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Following the Thread

Mike G

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When I first built rods, I imitated the wrapping on some South Bend bamboo fly rods my father used. I wrapped the rods with orange variegated thread like 005 above. That kind of thread became hard to get when Gudebrod went out of business. I was close to out for repair purposes. So when I saw Tjger Thread offered by Barlow's I jumped at the chance to get a few spools of the orange/black. Now if I ever need it to restore a classic rod I have it. It is a win/win since I can also use it for tying flies and come off with some distinctive heads, tags, and thread bodies. I prefer nylon rod wrapping thread for bass flies anyway waxing it as I use it. BTW these colors come in size A thread.


While there I also noticed these metallic threads in size C. I picked up a spool of 319 red/gold and will try that out.




This is not a new idea. A while back Gretchen and Al Beatty were promoting "hot spot" flies. Standard drab patterns are kicked up a notch by adding tags, bands, and heads using thread in bright colors like red, orange, yellow, and chartreuse. They claimed to have great success though they don't have the patent. Though he did not call it that, John Haily invented the first hot spot when he added a red band to the body of the Coachman Pattern creating the Royal Coachman in 1878. I would like a nickel for every Royal Coachman or RC variation tied since then.

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