thread breaking...

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by chadk, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    I'm using mostly 6/0 thread for about everything until I can buy more materials...

    Anyway, I seem to be having more trouble than I think I should with thread breaking.

    Sometimes as I'm winding, I nick the hook point, but I'm getting better with that. But other times i'm trying to do some tight wraps (not that tight, but just a little more than normal to hold down the elk hair for example) and the line snaps just at the wrong time.. :beathead: .

    I've tried a few approaches: 1) pull out a few inches, then wrap until I use that up, then feed out a few more, and wrap, etc. What this does is stops me from continually feeding off the spool that may be too tight or just not super smooth. But what happens is that the line seems to break at the bobbin 'mouth' since it is rubbing the same spot over and over on each wrap. 2) adjust bobbin tension and feed continuously (or just about) as I wrap. With this approach, the thread breaks at much less preditible times and spots - but it still breaks just about as often.

    Any thoughts from the pros? I have a feeling a new bobbin would help. :confused:
  2. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Yeah, don't pull so tight!

    I assume from your post that you're breaking off when you try to cinch down a pinch of elk or deer hair. I tie everything with 8/0 including elk hair caddis, muddlers, stimulators, etc. If you're breaking 6/0 it's probably time to lighten up. If your thread breaks at random times, then it may well be a problem with your bobbin.

  3. Minx

    Minx New Member

    Are using a ceramic tip bobbin or a metal one? Once I switched to a ceramic tip, 90% of my breaks went away....chuck
  4. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    metal. I'll get a ceramic.
  5. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

    Do not throw the metal one away. They work great for floss and for spools of wire. I would love to find a batch of metal tube bobbins cheap just to keep all my spools of wire and floss ready to go.
  6. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    You can find cheap bobbins at many of the supply dealers on-line. You can get one for $3.00 - $4.00!
  7. mr trout

    mr trout Trevor Hutton

    You'll learn exactly how much pressure you need as you continue tying. I will second going to ceramic. I use 14/0 for a lot of my little flies, and just from experience, I can predict exactly how much pressure I can afford. So just keep trying! - Trevor
  8. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    If Chad's bobbin is cutting 6/0 thread it sure isn't going to work with floss, your floss bodies are going to look like a 1950's teased hair 'do but if you want to use that same bobbin for wire it would probably be just fine.

    A well made metal tube bobbin used for thread should last the average tyer for a very long time, maybe his or her lifetime.

  9. Ned Wright

    Ned Wright New Member

    This just happened to be my frustration tonight. For some reason, I keep breaking the thread as I whip finish the thread head on dry flies. Before these dries I have never had this problem. It could be that I am just too tense as I try to keep the hackle out of the head.

    I am using a ceramic bobbin. Is it possible that the thread could be bad (all of the dries have been using black waxed flat UTC 70???, the same thread seems to get spread out, split and breaks little pieces of the thread) I guess that I am probably pulling too hard, but although I feel tense at this moment I don't feel like I am pulling too hard.

    Any thoughts,
  10. Randy Diefert

    Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    I've had to throw away spools of thread before because they were rotton right out of the store. If it keeps breaking Take it off the bobbin and try another spool of the same color. Now, if that keeps breaking; You've either got a problem with your bobbin or you are putting too much pressure on the thread. One word of caution though. Never use wire in the bobbins that you're going to use thread in and vice versa. Keep them separate because wire will after a bit of tying wear a small groove in the leading edge of your bobbins especially if you've got a habit of "reefing" on your wraps.
  11. crobarr

    crobarr New Member

    breaking while whip finishing can be caused by over waxed thread, sliding alot of thread and heating it up, and just too many wraps on the whip finish.

    ceramic is the only way to go these days. ceramic bobbins are too cheap to not use them.

    as for tension........ i purposely bend the arms on my bobbins so the just hold the tread spool. i apply all tension with my hand as i wrap.
  12. Davy

    Davy Active Member

    I can't agree more with TC about the floss. .... Don't fret too much Chad, you'll get more used to thread pressure as you progress. We have all been there. We have all been there, several times. Specially over the years changing to modern threads.

    If you really want to get frustrated, and since you are already using 6/0. Try tying up a batch using a spool of danville's red 6/0. imo, it is the weakest of the 6/0's. Sumthin about the red dye. This may , or may not, lead you to stop breaking the black so much.

    On the use of ceramic, I can't disagree with all thats been said. But, I have about 40 bobbins or so , they are all metal ones. I pretty much do most of my tying with the same one I have been using for years.. The others I just store floss on and such. I have never ever used a ceramic in my own tying, I did use one at a demostration once. But early in your tying it I can't disagree you shouldn't use one. It is the future.

    One other thought is ,,,,, how many times you may be "unwrapping" and rewrapping to get you flies to look right. Everytime you do this it weakens the thread.So it may not be all just thread pressure.
  13. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    "One other thought is ,,,,, how many times you may be "unwrapping" and rewrapping to get you flies to look right. "

    Rarely. If you've seen my flies, you can tell I'm not too concerned with looks at this point ;)
  14. Davy

    Davy Active Member

  15. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Davy's post reminds me of the time I bought three cheap metal bobbins which cost a whopping ten bucks, including shipping. While the first two bobbins worked great right from the start, the third cut my thread the very first time I used ito wrap a base down on a hook shank. After several more similar experiences, careful examination with a magnifying glass revealed tiny abrasions around the flare on the tip that were not present on the other two bobbins.

    My point in sharing this story is that a bad bobbin will cut thread whenever it's pulled taut against its rough surface - NOT just when whip finishing or trying to bind down a pinch of hair. The silver lining though is that I now use that rough bobbin for winding lead wire where it works just fine.

    While most of my bobbins are new and all but one are steel, like Davy I'm still tying with a couple of bobbins that I bought new back in the 1970s.

  16. Davy

    Davy Active Member

    yeah Kent, I ended up with all these bobbins from buying others tyers collections over the years, box lots, ones given to me by people, contest prizes, you name it etc. Had to to do sumthin with them.
  17. Minx

    Minx New Member

    What Crobarr said was true, I popped alot of whip finishes with too many wraps, too tight, or pulling too fast. I understand Chadk too, lot of times I gotta put the flybox in another room at night, some of those ties wake me up at night with scary dreams :eek:
  18. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    Yeah, I wonder what other guys do with their creations gone bad and those first try flies that just don't turn out well at all?
  19. Minx

    Minx New Member

    I got stuff in my box a straight razor refuses to cut off the hook, when I get the courage, I'll post a pix of the "BAP" fly I created, articulated, little Bow River Bugger in it, got some wooly bugger in it, shoot, even got a tungsten cone head on it.......chuck :)
  20. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Recycle the hook.