Thread tension

morayfisher

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Yep - I mean I am left-handed, as in Jimi Hendrix, John McEnroe, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.

My set-up looks like this from my side...



I know a few fellow lefties who taught themselves from books where the instructor was right-handed and they simply followed the diagrams and ended up tying right-handed. Maybe that includes you?

The implication for tying flies left-handed is that a lot of threads have a twist in them that tightens when wound right-handed, but unravels and splays apart when wound left-handed. You can see the thread splaying a bit in that shot - and that is one of the better ones for lefties - Uni 6/0. Given the choice between struggling with splaying thread on my fingers, and using a bobbin holder, I still prefer to struggle with the thread. 🤪

Col
Strange how our brains work. I’m a lefty who can’t write or throw a ball right handed but if I played golf or cricket my stance would be right handed. When I started tying, without thinking about it, it was naturally right handed as well.
 

PaulD

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Strange how our brains work. I’m a lefty who can’t write or throw a ball right handed but if I played golf or cricket my stance would be right handed.
It's known as confused or crossed laterality.

I am left handed, I write with my left, I bat at cricket and play golf left handed. However, I bowl over-arm right hand, under-arm left handed. I play guitar right handed, I'm predominantly right footed and I tie flies right handed.

In history, many of the great creative minds were left handed, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo . . . Adolf Hitler . . .
 

morayfisher

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It's known as confused or crossed laterality.

I am left handed, I write with my left, I bat at cricket and play golf left handed. However, I bowl over-arm right hand, under-arm left handed. I play guitar right handed, I'm predominantly right footed and I tie flies right handed.

In history, many of the great creative minds were left handed, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo . . . Adolf Hitler . . .
Well I’m certainly easily confused 😙
My brother was a left handed child but damaged his hand and couldn’t use it for a few weeks. Having to do school work he quickly learned to write with his “wrong” hand and has been a righty ever since.
 

4wings

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I used to shoot left handed and if a dining room place setting was left handed I found I could use it without thinking. It was suggested that some lefty/righties follow a dominant eye or had been converted as soon as left handedness was spotted.
Using fingers or tools, some people are just naturally dexterous and it is a pleasure to see them work,
my hands (the Lioness calls them "chickens feet") need tools
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Think he cut the length of thread before hand, for whatever reason I have no idea. That was his style of tying I guess.

Aye, that has to be very inefficient and unnecessary, and must waste a bit every fly. I just put the end of the thread up through the hole in the middle of the spool and catch it in the notch in the edge to stop it pulling turns off until I am ready. I have enough pulled off to have it dangle just above the floor at the start. By the end of a fly, it has worked its way up near my hands. Then I just spill a bunch more turns off like a fixed spool reel to put it back down near the floor. No waste at the end of every fly.

I'm thinking if you bobbin-holder guys want to tie ten flies with ten different colour threads, you need to change the spool in your bobbin-holder and rethread it 10 times? :unsure: I just put down the spool I'm using and pick up a different one each time - they are all sitting there threaded and ready to use. 😜

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Strange how our brains work. I’m a lefty who can’t write or throw a ball right handed but if I played golf or cricket my stance would be right handed. When I started tying, without thinking about it, it was naturally right handed as well.

Yeh - I'm mostly left-handed - anything held in one hand (eg tying thread), plus rifle or guitar. But I'm right-handed with a cricket bat or golf club... and with a spinning rod. I think I got that by picking up my dad's golf clubs when I was a lad and realising they didn't work if I held them left-handed. (He was born left-handed but they forced him to change at school.)

But there is a system there. Anything held 2-handed, I have my left hand nearer me and my right hand further away... rifle, guitar, golf club, cricket bat, spinning rod. All the same hold, but it makes the first 2 left-handed and the last 3 right-handed. ;)

All my reels are left-handed - fly reels, fixed spool reels and multipliers. Works well with the right-handed hold of a spinning rod, but I have to change hands with a single-handed fly rod to reel in. I know I should have changed to right-handed fly reels 50 years ago, but it's a bit late now. 🤪

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I used to shoot left handed and if a dining room place setting was left handed I found I could use it without thinking. It was suggested that some lefty/righties follow a dominant eye or had been converted as soon as left handedness was spotted.
Using fingers or tools, some people are just naturally dexterous and it is a pleasure to see them work,
my hands (the Lioness calls them "chickens feet") need tools

I'm right-eye dominant. I don't shoot with a shotgun, but they say if I did I would be far better to use it right-handed because of my eye dominance. I did a bit of .22 target shooting when I was young and I shot left-handed and just used my left eye on the sights. It worked OK.
 

Wee Jimmy

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I'm thinking if you bobbin-holder guys want to tie ten flies with ten different colour threads, you need to change the spool in your bobbin-holder and rethread it 10 times? :unsure: I just put down the spool I'm using and pick up a different one each time - they are all sitting there threaded and ready to use. 😜

Col
Nah I get around that by having a bobbin holder for each of my most used threads.....😜
I find bobbin holders help my placement accuracy and speed.Its still possible to develop touch and feel for the thread through them.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Nah I get around that by having a bobbin holder for each of my most used threads.....😜
I find bobbin holders help my placement accuracy and speed.Its still possible to develop touch and feel for the thread through them.

