So once again my fly tying bench is attacked by a Pinterest project, I was a little skeptical about this one at first, but they turn out to be pretty useful. Through all my years of fly tying I have always found I wasted a lot of 4 strand floss. I know that today single strand floss is all the rage (in a huge varity) but twenty years ago when Wescal Sports in the Carbonear Mall was the only place to buy materials, you had to make due with what was available, so needless to say, I still have a lot of spools around my bench. My issue with 4-strand floss was every time I would slide the unused floss underneath the slit in the spool, it would always rip and fray the floss, and you would always lose an inch or two of floss. and since there are 4-stands this would always be about 6-8 inches of material lost every time.
So when I say these little spool savers on pinterest, this little pet-peeve of mine was the first thing that came to mind. Its actually pretty easy to make, and come in handy. All that is required are small plastic beads, knit elastic and a strong glue. I tried to use hot glue, but it shouldn’t hold the bead to the elastic too well so I tried some E6000 my wife had bought for another project and this worked great.
First I cut the knit elastic to length. I used a spent bobbin and cut a length of elestic the exact circumference of the bobbin, this length makes the spool saver slightly tight on the bobbin when the bead is glued on.
Use a bodkin or toothpick to apply a slight bit of glue to both ends of the elastic. I have found that the E6000 cures quickly, but if you squeeze a small drop out on some paper, you should be able to make about 8 savers before the glue is too hard to use.
Sandwich a bead between the two glued ends of the elastic, and squeeze down with your fingers. Remember to look for any burrs or imperfections on the bead face before gluing in place, this will prevent the bead from tugging on the floss. An X-acto knife is great to remove burrs.
I found that wooden cloths pins are the perfect size to hold the elastic in place while the glue cures. If the bead turns while clamping down the cloths pin, use a pair of fine needle nose pliers to rotate the bead.
Once the glue cures, slide them on your bobbins, and voila. I’ve been making one batch at a time, and then walk away for the glue to cure (I only have 6 cloths pins at my bench). I may try some heat shrink over the bead next time, make it look a bit nicer, but for night now, they are pretty functional.