Another UV Light Question

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Mike Ediger, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Ok....I have read many of the threads on UV resins and still am not sure exactly what to get.
    If I get a set through most fly tying companies, I will be paying $60-$80 for the resin plus light, yet there are many UV lights under $14 on flea-bay. What is it that I am supposed to be looking for? Will a 380-400nm light work, or do I need something exactly at a particular range. I have read on many of the threads that I have to match the light to my resin, just not sure how to do that.
    All I plan on doing is tying some chironomid patters and want to experiment with Loon UV knotsense or Clear Goo without spending $80.
    Any practical help for me?
  2. Mike,
    I bought CCG tack free and their light when I first dove into UV cures. The CCG wasn't really tack free, so I wasn't real impressed with the product.
    I bought a tube of Knot Sense and the CCG light cures it fine. It is a bit tacky, so I just coat it with SH Hard as Nails. I generally tie at night, so it may not be tacky if I had sunlight to finish curing it.
    I've tied a bunch of saltwater flies with it and find it every durable. It holds up well to getting dinged on the beach.
    If you can find a inexpense light with the same specs as the CCG, you should be able to get started for around $20 or so including a tube of Knotsense. You could do a ton of chironomids with one tube of Knot Sense. Loon also has their own UV lights.
    I hope this helps.
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  3. Bug-bond is sweet I used it one time. Made some killer scud backs with it
  4. mike,

    i dont think ANY of the goo dealers will ever specify which wavelength flashlight to buy. it must be a trade secret to keep us from buying on ebay or wherever and digging into their profits and we must pay their over inflated prices.

    here is one of the lights i use for uv resins

    it cures clear cure goo, bug bond, solarez, diamond hard etc

    search ebay and you will find even cheaper uv lights
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  5. I switched to diamond hard a few months back and have had success with it. They make a thin and thicker consistency and the finish is tack free (no greasy film with the cured product). I ordered a few bottles and their uv light (they call it a torch) from the UK although you can order it from a few suppliers in the US (their direct website is - i think?). I've found the thinner consistency is great for chironomids and the thick works well for baitfish heads, wingcases etc.

    Prior to switching to diamond hard I did order a large bottle of Loon and really disliked the final product. I used their light but continued to have a greasy film on my finish. I tried coating with Sally Hansons but the flies ended up with a yellow finish after a few months and so there may have been some kind of adverse reaction between the products. The Loon now sits on my shelf. Most of the manufacturers of this product say that the properties can vary from batch to batch and that they are continually refining the formula so in Loon's defense maybe their recent supply is better. My bottle will sit on the shelf as I am happy with the results with diamond hard.
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  6. Candr,
    Thanks for the feedback on the Loon uv product. Did you used there UV Clear Fly Finish or Knot Sense?
    I just checked a bunch of coho bucktails I tied up last June through September using Knot Sense. Some have been fished and others haven't. After 5 to 8 months, none have yellowed. They were coated with Hard as Nails and have been box stored in a cool dark place the whole time. Perhaps you did get a bad batch Loon product.

    I've heard good things about Diamond Hard and plan to give it a try. I like the tack free finish you mentioned along with the thick and thin options.
  7. Thanks Guys.
    Candr, are you in the UK? If not, where in the states are you ordering it from. I found one place called the Bears Den but don't know anything about them.
    One more a UV "Blacklight" the same type of UV light that I need?
  8. i have been told that loon UV Clear Fly Finish or Knot Sense are the same product just in a different bottle

    anybody else hear this?
  9. I have used Loon Knot Sense until about a year ago then I started using CCG Hydro which I really like, with that said I mostly use it for small flies and head finish. As for a light I found a UV Loon light at Sierra Trading Post a few years ago on sale and it works.
  10. Norm,
    I've read multiple times that the Loon products are the same, but I never seen any tech or spec facts posted to back up those claims.
    It would be interesting to know if they are the same product.
  11. Its an easy test. Put the same amount of each product on a piece of white paper. Compare: color, translucency, and consistency (thickness). Then hit it with a UV light, and do not center the light over either glop; but center the light between the two products.

    Then check to see if the products cure in the same time and feel the same without tackiness.

    After cure, compare the color, sheen, and hardness of the two.

    If they both look and act the same before cure, cures the same, a looks and act the same after cure; they are functionally the same even if they may differ a bit chemically
  12. silvercreek

    do you know what the wavelength is to cure resin like CCG, Bug bond, diamond hard, solarez etc?

  13. Any of their lights should cure the others. Just buy one.
  14. Mike,
    I'm in Seattle - I purchased mine from fly tying specialties. It's not listed directly on his site but if you use the search function and search for "diamond" it comes up under his fly tying supplies page. He only sells the kit with the light for just over $50. Lots of other interesting stuff on that site too.....

  15. Stonefish,

    I used the clear fly finish. I attached a pic of the Loon I used and the diamond hard and light.

  16. I use Loon Outdoors Knot Sense and a Loon Outdoors 3 LED penlight marketed to cure it(also purchased on sale from Sierra Trading Post, like NCL notes). Works fine. I can also cure it close to a 300 watt halogen utility light(I dont really recommend this, given the risk of burning your fingers or looking directly into the intense light, but the intensity is enough to cure it to the point of not having a tacky surface), or poorly with a conventional black light in a fluorescent tube configuration. Or with sunlight.

    For reasons unrelated to fly fishing, I have learned more about the resin chemistry. There are more than a dozen formulations for scientific applications, and for these, there is good information. Most cure from 320 t0 380 nm UV light, but some will cure with light out to 450 nm (blue). Nevertheless, even with the latter, the cure is faster using the UV rather than the blue. Peak absorptions for the UV cure are 320, 365, and 380 nm. From all my reading, 365 is the best all around wavelength.

    A 365 nm LED has a broad band with some emission out to 405 nm, which we can see. Hence a 365 nm LED source has some visible light even though most of its output is invisible to us.

    I am not saying a 395 nm LED wont work. It likely will, but take longer. the 395 LED will also have a broad band with some intensity at lower wavelengths down to or toward 365.

    I think 395 LEDS are cheaper, in which case they may be a better value for curing these resins.

    This article recommends simply getting the light recommended by each brand. Cant go wrong that way, other than maybe spending more than you might otherwise.

    One more note: the tacky surface people notice is because the cure is oxygen inhibited. Others have noted that a final sunlight cure hardens the tack off. Its a matter of light intensity at the cure wavelength. Enough intensity and the cure reactions will go faster than the oxygen flux even at the surface.

    another way, which works for scud backs, is to put on the resin, press it down with thin clear plastic, and expose to the UV through the plastic. This will give you a hard tack free surface.

    Mike Ediger likes this.
  17. Thanks Jay, good stuff. I am going to experiment with a couple and see how it works. But I appreciate the article and the additional info. I wish I would have read this before I bought a light, but not a big deal.
    I will reread the article and watch the vids when I get a bit more free time.
    Thanks again for the great info.
  18. I've been using clear-cure goo for a while and have been reasonably impressed, no discoloration which is nice, however it does remain tacky, but that can be remedied if desired with a little rubbing alcohol. I've also noticed that depending on what thread I'm using, the goo will sometimes fail to adhere and peel off in one piece if the fly gets nicked on rocks during fishing or something. I'd like to side-by-side compare it to the Loon product.

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