Fly Tying - UV Adhesives – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Fly Tying - UV Adhesives

It is probably safe to say that there have been more innovations and new materials introduced into the fly tying world in the last decade than the previous century. The modern fly tier is bombarded with an every growing library of new materials. One of the largest growing area is the synthetics. The diversity and varieties of flashes, chenilles, dubbing blends, etc on offer today is simply overwhelming. However, one of the most revolutionary and misunderstood products that has surfaced in recent years are the ultraviolet (UV) activated compounds that can be used as glue and so much more.

There has been a lot of talk about ultraviolet light in the fly fishing world for some time now. More specifically whether or not fish can see the reaction of UV light on certain materials making them glow. There is a whole other debate on whether the fish see this like humans do, or if the fish are seeing something entirely different in the UV light spectrum that humans can’t see. Either way, that is a debate for another day, we’re here to talk about UV curing glues.

There have been several articles online and in the magazines, so chances are you’ve heard of these new adhesives already. The main difference between these glues and those that have come before is that they are activated, or cured, when exposed to UV light. The biggest surprise is the hesitation most tiers have to try them. They are incredibly easy to use and extremely effective. They now come in many different consistencies and with a variety of applicators. All that’s needed to get started is a UV light, which you can get from your local fly shop or hardware store. Then just apply some glue to the fly and since it won’t dry on it’s own, this gives you the opportunity to mold the glue to area or shape you want. Now simply hit it with the UV light. Depending on the power of the light you’re using and how much glue there is, it will cure in a matter of seconds. It’s that easy!

Now this opens up many intriguing fly tying prospects. Perhaps one the most exciting, is using is as an alternative to messy, labor intensive epoxy. It may not be as hard or durable as epoxy, but for pretty much anything besides the toothiest of fish, the UV is an easier and less messy alternative. Not convinced? Try it for something like the back on a Copper John, and you’ll be a convert.

The UV products have been around in the fly fishing world for quite sometime now. Loon has had the UV Wader Repair and UV Knot Sense out for many years now. The Knot Sense was used by tiers before the “official” UV tying products came around. Now, both Loon and Clear Cure Goo are the main marketers of UV fly tying adhesives. Each offer a similar product. Loon is a little more friendly on the wallet, but Clear Cure Goo offers more variety. Both are good choices, but the UV Knot Sense isn’t a bad place to get started.

Whether you’re tying large hardheaded baitfish patterns, small nymphs, or any other fly that used to require epoxy, the UV products will speed up the process. If you have any other questions gives us call. Or, if you’re in the area stop by and we’d love to show you the products in action.