Is silk necessary?

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StePhDen
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Is silk necessary?

#1

Post by StePhDen »

Hi All,

I’ve been having trouble sourcing silk for wrapping guides. Currently have a spool that is stuck in the mail and two back ordered.

Is there a reason I can’t use regular 6/0 or 8/0 tying thread other than tradition?

Do y’all have suppliers you like that have consistent availability? I’ve been ordering from the fly shack but they struggle to keep even the basic colors in stock much less fun colors like blue or green.

Cheers,

Stephen


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henkverhaar
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#2

Post by henkverhaar »

Tying thread is usually waxed, and not particularly suited for wrapping guides. If you can find the base thread material (e.g. for UNIthread that is Gütermann Skala), with no coatings or additions, that WILL work; however, IMNSHO, regular wrapping nylon works better. Skala 240 ('UNI' 6/0) is thinner than # 100 silk, and less suited for invisible wraps - I use transparent wraps on my bamboo ferrules - silk can be made almost invisible - Skala / polyester less so - at least in my experience.
Last edited by henkverhaar on 01/08/21 03:23, edited 1 time in total.

kilgore
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#3

Post by kilgore »

Google 'fly rod wrapping thread'. There are many fly rod building sites that carry silk (and nylon) threads. And if think blue and green are fun wait until you see the variety of colors.

Canewrap
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#4

Post by Canewrap »

The Hitena nylon size A is finer than I expected and works well to wrap a rod. Google Hitena thread. I don't think I can post a link here. I need to order some of their size AA to see how much finer it is.

galt
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#5

Post by galt »

https://www.roserushbrooke.com/product- ... hread/yli/
https://redrockthreads.com/
https://www.superiorthreads.com/

Have had excellent experiences with all of these vendors. Don't know what their current situation is.

Size A nylon rod wrapping silk(Mudehole) will give excellent results and may be easier with which to work. Once varnishes, few can tell the difference.

Galt

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tiptop
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#6

Post by tiptop »

https://www.proofflyfishing.com/
Proof carries Kimono brand silk and it's been very high quality the couple times I've used it. It's very fine, similar to Pearsall's gossamer. Proof has a very reasonable shipping cost and has been extremely quick with shipping and responsive to emails.

kilgore
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#7

Post by kilgore »

Had a look at the Hitena site. You have to scroll down to get to the non-metallic threads and there are more on the second page. Interesting assortment of jasper threads towards the end.

Canewrap
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#8

Post by Canewrap »

I kind of found Hitena by accident. I was recently making up a graphite rod as a boat rod and had wrapped most of it in green silk, since I didn't have any green nylon wrapping thread. Got curious and started looking for some, since I wanted to try it on one of my next rods. I found Hitena and ordered their size A nylon green in a color close to the silk I was using. When I got it and noticed how thin it seemed, I decided to do one of the remaining wraps on the graphite blank with it. It is such a close match to the silk, you can't really tell where I wrapped it with the nylon. I was using Tire 50# silk, and the nylon is just about that fine. I am going to order some AA size and see how fine that is. I just noticed they have a AAA size too. This might be fine enough to do tipping with.

DonT
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#9

Post by DonT »

Golden Witch carries Kimono as well. As mentioned above several times, nylon works just as well for almost everything except for what Henk mentioned about making wraps near invisible. I can tell you from my own experience that size A nylon is a lot easier to wrap than fine silk, although I like the look of the fine silk better.

jim royston
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#10

Post by jim royston »

Ebay!

DUCKMANNM
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#11

Post by DUCKMANNM »

I use silk because it is traditional! But it is sometimes a reel hassle. Lots of times I've 5 o6 coats of color preserver *Al's Colorite), and the wraps come out mottled colors. I use a lot of Kimomo thread because it is rated as 100 weight thread, which I think is the thinnest. I sometimes have to do the wrap 2 or 3 times before I'm satisfied with it though!

6tUc05
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#12

Post by 6tUc05 »

The "straightforward" answer to your question is: NO! As silk thread predates nylon by centuries. It is what was used by the early rodmakers, and modern bamboo fly rod makers, being a "hide-bound" bunch, stick with it out of tradition (I too "stick with it" in my meager refurbishing work!). Once Nylon came on the scene, and due in part to the difficulty of getting silk thread at the time, most major rodmakers of all types of rods (glass, then graphite) switched to nylon. There are thousands of both glass and graphite fly rods out there that are wrapped with nylon. IMHO, it takes a truly EXPERIENCED eye to tell the difference on a wrapped rod, if it can actually be done. In fact, many cannot visually tell the difference "on the spool". They must use the "burn" test to differentiate between silk and nylon. I sure can't tell the difference between the two once applied and 'finished".

wb4tjh
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#13

Post by wb4tjh »

I never seem able to get enough tension on wraps when i use real silk, so I prefer nylon. I can put a bit of stretch into the wraps which hold the guides better in my opinion. Also, I NEVER us color preservative on wraps......that way the varnish penetrates all the way to the rod blank and is much more secure. I still use rods I built like this 40 plus years ago, and they have never shown any sign of a wrap coming loose.

Canewrap
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Re: Is silk necessary?

#14

Post by Canewrap »

wb4tjh, I use nylon where I can on my own rods. I agree wholeheartedly that it is easier than silk. I also understand the need to be traditional. I miss Darryl Hayashida and his skewering of sacred cows.

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