One thread to bind them all !
The shear amount of spools of thread that I alone have accumulated over the years is mind boggling! I have silk, Nylon, Polyester, Kevlar, Dacron… this list goes on! The tyer always looks for thread to suit the job at hand. In this respect, diameter, 16/0 or 3/0, stretchability, flat or round profile, waxed or unwaxed, salt water resistant, and not to mention colour ! again, I can go on and on…
Around 15 years ago I replaced the chaos of literally hundreds of spools, for the most, with one single tying thread, in one colour and one size! Is it possible, you may ask? Here are the pro’s and cons of Dyneema.
Dyneema is a UHMwPE fibre, Ultra-High Molecular weight Polyethylene. It’s manufactured by means of a gel-spinning process, that has more recently been adapted for fishing line, that combines extreme strength with incredible softness, and no stretch. In other words its stronger, weight for weight than steel, it’s extremely light weight so it floats and build-up, turn for turn is minimal on the hook shaft. The chemical makeup of Dyneema also means that it doesn’t rot, it’s resistant to most chemicals, salt water and UV light.
Because its structure is made-up of many extremely thin fibres, it can be spun in a clockwise direction, the fibres will then twist into a single super strong ultra fine tying thread with a round profile. If you spin the thread in a anti clockwise direction, the fibres will open-up and the thread will acquire a flat profile, actually more like a floss silk. These two attributes mean that this one single size of Dyneema works for both the smallest, # 28 patterns up-to the largest salt water hooks castable. When the fibres are flat you can also split the thread and make a dubbing loop for spinning light materials, such as CdC, marabou and dubbing. But if you intend to spin heavier furs, such as rabbit you need to double the thread and make a loop in a traditional manner. This makes a much stronger loop, more adapt to gripping heavier materials with dense under fur. With the fibres open, (flat), it also becomes a first rate thread for spinning deer hair, but be warned, if you try and spin and flare deer hair with the thread twisted, it will cut through the deer hair like a hot knife through butter! Unlike most other tying threads Dyneema has ‘0’ stretch,it’s dead, so if you are use to setting tension in your thread when tying you will find this a problem and difficult to get use to.
When it come to thread colour, Dyneema tying thread is, as far as I am aware, only available in white, actually when unspooled its more opaque, but its fibres can be coloured very well with water proof or spirit based felt pens. The advantages of this is are many. You only need one colour of tying thread, but of course you do need spirt based felt markers in the colours required. This reduces not only the clutter of your tying station but also time taken in changing spools or bobbins. It also eliminates unnecessary build up on under bodies through attaching and tying off other colours of threads and flosses. Dyneema actually doesn’t absorbs colour, its only the surface fibres that are coloured. With regard to varnishing heads tied with Dyneema, on applying varnish you will see that it is absorbed immediately into the fibres. Resulting in a solid and extremely durable finish.
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