Hercules is a brand of braided fishing line that is also an affordable, durable, and versatile beading thread. It can be used in place of other fishing threads that are used for beadwork like FireLine and PowerPro. One major benefit to Hercules brand is that it is less expensive than many other brands of fishing line that are often used for beading. But there are other benefits to using Hercules fishing line besides its affordability.
Hercules fishing line is supple, similar to a nylon thread like Nymo or K.O. This means that it can be used for a variety of beading stitches like brick stitch or peyote, but it can also be used for fringe. Typically, fishing line is too stiff to create fringe and it is recommended that you use a nylon thread that is softer, with more drape and movement. Hercules seems to be the exception because it has some body like other fishing lines BUT it also maintains a soft drape that makes it perfect for fringe. Another nice feature of Hercules is that it does not stretch.
Hercules thread is strong and fray resistant, displaying very little wear when you are beading despite multiple passes through the beads. It also shows very little wear in the spot where the needle is – which is rare. However, the ends of the thread are prone to splaying or unwinding of the braid. This can make it hard to put it through the relatively small eye of beading needles, since it will open up as you are threading it. Using beeswax or another thread conditioner, either on just the ends or the entire thread, makes threading the needle much easier. Once you have waxed the thread, it can help to flatten the fibers with chain nose pliers or by pinching it between your front teeth and sliding it through. Trim any stray threads or you can even trim the end on an angle to make threading needles easier.
The durability of Hercules thread is a big advantage over many other threads. It is a great thread to use with beads that can have sharp edges, such as bugle beads or crystals, which can cut through ordinary nylon thread. It also works great for jewelry that receives a lot of wear or is subjected to water during hand washing such as rings and bracelets.
Anytime you work with longer lengths of thread, you run the risk of knots or tangles. Hercules thread is no different. Using a thread conditioner or beeswax can help prevent the thread clinging to itself and causing tangles. Hercules can be difficult to untangle, so prevention is your best bet. On the plus side, the knots that you make to secure findings or thread ends hold well with little risk of slipping or untying.
Hercules comes in a wide array of colors and sizes, including solid and multi-colored “Camo” line. Neutral colors include black, white, grey and brown. Bright colors include several shades of green, red, yellow, pink, orange and a very pretty soft blue. Thread size is indicated by both pound strength of the line as well as diameter. Diameter is the more important criteria to look for when selecting the size. If you already have a favorite fishing line thread, look at the diameter of that line and purchase a similar size in Hercules to get started. If you are new to fishing line threads, 6lb or 8lb are good place to start.
Hercules is not labeled as a beading thread. It is available in sporting good stores as well as big box retailers like WalMart. You can purchase Hercules fishing line thread on Amazon.com using this affiliate link which may result in a small commission to me with no additional cost to you (Thank you!)
One last tip about using Hercules or any other fishing line. It is difficult to get a clean cut on the end with standard scissors. Nippers seem to work much better and don’t dull as quickly as scissors. Hold the thread taut or fold it over the bade and the cut for best results. (This is another affiliate link to the nippers that I use).