Aye, it is slower tying from the fingers, I'll give you that. 😜
 

PaulD

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I find bobbin holders help my placement accuracy . . .

It is 'horses for courses'. Placing a turn of thread tightly under tailing fibres to 'cock' them, posting a parachute wing or finishing a parachute hackle, underneath the hackle on a size 18, a bobbin with a fine tube is an invaluable help, same as when you want to whip finish under a parachute hackle a tool makes it far easier.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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It’s still pretty slow going with a bobbin holder for some of us Col..😉

Well, I'm thinking what I lose in the speed of running turns of thread up and down the fly, I get back in not having to stop to pull the bobbin-holder down and up... to make room for dubbing... doing a pinch-and-loop wing, to do a whip finish, etc???? :unsure: I dunno, because I don't use one. I thought: I'll watch a Davie McPhail video and pay attention to his ergonomics.

So, I watched this one...


He doesn't seem to do much up and down movement at all. I don't know how similar that is to the rest of you bobbin-holder users?

One thing I would say though - his hanging thread is clearly getting in the way when he is negotiating things like the ribbing and the hackle turns. I have a pair of stops out wide from my vice, and I just swing the thread away clear of the fly and hang it over a stop, so I have uncluttered access to the fly for things like ribbing and hackling.

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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One thing I would say though - his hanging thread is clearly getting in the way when he is negotiating things like the ribbing and the hackle turns. I have a pair of stops out wide from my vice, and I just swing the thread away clear of the fly and hang it over a stop, so I have uncluttered access to the fly for things like ribbing and hackling.

Took a few photos to illustrate what I'm on about here....

If you go to 3:20 in Davie M's video above, his thread is getting in the way when he is ribbing, and at 4:50, the thread is interfering with him winding the hackle.

Here's my bobbin-free set-up...

For tasks such as ribbing, I swing the thread forwards out the way, while the rib is wound...





... and for tasks such as hackling, I swing it to the rear and out the way...







Just sayin'...

Col
 

shuck raider

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I've been using an Ekich automatic bobbin for a few years now and it is brilliant - expensive but makes life so much easier. Have a look at his website:

 

Cap'n Fishy

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I've been using an Ekich automatic bobbin for a few years now and it is brilliant - expensive but makes life so much easier. Have a look at his website:

Any demos on how that system works?
 

Black sheep

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From my fingers. I have never given it a second thought. I taught myself from Geoffrey Bucknall's book in the 1960s. He didn't use a bobbin holder, so I never bought one. It is that simple!

His list of the basic tool requirements was:

An efficient vice
Medium and small hackle pliers
Sharp-pointed surgical scissors, curved and straight-bladed
Dubbing needle
Razor blades

His philosophy behind that list was (quoting from his book):

"There are also some special tools which I do not recommend - no doubt they are efficient, but it is my contention that we should not use tools for work that our fingers can do. This is not sheer sentiment for a 'handicraft'. One aspect of fly dressing is difficult to describe in words; it is the 'feel' that a pair of wings is settling down perfectly, that a turn of thread is tight enough. This feel can only grow through the fingers, so the rule is never to hold a tool to a job that the fingers can do."

That's always been good enough for me. All I do to add enough tension to the thread when I am hands-free is I suspend the thread on it's own reel. And that's it. ;)

Col
Well, that post tears me apart. I like modern assistance but I feel losing traditional skills is a bad product of modern society!
I shoot, I fish, I ferret, I bake, I cure, and mostly I build(work) I also make charcoal traditionally as part of a larger group. It’s hard to find a balance. But that advice twangs a string in my soul
 

morayfisher

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I've been using an Ekich automatic bobbin for a few years now and it is brilliant - expensive but makes life so much easier. Have a look at his website:

That does indeed look like the ultimate bobbin holder. All glowing reviews on their website, have you found any downsides to it?
Looks like $92 delivered to the Uk for the S model.
 

suzzy buzzer

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That does indeed look like the ultimate bobbin holder. All glowing reviews on their website, have you found any downsides to it?
Looks like $92 delivered to the Uk for the S model.

If you want an auto bobbin, the norvise bobbin is by far the better option, it’s much nicer in the hand. The only downside is you have to spool your threads onto the Aluminium spools.
You don’t have to do this with the ekitch, but, you do have to pop the thread spool off every foot or so to reset the clutch, and in my experience the method the ekitch uses to hold the spools can be quite fussy in which spools fit properly.
 

m r roid

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Any demos on how that system works?
Col, do you wax your thread heavily?
I saw a couple of people hand tying classic salmon flies at last years BFFI. Neither used bobbin holders, but both waxed their threads really heavily...
Here's a link to a YouTube video of the Ekich bobbin holder.
I use bobbin holders, but can't get on with the automatic ones.......
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Col, do you wax your thread heavily?
I saw a couple of people hand tying classic salmon flies at last years BFFI. Neither used bobbin holders, but both waxed their threads really heavily...
Here's a link to a YouTube video of the Ekich bobbin holder.
I use bobbin holders, but can't get on with the automatic ones.......

I wouldn't say I waxed it heavily - just a quick run through, sort of thing...

Col
 
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