Posts Tagged ‘fly tying thread twist


Fly Tying: Tail Warp from Ribbing

I set out to tie a size 14 Little Black Stone, or to experiment with a contrasting abdomen (lighter colored wire ribbing against a black 8/0 thread body) as well as a dubbed, spiky thorax over a weighted under layer non-lead wire. I tied a couple and what I found interesting (yet again) was that I did not see that I had butchered the tail in both instances as I commenced wrapping the fine wire ribbing.

Little Black Stone, Size 14 (torqued tails) SwittersB

In the first instance, the first wrap of ribbing was brought from underneath and over the top/away. The wire ribbing divided the tail (hackle fibers) and split them asunder. In the bottom fly, I wrapped away over the top, and you can see the tail fibers were pulled off the top and to the far side of the shank. This, in particular, is a common problem. Usually, it happens as the tail is tied in. I thought I had tied it in on top, using the pinch method. Now, as I am prone to say, both patterns tumbling through the currents probably will fish just fine. But, the ever helpful macro lens reveals much in one’s tying techniques. What I take away from this is to pay much more attention to that first wrap of ribbing. Also, something that is also apparent is the thread body is not wound flat. The thread is no doubt twisted tight and does not lie flat when wrapped. The black thread abdomen was but three layers. You can see the bumps and ridges of the thread body. The wire ribbing often follows these contours and can spread or bunch following the irregular body contours. So, start slow and double check the steps. Also, unwrap and reapply if mistakes are noted. I cannot bring myself to spring for those funky magnifying goggles.

Read comment by Normand Frechette @ Very help advise


Fly Tying & Fishing: This and That

I always unspin my thread every few turns to achieve a smooth body and prevent breakages. For every turn and half of thread you do it twists the thread one turn eventually causing it to weaken and break. If you are a right handed tyer and you are turning from front to back you will need to spin your bobbin anti clockwise.” UKFlyDressing

“When ordering or inquiring about grizzly variant feather pelts, be sure to ask how much of the cape (in %age) is variant. Whiting Farms typically assigns the following variant categories: ~25%, ~15%, ~5% variant, where 5% variant is the most grizzly and the least variant.” Whiting Variants

What are the sections of a fly fishing leader?
Generally there are three basic sections to a tapered leader: Butt, Body and Tippet.  One common way to determine length is by using the 50, 25, 25 rule.  Use 50% of the total length of the leader for the butt section, then 25% for the body and 25% for the tippet leader sections.

  • Butt – One of the most important sections of the tapered leader formula as it begins the transfer of energy from the fly line to the leader material.  Leaders with a diameter near .020” to .026” are good choices to use.  Stiffness is another factor to consider in the butt section. A line too limp will make the leader collapse or fold over.  A line to stiff will not properly roll the line over and not transfer the energy to the body section.
  • Body – This section contains smaller diameter lines and starts to relieve the energy from the fly line, but at the same time keeping control of the fly for proper presentation.
  • Tippet – Tippet lengths from 16” – 24” is a good guide to follow.

Fly Tying: Thread Twist

Fly threads come in different degrees of thickness. For large flies (large streamers) you may use 3/0 or 6/0, but when you tie the typical trout/grayling patterns you should strive to move toward 8/0 or smaller. Adjust your tension while binding the materials and be vigilant to not nick the hook point while wrapping the thread. This often happens while attaching materials to the rear portion of the fly. Learn to maneuver the bobbin to avoid that hook point because that is where the thread will often break.

I have taught fly tying and often had a few spare bobbins ready to go with thread, for when students invariably broke their thread. I would instruct them to pinch off the thread on the hook so it would not further unravel and hand them the the backup bobbin. A few wraps over the existing thread on the hook would bind it down and the tying of the pattern could continue. A backup bobbin ready to go is not a bad idea.

Also, threads are often flat like a ribbon but have a twist imparted to them at the factory (clockwise) that is further induced while tying. This creates a kink in the thread that is often evident as slack is allowed in the thread (the loop of thread jumps off target). Letting the thread hang and imparting a gentle counter clockwise spin to the bobbin will eventually return the thread to a flat state. In the flat state, the thread is more manageable. To be honest here, I spent a good amount of time oblivious to this years ago because it was never mentioned to me. Only later did I learn about the twist. I recall letting my bobbin dangle beneath the vise while preparing materials and seeing the bobbin twist.


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