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Thread: Waxed vs Unwaxed thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Waxed vs Unwaxed thread

    Whats the real difference. I have only tied wiht unwaxed. Am i missing anything? I am tying on hooks 4-4/0 and mostly yarn and hair. What should i be using? Right now for what i am tying i am using UTC 210 denier thread. It says its lightly waxed. I need all the input i can get!

  2. #2


    Waxing all started in the days before bobbins and modern cements. I prefer Danville Plus thread because it doesn't fray as easily as UTC, but either is fine. I don't miss the wax, and in fact only use it when I'm dubbing with a loop. If I'm dubbing directly onto the thread, I don't even bother. Traditionalists will pull out my remaining hair for saying that, but I don't miss the wax at all when using unwaxed thread in bobbins. The times I've tied without a bobbin, you bet your booties the wax is needed!

  3. #3


    I prefer the waxed threads because they bind tighter and I don't use head cement so I want the tighter wraps. Evertything I tie anymore is big and nasty, if I was tying smaller type flies (nymphs and dries) I would lean the other direction.
    "The Tug is the Drug"

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by akgloomis View Post
    ...and I don't use head cement....
    I'm not being argumentative, rather I'm really curious why not. I'm guessing that you're finishing with a pretty solid whip finish while you're at it.

  5. #5


    No problem. I use about 6-8 whip finishes on the head. My main reason, and I know people all differ on this, but I like to cut as much scent as possible. I don't know for sure that it even gives off any scent, no more than my hands do on the material but I just have gotten in the habit of not using it. I have not had many issues with heads coming apart at all. Plus, when I am tying a few flies for the momnet, I don't have to wait for them to dry or anything, tie and cast
    "The Tug is the Drug"

  6. #6
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Rifle River MI

    Default UNI Thread 3/0, 6/0 and 8/0 also look at Hook and Hackle it is about 50 cents cheaper than Big C's.

    I switch to uni-thread many years ago and have stopped using just about everything else unless kevlar is required for something massive.

    Glo Bugs / Tarn Flys I find the 6/0 works well on smaller and the 3/0 on larger i.e. Fat Freddies.

    Uni-Thread is prewaxed but you would hardly know it so to answer your question yes waxed but prewaxed. If you have not tried uni-thread seek it out you will not be disappointed.

    Whip (four letter word) finish (six letter word) Never use one always hand tie three - four half hitch knots I always hate adding steps to fly tying "that and I lazy" Never use Head Cement either found it to be bothersome at best. With the material available today alot of the old school habits have become obsolete. That is not to say they do not have a purpose or should not be used just not required for the most part. Big exception is tying show flies!

    Great subject! Thanks for posting!

    Blue Moose

  7. #7
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Interesting thread...

    I'm with BlueMoose in that I really like the Uni thread. Started using 6/0 and 8/0 for trout flies back in Wyoming. Use a lot more 3/0 up here for larger salmon and pike flies.

    I also like the Danville flat waxed nylon for larger flies. Seems to bind tight for me and I like how flat it lays on the hook.

    So I guess I'm in favor of the waxed threads.

    As for tying off, I do a half-hitch and then whip finish with my fingers. I use an actual whip finishing tool so rarely if I try I almost certainly mess it up. I don't think cement is necessary, but I use it for salmon/pike flies to get better durability against sharp teeth.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.


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