Published Sep 8. 2003 - 17 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 8. 2020

Cements and polishes and glues, oh my!

Why do I need all this junk?

I did a bit of desk organizing this weekend and realized I have *way* too many bottles of what can be lumped into the category of "head cement". Some of this stuff was old - as in "it came with my starter tying kit" old.

I mean - puhleeze! Does a guy really need three bottles of clear nail polish? Will I ever use that bottle of Hard as Hull? How about that sample of some Italian sportscar lacquer? Why am I keeping that bottle of sludge formerly known as Dave's Flexament? It's been beyond thinning for ages - not to mention I have a brand new bottle right next to it.

Sigh. It was clearly time to purge.

I cleaned out most of the junk. What's left?

One bottle of Pharmacist's Formula. It says on the label that it is a non-evaporative formula. That seems to be true, as it hasn't thickened in the bottle much at all over the years, but how does it try on a fly's head if it doesn't evaporate?!?

One bottle of Sally Hansen's "Mega Shine" clear nail polish. A bit pricey - but it is shiney. I wish it would built up a smooth head a bit faster, however. The ease of use is the only reason I keep it around. When I'm tying streamers for the fly box, a simple swipe or two from the brush and I'm done.

One bottle of Angler's Corner's "wet" cement. One coat yields a beautifully smooth and glossy head, but it tends to fog over time and seems to separate from heads made with waxed threads. Too bad, 'cause it's easy to use and makes a really pretty fly.

One bottle of black Cellire. A classic that I still try from time to time. Dries slow as molasses, however, so not good for flies you want to send in the mail. The heads can get flat spots if not allowed to fully cure.

A bottle of Flexament. I don't use it as a head cement any longer, but I do keep a bottle on hand for "construction" steps, or for coating feathers or whatever. Good stuff to have around.

Generic silver nail polish - for heads on flies such as a Herb Johnson Special. Don't need it often, but when I do, I do.

That's it. That's more than enough for anyone.


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