Tying Thread

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Danny S
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Tying Thread

Post by Danny S » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:25 am

FYI for those who may not have heard or read about this:

A gentleman working in a fly shop this weekend told me that tying thread nomenclature is changing to a denier scale. We will stop seeing 3/0, 6/0, 8/0 etc. Based on what I saw while buying thread (couldn't find brown and olive 6/0 to save my rump), looks like it's true. The majority of threads were labeled with the denier. About the only ones labeled with the "ought", etc were some colors of 3/0 and some colors of 8/0.

So, I needed to get educated on what denier equals what "ought." Looking at different internet sites about thread size, I saw it could get more confusing for the transition. Came across one site that mentioned the "ought" system was inconsistent among manufacturers (true, but at least I knew which one made the size thread I was after). Also came across a site that said 70 denier equals Danville 6/0 and 140 denier equals Unithread 6/0. AAARRRGH!

A real good one: bought some 70 denier tying thread to use on flies I was using 6/0 for. On the label it said it was 70 denierand for tying flies in size 14-32. I can't imagine tying a size 32 midge using the same sized thread I would use on a size 14 fly. Heck, I use 6/0 (or 70 denier?) on my size 8 flies and have no problems with the flies.

Maybe the denier system will add more consistency to thread sizes based on manufacturer. One can only hope that will be the case and what is now a Danville 6/0 will be labeled 70 denier; and what is now a Unithread 6/0 will be labeled 140 denier.

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Post by mickmcco » Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:40 pm


My understanding (still learning) is that 70 denier is 8/0, 140 denier is 6/0, 210 denier is 3/0. I've also purchased some 280 denier Wapsi threads for saltwater flies.
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Tying Thread Comparision

Post by wiscoy » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:20 pm

I found this article in Fly Fisherman a while back, it has a chart defining strength vs denier. Hope this helps.



Danny S
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Re: Tying Thread

Post by Danny S » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:10 am

ARRRGH again! You're right Mick! And that makes sense now about the 70 being for up to size 32 (though it could be too large for some flies in that size). Either I misunderstood the gentleman in the shop or was totally confused after our conversation. I may be getting to the age when all those numbers and comparisons create a bit of frustration--HA! I guess I bought 70 denier to use in 6/0 applications and likely should have bought 140. Live and learn.

The article from Flyfisherman was one of those I found during my exploration--thanks Wisco. That article reinforced the fact that all tying threads are not created equal. A very good chart as part of the article.

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Re: Tying Thread

Post by ripit » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:00 pm

I know it's been a long time since this thread was started but it popped up as I was trying to compare thread sizes. Maybe you guys have already figured this out but I found this chart on the Wapsi website. I hope this helps someone else. I'm keeping a copy handy.

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Re: Tying Thread

Post by angleblue63 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:35 am

I placed an order for The Fly Shop hooks in April, got a message in May that they were out of stock and would be back in stock in June or July, then in reply to a note I sent in August, said they would not be available until October or November, and I've heard nothing since.
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Re: Tying Thread

Post by mgstough » Wed May 08, 2013 11:03 am

Hello there. I found this article which helps to demystify much of the confusion regarding Denier versus Ought versus Diameter versus Weight when people discuss thread. Hope it helps: http://mvff.tripod.com/Reference/Denier.pdf

Have a good day.


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