View Full Version : Spinning Bobbin an issue or no?

12-31-2011, 10:19 PM
Pulled the vise out for the winter and tied some Bead Head Princes for a recent trip (must have done a passing fair job...caught fish on them) but I have a technical question:

Mid tie, bobbin hanging by thread off of hook, and it is spinning/unraveling thread....thread seems to lose tensile strength and breaks far easier on consequent wraps. Tried a bobbin rest, still unravels. Pulled bobbin down to rest on vise base, too much slack...arrgh!
Am I missing some secret trick?

BTW using Ultra thread 140 with a ceramic bobbin, and have fairly good thread/tension control in anticipation of the above problem.

Seeking enlightenment O' Sensei(s) of the hook, feather, vise, and threads.
Thanks in advance!
Happy New Year All!

01-01-2012, 09:19 AM
Some bobbins are more prevalent to doing this; especially if they are not equally proportioned in weight on each side. The one-side quick release bobbins are an example of this style and the tend to hang low on one side.

This still happens to me at times and there are a few things I have noticed why it is doing it.

The tension is too tight in the bobbin
Too much tension is being applied while wrapping
Erratic wrapping style
One of the bobbin legs is shorter/longer than the other...(bend back).

TIP: You can moisten your thread while tying and it should help alleviate some of the spinning. I have seen some old school tiers lick their fingers and dampen the spool before starting a tie.:rolleyes:

Hope this helps!

01-01-2012, 11:24 AM
Use wax, many new tyers overlook the benefits of waxing the thread. Most threads are waxed but it's not the same as applying wax. I have about 12 waxes that I use at least one for every fly I tye.

You might try Uni thread. That's what I use other than Pearsall's silk. With Uni I don't have that problem.

01-01-2012, 06:13 PM
Appreciate the words of wisdom....

Shawn this gives me the excuse to buy some new bobbins

Narcodog I'll try the wax...I assume dubbing wax will work?

You Guys Rock!

01-01-2012, 07:13 PM
Yes dubbing wax will work well. Before you tie the thread to the hook pull out about two feet of thread then run it through the wax a couple of times then run the thread through your fingers to smooth the wax, that will warm it also. Then rewind it back on the spool.

01-01-2012, 07:31 PM
The bobbing is spinning to unravel the thread. Try a half hitch here and there in the tying process. Also simply pinch the bobbin between your fingers and give it a spin in the opposite direction to tighten the thread back up. I often manipulate the thread by allowing the bobbin to spin, or by purposely spinning the bobbin. I let it spin to unravel the thread to make it lay very flat, and I spin the bobbin to twist the thread to get a better bite on a material I am tying in. If you have a bobbin rest you can stop most of the thread spinning by keeping the bobbin and rest very close to the fly. Rest the bobbin at it's widest point against the arm of the bobbin rest, don't hang it off the end, it will still spin, think T shape.


01-01-2012, 08:29 PM
I totally agree with Flyman.

Jack Hise
01-01-2012, 08:53 PM
The thread is twisted with each wrap and as flyman says it is unwinding. If you watch some fly tying videos you will notice the same thing when the tyer lets the bobbin hang.

01-01-2012, 09:54 PM
I just learned more in a few minutes here than weeks of books and magazines offer.

Thanks Flyman, Jack and Heavynets!

01-02-2012, 01:31 AM
Are you left or right handed? That will also contribute to the way the thread unwinds