Fly Tying Thread Demystified, Part II

Fly Tying Thread

What are the best selling threads on the market these days? In order, the highest sales volumes in threads, for the top four, are as follows:Uni 6/0 Thread, Danville 6/0 Flymaster Waxed Thread, Ultra Thread, and Lagartun X-Strong Thread.

The most popular thread color, by far, is black.

I rated each of these threads on a relative scale from 4 (highest) to 1 (lowest), based on my interviewing with Marcos at Hareline Dubbin, surveying my friends opinions, and a fair amount of soul searching. A score of 0 means that the factor does not apply. These ratings are relative within the four threads I rated: Danville 6/0, Uni 6/0, Ultra 70 denier, Lagartun 74 Denier – threads that are all in about the same “size” category.

Stretch factor: Lagartun (4); Ultra (3); Danville (2); Uni (1).

Wax factor: Danville (4); Uni (3); Ultra (0); Lagartun (0).

Weave factor: Uni (4); Danville (3); Lagartun (2); Ultra (0).

Flatness factor: Ultra (4); Lagartun (3); Danvile (2); Uni (1).

Split factor: Ultra (4); Lagartun (3); Danville (2); Uni (0).

Strength factor: Lagartun (4); Ultra (3); Uni (2); Danville (1).

Color variety: Uni (4); Danville (4); Ultra (3); Lagartun (1).

To review, here is my description of the four rated fly tying threads. Keep in mind that these are, each and every one, excellent products, and each has dedicated advocates.

danville fly master fly tying thread

Danville 6/0 Flymaster waxed Thread. This is 200 yd spool of waxed, partly woven thread. Danville will stretch only a little, is not at all “flossy’” offers excellent thread positioning control, can be split with some effort, lays moderately flat, is moderately strong, and has excellent color selection.

uni thread fly tying thread

Uni 6/0 Thread. This is a 100 yd spool of waxed, woven thread. Uni will not split, does not stretch well, is not at all “flossy,” does not lay flat, offers excellent thread positioning control, is moderately strong, and has excellent color selection.

ultra thread fly tying thread

Ultra Thread. This is 100 yd spool of un-waxed, un-woven, Polyester thread. Ultra Thread will stretch a lot, is rather “flossy” in its feel, can be split easily, lays very flat and consequently provides less thread positioning control, is moderately strong, and has excellent color selection.

lagartun fly tying thread

Lagartun X-Strong Thread. This is a 100 yd spool of un-waxed, partly woven, Polyester thread. Lagartun will stretch a lot, is only a little “flossy” in its feel, can be split fairly easily, lays very flat, has sufficient weave to prevent splaying and separation of thread fibers, offers moderate thread placement control, is very strong, and has rather modest color selection.

There you have it, fellow fly tyers: some of the technical factoids to hint at why we have our preferences among the variety of threads we have available today. My personal favorites these days are the Danville 6/0 Flymaster waxed and the Lagartun line of X-Strong threads. I use Lagartun 95 D for the vast majority of my salmon & steelhead flies; Sea-run cutthroat flies too. I like the stretch of the thread, the feel it offers, and the way it lays so very flat that I can secure my materials with a few wraps and create little thread build-up. I do run Hareline dubbing wax on my loops. The Danville Flymaster is my favorite for all of my trout fly tying. By far, a greater color palate, and the waxed thread is tops for dubbing.

Jay Nicholas

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7 Responses to Fly Tying Thread Demystified, Part II

  1. David Swart says:

    I use both Danville 6/0 & 8/0 & Ultra 140 & 70,tried Uni Thread once but did’nt like it to much bulk,good information Jay but you allway’s provide good information & Videos keep them comming,tight lines amigo.

  2. two dogs says:

    Hey, Jay……another great write!!!! tied the two articles together real well. Handled a knotty subject very well you did. Sometime an article from, say Hareline or Lagatun, on the manufacture of the threads would be interesting as well and a good “Part III” to these two articles. MB

  3. tim says:

    jay where would you rank nymo if it was still available?

  4. Rod Dines says:

    Great breakdown of the different threads.

  5. Nate says:

    Thank you, I’m not sure why no one else has laid it out this clearly but I appreciate you describing the small differences between the threads. Might have to give the Largartun a try.

  6. Jay Nicholas says:

    Nymo. Gosh I miss my Nymo. Especially in Shoe Red. OK, so much for nostalgia. These days, Nymo would be somewhere in the Danville’s Monocord category. As much as I love the memory of the classic thread, it would not allow the fine, trim heads that we can build these days. So, while I would love to have a huge stash of Nymo, I probably would not use it much these days. JN

  7. Sandy Henry says:

    You can get nymo thread. It is used for jewelry making

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