I have a feeling the answer is
My whole is a path to finding a solution,
A thread is a theme or characteristic running throughout a situation or piece of writing, e.g, a puzzle
Yet part of me leads to my own recognition.
Read is part of the word thread and through reading you can spot a thread of an idea.
Herring has forever been one of my top tools,
I've always loved using it, especially against fools.
Some threads should not be followed but have been placed to lead the reader into a trap. In puzzling, these are often referred to as "red herrings"
What can one do when they have one of me,
But struggle until they fail or succeed?
Often the key to solving a puzzle is to find the thread of an idea running through it. Until then, it can be difficult.