Use these methods to add incredible thread work without consuming all your free time!
Custom Dragon Thread Wraps Made Easy
Dragon scale thread wraps are popular in rod building because it is a visually stunning thread application that provides plenty of potential for customization.
Producing striking visuals with a rather simple technique, dragon wraps are worth learning to boost your rod builds and free up more of your spare time.
Check out these ideas for customizing dragon scale wraps:
1. The Mesh Tape Method
When it comes to tackling your first dragon wrap, the mesh tape method is a common way rod builders get the job done. Mesh tape adheres well to rod blanks and after wrapping over it, brings an awesome pattern to our custom rod.
Start with a roll of fiberglass mesh tape and an unroll it so that you have some excess length to work with. Once you’re ready to lay down the tape on the rod blank, size up the tape and cut it down to the length of the dragon scale wrap you want to add to your rod build.
TIP: Make the tape easier to layout and work with by trimming off some of the width of the mesh tape.
In order to get a consistent pattern, make sure you wrap the tape around the blank so that the edges meet up and don’t break up the cross pattern. You can also use a burnishing tool to help smooth out the mesh tape and ensure it is adhered well to the rod blank.
Next, choose some metallic thread with a color that will help the scale pattern really pop!
Start the wrap like you would a guide wrap and continue wrapping until the metallic thread covers the length of the mesh tape to make a complete design.
If you end up shortening the wrap, that’s no big deal. Just use a fresh razor blade and run it lightly over the straight edge following the thread wrap to remove the remaining mesh tape.
Use this method to cut the remaining tape and avoid digging into the surface of the rod blank.
After the wrap is done, just finish the dragon scale wrap with epoxy and you’re wrap will visually jump from the rod blank!
Spiral Candy Cane Dragon Scale Pattern
If you want to customize this method a step further, simply add some space between each wrap of the mesh tape.
This will form a candy cane design with the dragon scale that looks really sharp!
2. Use Thread as Base Layer for Dragon Wraps
Some custom rod builders are beyond the mesh tape method and that’s totally fine because you can also lay down thread to serve the same purpose.
Start by taping down some thread on the edge of where the wrap will start. Next, wrap the thread in a spiral until you have the length dragon wrap you want.
Once you get the desired length, double back with a spiral the opposite direction to create a crossing pattern. To align your thread’s crossing points, you can use the glare line on the blank to keep the pattern straight and spaced out equally.
TIP: If you want the ultimate precision from your decorative thread wraps, look to the Butt Wrap Alignment Tool to get exact measurements and spacing every time.
With the thread laid out and taped down, choose a metallic color to create the incredible dragon scale pattern right over the thread you first put down. Simply wrapping over the thread with metallic will create different depths on the wrap and allows the metallic thread to use light and that underwrap thread for an awesome custom look.
TIP: Size D thread underneath will create the most prominent pattern while sizes A and B will both work, but not be as noticeable in the final pattern of the metallic.
3. Try Adding Different Thread Arrangements
Similar to the previous method, this option uses thread instead of mesh tape. Although using the same underwrapped thread technique, this time we will add some different diameter threads to create an even more striking wrap on your rod.
For instance, instead of just using size D thread, mix in some smaller sized threads and larger braids underneath the metallic. This will add more variation within the pattern and produce a really cool finished dragon scale thread wrap.
TIP: Always use metallic thread for the outer layer because it picks up and reflects light the best for a much better finished wrap compared to nylon and ColorFast options.
Dragon Scale Thread Wrap Materials & Supplies
Ready to try your own awesome dragon scale wraps?
Then use the supply list below to get all the necessary resources to complete a dragon scale wrap yourself!
If you’ve never laid out a cross wrap or other semi-advanced thread patterns, then fiberglass mesh tape will make the dragon scale application process much easier for you.
Plus, it will give you a placeholder to start with and a better understanding of how it works before you move on to using only rod winding thread.
Thread Wrapping Tool
Along with the thread, you will need a thread wrapping tool to make wrapping thread over the dragon scale pattern fast and efficient.
For example, wrapping by hand or with a thread bobbin would take you months… but with an HWS-1 Hand Wrapper or a Power Wrapper, you can finish an awesome dragon scale wrap in just a few minutes.
Save your spare time and choose the best wrapping option for you:
Upgrading the essential hand-wrapper, CRB introduced the HWS-1 hand wrapper to make any wrapping task or technique simpler than ever before.
The HWS-1 hand wrapping unit has a dual spool tensioner as well as a tension rod, so rod builders can effortlessly reverse to change thread color or fix any overlapping thread mistakes.
Or add some power to your thread wrapping applications!
Bringing variable speeds with precise control, CRB’s Power Head comes with a foot pedal in order to increase, maintain, or decrease its rotation speed simultaneously as you work through thread wraps.
Whether you are wrapping larger guides, micro guides, or even full scale decorative thread work, you have constant control over the rotation of your rod which drastically cuts down both input energy and production time.
TIP: If you use the power wrapper for the dragon scale wrap, keep your off hand ready to grab the blank and act as an e-break on the side closest to the motor.
Regardless of what method or style dragon wrap you choose, the right threads are important to get the final look you’re working towards.
Here are some thread selections for your decorative dragon scale wrap:
The most important, metallic thread is the best for dragon scale wraps because it’s shine and ability to reflect light will create the most jaw dropping results.
TIP: When burnishing metallic thread, always go with the grain instead of against it. Going against the grain to tighten up gaps could end up undoing the whole wrap.
Featuring 12 of the most popular ProWrap Metallic colors, this kit gives rod builders a jump start in inventory for trim bands, thread in-lays, dragon scales, and more decorative thread wraps.
Use these metallic threads to really put more custom in your rod building applications.
Size D Thread
For more prominent and noticeable designs, use size D to setup the pattern underneath the metallic wrap.
For added effect with the dragon scale pattern, mix in some ProWrap Braid and get even bolder designs with braids thicker diameter.