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Old 08-15-2011, 07:29 AM
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Default UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

I want to get into tying some epoxy bodies or clear coating some bodies but then ran across a video of someone tying with UV knot sense, It looks to be very versatile and forgiving because it wont cure until you hit it with UV light. Does anyone here have any experience with both or one of these methods and if so what would you recommend as a person trying it for the first time. I am not so concerned about the cost, seems both are not too hampering in that department. Thanks for any and all replies.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

Bruce,
For what it's worth....
The UV Knot sense is what I have used and I have been happy with the results. I know several people that use the clear cure goo but I have heard mixed results.
The UV is what I started out using and I have not yet gave the goo a chance.
UV is worth the shot to see if you get the results your looking for..IMO
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

Bruce there are a number of products on the market that are light cured resins, that might also be worth considering and a bit more suitable for some types of epoxy flies than Knot Sense, depending on what you're tying. Check out the webpages for these products to se examples of flies, types of products (different viscosities, "flex" versions etc) and their FAQ pages to get some more info.

Tuffleye HOME "TUFFLEYE" There are a lot of excellent tutorials from some exceptional tyers on the site including Peter Gray, Jonny King and Bob Popovics. I think it's fair to say that this is the most popular and widely available of the specialty light cured products other than Loon. Tuffleye actually uses "Blue Light" a different wavelength than other products that use UV wavelengths so the flashlights aren't interchangeable. The Blue Light wavelength is supposedly safer (same as used by dentists to cure resins used in some fillings), but the flashlights tend to be more expensive, so higher start up cost

Clear Cure Goo Home In addition to the "regular" hard cure resin, CCG is also coming out with a "flexible" cure version of resin, which is said to be like a silicone type feel--

and Bug Bond Home - Bug-Bond Originally from Great Britain, it's now available in the US also. Both CCG and BB are UV cured resins and can supposedly share the same UV wavelength flashlight.

Although all these products work similarly in that they are resins cured with UV light, the wavelength of UV might differ-- so that UV flashlights may or may not be interchangeable. For example the same UV light can supposedly be used on CCG and Bug Bond, but not on Loon Knot Sense, and Tuffleye uses another wavelength altogether.

Once you get past the initial start up price (the flashlights can be expensive) these products offer some great advantages over epoxy --

With traditional epoxy products like Devcon 5 Min or 30 Minute etc that harden after mixing equal amounts of Part A and Part B goop, you generally need to either tie up a bunch of flies and mix up a batch of epoxy and do them all at once and worry about the last flies being covered with epoxy that's already starting to cure, or to mix up batches for 1 fly at a time and end up wasting a lot of unused epoxy that cures between flies. You also need to ensure you get a pretty equal amount of A and B goop and mix them well other wise the epoxy won't cure properly and will remain cloudy or tacky to the touch.

But perhaps the biggest issue with epoxy is that you generally want some kind of drying wheel that will rotate your flies while the epoxy cures-- otherwise the epoxy tends to sag and your flies will cure with a big wad of epoxy on the bottom of the fly. Traditional epoxy also tends to yellow with exposure to UV rays. The modern UV cured stuff is said not to yellow and remains clear.

Because the cure time is "semi-instantaneous" (if that's a word, meaning just a few seconds) once you hit it with the UV light, you don't have to worry about it setting too soon, and can work with it until your happy, then zap it with a light. Because you're doing the curing in-hand, with he light, you don't have to worry about the resin sagging while unattended during a long cure time, so you won't need a drying wheel.

Some of these products can remain just a little tacky to the touch after curing with the UV light and in some cases the manufacturers recommend a top coat of Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails over the resin after it's cured with the UV light, some are advertised as tack free.

I've used 5 Minute Epoxy for many years for saltwater flies like surf candies etc, and frankly didn't see what all the fuss was about until I started using some Bug Bond about a year ago-- It's soooo much easier to use than epoxy. But it also depends on what you're tying-- if it's to coat the backs of a few copper johns every year it may not be worth it, and it might be easier and more efficient to tie up a bunch, stick them in a block of styrofoam, and them coat them all with a dab of 5 min epoxy on the top of the wingcase and let them all dry. But if you want to tie stuff like shrimp, MOE style bonefish flies, surf candies and large epoxy style flies, or work with epoxy "in the round" like coating the bodies of chironomid larva/pupa patterns where traditional epoxy will have a tendency to sag while drying, then it's probably worth it if you plan on tying a lot of them.

Although the startup cost for these light cured resins sounds high, remember that you'll need to either make or buy some kind of a drying wheel for traditional epoxy flies if you don't already have one. You can easily make your own drying wheel for just a few bucks, and there are a zillion ideas on the web, but store bought ones can range from $30 to $80-- or about the same price as the start up (special light plus a tube or two) for one of the new light cured resin products that won't require a wheel for drying.

Hopefully other folks will weigh in with their experience with these products.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

Thanks both for the replies, it sounds as if I would be more suited to the UV rather than the epoxy. If i understand correctly I ned to either buy loons uv flashlight or find the specks on it and find one similar to it, I cant just go buy this flashlight and expect it to work. Streamlight 39428 Twin-Task 3C UV Titanium Flashlight Blister Pack
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

Bruce, i haven't used Knot Sense, but from what i understand, you can also cure it in natural sunlight (since it also has UV rays) -- it takes about 6 seconds of sunlight to cure a dollop on the back of a Copper John for example according to the folks at Feather-Craft
Feather-Craft Fly Fishing :: Knot and Line Glues

Not sure how sunlight would work on larger flies with heavier coats like saltwater flies etc.

For Knot Sense, there's both a mini for around $15 and a mag light for $35 sold specifically for it. Although you could probably get a UV light on Amazon for $10 with more LEDs that runs on inexpensive easy to find batteries, one additional thought is the safety of the light, with flashlights designed to run at very low power being the safer than those that run on high power. In addition to power, the wavelength of UV light is also said to cause skin damage and cataracts, so some "vetting" of flashlights was hopefully done before recommending specific flashlights for their product..... (but that's a question for Loon).
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

I just bit the bullet on basically a loon starter kit, I got the UV paints and clear along with the light for about $75. This was one of the reasons I bought a rotary vise and I just never got around to learning how to do it, now I am seeing a lot of tiers with some spectacular results with this stuff and I really want to go forward, Thanks again for the insight and I'll post a pic of my first UV fly as it gets cast into the trash bin.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

Good luck with it-- looking forward to seeing your flies.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

There are certain things (flyrods, reels, line) that I will spend beaucoup bucks on, but led uv (blacklight) flashlights are not. Under 8 bucks. Just don't look into the lights if you're worried and keep the light away from your skin. UV lights don't take but a few seconds to activate Knot Sense. And these lights aren't that strong.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

I bought THIS $5 UV LIGHT to chase down some puppy spots on my carpet.

I had some Loon UV wader repair glue that I carry in my kit and found that the light works fine on it.

BTW, the Loon UV wader repair glue is flexible and great for covering line knots or the end of your line if you had to cut it.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: UV knot sense or Epoxy bodies

I think the UV Knot Sense is ideal for small spots like the shellback on Copper Johns, but its kinda pricey to use for something like the body of a Crease Fly.

I've taken to using Fabric Fusion in place of epoxy for most needs. Its a non-toxic liquid polyurethane that can be found at craft stores. Feather-Craft and some others are selling the same stuff for twice the price/oz marketed as "Fly Fusion. Fabric Fusion (epoxy substitute)
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