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Topic: Which ITR?
Message: Posted by: Jkta99 (Apr 11, 2004 11:10AM)
I have a couple of tricks using IT and wanted to make them easier to setup. Which ITR is the best for my money? Also what are some good DVDs on IT work?


Message: Posted by: Richard Lucas (Apr 11, 2004 06:13PM)
Strongly recommended here is Jon LeClair's "Who's Afraid Of Invisible Thread"

A number of other members suggest Ammar: http://www.ammarmagic.com/ammarmagic/threads.html

Just viewed Peki's "The Art of Floating" http://www.mymagic.com/peki.htm

I am not familiar with Ammar's set (he offers 3 DVD's on IT). LeClaire is famous for his LeClair Animator, a hook-up method. I suggest LeClaire first, then Peki for a different technique, which is excellent for objects like butterflies or fairies or very small silk. I thought this technique was quite original because it does not necessary involve moving the hands or body.

Let all of us here know how you make out.
Message: Posted by: Sean W. Burke (Apr 12, 2004 09:34PM)
I too highly recommend Jon LeClair's DVD.
Message: Posted by: JesterJ (Apr 20, 2004 02:49PM)
I found the Ammar videos to be invaluable. They cover a lot of different setups and applications.

Message: Posted by: TricksDaniel (Apr 28, 2004 01:23AM)
To answer your question of which ITR is the best actually depends on you. The 4 inch is the basic and I use it all the time in my performances because you can actually walk away from whatever is floating. The smaller versions which are about 1 and 1 half inches are for more close up. Like I said before it all depends on you. And I agree with the others' suggestions. There are other sizes of ITRs but those are the two I use.
Message: Posted by: BobbyJ (Apr 28, 2004 09:10PM)
Get Michael Ammar videos. He shows several different ITR's and uses for them. BobbyJ
Message: Posted by: willrob999 (Apr 29, 2004 10:22AM)
Michael Ammar's videos are invaluable. I have not purchased a new ITR yet because my last one broke in so I am a bit scared of using them. But Michael Ammar does show you other hookups with IT.
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (May 2, 2004 09:51AM)
You can find a good description of different sizes and uses of ITRs here:


I personally use the 4.5" model, it's still small enough to easily hide but can give you enough thread to do many effects.

Bill Beach
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 2, 2004 04:05PM)
My recommendation would be to pick up the micro (4.5" that has been mentioned already). You can do all the things you can do with the others with it. If you're new to IT work and this will be your first ITR. It really won't matter which size ITR you pick up other than where you might wear it. The super micro (AKA-the boss) can be worn in more places because it's so small. But that's the only real difference you'll find in the beginning.
Some advanced uses can be effected by the tension on the ITR. The smaller ones tend to have stronger tension. Not many magicians ever have to worry to much about these things so the 4.5 inch is what I recommend.

Best of luck!

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Jkta99 (May 2, 2004 05:00PM)
I bought the micro ITR.
Message: Posted by: nike (May 4, 2004 02:42PM)
When I played around with it, I liked a micro itr as well
Message: Posted by: joeybaron (Jun 13, 2004 02:11AM)
I just got an ITR by Mark Allen in Portland, Oregon. The shop that sold them just went out of business, but I bet you can find him with a little research. His ITR is really made with a lot of care and attention. Good luck,
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Jun 13, 2004 03:15AM)
I recommend the electronic [b]Ultimate Float Controller[/b] (UFC)!
I have tried many ITR but I prefer UFC.
I give it 10 out of 10.

Text from ad:
"The Most Innovative And Versatile Floating Device On The Market

Used and recommended by some of magic's top professionals like Michael Ammar, Norm Nielsen, Finn Jon, Michael Weber, David Williamson, Rudi Coby, and the list goes on and on! The Ultimate Float Controller is the last word in floating devices.

Using this precision-made device, five years in the making, you can accomplish pure miracles. With the U.F.C. you can float silks, cigarettes, sponge balls, paper balls, bills and any other small object with the performer standing 10, 15, and even 20 or more feet away from the floating object, all while maintaining complete control.

Comes Complete with Device, Thread, Wax & Instructions"

Posted: Jun 17, 2004 11:50am
Stefan Schützer, Sweden ( http://www.magispecialisten.com ) is the inventor of UFC, I have one of the very first ever made. I think it was 1987 I saw it for the first time. He lives in my area.
Message: Posted by: Jkta99 (Jun 17, 2004 02:18PM)
Is there a video that I can see of the UFC in action?
Message: Posted by: Tom James (Jun 17, 2004 10:16PM)
I definitely recommend the micro ITR, and if you want something different for a stand-up act try using No Strings Attached ( AKA the House). It is a great effect. It can be seen at http://www.penguinmagic.com.

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 18, 2004 08:28PM)

Can you give a few details on the $10 ITR you guys now sell?

