UV Epoxy needs some sun

  UV epoxy has greatly improved the world of fly tying in multiple ways.  From building heads on streamers to adding a protective layer over exposed thread wraps, most can agree that UV epoxy has a special place on their fly tying table.  

 After putting on a layer of uv epoxy, be sure to set it out in direct sunlight for at least an hour.

After putting on a layer of uv epoxy, be sure to set it out in direct sunlight for at least an hour.

  While it is a mainstay on my table, there are a couple major setbacks.  The first being the price. Not only is the epoxy expensive, but so is the uv light.  I won't say what brand I use because I believe there is not one perfect product. Ive tried out three or four of the top uv epoxy brands and all have similar results, both good and bad.  Besides the price, the other major setback is tackiness.  

  If your fly is tacky, that means the epoxy is not fully cured and therefore will break off/ chip away easier than a fully cured fly.  I've read on many other blogs that leaving the fly out in the sun won't help take away the tackiness. I've had the complete opposite results.  In the summer time I leave my flies out in direct sunlight for at least an hour, double that for winter, turning it every so often, making sure to expose the fly on all sides towards the sunlight in order to get a full cure on the fly.  

 Some Vlahos' Marbled Sand Fleas tanning to get a full cure.

Some Vlahos' Marbled Sand Fleas tanning to get a full cure.

  Back to the price, specifically the flashlight.  The prices of the lights on a few of the well known brands are absurd.  The flashlight is great for one step in my opinion, setting the epoxy.  Once I have it set or "flash cured," I put it out in direct sunlight to finish the fly.  Here is a link to a light you can get at your local wal-mart that works just as well for only $10. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rayovac-VBUV-B-Rayovac-Value-Bright-9-LED-UV-Flashlight/22086108

 Cheap uv light that works just as well as the more expensive uv lights.  I use it to set the epoxy, then put the fly out in the sun to completely cure the fly.

Cheap uv light that works just as well as the more expensive uv lights.  I use it to set the epoxy, then put the fly out in the sun to completely cure the fly.