 16:31






Posted on: 2013/9/20 6:37
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2012/4/5 8:50
From Lancaster, Pa
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Thank you Rolf much appreciated.

Posted on: 2013/9/20 6:52


Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2011/4/26 12:07
From New Castle, PA
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Veevus makes the best thread on the market now. They are based out if Denmark. Hareline carries their products. The veevus thread comes in sizes 6/0 to 17/0. It is all I have been tying with lately.

Posted on: 2013/9/20 13:05
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
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You are going to get a lot of different answers because everyone uses what they like. If your just getting started, ignore color and extremes in thread size. 8/0 is a pretty good compromise for most needs, and Uni is a popular choice, so buy some tan or black uni 8/0 and tie with it for a while. Then try a flat thread in 8/0 or whatever denier weight seems close and try that for a while. Learn how the threads behave and figure out their strengths and limitations. When you finish those 2 rolls you will be able to choose the best thread for the job for you, and then you can start to collect colors and thread weights. Thread color is very unimportant. With very few exceptions all of the fly's I tie for personal use are tied with tan uni 8/0.
Mike.

Posted on: 2013/9/20 20:34
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2006/9/16 15:52
From Bucks County
Posts: 621
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Quote:

FrequentTyer wrote:
You are going to get a lot of different answers because everyone uses what they like. If your just getting started, ignore color and extremes in thread size. 8/0 is a pretty good compromise for most needs, and Uni is a popular choice, so buy some tan or black uni 8/0 and tie with it for a while. Then try a flat thread in 8/0 or whatever denier weight seems close and try that for a while. Learn how the threads behave and figure out their strengths and limitations. When you finish those 2 rolls you will be able to choose the best thread for the job for you, and then you can start to collect colors and thread weights. Thread color is very unimportant. With very few exceptions all of the fly's I tie for personal use are tied with tan uni 8/0.
Mike.


AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2013/9/20 21:38
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2013/3/14 7:13
From Norwich, CT
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Posted on: 2013/9/21 5:56


Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

Joined:
2012/4/5 8:50
From Lancaster, Pa
Posts: 194
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Thank you all so much... This thread dilemma was getting to me...

Posted on: 2013/9/21 8:47


Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 876
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frequent tyer's answer was spot on.

you could tye 99% of all your flies with black thread and white or tan.

i use uni,gudebrod,fly master,griffin,whatever brand,and silk.

i also use no name thread from my local fly shop.

i don't really care whether thread is flat or not,or what brand it is.i just tye with anything i can get my hands on.

a spool of tan uni 8/0 would do you well.use it up and then you'll have a stronger opinion about what to use next.

Posted on: 2013/9/21 22:02


Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2010/1/28 14:17
From Abington
Posts: 605
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Yep, whatever is in the clearance bin in black, white, tan-ish.....and I have to suggest olive....

Quote:

shakey wrote:
frequent tyer's answer was spot on.

you could tye 99% of all your flies with black thread and white or tan.

i use uni,gudebrod,fly master,griffin,whatever brand,and silk.

i also use no name thread from my local fly shop.

i don't really care whether thread is flat or not,or what brand it is.i just tye with anything i can get my hands on.

a spool of tan uni 8/0 would do you well.use it up and then you'll have a stronger opinion about what to use next.

Posted on: 2013/9/22 11:51
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
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I really liked Gudebrod thread but they don't make fly tying thread anymore. I do have a little stockpile though. I think when I need to get new thread I will go with Uni-Thread. It seems to work well, has a good reputation and seems IMO close to Gudebrod. I did buy a couple of spools of Veevus thread in black 12/0. It is very strong but kind of expensive.

Posted on: 2013/9/23 22:21
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
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Wtt, performance flies has the thread you like. Kevin bought the lot of it when they went out.

Posted on: 2013/9/24 6:15
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
Posts: 1795
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Quote:

lv2nymph wrote:
Wtt, performance flies has the thread you like. Kevin bought the lot of it when they went out.
Thanks, I will have to check that out. It was a sad day when they removed Gudebrod from the market.

Posted on: 2013/9/24 10:28
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Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

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2007/3/9 14:18
From Enola, PA
Posts: 444
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current staples for me are Veevus 6/0 in black, white and red and Veevus 150 GSP in white and black

Posted on: 2013/9/25 7:29
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uhh...nevermind


Re: Types of Thread, Floss and Tinsel

Joined:
2012/4/5 8:50
From Lancaster, Pa
Posts: 194
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I actually did find a Poly/Nylon thread at Walmart. It was labelled "outdoor" thread and came in black, brown and i believe green.
$2.40 for 150 yards...
Down fall it would either have to re-spool it or drill out spool it is on to fit on bobbins.

Posted on: 2013/10/2 9:22






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