Fly tying is a popular pastime for many anglers, and choosing the right thread for your fly tying project is an essential part of the process. With so many different types and sizes of thread available, it can be challenging to determine which one is right for your needs. In this blog, we will explore the different types and sizes of thread available and provide tips on how to choose the right thread for your fly tying needs.
Types of Thread
There are several types of thread used in fly tying, including nylon, polyester, and kevlar. Each type of thread has its own unique properties that make it suitable for specific fly tying tasks.
Nylon thread is a popular choice for fly tying because of its strength and versatility. It comes in a range of sizes and colors and can be used for a variety of fly tying applications, including tying bodies, wings, and heads. Nylon thread is also easy to work with and can be tied down tightly without breaking.
Polyester thread is another popular choice for fly tying. It is strong and durable, making it ideal for tying large flies and streamers. Polyester thread also comes in a range of sizes and colors, and it can be used for a variety of fly tying applications.
GSP (Gel Spun Polyethylene) thread is a type of thread that is commonly used in fly tying. It is a very strong and thin thread that allows fly tiers to create very durable and secure flies. GSP thread is made of a very high-tenacity polyethylene fiber that is coated with a gel-like substance to help it slide through materials easily.
Kevlar thread is the strongest thread available and is used primarily for tying large, heavy flies and saltwater patterns. It is incredibly strong and can withstand a significant amount of tension without breaking. However, it is difficult to work with and can be hard to tie down tightly. Kevlar is no longer popular and we rarely order this product in.
Sizes of Thread
Thread size is another critical factor to consider when choosing the right thread for your fly tying. Thread size is measured in denier, which refers to the weight of the thread. The higher the denier, the thicker the thread. The most common thread sizes used in fly tying are 70 denier, 140 denier, and 210 denier.
In fly tying, thread size is often described using a fraction, such as 6/0 or 8/0. These fractions represent the thickness of the thread, with the first number indicating the number of filaments or strands in the thread and the second number representing the size of each filament or strand. For example, a 6/0 thread has 6 filaments, each of which is 0.06 millimeters in diameter.
While thread size fractions are still widely used in fly tying, denier is becoming a more popular way to describe thread size. Denier is a unit of measurement that describes the weight of a thread. It is defined as the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of thread. For example, a 70 denier thread weighs 70 grams per 9,000 meters of thread.
To convert thread size fractions to denier, you can use a conversion chart or formula. For example, a 6/0 thread is roughly equivalent to a 140 denier thread, while an 8/0 thread is roughly equivalent to a 70 denier thread. 70 denier thread is a thin thread available and is suitable for tying small flies and delicate patterns. It is easy to work with and can be used for a range of fly tying applications. 140 denier or roughly 6/0 thread is the most versatile thread size and is suitable for most fly tying applications. It is strong enough to tie large flies and streamers but thin enough to tie small patterns. Lastly 210 denier ( a bit heavier than 3/0) thread is a thick thread available and is suitable for tying large, heavy flies and saltwater patterns. It is incredibly strong and can withstand a significant amount of tension without breaking.
However, it's important to note that there is some variation in thread size between manufacturers, so it's a good idea to check the recommended thread size for a specific fly pattern before making a substitution.
If you're still reading this we applaud you and you now have an amazing baseline of knowledge when it comes to tying threads. Overall choosing the right thread for your fly tying project is crucial to the success of your fly. Consider the type of fly you are tying, the materials you will be using, and the size of the thread when making your selection. With the right thread, you can create beautiful, durable flies that will help you catch more fish.