As many of you know, I'm just learning how to tie. I've been having difficulty with my "heavy hands", getting the bobbin tension exactly right, and applying too much torque on the thread, causing far too many thread breaks.
At the Somerset Show, I had the opportunity to watch some of the "Masters" tie, and actually got to ask a few questions. More than one suggested that my bobbin may be more of a problem than I had thought. I stopped at the Rite Bobbin booth, and tried out one of their ajustable torque bobbins. I liked it, so I figured I'd purchase one and try it out.
Tied for a better part of the day today (while watching the 24-Hour Rolex Race), and did not break a SINGLE thread, all day!!! Got all of my "homework" done for my next tying class, so now I can start to self-learn another fly or two.
I find it hard to believe that the difference could be this great, but the proof is in the flies (and the missing frustration!).
No doubt they are good bobbins.
I assume you still have your old bobbins. I suggest you try adjusting them as follows:
The way to keep line at the correct tension IMHO is to control it with your hand. I adjust my bobbins to be loose so they will not break the weakest threads. Then I put the line around the side stems to add additional tension as needed. The number of wraps keeps the line from being too loose. Then as I tie, I can feel the tension on the thread and I can add additional tension by it by letting the spool slip/rub against my palm. See the hand hold in Gary Borger's Blog method below:
Another thing that new or even experienced tiers do not understand is thread length, and the properties of the various tying threads. For example nylon threads stretch more that GSP threads. The longer the thread, the greater the amount of stretch. Conversely, the shorter the thread, the less stretch but the greater control on thread placement.
But because there is less stretch when tying close to the fly, you are more likely to break the thread! You need to understand this working distance relationship between thread length, thread stretch (that decreases breaks) and the need for accurate placement. As you gain experience, you will break the thread less often.
To minimize the number of thread wraps, the thread needs to "bite" into the material; plus the tighter you tie, you will hold the material more firmly on the hook. This means, the closer you are to maximum tension, the more stretch the thread on the fly will have and the more firmly it will hold the material. So you want your thread to be close to the maximum tension which means you will occasionally break the thread.
So the goal is not to never break thread. If you never break thread, you will need extra wraps to hold the materials.
The Rite-Bobbins are a very nice item; but, in a lot of cases you can solve your thread breaking problems with the purchase of an ordinary ceramic bobbin. I love my Rite, but I use the cheap ceramics for a lot of my tying...
A couple of good articles there, Silver! I'll look at my old bobbins when i get home, but I'm betting that they are rubbing on the spools. I did experiment with the Rite, so that it's good and snug, but not enough to break thread. I tied some more witth the Rite last night, this time exclusively with 8/0 thread, and again, no breaks.