I'm new to tying and have a quick question. I "inherited" a bunch of sewing thread and I'm curious whether any of it is worth using for flies. I figure the cotton thread might be useless, but there is a fair assortment of polyester and rayon thread as well. Can any of it be used or is it mostly junk?

- Scott


Ryan Haseman
Cotton is not that bad when you are in a pinch and tying some sort of streamer, but usually not the norm.

I would say just keep some of the more unsusual colors and matierals around, ya never know what you can use. Half the fun of tying is being creative with new materials and such.


Active Member

Sewing thread is a very poor choice for fly tying, it is too large in diameter, twisted (means it cannot be made to lie flat), is bulky, usually made of cotton or cotton covered polyester (cotton doesn't hold up well in water and in fact stretches when wet; thus you flies are apt to come apart from this inherent stretch); and it is not all that strong for its size either.

You are far better off to get thread designed for fly tying and to get thread in the 6/0- 8/0 (70-90 denier in the new nomenclature starting to show up) sizes and leave the sewing thread for what it was intended to do, sew material or clothing together.
I agree with the previous post having tried a few of my wife's sewing threads for flies. For the most part, they were useless. The only "sewing" thread that ever worked on flies for me is a nylon thread called "Nymo." I was so impressed by it that I bought a box full. It only came in black and red so far as I know. Although I still have some, I haven't seen it for sale anywhere for years. If you have any in your inherited collection by all means use it!


If your down around Olympia sometime, drop into Shipwreck Beads. They have Nymo nylon thread in lots of sizes. Not sure of the color schoice (most I've seen is white).