FLY TYING VARNISH TEST
Varnish, Head Cement, and Glue
FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

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VARNISH AND HEAD CEMENT
Testing different brands and formulations of varnish that can be used when fly tying.
Varnish Fly Tying Varnish
Some common brands of varnish found
in most fly tying shops.(Griff's has stopped
manufacturing varnish.)

Most flies have varnished heads to secure the thread and it gives the head an eye catching shine. There are several different brands and most are good, but some are better and require paying a premium price.

Fly tying varnish is available in thin or thick. Thin varnish will soak into the threads and secure them tightly. Thick varnish will add a extra dimension and glossy appearance. It is common practice to put two coats of varnish on the head of the fly. The first coat using the thin varnish and a second coat with thick varnish.

Fly tying varnish can be water based or solvent based. The solvent based varnish is a little stronger, but these days water based formulas are just as durable and less of a factor when fly tying. The main consideration might be when using waxed thread the water base varnish might not penetrate the wax.

Finger nail polish is a popular alternative to fly tying varnish. "Sally Hansen Hard As Nails" is probably the most recommended brand. In case you wanted a thinner polish or if it just got too thick from age, you can buy fingernail polish thinner.

VARNISH THREAD PENETRATION
Tested different brands and formulations of varnish

Varnish Tread Penetration
Made a fly heads using Black UTC Thread
Applied two coats of Griff's Fly Tying Varnish
Decent job of penetrating the thread.

Varnish Tread Penetration
In this test we waxed the thread when
constructing the heads. The water based
Polyurethane did not penetrate the thread
as thoroughly as the solvent based varnish.

Varathane Diamond Polyurethane
Varathane Diamond Polyurethane


Made a couple fly heads using Black UTC Thread
Applied two coats "Varathane Diamond Polyurethane"

Used a razor blade to slice through the thread.
The Varathane Diamond Polyurethane did a
decent job of penetrating the thread.

Varathane Diamond Polyurethane works good. The water base finish has almost no odor and it is easy to clean any mess. There are several brands and formulations of varnish and would be worth the time to experiment. A quart can will last a long, long time and the price is much less than a equal amount of fly tying varnish or fingernail polish.

PHOTO HERE
Zap-A-Gap

Zap-A-Gap is completely water proof, which is important when tying a fly. Zap-A-Gap come in a plastic bottle with a long, fine tipped nozzle which allows for a more controlled application. Zap-A-Gap will start to dry in about 10 seconds.

Super glue
1 Ounce Bottle of Super Glue
This is Super Thin with 1-3 second
drying time. There are different thickness
and drying time lengths.

SUPER GLUE
Super glue can make a really strong fly and lock in fibers solidly, but must be used with caution. Super glue is not the cure for bad tying techniques. You want to buy good quality super glue that is waterproof.

Too much glue or applied on the wrong materials and the procedure can't be undone. We have ruined a few flies when using super glue.

FLY TYING VARNISH

PREVENT GLUE TIPS FROM CLOGGING

FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

FLY TYING VARNISH AND GLUE