With the right thread, lead & wire, you'll be wrapped with your fishing.
The majority of fly tying threads are made with a slightly angled groove cut into in outer upper rim of the plastic spool, into which the thread, floss, silk, holographic tinsel or wire can be locked safely between use. Read on to find out what to wrap and how to wrap it.
All you need to know about thread, lead & wire.
Firstly, remember that not all spools have the facility of grooves which lock threads into place, which means fly tying threads can unravel easily from the spool. Thankfully this is rare in contemporary fly tying spools, because most now some mechanism to trap the thread.
When it comes to spooled wires, you may find an issue with the inert tension through the metal wire not being strong enough to keep it in place. Indeed, the reverse can happen and often does. In particular, heavier wire and lead wire, if not locked, can unravel spontaneously and it's not good.
We picked a selection of spools from a fly-tying desk at random. Here's what we found:
- Holographic tinsels and Nymph Ribs all have a very handy grooves cut into the outer rim of the spool, and they work really well.
- Spools using uni-thread have smaller which are easy to miss compared to many other materials - almost like a hybrid of thread and floss.
- The spools of with Semperfli, DMC and UTC threads, tinsels and wires all have a double outer rim which makes a narrow recess, covering the whole diameter of one side of the spool, where the thread can get be wound and caught. Indeed, with subtle force, the whole outer end sections of such spools are removable.
- All the Danville spools we picked up all had awesome grooves.
- All the old spools of Lurex we picked up that have no anchor for the tinsel at all.
There's no excuse not to get this right, but...
Technically, there is no reason for you to experience no issues threading, but still you'll always find people with tying kits that have sections of loose thread and tinsels falling off the spools. This could be because some fly fishers are in a rush, too lazy, or perhaps they don't correctly seat and trap the thread after use. Some fishers may find the threading and anchoring process too hard due to a small groove. But there's no excuse really.
To maximise threading effectiveness, you may consider widening and deepen the groove if you feel like it needs it, using a sharp blade.