Without a need for a huge variety of patterns and materials, my fly tying is relatively basic. Despite this, I do like to have a handful of different thread styles on the table. On top of "standard" tying threads, I also keep a supply of clear mono thread in addition to my current favorite, Danville Flat Waxed Nylon. Although I've used the latter for quite some time now, I've recently warmed up to it even more and have just really come to enjoy consistently working with it. It's not the perfect thread for absolutely everything, but in this piece I thought it'd be helpful to fill you in as to why flat waxed nylon can be a useful addition to your fly tying inventory!
Strength: This stuff is strong! There's few things that tick me off more than snapping off thread right in the middle of constructing a fly, especially when I'm right in the midst of a particularly critical part. I don't have that trouble with flat waxed nylon. In fact, I can't remember ever breaking it while tying. The strength also inspires a lot of confidence when it comes time to spin deer hair or flare other fibers on the shank. Be careful, though, as nicking flat waxed nylon against the hook point while tying may cause it to fray or maybe even weaken slightly.
Coverage: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon is perfect for covering up material or a bare hook shank quickly. Since it lays flat, each wrap is nice and wide and covers areas much more efficiently without building up vertical thickness too fast.
Shine: Flat waxed nylon comes in some really vibrant colors including several types of eye-catching fluorescent shades. Additionally, it sports a really attractive shine that can give your patterns some nice added appeal.
Security: Another plus to its "flatness" and strength is that flat waxed nylon thread is great for securing items like dumbbell or beadchain eyes to the hook. This flat shape makes it kind of like a strap of sorts when winding through the center of these eyes, thus securing them easily and tightly. Similarly, when tying-down things like natural hair or foam pieces, flat waxed nylon thread is less prone to slicing through these more fragile materials. The downside to its wider diameter/flatness, though, is that it might not be as good for working in tight spots or other times when ultra-precision is needed such as on tiny flies. This is why I tend to use it on medium to large streamers.
Currently, Danville Flat Waxed Nylon comes in 100 yard spools and carries a 210 Denier rating (for info on thread ratings click here) with 17 different colors available. With the cold weather affecting so many people right now, this is a perfect time to tie flies or do a little experimenting with new materials and techniques. Give this stuff a try....I think you'll really enjoy using it!
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