Fishing Fly tying

Fly tying: Working thread length

One of the most basic skill fly tiers must learn when getting into the craft is how to manage the thread as it comes off the bobbin. It seems simple, but I can’t count the times I’ve watched brand-new tiers trying to figure out just how much thread they need to work with as they sit down to tie a fly.

Above, Tim Flagler walks us through a simple thread-work tutorial. Too much thread makes for long, unwieldy wraps that take too long to complete. Too little thread makes for tight wraps and it’s easy to bump the bobbin against the hook shank.

For Tim, the ideal length is about an inch or so, and I’d agree—it seems that an inch is right in the sweet spot when it comes to economy and control. Of course, you’ll need more when you’re whip-finishing a fly, but, as Tim notes, you still don’t want to have too much thread outside the bobbin nozzle.

If you’re a new tier, this is a must-watch.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.