Thread tension

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.......

Guy's not going to win any prizes for neatness!

So, by 'automatic', does that mean spring-loaded - like the old Mitchell fly reel?

Spot he had the same issue as Davie M in that when he was hackling, the thing was getting in the way of the hackle turns. He could have swung it forwards like he did when winding the body? :unsure: Anyroad, I wouldn't wind a hackle that way. I would start nearest the head, with the thread behind the hackle - at the front of the body. Wind the turns of hackle going from head to body to reach where the thread is lying. Then bring turns of thread forwards through the hackle to the head. That way, the turns of hackle are X-crossed and locked down by the thread. So, even if a fish's tooth cuts the hackle stalk, or pulls the end out, it can't unwind. (y)

Col
 

morayfisher

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Guy's not going to win any prizes for neatness!

So, by 'automatic', does that mean spring-loaded - like the old Mitchell fly reel?

Spot he had the same issue as Davie M in that when he was hackling, the thing was getting in the way of the hackle turns. He could have swung it forwards like he did when winding the body? :unsure: Anyroad, I wouldn't wind a hackle that way. I would start nearest the head, with the thread behind the hackle - at the front of the body. Wind the turns of hackle going from head to body to reach where the thread is lying. Then bring turns of thread forwards through the hackle to the head. That way, the turns of hackle are X-crossed and locked down by the thread. So, even if a fish's tooth cuts the hackle stalk, or pulls the end out, it can't unwind. (y)

Col
There is a demo video on the Ekich website as well.
I know what you mean about swinging the bobbin out of the way. I do that with a regular holder but then carefully wind the bobbin back up without losing tension.
 

BobP

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I used to tie bobbin-less when I first started and I remember the tying instructions as mentioned by PaulD. "Take 10"of well-waxed tying thread etc.," The problem with that is that when the chosen fly is finished you are left with 4-5" of unused tying thread which is seldom enough to make another fly. The bobbin holder eliminates that. The only waste is the inch that gets overwound when starting the fly.

The "in the hand" method is fine if you only want one fly and like making life difficult for yourself, but when you are tying a lot of flies for sale it is time consuming and wasteful of tying thread.

I am more than happy with the collection of bobbin holders I currently have - some C & F & some just ordinary ceramics. Reading the above posts I am surprised that no-one has yet echoed a previous thread. "Are Ekich having a laugh?" $92 for a bobbin holder?
 

morayfisher

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I used to tie bobbin-less when I first started and I remember the tying instructions as mentioned by PaulD. "Take 10"of well-waxed tying thread etc.," The problem with that is that when the chosen fly is finished you are left with 4-5" of unused tying thread which is seldom enough to make another fly. The bobbin holder eliminates that. The only waste is the inch that gets overwound when starting the fly.

The "in the hand" method is fine if you only want one fly and like making life difficult for yourself, but when you are tying a lot of flies for sale it is time consuming and wasteful of tying thread.

I am more than happy with the collection of bobbin holders I currently have - some C & F & some just ordinary ceramics. Reading the above posts I am surprised that no-one has yet echoed a previous thread. "Are Ekich having a laugh?" $92 for a bobbin holder?
The Ekich is $80+$12 p&p. The Norvise version is $95 so assuming the same postage that’s $107 😂
I thought I was being extravagant when I ordered a Rite holder for £22 this week. As it happens it was out of stock so I haven’t even spent that much!
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I used to tie bobbin-less when I first started and I remember the tying instructions as mentioned by PaulD. "Take 10"of well-waxed tying thread etc.," The problem with that is that when the chosen fly is finished you are left with 4-5" of unused tying thread which is seldom enough to make another fly. The bobbin holder eliminates that. The only waste is the inch that gets overwound when starting the fly.

As already mentioned in post #25, there is no need to waste any thread when not using a bobbin-holder. Do you know how a closed-face spinning reel works? 😜

Need some more thread?



Just disengage the spool and peel some off...



Then re-engage the spool. Carry on tying. Simples! ;)
 

Cap'n Fishy

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There is a demo video on the Ekich website as well.
I know what you mean about swinging the bobbin out of the way. I do that with a regular holder but then carefully wind the bobbin back up without losing tension.

Thanks - I understand it better after watching that. Could I use one to tie flies? Yes (with a bit of practice). Do I need one to tie flies? No - I'm still very much a Geoffrey Bucknallista at heart! 😜

Col
 

morayfisher

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Thanks - I understand it better after watching that. Could I use one to tie flies? Yes (with a bit of practice). Do I need one to tie flies? No - I'm still very much a Geoffrey Bucknallista at heart! 😜

Col
I’ve posted videos elsewhere on here showing tyers using nothing more than their fingers and maybe a pair of scissors so everything else is just another tool that we choose to use to make things easier or “nicer”.
Some people are gageteers as well and a hobby like fly tying offers plenty of opportunity to collect a myriad of tools and materials.
I like using a bog standard holder and have improved my control of the tension since starting. That Ekich one does seem like a great idea though.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I’ve posted videos elsewhere on here showing tyers using nothing more than their fingers and maybe a pair of scissors so everything else is just another tool that we choose to use to make things easier or “nicer”.
Some people are gageteers as well and a hobby like fly tying offers plenty of opportunity to collect a myriad of tools and materials.
I like using a bog standard holder and have improved my control of the tension since starting. That Ekich one does seem like a great idea though.

