Silk Thread

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raven4ns
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Silk Thread

Post by raven4ns » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:22 am

Hello,
Does everyone tie with silk thread like Pearsall? I have read that the silk thread imparts a certain coloration to the body of a fly. Is it of a major significance that other threads beside silk cannot be used? Or is the significance more important in the eye of the fly tyer?
As it is my wife hates this forum along with the Classic Fly rod forum seeing as how I now fish with bamboo rods and spending more money on tying materials... :lol: . Thank you.
All the best,

Tim
https://www.flickr.com/photos/44673530@N04/
The measure of a man is not how many times he gets knocked down, but how many times he gets back up.
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Ron Eagle Elk
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:26 am

Synthetic threads don't, for the most part, react to waxes and being wet like silk threads do. To answer your question though, I use both. I tend to follow the recipe for a fly, especially if it's an old fly. I assume the originator knew what his materials would do and use the appropriate thread. If I'm making up something of my own design, I have to do a bit of research to find the appropriate thread type and color to get the desired results. Clear as mud? If so, I have done my job.
"A man may smile and bid you hale yet curse you to the devil, but when a good dog wags his tail he is always on the level"
raven4ns
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by raven4ns » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:52 am

:lol: thanks, Ron.


Ron Eagle Elk wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:26 am
Synthetic threads don't, for the most part, react to waxes and being wet like silk threads do. To answer your question though, I use both. I tend to follow the recipe for a fly, especially if it's an old fly. I assume the originator knew what his materials would do and use the appropriate thread. If I'm making up something of my own design, I have to do a bit of research to find the appropriate thread type and color to get the desired results. Clear as mud? If so, I have done my job.
All the best,

Tim
https://www.flickr.com/photos/44673530@N04/
The measure of a man is not how many times he gets knocked down, but how many times he gets back up.
ronr
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by ronr » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:37 pm

raven..this was one of my early questions also... I've come across two schools.. old school traditionalists that wouldn't consider anything but the old materials, silks, etc especially for those who collect the old patterns. I enjoy using silk, though its getting harder to come by the old standby Pearsall's..., but I don't think the fish have rejected any of my flies because I've tied them with thread instead of silk.
Undoubtedly, the silk has unique properties that can't be duplicated with thread, but I tie for fishing, not for show.
Trevis
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by Trevis » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:30 pm

I'm no expert and have only been dabbling with flies since the mid '70s, so, jmo, I have never seen silk tying threads! Yet my flies have caught a few fish. Rayon floss is as close as I've ever been to silk.
I think if the object is to build a near replica of an ancient pattern that one should be faithful to the materials as close as possible, but, I also think that with the evolution of language (at least fifty-hundred common words have changed meanings in my lifetime) that we will never know if what we think we read is what the author thought he wrote all those centuries ago.
As a beginning tier all those moons ago, I read a description of a favorite fly tied with Primrose thread, a standard dubbing (muskrat?) and a shade of dun hackle; it sounded nice so I made some- but at that time the only primroses I had seen were shades of pink/red- the thread was to form a butt and to just show through the dubbing, thus the color was seemingly important. I did a couple dozen of these in red and fish liked them so well that I did a few more dozen over the next years before I learned that "Primrose" meant yellow.
If I had used yellow silk would the fish have liked it as well? better? I don't know. And we will never know what a fish sees as the color or shade or combination of both, we can only make observations and speculate. I do know the author of that book would not have recognized his fly as I tied it. Fortunately many fish have tiny brains and poor reasoning ability, so I manage to fool one now and then.
Since the painting of rams is not common any longer, where would one get authentic material for Tups Indispensable?? Sometimes we just use what we can get by with.
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NJpatbee
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by NJpatbee » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:48 am

I have been using Pearsalls silk thread for the majority of my soft hackle wet flies and have had good success. In the mid-70's when I started tying soft hackles at first I used nylon and had some success but I have learned that certain colors like silk orange and yellow have a different color and hue when wet and they are deadly. I do tie a few soft hackles in very small sizes and will use very small diameter nylon thread for the body, most using black or purple thread. Once I got word of Pearsalls discontinuing it's Gossamer silk thread I purchased as much as I could and at age 67 have enough for my expected fishing and tying lifetime. For my dries, nymphs, and streamers I do not normally use silk thread.

Others have found some good substitutes for Pearsalls and have posted on this site about them.
BrkTrt
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by BrkTrt » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:04 am

Try...YLI silk. It's available in many colors and is of awesome quality.
Priced right too.

Alan
raven4ns
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by raven4ns » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:32 pm

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and opinions. I will need to give some thought as to what I am going to do. Drys and wets still make up the bulk of my flies and these are tied with thread. It will depend on how much Flymph's make up of the total of my tying. Once again, thank you.
All the best,

Tim
https://www.flickr.com/photos/44673530@N04/
The measure of a man is not how many times he gets knocked down, but how many times he gets back up.
Mike62
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by Mike62 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:16 pm

BrkTrt wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:04 am
Try...YLI silk. It's available in many colors and is of awesome quality.
Priced right too.

Alan
After watching your blog and your results, I bought a few spools of YLI and have been very happy with it. It waxes up as nicely as Pearsall's. If I use Mr. Bailey's cobbler's wax I can get some wonderfully subtle color variations, too.
Trifly
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Re: Silk Thread

Post by Trifly » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:44 pm

raven4ns wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:22 am
Hello,
Does everyone tie with silk thread like Pearsall? I have read that the silk thread imparts a certain coloration to the body of a fly. Is it of a major significance that other threads beside silk cannot be used? Or is the significance more important in the eye of the fly tyer?
As it is my wife hates this forum along with the Classic Fly rod forum seeing as how I now fish with bamboo rods and spending more money on tying materials... :lol: . Thank you.
Not everyone. In my opinion there is no reason to use silk. With today's combination of natural and synthetic dubbings and threads there is no need for me to worry about silk. Any hue that can be made with silk can be duplicated with thread and dubbing. If connecting to the past is your thing, then silk is the way to go.
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