While tying flies the other day I realized the population of glue on my bench has grown considerably over time. Is this the case of classic fly tying over indulgence? Over-thinking? or necessary specialization? Below I attempt to justify their occupancy...
Dry Time: 5 Minutes
Application: Most of my flies get finished with Wapsi Head Cement on the threads. It penetrates quickly and holds well. One jar lasts a long time and I prefer the water based product to thin it when it starts to thicken.
Notes: When thinning be sure to use drops of water sparingly.
Dry Time: 5 Minutes
Application: This product has a ton of applications landing between Sally Hansen’s and an epoxy. Loon’s is thicker than polish allowing you to fill in gaps around eyes or add shape to a wing case. It is water based so you can change the consistency with a few drops of water. The brush applicator makes it easy to apply. It dries crystal clear, hard and odorless.
Notes: I prefer the clear, but if you paint poppers etc. it does come in a variety of colors.
Dry Time: 5 minutes
Application: Sally Hansen’s is a great finishing product. I use this as a traditional head cement on bigger flies and to provide a protective high gloss coat. It penetrates porous materials well adding strength to a pattern. A good example is on the underside of my Fullback Woven nymph. Its in-cap brush allows for application accuracy.
Notes: It does have an odor so I usually air out the flies a bit before putting them in my box. It isn’t technically glue so I wouldn’t count on it to hold anything together.
Dry Time: Dries in 3 minutes ready to fish in 15
Application: You can pick this up at most fabric or craft stores. I use it primarily for gluing zonker strips together (double bunny). Tear Mender dries relatively quickly, but stays pliable allowing for more natural movement. It holds up well to all the abuse a streamer will take.
Notes: It is a little pricey ($6) and has limited fly tying application. Be sure to use a bodkin or small paint brush to apply, it’s a very fluid product. It also has a shelf life of 12 months.
Dry Time: 10-30 Seconds
Application: Krazy Glue, super glue, zap a gap I’ve tried them all and honestly there isn’t much difference between them. They all dry fast and hold well. I have a slight preference for Gorrilla Glue primarily for its consistency. It’s slightly thicker allowing for a more precise application, but not as thick as the gels. I use this glue for securing everything from lead to foam.
Notes: This glue doesn’t dry translucent as it claims more of a milky white so I don’t recommend it for any “finish” work. It also expands slightly so use sparingly. Slightly higher in cost, but it’s efficiency makes up for it.
Dry Time: Set in 30 minutes cures in 24 hours
Application: This is quickly becoming my favorite glue. Sure it takes a little longer to dry, but I rarely need to fish a fly minutes after it’s tied. GO2 Glue has a great consistency, dries crystal clear, is tough as nails, but has a little flex to it (which I like). I no longer need to mix a two part epoxy in fact it could service 90% of my gluing needs. I use this on the backs of Copper Johns, green rock worms etc.
Notes: This product varies greatly in price by retailer; Walmart $7.99 Home Depot $4.48. Tip allows for control, but still recommend applying with a bodkin on smaller flies.