Spool Minders

spool minder onTired of having wire despool on you if you let go? Or wasting wire, floss, tinsel on each fly, it all ads up! These little Spool Minders are the solution. Put one of these on every spool that you don't normally pop into a bobbin and they will keep your materials on the spool while you tie, no waste, no dropped spools and 3 yards of floss ruined as it unspools across the floor.

A couple other guys have tutorials out there on how to make them, and Hareline even offers a commercial version for about a buck each. I've been making these for a few years and have my own take on them that I think is an improvement over the others out there.

Simple to make and work on the tying bench as well as tippet, line, and other unruly spools. Follow this tutorial on my take of the Spool Minders and let me know how they work for you!


Item's you'll need to make your own Spool Minders from right to left:

  • 1/4 inch Elastic
  • Plastic Pony Beads
  • 10mm Shrink Tubing
  • Superglue
  • Lighter

You'll also need some Scissors and a Ruler for measuring the Elastic and Shrink Tube when cutting.

spool minder 00 elastic spool minder 00 pony beads spool minder 00 shrink tube spool minder 00 superglue spool minder 00 lighter

spoo minder step01

Grab  a pony bead out of the package.


Measure out 3 1/2 inches of elastic and cut.


Measure 3/8 inch of shrink tubing and cut.



spoo minder step02Take the elastic and fold in half.

Pinch the folded end in half so you can slide it into the bead.

If you are having trouble here you can always use a length of tippet or thread and fish the elastic through the bead like you would threading a bobbin.

Slide the bead to the middle of the elastic. 

By running the elastic inside the bead instead of on the outside like others, it provides a smooth path for snaggy materials like floss etc, and it also makes a tighter circle around the spool providing a smoother and more snug fit without too much tension.

spoo minder step03 spoo minder step04 spoo minder step05

spoo minder step09Brush or place a small drop of superglue on opposite sides of the pony bead and fold over the tag ends of the elastic to adhere them to the sides of the bead.

Pull the elastic down snug once the sides have dried, this makes a nice opening in the center of the bead.


spoo minder step06 spoo minder step07 spoo minder step08

spool minder finishedSlide the shrink tubing onto the bead leaving and even amount on top and below.

Take your lighter and start to shrink the tubing from front to back avoiding burning the elastic. Take your time and get a nice even shrink.


When done, let it cool and you'll have a completed Spool Minder!


spool minder step10 spool minder step11 spool minder step12

spool minder onTo place on a spool, thread the wire/tinsel/floss or whatever through the back of the bead, and stretch the elastic over the spool.

You can spool off material easily by holding the bead and pulling the material, it should slide off easily and controlled, no more dropping a spool to the desk or floor and having it unwind.

If you wind off too much material you can spin the minder backwards to re-spool! 

Make up a bunch and share them with friends!spool minders pile


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