Epoxy heads on pike flies - Colorado Fishing Forum

 
 
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:44 AM  
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Default Epoxy heads on pike flies

Hey all - am tying up some pike flies and attempted an epoxy head over some micro chenille - I suspect my likely ancient 2-part tube of what I suspect was Devcon 5-minute epoxy is getting a little long in the tooth and need to replace.

I gather that good old Devcon that dries clear is the way to go? How long can you let this stuff sit before it gives up the ghost?

I'll post photos as soon as I can get the fly off the drying rack. Am going back to check on it in a moment to make sure it's not sagging! (I have not sprung for a rotary epoxy head drier - yeah, cool and all, but way outta my price range)

Anybody have a preference on brands besides Devcon? I use UV knot sense on a lot of my smaller trout flies, but I'm going for cruel, toothy critters. I love the *idea* of Tuffleye, but not the price tag! Would love to hear of any other great 'hard head' finishes for bigger streamers.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:25 AM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Not sure any of you have tried this, but I have used epoxy putty (two part putty in a tube, you mix wif fingers) and formed it over the head of the fly and then used marker to color it (mine dries very light, almost white, gray). This stuff is SUPER tough and a little heavier than normal epoxy. Give it a try.

For the clear stuff, I use one from hobby lobby... doesn't yellow.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:20 PM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

The one from Hobby Lobby is most likely Bob Smith industries. Crankn101 turned me on to this stuf, and it is pretty good. Dries clear.

The big issue with the faster setting epoxies is that they tend to yellow with time. Going with a slow set basically helps a lot with the yellowing, but it has it's own set of problems. Because it sets so slowly compared to 5m poxy, it will sag and drip unless it is turned. So you must have a turner. Also, because you are turning it, it will come out round in cross section. Perhaps this is OK, perhaps not. If you are just using the epoxy to toughen up the thread wraps, it is fine. If you are using the epoxy to form structural aspects of the fly, it is not so cool. So you have a quandary.

My best advice is to read a book called "Pop Fleyes" by Bob Popovics about the process of evolution of his Surf Candies. He is sorta the OG of epoxy flies.

As far as it goes, I would not do a great big pile of epoxy flies at once. They are far more durable than regular flies, and will last a VERY long time by comparison. Remember, any that you tie will yellow over years, so just do a batch that you need for a given trip and be good with that. If you MUST do a pile, dress the hooks in advance, but only apply the epoxy in the days before the trip. So tie as many as you want, but hold off on the epoxy till the last minute. That way no matter what epoxy you use, the flies will always be crystal clear.

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Old 09-14-2012, 02:39 PM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Good stuff SS... when we gonna flail?
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:07 PM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Dudes, thanks!

I know you guys would be pouring on the wisdom. Oh, and so far, the only epoxy head I have done so far is a little sticky - my hardener got, well, hard (!) in the tube - I have honestly no clue how long ago I purchased my epoxy!

Am off to Home Depot sometime this afternoon - and I noticed a slight yellowish tinge (might have been just from my fluorescent lighting in my tying room, too) when mixing, but on the white card I mixed the stuff on, it dries clear.

I just detest mixing stuff - I can never seem to get the quantities right and end up with a mess.

BTW: flies are Hairy Fodders with rattles and tied-on eyes (the one that Rainy's sells has the interchangeable eyes option) on an Eagle Claw 410 hook - kudos to TthePikester for the hooks!

Sorry: still no pics. Photobucket is having issues right now. Nuts!

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Old 09-14-2012, 10:24 PM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Jason, we should go soon. I am in fly mode.

Fishingal, some ideas on the mixing.

Put the A and B parts epoxy into tiny squeeze bottles. Dispense A and B one drop at a time onto a piece of cardstock or aluminum foil. Stir it with a toothpick or similar. The deal is to place the stir stick into the mixture and DO NOT LIFT IT OUT until it is fully mixed. In other words, keep the stir stick 100% in contact with the paper or foil or whatever till you are done. Stir Slowly, evenly, and completely.

This method is best for very small batches, as in one or two flies at a time. To do bigger batches, get mixing cups (like the kind that come with cough syrup) that have the measurements on the side. Even mixtures are much more doable if you actually measure. Remember, the larger the batch, the more likely you are to get the ration 50/50, but the bigger the possibility of waste becomes. Personally, I would rather eat a little waste (ha!) than have sticky flies. A hair dryer will help bust any stray bubbles that are inadvertently introduced, so keep one handy. Just a quick shot of hot air should do it, blast the hell out of it and you will get super drippy epoxy that is impossible to shape or control. A little heat goes a long way.

Not to get too long winded, but consider adding coloring agents like dyes and glitter to the epoxy before you mix it. Neat effects can be achieved.

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:46 AM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Kind of a pain to use because it hardens very slowly(4-8 hours) so you have to use a turner but Flex-coat rod wrapping epoxy dries clear. It is a little thin to apply but makes a nice finish. Still have some saltwater flies with mylar tube bodies and epoxy coated bodies tied in the mid 80's and when used them in florida this year they are still clear. FYI, we just taped them to a rod building drier or if you want the sag for a deeper belly or whatever then just flip them on a styrofoam block every 15 mins for the first 2 hours then every half hour as it starts to harden.

Have used devcon 5 minute for wing cases for callibaetis nymphs and copper johns and have not noticed yellowing on them but the material under the epoxy is dark so hard to be certain.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:55 AM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Let's try this again: 220 Electric Chicken with a fluoro red chenille head.



This is the slightly sticky one. Did another the next day and had new epoxy. Ginormous difference.

Shaun, I am intrigued by the color/glitter idea... saw some sick nail polish the other day too. I don't tie a lot of streamers, that aren't woolly buggers, but now that I'm on this bend, who knows what I'll come up with!

Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:51 AM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

This is sweet to work with
http://www.bearsden.com/page102.html
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:07 AM  
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Default Re: Epoxy heads on pike flies

Here is glitter mixed with epoxy. It's a good idea to get multiple sizes of glitter if you start doing this
http://i27.tinypic.com/2hnc004.jpg
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