waxed thread

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dry Fly Guy 3 years, 1 month ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    Ok, so this thought hit my pea brain the other day and I need to ask. I understand that using wax on your tying thread helps to grab the material better and lock it down in place. I have used dubbing wax at times to do just that and it works pretty well.
    North Country Spiders are tied, or supposed to be tied with waxed thread. I have watched Davie McPhail’s tying you tube videos and he constantly has a wad of wax on his finger to wax the thread when he needs to and really lock material down.
    My question is, does using waxed thread all through the tying of a fly have any negative results to the fly compared to just waxing when needed? In my way of thinking, using spooled waxed thread would help the fly float better, and secure everything down better making a much more productive fly. So is there a reason NOT to use spooled waxed thread on all my flies?



    I use wax on the thread for the whole fly on Spiders. Keeping in mind we’re using nothing but silk thread.



    I can’t think of any reason why using pre-waxed thread could be a drawback.

    You’re right about using maximum thread pressure when tying. When I taught tying, the first thing I did was have the students do several wraps on the hook and then pull the thread to the breaking point a few times – so they got a feel for just how much it could take. The more tightly wrapped (and finished) a fly is the more durable it’ll be.


    Scotty MacFly

    You’re right Creek. And I do tie spiders completely with waxed thread.

    Grsdlnr, I racked my brain out today and I can’t think of a drawback either. I was just curious about it because I don’t know many people who tie with pre-waxed thread.The local fly shop sells it, but it’s way outnumbered by the other types of thread giving me the impression that waxed thread isn’t used very much by anyone. I have seen maybe one fly pattern that called for waxed thread in a magazine and I don’t recall the name of the fly. I already knew about the spiders.

    If anyone here can think of a reason or two, please let me know. If not, great. I’ll just continue to use it on different flies. After all I payed for it, so why not.

    Thanks guy’s.



    Unwaxed might be a little more versatile. You can spin the bobbin to wind the thread tighter, or looser for different effects. Such as being able to lay the thread flatter for small flies.


    Scotty MacFly

    True, true. That’s a good point. I did think of one thing on the negative side. Using pre-waxed thread all the time will clog up the bobbin after awhile. No problem though, I got that super floss to clean it out.


    Dry Fly Guy

    Not that it really matters much (if at all) but I would assume that head-cement/super-glue would not penetrate as well using waxed thread, which may or may not be a disadvantage in certain applications.

    But I do believe waxed thread will add a slight (very slight) amount of bulk. (Again, could be good or bad depending on the pattern.)

    I haven’t compared them, so I certainly don’t know, but does pre-waxed spin as freely when spinning deer hair? (If not then that could be considered a disadvantage.)

    ~ DFG

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