FireLine is a superior fishing line that is made of strong fibers braided together and fused, but some may not know that it can also be used as a superior beading thread. Beaders especially like FireLine because it is strong, resistant to abrasion, requires no conditioning, and does not stretch out. FireLine is a particularly good beading thread for beginners.
- Easy to thread on a needle
- A very strong and durable beading thread
- Excellent for use in off-loom weaving and for stringing small pearls and gemstone beads
- Easy to undo tangles
- Very difficult to rip or tear with a needle
- A thread that does not require pre-stretching or conditioning
- Not apt to stretch or break
- Somewhat more expensive than other types of beading thread
- Stiffer-feeling than other types of beading thread
- Available in a very limited number of colors that are geared towards fishing
- More difficult to cut than other types of thread (such as Nymo)
Thread Color Selections
Although FireLine is available in a limited number of colors, the crystal white is lightly transparent in color and can lighten up the color of most seed beads, particularly transparent ones. The most versatile color is arguably smoke gray since it goes well with neutral, dark, and bright colored beads. Like any dark thread, it will alter the color of transparent beads to darker tones. If you are feeling adventurous, FireLine is also available in blaze orange and flame green.
Best Beading Methods
FireLine beading thread is best used for off-loom bead stitching and stringing small gemstones, seed beads, and freshwater pearls. FireLine works well for beadwork that is subjected to high levels of wear, such as peyote rings and bracelets. It can be a bit stiff for some bead weaving, such as beaded ropes, where a supple drape is preferable. For the same reason, FireLine is not recommended to make beaded fringe or tassels. It is also on the stiff side for bead embroidery, where there will be many stitches in a small area.
Recommended Bead Pairings
FireLine is stiffer than many other beading threads and the heavier weights are suitable for use with metal seed beads, bugle beads, and crystals. These are all beads where the sharp edges of the beads may cut other threads. It is somewhat more expensive than other beading threads. If you can't find FireLine in your local craft store, it can be found at most sporting goods and department stores.
FireLine is sized according to pounds similar to fishing line. The number of pounds is the amount of pressure to break the line—useful information for fishing. The higher the pounds, the stronger the thread. For most beading, six-pound FireLine is a good starting point. Six-pound FireLine will fit in needle sizes from 10 to 13 and can fit through beads up to a size 15/0. However, a smaller size FireLine may be necessary if multiple passes through the beads are required. FireLine is available in sizes from two pounds up to 20 pounds test weight.
FireLine is sold by the spool. It can be purchased in 50-yard, 125-yard, 300-yard, and 1500-yard lengths. The FireLine packaged for fishing is the same FireLine package for beadwork. FireLine is not biodegradable and will not deteriorate over time.
Where to Buy
FireLine is widely available at local bead shops and online. FireLine can also be purchased in large spools at sporting goods stores and in the fishing and tackle departments of department and discount stores. When it is sold as a beading thread, FireLine is found in packaging with the BeadSmith brand. FireLine is manufactured for the fishing industry by Berkley.
Edited by Lisa Yang