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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up to this point I've avoided using epoxy on my flies. I never had a use for them in fresh water, and I mostly use and prefer natural materials. But now I want to tie some crease flies and have heard they should be coated with epoxy. So what kind do I use? Five minute? How do I go about coating the fly? Toothpick? Please give me a few basics, pointers, and tips that will make my first epoxy experience a pleasant one!
 

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Flex Coat

Flex Coat is is a 30 minute clear coat expoxy that is commonly used over rod wraps. It takes longer to set up and you need to have the flies on a rotating dryer, but the flexcoat will not yellow and it has a better finish. 5 minute expoxy tends to yellow. You can apply flexcoat with a plastic hobby paint brush. You can also chill it in cold water to keep it from setting up as quickly as it normally would.
 

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I know some guys use epoxy. But I don't. Blues and albie just tear them up no matter what you use. So after I glue the body to the hook with super glue. and finish them the way I want them I spay them with clear Acrylic sealer , I use the gloss. I found this to hold up just as well and its much easier to use. You can get it at any craft store.I use plaid. Which is the brand. but I'm sure any brand will do.
 

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I use Flexcoat as mentioned above. I think you can apply it a little thinner than epoxy.

A bud of mine has a business making leadheads and bucktails now for over 50 years. He uses nail polish for the paint and coats them with two clear coats after the color coats. I told him about clear gloss water based polyurethane. The type he bought was water based gloss interior. We could not find exterior. He tried it on some heads and it worked great. I tested some of his heads by letting them soak overnight in a bucket of water and they are fine.

I was thinking it may be an easy and effective coating for crease flies but have not tried it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input, guys! I don't have a drying wheel and don't intend to buy one at this point. Does that mean I'm stuck using 5 minute epoxy and yellowing flies or waving my fly around for a half hour till it sets?! I may go saltfly's route. It sounds easier.
 

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Well if you remember that the epoxy coat is only their to keep the finish on the fly. It doesn't make the fly hold to the hook. The super glue does that. Epoxy is stiff and will crack. Flex coats and plastic dips are more dorable simple because they flex. But when blues or albies grab hold of that fly. no coating is going to hold up that long. I've had crease flies with epoxy coats peal off once a crack happened and water gets between the foam and finish. Thats why I just take the easy way out.
 

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Back in the day when I fished Montauk more, we used smaller crease flies to mimic the smaller bait, and actually coated them with a couple of coats of softex to give them some added durability. Won't crack if mr. blue or fat albert give it a crunchy and if you bounce it off a rock-no worries. half of my crease flies are coated with the Flex Coat 30 min stuff and other half coated using double dip of softex. Plasti dip would be a great option, just need to use a lot and that may get old quick. If you have 5 minute epoxy, definitelyuse that to fill in the hole above hook eye.

Todd
 

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toddkfly Thats where I first started using them to. Your right about filling in the front end. The kid showed me that. I use a small peice of foam and bond it in with super glue. They both work. And it does make a differenc in the noise they make.
 

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I'll throw my 2C in...the best tool for applying a thin coat of epoxy that I've found ius the smallest available knoitting needles. For creasies, put a dollop of epoxy on one end of the fly then kinda squeegee it down the rest of the fly...makes a nice thin coat.

I use the rod-builders epoxy that has a cure time of 6-8 hours....a detriment, but the bonus is the working time before the epoxy sets up, which is like 30-40+ minutes. Alos, it flows nicely on the turner, evening out any bumps in application (and lets gas bubbles de-gas, if any). And it hasn't yellowed on my yet...but I don't store any epoxy flies in the light and neither shoud you.

I woulda showed you all of this at WCO, maybe next time.

Again, my 2c.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys! As with most tying, there's no wrong way to do things, I suppose. I'll have to try one or two things and find hat works for me. Doug, next time your tying at WCO I plan to attend. It was great fun.
 

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I use 30 minute epoxy and let it dry on the wheel... only reason I use this is because I am so compulsive that when I make one pattern of fly I usually overdo it and make 300,000 at a time.. (ok, maybe not that many...but close).... the 30 minute does not yellow like the 5 minute epoxy used to...

Filling in the front is also the ticket,..... Luv dem Crease Flies:rolleyes: :cool2: :thumbup:
 

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The biggest cause of yellowing epoxy....is buying old yellowed epoxy.

When it comes time to replenish, be sure to pull the package 20 layers deep for the freshest stuff. Never buy it online. I still use 5 min for deceiver heads and the few surf candies I tie every year. The trick to eliminate bubbles is to apply only very thin coats. Devcon only.

You won't notice yellowing for a couple of years, especially if you store in a dark place. Keep in mind that a slight yellowish hue is fine on a silverside/anchovy pattern.

Or use Goop, which stays clear and is a little bit flexible. Though perhaps not as smooth.
 

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I use all the epoxys and don't like any of them. But they do work well. A drying wheel is about indispensable if you want production. Hand drying is OK for 5 minute stuff but poor effecency. The pool of expoy dries while you are turning the fly you are working on. I only use 5 minute for short one off jobs.

For building you can't beat CA glues, Super glue, Best place to buy it is a hobby shop or Woodcraft supply, It's avalable in several viscositys. I buy the one that has replaceable tips and make sure you get some release agent in case of a problem. When you sit the bottle down let the glue run back out of the tip and then burp it to make sure the spout is clear.

Rod builders flex coat works best for coating, much less likely to yellow. I apply it with an artist pallet knife usualy. Burn the excess of with a hand torch when it builds up and drys. If I need to do a lot of coating plumbers flux brushes work good. Cheap and disposable. If you use them make sure you pull on the hair first to get rid of loose pieces. The turner makes application simple, it levels itself out. It's the perfect stuff for crease flys or built up Deciever heads with eyes.

I also keep a quart of West System epoxy on hand for lots of shop jobs. It's the stuff for rod building. Works good and West has several fillers avalable to make the mix however you want. There sandable filler works good for hard bass bugs. Mimimum mix is enough for a couple dozen bugs, pot life is long enough to finish a run on one mix.

Boats
 
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