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Spool Keepers

Started by John Pierce, May 11, 2020, 07:07:29 AM

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John Pierce

Spool Keepers - How To Make
Submitted by Florin Sabac


  • 6mm wide elastic in black or white
  • Plastic beads of various colours and sizes, for example 6mm and 9mm diameter
  • Shrink tubing 7mm and 9mm diameter (as printed on the tubing, this is the size before shrinking). The shrink tubing must
    fit snugly over the bead and the elastic once glued in place.

  • Wooden toothpicks (the thicker variety)
  • Sandpaper
  • Superglue (gel in a squeeze bottle is good and long-lasting)
  • Forceps
  • Heat Gun

  • Cut elastic to size, 2 ½ in for Pearsall's Gossamer silk; 2 ¾ in for most thread spools, UNI, UTC, wire, etc, 3 in for Danville spools and similar. For tippet spools, measure to fit tight enough and allow for an extra ¼ to ½ used in gluing to the bead. Write down what works for next time.
  • Sand beads a little on diametrically opposed sides to give the superglue better grip. Use the thick wooden toothpicks to hold each
    bead as you sand.
  • Put a small drop of superglue gel on the end of a piece of elastic and press the bead with the sanded patch on. Continuing to use the
    wooden toothpick(s) is a finger saver. Repeat with the other end of the elastic and other side of the bead.
  • Cut the shrink tube to a pleasant size. You want the bead and the glued elastic covered. For example, on the 9mm diameter beads, the height is 6mm and a piece of 10mm tubing works well.
  • Slide the shrink tubing over the bead end where the elastic is glued. Push the bead down enough that the tubing shrinks a little around the top of the bead, but does not cover the hole. This way, the elastic is also covered.
  • Use the forceps to hold the spool keeper by the elastic and apply heat with the heat gun. Go easy not to undo the superglue. Once the tubing has shrunk, it is done.

  • Make a big batch at a time; you will want all the material spools covered (tinsel, mylar, tying wire, lead wire, etc.). With the spool
    keeper on, you can tie the material on the hook straight off the spool; no cutting of small bits necessary.
  • Keep thread spools once empty and use them to spool embroidery floss or other materials.
  • Once you put a spool keeper on a spool with floss, you can use it in a standard fly-tying bobbin for weaving; this helps with getting an even tension.
  • For tippet spools, you can write with a permanent marker on the shrink tubing the size of tippet.