If you want your guide wraps to blend in or stand out, it’s important to know the difference between ColorFast and nylon rod winding thread.
Rod Building: ColorFast vs. Nylon Thread Wraps
Did you know ProWrap’s ColorFast and Nylon thread can look vastly different… even with the SAME color code?
Same color, 446 Regal Blue... Different thread, left: ColorFast vs. right: Nylon 🤯
Always remember, nylon thread will darken or even disappear with epoxy finish—Use Color Preserver on nylon wraps prior to finish to maintain its original hue.
Pick up your Color Preservers.
Well it’s true, and this blog is here to share all of our tips and tricks for choosing your thread type, size, and of course, color!
How to Pick Thread Material
When it comes to ProWrap Thread, there are two main thread materials to use when wrapping rod guides, Nylon and ColorFast.
The main difference between Nylon and ColorFast thread is the effect of epoxy, blank colors, and other similar factors on the appearance of the finished thread. For instance, a light colored nylon thread wrapped over a darker colored blank will darken considerably once you apply epoxy.
Learn about this color change and more below:
Nylon Thread is more than a reliable product for wrapping guides, it’s also a thread capable of blending in or standing out beautifully on a rod blank.
As we mentioned briefly above, Nylon can change colors dramatically depending on the thread color itself and the background color of the rod blank. This can be a huge benefit when harnessed the right way.
For example, some rod builders enjoy the custom effect of a thread blending into the the rod blank for a seamless appearance.
This principle works very well to blend a white or other lighter tones of nylon thread into the background color of the rod blank.
More often than not, a lighter tone of the rod blank’s color will result in wraps that approximately match the rod blank after applying epoxy finish.
Blending nylon thread in this manner has become quite popular for making the finished thread wraps virtually disappear!
**Don’t miss these color changes in action during the video at the bottom.**
Although this is a popular method for nylon, many rod builders also use nylon, but actually want to keep the thread tone true to the color on the spool.
To preserve a nylon thread’s color before adding epoxy finish, make sure you use a color preserver like ProSeal. ProSeal is formulated to coat the nylon thread and lock in the color prior to adding epoxy finish.
Simply coat your thread wraps, let them dry, and then you can apply epoxy finish without changing the color of the nylon thread.
With ProSeal, those brilliant red thread wraps will keep their color regardless of the rod blank’s background.
Unlike nylon, ColorFast Thread has become incredibly popular as a rod winding thread for maintaining it’s true color regardless of epoxy application and rod blank color.
As a color treated thread, ColorFast features over eighty different thread colors options that allow you to wrap just about any combination you can imagine. Plus, it’s color outlasts epoxy finish and any shade of rod blank!
For instance, if you want a white thread inlay within a blue wrap, but it’s also over a black rod blank. Well, this is where ColorFast is perfect because the white thread won’t be compromised by either epoxy finish or the black rod blank.
To get the thread wraps and lasting color you want, ColorFast is the best option out there.
Advice for Selecting Thread Size
Similar to types of thread, thread sizes can make a significant difference depending on the rod and what fishing application you care building that rod for.
Here is a list of benefits to consider with each thread size:
Size A Rod Winding Thread
- Requires the least amount of epoxy finish to coat.
- Smaller diameter of thread allows easier wrapping over guide feet.
- Extremely popular size for fly rods, as well as ultra-lights and more.
Size B Rod Winding Thread
- Maintains smaller diameter for easier wrapping over guide feet.
- Takes less epoxy to coat than size D thread.
- Popular thread size for freshwater and inshore saltwater rods.
Size D Rod Winding Thread
- Most tensile strength for heavier rods, such as those for offshore applications.
- Requires more epoxy to completely coat thread wraps.
- Perfect size for underwraps with roller guides, turbo guides, and more.
- Popular thread size for offshore saltwater rods and other heavier fishing rods.
3 Tips for Choosing Thread Color
Choosing the perfect thread color is easy when you have an idea or a theme in mind. Maybe you want to do red, white, and blue wraps for an American themed rod… well, that’s easy.
But let’s say you’re flying into a rod build basically color blind and you have no clue what direction to go, that’s where we can help!
Read these three quick tips to get a better idea of thread colors for your next rod build:
1. Look at Your Rod Blank Color
The first step to choosing thread colors for your guide wraps, is to take a better look at your rod blank.
If it’s a darker rod blank, like satin or gloss black, and you want your wraps to really pop, ColorFast thread in the color of your choice will stand out. It will not only pop over the black, it will stay true to the thread’s color on the spool.
On the other hand, the same can be done with nylon and ProSeal, while using just nylon thread alone will darken and appear translucent over a dark blank.
For lighter color blanks, a similar effect occurs with nylon thread by itself. The nylon thread alone will lighten up with the blank and appear almost see through or translucent.
Some enjoy this effect because it looks interesting with the guide feet subtly showing through the nylon’s thread color.
2. Consider the Color’s Effect
Choosing the thread colors for your next custom build is quite exciting when you have as many options as we do here at Mud Hole. Building off the blank color ideas, it’s also important to consider the function of the thread and what effect you want to achieve with its color.
In other words, not all threads are made for guide wraps, but some threads can be used as decoration along with ColorFast and nylon guide wraps.
Most metallic threads fit into this category. ProWrap Metallic Thread works very well to add some decoration, but isn’t recommended for guide wraps.
Metallic threads are awesome for trim bands, inlays, and even butt wraps!
ProFX Metallic Thread is another great option for decoration and more. Since ProFX has a higher tensile strength than just metallic thread, this thread can actually be used for guide wraps on ultra-light and light freshwater rods as well.
Other fun color options for rod winding thread are Fusion Variegated Thread, which alternates from lighter to darker tones of one color, and GloWrap Thread, which glows in the dark after exposure to UV light.
Long story short, there are many different thread color options to help you build the exact look you’re going for!
3. Test Out Thread Colors You Like
One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to choosing thread colors, is to just try out what you like!
Thread is a rather inexpensive supply in rod building and one that will be useful for either this rod or the next. With more thread options available, you can attract and match a wider variety of personal as well as customer interests to a custom rod build.
To test out your thread wrap’s color after you apply finish, use some isopropyl alcohol to simulate the effect of finish. This alcohol works better than just water because it won’t leave spots in the thread once it dries up.
TIP: Give the thread wrap enough time to dry completely before applying actual epoxy finish.
Watch: Comparing ColorFast & Nylon Thread
Check out this short video to see all of the color comparisons between ColorFast and Nylon thread with epoxy finish: ColorFast vs Nylon Build Tip Video