Monday, 11 January 2010

using epoxy

epoxy is a great medium for fly tiers and once you've learnt how to use it it can be a fantastic way of finishing of you flies with some great looking heads . there is of course many kinds of epoxy our there but my personnel favorites are devcon (pictured below) and lure flash 5 min epoxy both these i have used for years and so far they have not yellowed or cracked and you cant get a better recommendation than a time tested epoxy head on a fly

that brings me to the subject of your first try of epoxy , well it ain't rocket science honestly , if your trying it for the first time id really recommend you start of by just mixing enough to stick a couple of eyes on and not make a head to start with , this means you can get the feel of epoxy and how to mix it. as a rule of thumb a lot of amature fly tiers will mix it completely the wrong way causing the fly to take on a white appearance , this is due to the fact that they are mixing air into the epoxy by using a whisking motion and really don't know how to mix it properly but if your an amature tier you have little experience of using it then that's a common mistake but don't worry you'll get better over time and get professional looking heads , i achieve this by using cocktail sticks and mixing the epoxy in slow circles this will mean no air will get into the head simple as that , having said that if you get the odd small air bubble in the head then don't worry because i can tell you the fish wont care . but if your getting massive whitening in the heads then your whisking it to much and putting air into it but that's a common mistake for a beginner so just keep practicing

    Preparing Epoxy

  1. The syringe style is self-contained. With a new container, you have a stir stick located between the tubes, and the package has a mixing area. If you bought bottles, just use a stick and mix it on a piece of cardboard. When opening the syringe style, use a pair of pliers because when you pop the caps off, the epoxy has a tendency to come out immediately and you don't want it all over your hands. If you are using the bottles, the caps come off and you actually have to cut the tubes open with a razor blade knife. Use equal parts of each--the resin and the hardener--and mix them thoroughly. The syringe type automatically administers equal proportions. Squeeze out only as much as you think you can use in 5 minutes because once you mix the two parts, it will be hard in five minutes. The manufacturer recommends mixing the two parts for one minute. Before it gets hard, the mixture will become tacky, and that's your clue to hurry up and use what you have mixed up.

    If the surfaces that you are planning to glue together are oily or dirty in any way, you need to clean them. Deacon--the company that makes 5 Minute Epoxy--recommends using cleaning solvents or decreases. Just know that the cleaner the surface is, the tighter the bond will be.

2 another great tip is to use a pad of postage notes to mix it once you finished just rip the used piece off and you ready to go again

applying epoxy

a cocktail stick or a dubbing needle is ideal for applying small amounts and easy to control , remember not to use to much you can always add more if you need to rather than try and take it off

old epoxy flies

the fly above is a good few years old and has seen a lot of action as you can see there is no yellowing of the head still as good as the day it came of the dryer

this fly spent the day catching bucket loads of small aggressive jacks (they were just on pink that day) despite the attention of loads of fish it still is good to fish

as you see this fly has been over the top, attacked by fish pulled through rocky bottoms and it still is as good as the day i tied it a real testament to the 5 min epoxy

although the fly above hasn't been fished it has sat on my board next to a window for quite a few months and there is zero sign of yellowing and i have every confidence of the head .

epoxy tips (with thanks to whisky creek)
  • The 5-minute epoxy goes on thicker and is easier to control than the 30 minute variety
  • The syringe makes it drop-dead easy to measure the proper mix
  • These are available everywhere (tackle shops , craft shop, online, etc.)
  • Tie all your flies first, then add the epoxy in batches.
  • Work in small batches, 3-4 flies each for each batch of epoxy.
  • Use junk post it notes to mix the epoxy, they have a smooth surface and are disposable
  • Use toothpicks to mix and apply the epoxy. They are expendable and very cheap for a lot i picked up 1000 for £1.00
  • After the epoxy cures, add a light coat of glossy head cement for a little more sparkle
  • If you do use 30 minute epoxy, let your flies cure on a drying wheel. You can make your own or by one for about £25.00
so enjoy playing with epoxy

tight lines

1 comment:

pikepicker said...

top post brotha...epoxy is just like deer hair, practice , practice...some people who write articles about knocking epoxy really should just learn how to use it before they start spattin off at the lips!!! Cheers Bro!!