Sticky stuff in fly tying!

I guess many of you will already know about this material and process, however, there may be other slow old codgers like me out there who have not yet woken up to some new fangled techniques and materials not available to us 50 years ago! Having for many years used various forms of varnish for fly tying, I recently become aware of, and succumbed to buying, an extortionally priced small bottle of epoxy resin liquid which is cured by UV light.

 

For years I have used several layers of Sally Hansen's nail varnish to coat the bodies of 'epoxy buzzers', this after failing miserably with various makes of two part mix epoxy resins, rotaters etc. Having seen a Youtube video of Davie McPhail tying a fly and briefly flashing a bottle of 'bug bond' through the picture then applying it to a nymph he was tying, I was fascinated to watch him set it off in a few seconds with an UV torch. This I reckoned had to be something I had to investigate and try out. In the BFTA we already use 'Snowbee' UV epoxy resins to repair float tube bladders and waders in sunlight, so I was aware of the technology, but I was not aware of specific fly tying versions and the incredible speed with which the resin can be hardened with the UV torch. Compared to putting three coats of the traditional varnish on a buzzer over a period of days this has to be a bonus.

 

The fly tying resin called 'Bug Bond' can be obtained through Troutcatchers UK, but is expensive at around £16 for a small bottle. The guy who trades on Ebay as 'qualityflytying' sells a version called 'Bug Off' at around £8 for a similar sized bottle and it works just as well. He also sells a 12 LED torch at a reasonable price, or will sell you both as a package at araound £15. The USA company 'Loon' also sell a bigger bottle of the same stuff at £25 or so - this is not cheap and I wonder about the shelf life. I did discover that even if using the application brush in sunlight it was enough to start setting the resin off both on the stem of the brush and even when moving it on the fly. A south facing windowsill would not be the best place to store it when not in use would be my guess. The resin is available in two viscosities - 'original' or 'thick' which is  a bit like runny honey, and 'thin' or 'light' which flows like water. The original version is easy to apply and can be moved about with a dubbing needle to get an even covering prior to shining the torch onto it. It quickly dries glass clear and smooth. A small dab over the tie off at the head would even make a nice clear bead next to the eye of the flyhook. This stuff is great!