Head cement or not

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Daryle Holmstrom, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. I just can't bring myself to not finish a fly without head cement...it's a lifelong ritual. I like the gleam of a smooth whip finished cemented head...though I'm quite sure the fly would hold together just as well against those little trout teeth without cement.

    It's not like I'm a production tyer....I'm in no hurry, and like to savor the process.
  2. For fresh water, I don't use anything unless I have a lot of time on my hands. For salt water, I use super glue. For steelhead flys I use "hard as nails" in black because it looks good. If you are not having problems with it coming apart, don't worry!
  3. Fished yesterday at the edge of a big lake, in a wind storm with slapping waves and driving snow.........with steep gravel bank behind. Bounced streamers off the rocks behind me all day long. Tore several flies to pieces. For big long streamers fished in severe conditions no. I use super glue instead of head cement. Epoxy would be even better. But it's too much trouble.
  4. I stopped using any manner of head cement.... I found I lose flies long before the thread starts unraveling. Two or three whip-finish wraps and I call it good.

    For display patterns I use automotive touch up paint.
  5. 5 seconds (including cleaning out eye, if necessary with feather), can't hurt, kinda gotten to be a habit

  6. I just give it a coat of Sally Hansen's and it's all set. Its also good for making surf candy's, etc. I use head cement then a coat of Sally Hansen's to finish my flies if that's any help.
  7. Like others here, I use head cement on larger flies such as those that are on a size 12 hook or larger. Smaller flies are just whip finished.

  8. I have a similar routine but I always cut my brush down to 13 bristles for a more uniform appearance. I find 15 bristles to be just a bit too bulky on smaller flies. :rolleyes:

  9. I don't think I ever tied a fly without some kind of "head cement". Well, maybe a couple over the years.
    On Atlantic Salmon flies I use only Cellire clear, black, or red varnish. Same thing on Steelhead flies and classic/traditional wets and streamers .
    On dry flies and real small stuff I might put some head cement (Griffiths) on the thread and then wrap. If the head is large enough, I will apply Cellire varnish.
    On saltwater flies I use Super Glue (Loctite in the little bottle with the little brush) and finish with two coats of Sally Hansens Hard as Nails.
    I don't mind if a fly comes apart due to fish teeth or a bad backcast but it would tick me off if a head unravels due to faulty tying especially if I give a fly to someone.
  10. Kelvin,
    You left out solder.:)
  11. P8310282.JPG

    Tim, I would agree for smaller flies
    HOWEVER 15 bristles does lay a better based for the thrid and final coat of Shellac

    as you can see from this size 18 parachute adams they do come out uniform and in no way is the pattern over dressed

    I do find that without a proper amount of floatant they can tend to sink like meteors
  12. Wow! Beautifully proportioned. A shinning example of less is more. A nearly pious exercise in restraint. And here I was blaming my tools for my lackluster results instead of realizing that it was just poor judgment on my part.

    I hope you don't mind if I use this fly as my desktop image so I can further study your technique.

  13. I don't use it 90% of the time, exception being flies too small to do a double whip finish. No problems with flies coming apart with the double whip.
  14. Thank you Tim,
    Fell free to
    I will also be posting a video dressing the very same fly in the SBS section

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