Splitting hairs...errr.. threads

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by zen leecher aka bill w, May 2, 2013.

  1. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I've been reading up on some of the dubbed body soft hackles and it seems for the most part the tying silk is split. Since it's a 3 ply the split is 2/1. Anyways I find splitting a tiny little thread hard. One issue is I can't see which way the thread is wound in order to unwind it and getting the bodkin point to split the threads.

    Well, once the thread is split and the dubbing is inserted, it makes for a sparse, nicely dubbed body. I imagine it will get easier with practice once the winding direction is determined.

    On one of the SBS pages Hans splits a 12/0 thread. I'm whining over splitting a 3/0. A 12/0 should be a real chore to split or a very thin pointed needle.
     
  2. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Yeah, well, he makes it look easy but such is not the case. I bought special thread for splitting and that does help but it is much larger than 12/0.

    It also makes a difference as to the brand. I use the same as Hans but my eyes are so poor I can't tell if I've untwisted the stuff so it is flat or not... so I fake it and poke away with a needle.

    I suppose it becomes easier with time but I don't know if I'm dedicated enough to learn the technique. I simply don't have the patience I once did when it comes to tying flies.
     
  3. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    My thread untwists when I'm tying with it and stays wound when I want to split it for dubbing. Actually I don't have that problem with Pearsall silks and that is what I was splitting earler. The usual 6/0 and 3/0 tying threads unwind on me when tying.
     
  4. Joe Goodfellow

    Joe Goodfellow Active Member

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    Put more pressure on the thread when you flatten it with your finger nail. That was my problem didn't make it flat enough.
     
  5. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    There's a thought. Poke it with a needle close to the hook body and not further down the thread like I've been doing. I think I've learned something today.
     
  6. FT

    FT Active Member

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    I've been using split thread as a dubbing loop for many, many years. Use the fingernail of your left hand (right hand if left-handed) to pull the flattened thread toward you and it will spread the thread out from the weight of the bobbin enough to make it easier to unsert the bodkin to split it. Also, use a fine pointed, smaller diameter bodkin.
     
  7. Gary Knowels

    Gary Knowels Active Member

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    Which brands are better for splitting?
    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G
     
  8. Dave Evans

    Dave Evans Active Member

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    I have a bodkin advertised for this and the point is like a needle. Very fine. Works well.
     
  9. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

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    Gary, besides Pearsall's Gossamer silk, any non-bonded thread should work well. My favorites are Danville's Fly master 6/0 and Gordon Griffiths Sheer 14/0. Because they are continuous fiber un-bonded thread they split easily.
     
  10. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Ron's got me going over to the real Dark Side what with splitting Pearsall silks and inserting a tad of dubbing material. It lets the silk underbody "bleed" through for additional shading.
     
  11. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Hans and I use Benecchi thread. It is a tad difficult to find in the NW so I'm starting to lean more toward the new Veevus thread. It is easier to find (distributed by Hareline) and as far as I can tell, pretty much the same thread as Benecchi.

    The thread I bought that is sold specifically for splitting is Marc Petitjean Split Second Thread (also from Hareline). I haven't had a chance to use it all that much so I can't say that it is easier to split than anything else.
     

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