Fly Tying- Thread Control

sure, there’s tons of other important fly tying technique aspects but good thread control is what makes it all happen. understanding this basic material makes not only better flies but a happier tier.

in this fantabulous article by Martin Joergensen of GFF ‘Global Fly Fisher’ we’ll see a host of great thread info and how-to’s including this awesome tip showcased below.

Reversed Twist

 First example
Let’s see a couple of examples of using the twisted or untwisted thread properly.
Your have finished a nice fly except for one thing: a delicate, classic feather wing. You have prepared two strips of feather and are ready to tie them in on top of the body. You gather the wing strips, trim the butts and place them on top of the shank placing your fingers precisely in order to use them as a guide for the thread.
You wind the thread over the hook and wing, and with the bobinholder on the opposite side of the hook in one continous motion, you loosen tension on the thread to position it against your fingers. As soon as the the thread slacks, it curls up a bit and the small arc formed tilts to your right and falls away from your fingers and maybe even over and away from the the butts. Not matter what you do, this happens. The only way to get the thread tightly against your fingers where you want it, is to keep it tight at all times.


The thread curls up and falls away from your fingers and the material here examplified by a yellow feather wing.

With the counterclockwise twist the thread will seek towards the fingers (blue arrow) and help the thread down on the material close to the fingers.

What happened in the example above was the following:

  • While tying you put a lot of clockwise twist into the thread
  • As long as you kept the thread tight it didn’t pose a problem
  • As soon as the thread went slack, it curled
  • As the twist was clockwise, the thread worked it’s way to the righ; away from where you wanted it

Reverse the problem
The problem you have in the above example is that the thread is twisted. The twist will make it spin and form loops when it’s slack. But the direction of the spin will decide the behaviour of the thread. By knowing and controlling the direction of the twist you can actually use it to your advantage.

While you tie you put in many revolutions of clockwise twist. These will make the thread curl towards the eye of the hook when the thread is slack.
In the same manner the thread will curl towards your fingers when the twist is counterclockwise. Hence the solution to the problem is not only to remove the twist by spinning the thread straight. When clockwise twist has been removed, you spin on and twist it a bit counter clockwise. When you now lift the bobinholder the arc formed in the slack thread will tip backwards; towards your fingers; and actually help you get the material tied in exactly in front of them.

woW ! brilliant stuff indeed. click  HERE for Morten’s full article, enjoy !

see ? i told you these threads where strong.

the best part is they’re not just strong, a quality tying thread needs other qualities. for those interested in knowing more about these new materials click here Review- Veevus Tying Threads and Tying Materials