As I stated before, I don't think a beginner should jump into an expensive one right off the bat, without having some experience with IT, as it would be a waste of money if it doesn't fit your needs, but that $10 one would be my recommendation, just to see if that's the direction you want to go.

Very educational! Thanks guys!

Message: Posted by: Jkta99 (Jun 19, 2004 07:36AM)
I have done IT work and I have a micro ITR
Message: Posted by: DBCooper (Jun 19, 2004 08:19AM)
I too have an ITR but mine likes to talk. How should I go about explaining to my ITR that talking during a show is rude? I really don't want to disown the little thing but I have to teach it some manners. Any tips out there for how to raise a good ITR?
Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (Jul 18, 2004 11:25AM)
ITRs come in two different styles. The Micro I.T.R style and the Thread Boss style.

The Micro I.T.R style thread reel which looks like a tube that is attached by safety pins and is larger than the The Thread Boss which is the second type of reel.

The Thread Boss is smaller, has rounded end caps and is attached by a

You basically have only two major styles to choose from that are different in size and how it is connected to the body. I hope that this helps you with your choice.

the Thread Boss style ITR is the most popular style of ITR out there with more units sold than any other ITR type.

I would suggest that you go with this type of ITR. This type of ITR costs more than the Micro I.T.R style but it would be a better choice because it is the type that mosts people have and because it is used the most, you would be able to find parts and refills a lot easier.
Message: Posted by: RBerteig (Jul 19, 2004 02:30AM)
I have a micro ITR, which at the time was the most expensive "device" I had bought. I wouldn't part with it at all. Aside from investments in books and videos it is by far the best $30 I spent in those early years.

If yours is talking, I would threaten to take it apart. If threats don't work, then show it whose boss. Just don't let any of the springy bits get too loose. ;)
Dust it out, rid it of cat hair, etc. Also, operating the winder over its full range of motion slowly when its freshly reassembled should lay the thread down neatly.
Message: Posted by: the74rock (Jul 19, 2004 03:36AM)
Get the Kevlar ITR. It's the best.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Aug 28, 2004 01:33PM)
The reel (ITR) is best for me because it retracts and, if set up properly, eliminates moving the hands.

I tried the LeClair and wasn't real keen on it.

When I first began magic I bought a IT prop.
It was IT wound around a plastic card. This fit nicely in a breast pocket. I think it was by Kennedy and was also called Animator.
Anyone familiar with this?
I may be wrong on the inventor and name.

Message: Posted by: Dark (Aug 30, 2004 08:26PM)
Animator sounds like LeClair.

Does anyone know anything about the new tension adjustable ITR? There's not much of a description of it on Jame's website.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Sep 1, 2004 05:24AM)
I like the Micro ITR as well.
Message: Posted by: respho (Sep 1, 2004 06:38AM)
Hello, the best IT tricks I know do not involve the use of an ITR.

A few years ago I made the mistake of thinking getting a lot of IT tricks and equipment (e.g. ITR) will make me an IT pro. But what really made the difference for me was a lot of practice and real performing experience.

If you want an ITR anyway, what I heard was that you shouldn't get an ITR that is too small as the tension of the IT would be too much. Right now ITRs are much cheaper than what they used to be anyway so you can just get a few and experiment with them yourself.

FYI I have the Micro ITR (4-5 inch in length).

Hi, AFAIK, there's no good IT routine that can be mastered in less than a few months.

I personally do Steve Fearson's Floating Cigarette and got the most amazing reactions ever.

The other equally amazing routine is done using LeClair's material.

Those are the two routines I've seen with my own eyes that are audience jaw droppers, but it does take you months to master them and be comfortable with them.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Sep 5, 2004 06:05PM)
For those interested, quite a few years ago I bought a booklet titled "Thread Reference" by Leo Behnke and copyrighted in 1992 by Magic City.

Interesting reading about different threads and hookups. No reel work though.

Not sure if this is available anymore.
Message: Posted by: Shawn74 (Sep 7, 2004 12:44AM)
I have the Kevlar ITR that worked great for me until somehow the retraction became very slow. I tried cleaning out the hole, but that didn't take care of the problem, so I haven't used it in a while.
Message: Posted by: bluefred (Sep 30, 2004 01:01AM)
I prefer the standard size. It gives me more flexibility.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Aug 15, 2005 09:02PM)
Slow retractions and unusually low tension could be due to the elastic band ready to snap due to heavy useage (or misuseage as the case may be).
Message: Posted by: magicmafia22 (Aug 26, 2005 02:55PM)
Which one would you recommend I get, the Original thread boss ITR or Mark Allen's Underground TM?
Message: Posted by: joanmonse (Sep 17, 2005 11:28AM)
No doubt. Use TM.
Message: Posted by: Sean Comer (Sep 18, 2005 11:28AM)
I have an old ITR from James George and the Sorcery shop. The thing is at least 10 years old and still works. The only problem I had with this ITR is the safety pins fell off just recently. I have since retired the old ITR and now have the Micro ITR. I have never used anything else and don't have the need to do otherwise. As far as DVD's/Tapes go, I have Ammars vids but haven't really perused them much.

