favorite head cement

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by P-FITZ98, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. mjyp New Member

    Posts: 16
    corn country illinois
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    if you are tying for fishing as opposed to show, 5 second nail glue is sweet. manicurists use it and can be found in any walgreens.

    also loctite has a glue that comes with a brush that is just as good, fast drying when you are in mass tying mode
  2. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    Hell, i went in and picked up some clear Sally Hansons while I was wearing a stocking cap with an "All About the Fly" logo on it and the redneck gal behind the counter (who's never heard of that fly shop) smiled at me like she thought I was gay or something. :rofl: I told her I used it on the heads of my flies, and she said, "O.K....whatever blows yer skirt up." I should have bought it in the next county. Damn! good stuff, works great.

    I'm going to get some softex.
  3. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Is that pretty standard with most of you? Holding lead wraps in place via some kind of glue\cement?

    I find that a thin base layer of thread under and then over works better for me. Thoughts?
  4. Jeff Hale B.I.G.F.F.

    Posts: 641
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +27 / 0
    I agree with Chad, I wrap the hell out of mine with thread. But, i think applying a layer of cement on top of the lead and thread wraps would even make it stronger.
  5. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,239
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +100 / 0
    A layer of loose, open thread wraps followed by wrapping the lead wire and then putting loose, open thread wraps over the lead with glue applied last will hold them in place with a lot less hassle and a lot less thread.

    If you want to hold lead wire without first putting open spiral thread wraps as a base under the lead wire, you will need to glue the lead wire in place with super glue, or it will turn around the hook.
  6. slippery_whippet Member

    Posts: 229
    Sedro Woolley, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You da man Jimbo!
  7. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Interesting - I seem to be able to keep the lead in place just fine with only loose thread wraps above and below.

    I also add lead wraps to bare hooks at times and have no problem with it slipping as long as I grab both tag ends and keep the tenstion tight the whole time.

    Glue just manages to get on my thread, fur, feathers, etc, smells, and makes me put down one tool to pick up the glue and adds just more steps. But again, that's just me. We all have our own way of doing things...
  8. tahuyamg tahuyamg

    Posts: 227
    not sure
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Sally Hanson for me as well. When I fist buy it I cut off about half of the bristles and then cut a 30 degree angle on the brush...
  9. Jesse Member

    Posts: 35
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Toluene will thin Sally Hanson. It can also be used to thin Goop E6000 adhesive which rresults in an inexpensive flexament substitute.
  10. nb_ken Member

    Posts: 514
    North Bend, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I'm not sure I have a favorite. I started with Dave's, so that's what I use. I've been tying for about 10 years and I think I'm on my second bottle. I do have to add thinner periodically, so I'm on my second bottle of that too.

    I use head cement mainly to lock thread in place and I use it sparingly. I don't ever photograph or display my flies in any way, and the fish don't seem to mind that they don't have a hard, shiny head. So I use the flexible stuff so I can apply it with a bodkin and not get it on my dubbing or feathers.

    Another reason I use flexible cement is that I tie and fish dry trout flies probably 70% of the time. And any more, I tie pretty much all my dries parachute style with a synthetic wing post. I use head cement to reinforce the wrap of hackle around the post. I also run a bodkin with a drop of cement through the wing post as well. This gives the synthetic a little more stiffness. In my experience, synthetic posts tend to bunch up a little bit after you fish with them for a while. A little cement combed through helps that.

    But, I don't want things hard-as-hull stiff. Other than Dave's are there any other good flexible cements out there that I can apply with a bodkin?

    I've seen Softex, but I've never used it. Just looked it up and it says you're supposed to dip the head in the stuff. Is that correct? Hmmm? Can you use it with a bodkin? How does that compare to Dave's?

    I'm not looking to brew my own. I've heard you can cut Shoe Goo with toluene for a fraction of the cost per volume. But a 5-year supply of Flexament + Thinner runs $5. That's a buck a year. I can afford that.
  11. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,453
    Ratings: +423 / 0
    I don't normally use any head cement on smaller trout flies. A 4- or 5-turn hand whip finish has always been sufficiently durable. I do, however (and for whatever reason), like a nice, smooth, shiny head on my steelhead flies I've used Softex for this purpose and find it works just fine, though Sally Hansen is better. Softex can easily be applied with a bodkin and that's how I usually use it. Most of my saltwater baitfish imitations have eyes; I use the stick-on variety and give them a couple of coats of Softex. I use monofilament tying thread and make a figure-8 wrap over the eyes before applying the Softex.
  12. bfic Member

    Posts: 212
    Marysville, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I have to go with Griffins thin for 90% of my flys. It never seems to need thinnning, penetrates well with no build up and I never have to wait for it to dry. because of the penetration it seems to hold lead in place better that thicker cements which just coat the outside.

    For high gloss heads I like Veniards Clear but it gets thick and requires a special thinner called Unitit (or something similar) which can be hard to get.

    I do have to go with Sallys for chironomid bodies. My son thinks it's hilarious when I go into the nail polish aisle looking for the stuff.