simply put, thread control is what makes or breaks fly tying and here’s an invaluable tip equally at home for any type of fly, little or big and for all tiers of all levels.
going by the different names of: pinch and loop, pinch wrap, soft loop, they’re all the same method and it’s another invaluable skill to have in our bag of tricks.
we’ve all done it, we want to tie in a material and it ends up spinning around the hook shank although we told it to stay in place…
we try again and wrap the thread tighter and pinch the material harder and it spins even more because we can’t pinch the part we’re tying in and the taught thread grips the material and since we’re winding around the hook shank, it follows in the direction it’s being pulled. logical.
however, if we create that first wrap without thread tension and gently surround the material/hook with the holding loop and tighten up later pulling upwards, everything holds in the right place because the thread is tightening the ensemble evenly without tugging and spinning. logical !
wrinkle lines disappear, the smile comes back and the fly looks like it was tied by a pro. cool.
this is what it looks like-
and this is how to do it-
diagram from Oliver Edwards’ seminal book- FlyTyer’s Masterclass