When I first bought my ITR from Al's Magic, it either came with or I also bought a booklet 'Floating Freely' by Steve Johnson which was a great beginning for me regarding threadwork. I'm not sure if this booklet has been expanded or it is still available but if it is you might start with that.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Sep 18, 2005 05:00PM)
AARRGGHH!!! I spoke to someone about this a while back and he gave me the name of a site where I could find some of the original ITR's but it was under a diffrent name. God I forgot the site and name of both the Fella who told me about it and the site. If you read this please PM me I forgot what it was. but I do remember something about you and the other individual didn't get along anymore.
Message: Posted by: wally (Mar 7, 2006 07:45AM)
Could I use a itr to perform k/james f/rose. if anyone has tried this with a reel please inform me which should I try. I have the video. thanks
Message: Posted by: tkgray1 (Mar 10, 2006 04:23PM)

I believe kj floating rose requires slack, itr(james george)takes up slack. maybe a balloon animal with itr to mic stand would be better. my idea on this later.

if you want to hook-up to a mic impromtu try: underground thread manager II(mark allen's low tension itr)might work well, however spider pen when turned off becomes a sure fire spooler which would work and would be worth your consideration(practice a lot with dental floss, looking for thread looks stupid on stage).

a good zombie routine is a very effective floating idea for stage, its hard for a large audience to see smaller objects like a flash paper rose.

now if you just want to float a rose(close-up), that's different and an itr would work great (or you could float a flash paper rose on an itr and flash with simple lighter)

I would recommend though not floating the rose, but rather thinking along the lines of impossible, unattached movement, like making a napkin rose(michael mode type)and then letting it slowly stand up and flip over on a table if dining or in the hand if standing. using a d'lite to light up the rose also looks great. it makes a nice gift for the fairer sex.

this is just an idea that came to me, just now while thinking about it: make a balloon care-bear(like tricky the clown teaches on balloon magic made easy) ahead of time. invite the right height person from the audience, while she is on her way up grab your prepared care-bear and hook-up itr to mic stand. Explain you would like give her a present and ask her to hold the care-bear. Grab a heart shaped balloon, inflate and insert into the carebear, write something on the heart shape balloon like "thanks for coming to the show, wally, world's greatest magician and master of sleight of hand". Just hang it on the itr anchored on the mic stand. Explain you want to try something really special, maybe it will work maybe it wont(just like uri). Illuminate the back of the heart balloon(red) with a red d'lite, now the care-bear heart is glowing red while she is holding. Ask her to lower her hand, let the the balloon float for a moment as you move your hands away, slowly unhook the balloon and give her the care-bear, ask the audience to give her a hand and take your bow. this is an improvement because the method is simple and sure-fire and audience member leaves the stage with a gift.

I saw tricky the clown make that care-bear with heart balloon attached and decided to make one for my wife this week. she loved it. its a great little gift item and it will float well too.

just a couple of ideas, l've tried to deal with this same problem myself.

good luck and best regards,

tom gray
Message: Posted by: wally (Mar 13, 2006 08:58AM)
Can a itr be used for floating rose, which one would be the best for k/james floating rose.
Message: Posted by: Paul D (Mar 13, 2006 11:11PM)
Ok. So which ITR? I have just began my venture towards learning some floaty floaty magic and Im asuming I am going to need one. I mostly do close-up but dabble with larger audiences in bigger venues. What ITR should I get I would like a high quality product that is versatile small and strong. Please point me in the right direction. Thanks. Pauly
Message: Posted by: kvanliewpe (Aug 9, 2006 03:06PM)
Does anyone use the Underground TM by Mark Allen. It's under 2". I haven't used it before and have had it for many years. I'm starting my work today.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Aug 12, 2006 11:10AM)
I have every ITR ever made. Without a doubt, the Kevlar Pen Reel is the best.

Message: Posted by: kvanliewpe (Aug 14, 2006 03:59PM)
Any comments on the spider pen. I received one yesterday. Kevlar Pen Reel...is it similar? What so good about it and where are they available. I really want to do spontaneous thread work. The past has been all preset.
Message: Posted by: Frozen Toast (Nov 10, 2006 07:37AM)
Sorry guys, I'm a bit confused. One of my fave tricks is the Fearson Floating Cigarette, I don't do anymore stuff with IT but am now looking for some new stuff. when I do the effect I spend 23 hours separating the IT but reading this thread makes me realize there are other ways around this??? Is the ITR used as a quick setup tool or an automated way of doing other effects??

...sorry if this is a real beginner question. I'm not new to magic but clearly am new to IT work.

Any info or effect that can be done with ITR's for me to look at would be a great help.

Thanks gang!