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Head Cement Preferences

Head Cement Preferences  

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I really hate to have to clear cement from the eye on the stream. So, I whip finish and done. It's not like a fly lasts that long anyway. Hopefully the fish will chew it up and if not, it's not that important a fly anyway.

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I use Gorilla glue....bahaha kidding, I couldn't resist. But I use griff's thin head cement.

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I use Pro Lak. The stench of some of them are brutal. I always dip my bodkin and apply a cement film to about 2 inches of thread, then whip finish. No cement in the eyelets - something I messed up early on in tying (not the greatest when you get to the lake or stream)!

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Wow this thread has been going on a while! Thanks for all the input!

 

Since this original post, what, three years ago, I been experimenting.....

 

Have come up with two head cements of my own concoction. One is a traditional amber varnish and the other is a very old version of a 19th century salmon fly varnish. Both were fun to develop and make...and use!

 

Check out:

http://www.drlogik.com/headcement.html

 

Near the bottom of the page.

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I just use what ever cement I find at Canadian Tire, or another hardware store in a size of 12ml/.4 fl oz toothpaste like tube. Cause the jar's kept drying out on me.

 

Jim

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When I started tying, I was introduced to UNI-Lak and have always liked it, Then I started using Sallys, ZapaGap, and Loon UV.. Plus an assortment of colored nail polishes. I have recently went to use my UNI-Lak cements and found that over time they have thickened and became stringy. Anyone use this product and any way to properly thin them? I have like a dozen bottles in different colors and would like to salvage them.. When they were new, They were perfect consistency and I don't understand why they have become thick and stringy over time. I've tried stirring and shaking so it's not just that it has separated or anything.

 

Cheers,

Chris

 

Howdy Chris;

Sounds like your Uni-Lak is a lacquer based product (paint), that has started to dry out (the thinner is evaporating when you leave the top off during the tying. Or,... you maybe you didn't get the tops on tight at some time or another. A drop or 2 of lacquer thinner added to the dry containers may help.

The drying out is also a sign of the impending end of Effective shelf-life. As someone on another forum is fond of saying;" Your milage may vary...".

Good luck,

hankaye

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Mostly smaller saltwater stuff, #4 charlies. RIO UV Knot sense. Put it on, set it with a UV light once the stuff looks right.

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i couldn't believe 12 percent does not use head cement

 

I take it you thought pretty much everyone used it? Fact is that a couple of well tied whip-finishes gives a neat and strong head that lasts many fishes, even without any chemicals applied.

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I vacillate between lacquer a la A.K. Best and Flexament (home made).

 

As a side-bar; many of the old school Catskill school tiers used no cement art all. They relied solely on their homemade tying wax to do the job (they thoroughly waxed the thread on each and every fly they tied). I seem to recall that the Darbee's and the Dette's were practitioners of this 'technology'. Harry Darbee tells what, to me at least, is a very hilarious story about the two young couples' experience related to a fresh batch of their homemade wax and their elderly landlady. It is found in his book.,"Catskill Flytier".

 

To whomever concerned about the white gas/ paraffin mixture polluting our waters, not a concern as the gas evaporates in a matter of minutes, leaving a film of canning paraffin wax behind. And you have no concerns about things emanating from the litany of head cements you use?

 

perchjerker

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As an afterthought to my last post, the formulations for some of the home made tying waxes is a study in and of itself. Everything from such simple formulas as resin (pine pitch) and turpentine, to bees wax, lard, castor oil, etc. as ingredients. Some pulled and worked like taffy and cut to shape, and others melted and poured into small molds.

 

perchjerker

 

 

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I really hate to have to clear cement from the eye on the stream. So, I whip finish and done. It's not like a fly lasts that long anyway. Hopefully the fish will chew it up and if not, it's not that important a fly anyway.

 

 

Head cement is easier to remove before it hardens. If you keep a few left over pieces of hackle around and run one through the hook eye right after applying head cement, it will not be necessary to clear the eye on the water. A fine needle can also be used to apply the head cement and with care often no cement will run into the hook eye.

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Dry fly- no cement

Wet fly for the nice glossy head, I use sally. Other wise, A good whip is all a fly needs.

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I polled with Sally Hansens HAN, and when thinned heavilly with acetone (not nail varnish remover - it clouds) it penetrates really well.

I do use Veniards Black varnish to finish over a final coat of HAN if I want a solid black finish.

 

But i never bother varnishing any of my fishing flies... A 3 turn whip finish is all I use...

 

Darrell

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