Bobbin [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bobbin

John Desjardins
03-27-2003, 03:22 PM
I got frustrated last night and threw out a bobbin last night when it cut the thread 3 times per fly on a couple of flys in a row. So I ask you what is the Best bobbin out there? The bobbin will mostly be used for 6/0 & 8/0 thread on freshwater patterns.

03-27-2003, 03:25 PM
I have one of the orvis bobbins with the ceramic liner. Works great for everything from 8/0 thru the heavy stuff. There is nothing more frustrating than when you go to finish a fly and your thread breaks and the whole thing unravels :mad:

03-27-2003, 03:34 PM
I'd gone to Renzetti ruby for that reason, but I have to say that the ceramic are a lot cheaper and I haven't had any more problem with them than w/ the ruby.

The smaller R/Ruby has a very narrow channel and the ruby insert stops at the top, making a blunt edge that is difficult to suck a thread into. One of my top criteria is how well a thread sucks up, I can't be bothered with a threader. All but one of my bobbins is easily threaded by mouth, and that one is the small ruby. The large ruby works great as does the ceramic. In a pinch, a piece of monofilament works great as a threader.

Looking at some of the tiny finesse work you do, I would assume you are looking for a finer cylinder and thus I thought I would provide an account of my experience (your results may vary).

Willie Gunn
03-27-2003, 03:51 PM
Juro, I've seen ceramic bobbin holders but can you post a picture of your ruby holder. I occasionally have problems but usually just go for a thicker thread, they are only salmon flies after all.


03-27-2003, 05:30 PM
They look just like a regular bobbin but in the cylinder they have a small ruby internal lining (top portion only) that protrudes just a smidge and prevents abrasion very effectively.

Once again I think the ceramic is just as effective for a fraction of the money, but if you don't mind paying for the ruby it's a nice thing to have for finer threads.

03-27-2003, 06:08 PM
I have all of them.. but I like the ruby insert that Juro mentioned .He is right when he says you can have difficulty sucking the thread up because it catches on the inside of the insert...but I do use a threader and find it ok to use...does not bother me.

Doc Duprey
03-27-2003, 06:34 PM
The ruby insert bobbins also hold up better to impact. If you accidently drop or bang the tip of the ceramic bobbins, they will often develop fine, thread-cutting chips. The ruby insert seems to prevent this.

Having said that, I really like the small magnum bobbin frames, for thread control. I have them with ruby, ceramic, and plain metal. When they start to cut thread on me, I toss 'em. As I have a bobbin for each of my commonly used threads, they last a long time, but even if you swithc threads often, they should last at least a season with just the metal inserts. THe ceramic or ruby should last a LOT longer.

Just my $0.02...your mileage may vary.

Best regards,


03-27-2003, 07:56 PM
I've got to vote for the ruby midge version for the small stuff. Like others have stated it can be a pain to thread so be sure to get a few of them :devil: or at least one that you can leave black 8/0 in. and one that you can switch threads in. For larger saltwater stuff I like the griffin ceramic and they are less expensive.

John Desjardins
03-28-2003, 08:04 AM
Thanks guys, I think I'll have to buy both the ruby & ceramic bobbins and test them.

03-28-2003, 03:28 PM
i use an old bobbin with a hole near the top of the bobbin tube. it is wonderful. i never" suck" the line in. the hole is close enough that it is like a needle. look for one. they are great

03-28-2003, 11:00 PM
I use three different bobbins. For 6/0. 8/0, and 12/0 threads, I use the S&M bobbin. This is the same bobbin that A.K. Best usess the most and which he recommends in his books. I have been using it since 1968 when I was 16 (in fact, I still have that one is use and can't begin to guess how many 10's of thousands of flies I have tied with it). It is short, compact, easy to adjust tension on, has a bit of weight to it to hold material in place with only a single wrap when tying, and it stands upright on the tying bench. I have 26 of them all loaded with different colors or sizes of thread. Also, it is a very inexpensive bobbin, it retails for around $6.00.

I use the Griffin Ceramic double-band standard tube length Magnum bobbin for flat-waxed nylon and UNI Stretch Nylon. It allows me to really crank down on material with minimal bobbin tube flex. I have 16 of them and they are all loaded with different colors of of flat-waxed nylon and UNI stretch nylon.

The third bobbin I use is the Griffin Supreme Ceramic. This is used when I want to use a bobbin with a longer tube to make it easier to tie the rear band on Zonkers or when a long-tubed bobbin makes it easier to tie something on the end of large long-shank hooks. I have 6 of these, again loaded with different colors and sizes of thread.

By having multiple bobbins each loaded with different thread sizes and colors, I do not have to change thread in my bobbins until a spool runs out. This also allows me to change thread colors during the course of tying a fly easily and quickly.