Yeh - the key for me is the 'easier' bit. Does a vice make it easer than not using one? Yes, very much so, and I have always used a vice. Same for hackle pliers. I also use a hair stacker and a dubbing loop spinner - they make things easier. I've never used a whip finish tool - it doesn't make it easier. Well, not for me anyway.

But any time I use a bobbin-holder it seems to make it more difficult - it just gets in the way! Even when I watch those videos, it seems to get in the way of people who use one? :unsure:

And I still like Geoffrey Bucknall's 'tactile' aspect of being 'hands-on' with the thread. 😜

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Likewise, I actually can’t get my head round using one, but whip finish with my fingers seemingly quite naturally. The tool seems like a complication.

I did this vid in 2013...


In practice, you are already winding the head of the fly, so it is a case of going straight into the whip-finish, without needing to stop to pick up a tool... and then thread it... and then do the knot...
 

baca157

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But any time I use a bobbin-holder it seems to make it more difficult - it just gets in the way! Even when I watch those videos, it seems to get in the way of people who use one? :unsure:


Col
It does get in the way Col but it’s not an issue at all. You just simply keep it out of the way with your fingers. It’s no something I ever considered being a problem.

I think bobbin holder is as much an essential tool as a vice. It makes tying easier. Yes, you can tie without one but it’s not for me.

Saying that, one day (when I am good enough) I will have a go at tying classic salmon flies in hand.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

Cap'n Fishy

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It does get in the way Col but it’s not an issue at all. You just simply keep it out of the way with your fingers. It’s no something I ever considered being a problem.

I think bobbin holder is as much an essential tool as a vice. It makes tying easier. Yes, you can tie without one but it’s not for me.

Saying that, one day (when I am good enough) I will have a go at tying classic salmon flies in hand.

Cheers,
Sebastian

That's kind of what I am saying. It's not essential for me. It's not even desirable. I can tie perfectly well without one. And, by your own admission, it does get in the way. Well, if it's not desirable and it gets in the way... that's why I don't use one. 😜

Col
 

shuck raider

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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.
Haven't found any downsides to be honest - like most things, you very quickly get used to it. Some spools of thread won't fit without a quick mod (described on his website) but I mostly use UNI these days and they pop on and off easly.

The only thing to remember is to pop the spool a fraction up the spindle to release the tension before cutting the thread, otherwise the spring will retract the thread up the spigot and you'll have to reach for the bobbin threader. Becomes second nature after a few days.

I dealt direct via email with Frank Ekich, he is extremely helpful. I like the thing so much that I bought a second-hand one advertised on here, it's the cheaper plastic version which is actually nicer to use that the wire one.
 

baca157

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That's kind of what I am saying. It's not essential for me. It's not even desirable. I can tie perfectly well without one. And, by your own admission, it does get in the way. Well, if it's not desirable and it gets in the way... that's why I don't use one. 😜

Col
I know you don’t Col and I admire you for doing so. I just couldn’t do without one and I tried. Pros outweigh the cons for me.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

PaulD

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That's kind of what I am saying. It's not essential for me. It's not even desirable.

Col

I notice from your images of the thread spool that you use quite a heavy thread, 6/0, but I'm
Bobbins.jpg
surprised that the spool of thread is heavy enough to maintain adequate tension, particularly on some more rigid or 'springy' materials. I've weighed one of my thread spools and, although new and full, it weighs a mere 5g and I'm not too confident that it would provide adequate thread tension when releasing the thread from the fingers.

These are the bobbins I tend to use, the adjustable TMC and Smhaen particularly with finer denier, more 'slippery' threads. With the spools they weigh in at 24g each.
 

webblade

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I notice from your images of the thread spool that you use quite a heavy thread, 6/0, but I'mView attachment 37942 surprised that the spool of thread is heavy enough to maintain adequate tension, particularly on some more rigid or 'springy' materials. I've weighed one of my thread spools and, although new and full, it weighs a mere 5g and I'm not too confident that it would provide adequate thread tension when releasing the thread from the fingers.

These are the bobbins I tend to use, the adjustable TMC and Smhaen particularly with finer denier, more 'slippery' threads. With the spools they weigh in at 24g each.
Paul how do you find the Tiemco magnetic bobbin? Is the tension consistent? Does it need adjustment when changing colours of the same spool type? Any problems with particular spools?
 

PaulD

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Paul how do you find the Tiemco magnetic bobbin? Is the tension consistent? Does it need adjustment when changing colours of the same spool type? Any problems with particular spools?

It's a bit of a fiddle. Spools of the same size interchange pretty well but some spools have a paper label, some have bare plastic sides which can need adjustment of tension. A few times, by accident. I've contrived to remove tension while using it. I think the Smhaen is a better buy.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I notice from your images of the thread spool that you use quite a heavy thread, 6/0, but I'm surprised that the spool of thread is heavy enough to maintain adequate tension, particularly on some more rigid or 'springy' materials. I've weighed one of my thread spools and, although new and full, it weighs a mere 5g and I'm not too confident that it would provide adequate thread tension when releasing the thread from the fingers.

These are the bobbins I tend to use, the adjustable TMC and Smhaen particularly with finer denier, more 'slippery' threads. With the spools they weigh in at 24g each.

Tension never been an issue for me. When I need tension it is supplied by my fingers. When the thread is left hanging, it's not needing tension for anything. I also throw in the occasional half-hitch when needed.
 
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