Threading bobbins... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Threading bobbins...

03-19-2003, 08:25 PM
Many of you already do this, but it might be of use to some who did not grow up in the 60's... :hehe:

For those using monocord or other fairly stout threads (saltwater, salmon / steelhead, etc) a real easy way to thread a bobbin is to but a fresh edge on the thread, start the thread into the bottom of the bobbin cylinder and suck the thread out.

It doesn't work well with multi-filament threads, which I don't like to use anyway because it does not grip feather stems as well (personal preference). My favorite thread is monocord for a variety of reasons when it comes to these big flies and flymaster 6/0 for the small stuff trout eat. It just so happens to thread easily in this manner as well.

But I digress...

If the bobbin becomes clogged, a segment of stout monofilament like 10#, 15# or bigger leader material is very useful in cleaning it out.

Thin mono also makes a good threader in a pinch, push it thru, fold it with the thread in it and start the folded end in the bottom of the bobbin cylinder, then pull on the other end.

Why all this to avoid bobbin threaders? Two reasons:

If you use ruby tipped bobbins for fine threads the "woodstock" method is the easiest and most effective. Metal bobbin threaders do not fit in ruby bobbins and I have no clue where the factory threaders are.

Also, it's much faster to cut a clean edge and suck up the thread than fiddle around looking for a threader with standard bobbins too.

Your results may vary,


03-20-2003, 01:03 AM

You have to watch out for the occassional "hair ball" using the suck up the thread method. There is nothing quite like gasping and spitting to get that little sucker of a "hair ball" out of your throat. That is why I stopped using it when I first tied commercially some 30 years ago.

A dental floss loop threader makes a very fine bobbin threader if you do not want to spend to money for one of Rainey's bobbin Threaders, which have a little hook on the end of a straight shaft to catch your thread on. Far easier to use than the wire loop threaders, even if it costs a bit more than the rest of the bobbing threaders out there.

03-20-2003, 08:18 AM
I use the woodstock method too :smokin:

I have never used a bobbin threader and would be concerned that it would nick the ceramic and start fraying my 8/0. Threading mono is a pain in the arse though so I'll try some of these tricks next time I'm working on my salty patterns.

03-20-2003, 01:40 PM
This discussion just made me think of a good product idea for fly tyers... I will draw up the plans and see what people think.

03-21-2003, 09:10 PM
I take an 8" piece of heavy mono (around 20 lb), "fold" it to a point, then use masking tape to join the tag ends. This makes a doubled over linear construction, not circular one. Use like a standard bobbin threader. I have about 10 of these spread across my tying station, so one is always close at hand.