For many years I used Uni with a selection of other threads for the times I needed them. I found them to be consistent and very good. When UTC came on the marker I tried it and liked it. For some applications it replaced Uni. However I soon hit a problem. The spools they used in the early days were made of two parts. I ended up loosing lots of spools when the thread got caught in the split between the two halves. Danville's thread isn't as generally available here as other makes. I can usually find it if I want it but it means a search.
At that time I had started to use a lot of split thread techniques, UTC, as it is not bonded is better for these techniques than Uni. Though you can use Uni for this technique it sometimes becomes a problem.
Then I moved to the Highlands of Scotland. Living here I tie more salmon and loch trout flies. That meant a change in the colours of thread I used. I find Uni is not as vibrant as UTC. I suspect this is due to the difference in nature between polyester and nylon. For those reasons UTC has replaced Uni in my tying. I still tie with Uni, but I have old stock that has kept me going for the last few years. For the last three years I haven't bought a spool of Uni.
There is one other thread to throw into the mix. Before I let you into the secret lets just look at buying thread for fly tying. When you buy a spool of tying thread you are buying 3 components and a service. A spool, a label and the thread itself, the service is putting the thread onto the spool. The most expensive of these parts is the cost of the spool. Then there is the cost of putting it onto the spool. I wouldn't be surprised to find the label costs more than the thread itself. Fly tying is a small market. There is not a massive demand for fly tying thread. Even the likes of Uni, Danville's and UTC will not be ordering thread by the ton of a colour at a time.
At a wholesale haberdashery suppliers I found Guttermann Scala. As a tying thread it is superb. It is finer than Uni 8/0 but stronger than Uni 6/0. It isn't bonded, so lies flat and splits easily. Better still was the cost. It cost 9UKP ($15) a spool. That is for a 15 000 meter spool. That is the same as 75 200 meter spools of Uni. Uni is around ?2.20 a spool here. The same quantity of Uni would be 165UKP. I built a spooling machine! The problem was obtaining spools to put it on. If I bought a spool and spent time loading it I would have to sell them at the same price as Uni to show a profit.
Then the supplier I used stopped stocking Scala. I wasn't using enough to justify the expense of sourcing it elsewhere. So it was back to buying small spools. I did look at buying thread in a different way after that.
Last edited by AlanB; 12-07-2012 at 02:04 AM.
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