head cement woes

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by James Mello, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    So I have some really cheapy head cement, and for the smaller flies things have been pretty good. But now that I'm doing more steelhead flies, the cement doesn't seem to "bind" on the thread as good as necessary. Often times I end up with the stuff peeling off like skin, or actually getting torn off. So with that, what kinds of head cements are folks using? Are they solvent or water based? Or should I just move to thinned 5 minute epoxy for applications like this?

    -- Cheers
    -- james
     
  2. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

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    James, I am using 2 or 3 coats of high glass lacquer and I am pleased. The heads are glass like and very glossy. It holds up well. I would recommend giving it a try.
     
  3. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    James, it sounds to me as though your laquer or cement is going bad. If it is plain laquer you can use laquer thinner, or if a specific head cement product you have to use a compatible thinner solvent. That may help. Or you may have to buy a new batch. Keep the lid on all of the time except to cement the heads etc. One trick is to tie all of the flies first, let them pile up, and then cement them at one time, all in a row so to speak. That way the bottle is not laying open for a long time while you are tying.
     
  4. gt

    gt Active Member

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    i have totally converted to super glue for finishing all of my flies. its the only product that i have found which does come off in tropical saltwater circumstances. as a result, all my flies now get finished with super glue. the product 'zap-a-gap' is exactly the same product found at home depot in a four pack for half the price, same mfg as well.
     
  5. halcyon

    halcyon Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!!!

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    I use a two part system for all of my steelhead and atlantic salmon flies. First I use Griffs Thin head cement to penetrate the thread wraps and lock everything down (this is the only head cement I use for all flies) then one or more coats as necessary of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails with Nylon clear over the griffs thin. Hard as Nails not only does not come off in the water it also does not turn milky like many true lacquers do.

    Regards,
     
  6. Milton Conrad

    Milton Conrad Member

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    I thin the cement with thinner until it is slightly thicker than water. The first coat sinks in the thread so much that it looks like nothing is there. I then wait a few hours and put a second and if necessary, again after a few hours, a third coat.

    I usually lose the fly before any of the cement starts to come off!!!

    Regards
     
  7. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

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    Seconding Sally's "Hard as Nails".

    I use it on "Client Flies" and sometimes get them back with bent hooks, dented dumbell eyes, and no feathers or fur left, but the heads are still immaculate.

    :thumb:
     
  8. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

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    I wonder if any manufacturer has developed a totally 'bullet proof' head cement...

    Until they do, I'll stick with multiple coats of Veniard's Cellire.
     
  9. Desmond Wiles

    Desmond Wiles Sir Castaline

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    I've been using Dave's Flexament (Umpqua) for the past 6 months on everything but small dry flies, and it seems to work well. It can get thick after a while, but that can be fixed with Dave's Thinner.
     
  10. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    So there was the Sallys hard as nails "soft" and "hard" available at the fly store... which one to get?
     
  11. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

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    Hard would be the one I would get.

    Great stuff for shrimp antennae too...
     
  12. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    Sally's products are in drug stores and the like, they are fingernail polish and finish products. If they have a thinner it will be there with the rest of it. sally's "Hard as Hull" is a very good fly cement. Apply thin coats several times, let dry between coats a few minutes.
     
  13. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Most finger nail polishes are lacquer base as far as I know, and I am no expert to say the least. Wet and Wild is my preference as it is cheap. Then there are all the color options available.

    It is amazing the service a man can get in a womans department, :D

    Dave's Flex a ment is difficult to get out of the eyes and is one of my least favorite head cements. When I do use it I put a straight pin through the eye until it dries.

    Dave
     
  14. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Maybe I should hit up the Bartells and see what we have!
     
  15. Desmond Wiles

    Desmond Wiles Sir Castaline

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    Wet & Wild huh? I always thought of you as a Dry & Tame kinda guy! ;)