Thread size and strength - looking for something thinner of equal strength

I'm looking for thread to replace what I normally use PacBay size A. I want thinner thread but of equal strength to keep things nice and thin on the finished product. Does anyone know of any? Also, does anyone know what companies like Sage, Scott and other use?


Well if you want thin wraps then varnish and silk is the only way to go. Most of the manufactures used gudebrod before they changed locks and vanished. I use prowrap size A on most of my builds. If you want a smaller profile with your wraps then you have to learn silk.


Lost in Nontana
I saw that Mudhole carries Maderia thread it's .005, size A is .006 not much of a difference. My research shows that it's the same as the embroidery thread. I did the search because my wife has lots of it. If you need strength never use black thread, use nave blue or dark gray. My wife has an embroidery business and doesn't even buy it any more, it brakes so easy.


Active Member
For an 8wt I would not personally go any smaller than size A. I know a guy that has build hundreds of rods, did it commercially when he was younger and he rarely uses anything as small as A and his rods look great. For a lower profile I would try snake brand universal guides and work on getting better on the finish (your finish does look pretty good by the way). The Snake Brand universals are by far the best snake guide built and the foot fits the contour of the rod. Expensive but worth it on a nice rod.

Silk is harder to wrap and you need to be careful when manipulate and burnish the wraps. You can easily get fuzzes and almost burn (?) it. YLI makes a 50 and 100. If I remember correctly size a thread would be like size 6 tying thread, 50 like size 8 and 100 thinner (might be size 3, size 8 and thinner). There is a chart that shows the number of wraps per inch of each size thread, if I can find it I will post it. For a 3,4,5 weight rod the 100 would be great. I have had limited experience with the silk but I have generally used color preserver as the silk seems to turn very dark without it.
ProWrap and PacBay are very similar. The Gudebrod was a bit different; their size A felt thicker to me with a slightly different twist that did not fray easily. In any case I wouldn't go any less than size A on a 8 wt.

Some folks use Perma Gloss to get a really thin set finish. I choose a low build formula like Threadmaster Lite. Works great for me.

A lot of factories tend to use NCP thread which eliminates one extra step and blends better with the blank for a more subtle refined look. This also makes for less material or thickness on the wraps because no color preserver is used. It's also reported that color preserver degrades wrap strength, which I personally believe is a total NON-issue. But if you want thin and strong, skip the color preserver. Just know that if you use regular thread sans CP, it's colors will go so dark as to be virtually black. NCP colors are not as vibrant and will also darken slightly sans CP.

Burnishing is still another method used to flatten material and tighten gaps to make wraps appear thinner and aid in a smoother low build finish. This is also important if there is any fraying, which is easy to do with thinner gauge threads. Frays are very difficult to hide with low build epoxy.

Good luck.
I saw that Mudhole carries Maderia thread it's .005, size A is .006 not much of a difference. My research shows that it's the same as the embroidery thread.
FYI, embroidery, quilting and sewing machine thread are often treated with silicone to make them easier to use. You can be sure there is no silicone in rod building threads because silicone reacts adversely with epoxy. You can use sewing thread treated with silicone if you use enough CP to cover threads before applying epoxy. When in doubt test or use CP.