Welcome to Copper Fly - Begginners guide to tying

Fly Tying Thread

The fly tying threads

Threads are the most essential tying material on your bench. You could never have enough thread, because there are so many types, so many colours, and even different sizes available. Uni, Gudebrod, Danville, Benecchi and UTC are the major brands to look for. Typically, there will be sizing information on a bobbin of thread in either X/0 (e.g. 3/0) rating or denier size. Larger diameter thread may have a less obvious size like "G" or "A+". Personally, I feel that the denier measurement is the most accurate. It puts all threads into a level playing field. It is becoming more common to see this measurement on fly tying threads and other spooled materials. The X/0 measurement is a bit confusing to the new tyer, but is simple in that the higher the number, the thinner the thread. Denier is just the opposite. A larger number represents a thicker thread. So, a typical 6/0 Uni thread has a denier of around 137, and an 8/0 Uni thread registers close to 70 denier. If you can learn to tie with a thread that has a denier in the 70-80 range, you will find that you break less thread. It takes some practice to get used to a smaller thread, but you will be rewarded with smaller heads on your flies, and the ability to tie on smaller hooks.

The fly tying threads

Some threads are better suited to specific tasks than others. For example, UTC thread lies very flat, and is well suited for patterns that call for the thread to be split. Each brand has it's own colour range as well. I have a selection from across the board, which include spools from each brand. I tend to tie a lot with Uni, because of the range of earthy colours. Gudebrod uses the Borger Colour Guide System, and has some very energetic colours in the line. Danville's Flymaster line is a well-respected thread, and has in the past, set the stage for modern tying threads. Try out different threads, and you will get to know the best to use for a given situation.

You may also come across GSP(Gel Spun Polyethylene) threads which have a great strength for their diameter, but tend to be slippery. GSP's may need a bit of glue in order to stay securely on the hook shank. Kevlar thread is also very popular. It has a great strength as well, but is typically bulkier than normal threads. Kevlar lends it's self to fly patterns that call for 3/0 threads and larger like spun hair flies.

Try different threads, and find what you like best. Everyone has their own preferences, and in the end, all that matters is that you are happy with your tying thread.