Published Mar 29. 2010 - 14 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 8. 2020

New age epoxy

Epoxy isn't what it used to be.

Like many fly tyers I shun flies that call for epoxy. I love the flies, but I would prefer not to go through the process of mixing the two components, applying and waiting for it to cure.
No matter how you do it or which type of epoxy you use, there's a lot of waste, trouble controlling the shape of the fly and the demand for an epoxy rotor if you use the slow curing kind. And there is the potential health hazard, mainly allergic reactions to the hardener.
I personally only tie epoxy flies when I really have to. I haven't found any substitutes until now although I have tried a lot of different substances.

But the last couple of years have seen some new materials, which seem very convincing. They are all based on the principle of hardening with light - some with invisible UV-light, and some with visible blue-specter light.
The idea is that you have a single substance, which you apply to the fly like you would the epoxy. But you don't have to wait for it to cure. By exposing it to a special light for a few seconds, the resin sets and becomes clear and stiff or flexible, depending on the type you have chosen.

The process seems easy and very controllable, and the result quite convincing. I am definitely going to try to get my hands on some of these materials and try them.

I have my eyes on a couple of brands, and will try to get a hold of them.

Clear Cure Goo is an interesting product, which seems very reasonably priced and comes in several different types. You can buy a kit with the necessary lamp and a couple of syringes of goo for 50 USD. Each syringe with glue enough for at least 30 large saltwater flies such as 2/0 Surf Candies is only 11-12 USD.

Tuffleye was one of the first brands of this type of material available and has a very good reputation. Marketed by Wet A Hook, a company founded in San Antonio, Texas by a dentist and an attorney. The dentist angle is interesting because the light curing technology has been used in dental work for many years.
Tuffleye's materials are also about 10 USD per 10cc syringe, and you can get a starters kit for 80 USD, which includes an AC powered curing light.
GFF contributor Pete Gray is an avid Tuffleye fan, and he has endorsed the product several times, both in our forums and on Tuffleye's web site.


Hey, I call them as ...

Hey, I call them as I see them.

It's a boneheaded move to write about a material and then leave out the name.

I'm not your mommy, following you around, wiping your behind, cleaning your messes. Besides, if I had written you, then only I would have gotten the name of the material and not everyone on GFF.

Speaking of that, you STILL haven't posted it. yet.

David Ball's picture

John, I think maybe ...

John, I think maybe you have got a couple of posts mixed up. I was responding to this post that was aimed at me because I had not thought to include the name of the product that I was using. This was the post I was responding to:

From: Nycflyangler
Submitted September 11th 2010
@David Ball

"Why did you bother to post this WITHOUT telling us the name of the product? Duh!"

I thought this was rude and said so in my own post. As I've said before, I am happy to help anyone, all they have to do is ask.

As for Bug Bond, I have been aware of this product since it came on the market and have had many discussions about it with David Edwards, who developed and markets it.

I hope this clears things up.

For anyone interested, the UV gel that I use is a product called "Tina". It is used extensively in the nail art industry. I buy it on Ebay from China, it comes in two versions, a top coat, which cures without leaving a sticky residue and a base coat to build up bigger heads/bodies etc, this leaves a sticky residue when cured for the top coat to adhere too. It cures completely clear and does not yellow over time as with epoxy. The whole set up UV light, top coat and base coat cost me round about £20.00, which is a lot cheaper than most of the other products, although now, a Bug Bond starter kit can be acquired for £25.00.

Cheers Dave

arkle's picture

Perhaps if David had...

Perhaps if David hadn't of shouted the word "WITHOUT" & used the word "Duh!" he might not have had my repost in such a way, he could have emailed me f.f.i. after all my email address is on-screen.


Martin Joergensen's picture

@everybody, I pub...


I published Nycflyangler's post kinda expecting an outburst like this. I was close to starting it myself with the very words that David wrote: ask kindly and things will go a lot smoother.
So educated from this incident: let's keep the tone nice and friendly, ok folks?



arkle's picture

David, if I assume y...

David, if I assume your comment was aimed at my post, why haven't you googled it ? THERE IS A PRODUCT CALLED BUG-BOND & it's available through It has a page on facebook, Bug-Bond, the art of engineering flies & there is a thread on the U.S. in the realistic's section called "Bug-Bond for realistic tying



David Ball's picture

@ Nycflyangler Ho...

@ Nycflyangler

How rude!! All you had to do was ask POLITELY, I am always pleased to help!

@David Ball Why d...

@David Ball

Why did you bother to post this WITHOUT telling us the name of the product? Duh!

arkle's picture

There's now another ...

There's now another one called "Bug-Bond" I haven't tried it yet but from various reports it seems very good.


You can use a produc...

You can use a product called floo glue instead of epoxy for all your flies ie heads and bodies of buzzers, dries really fast and hard, also a superb finnish, try two coats or more, fantastic. All my flies are finnished with floo glue much better i think than varnish

Martin Joergensen's picture

David, Excellent ...


Excellent tip! I was looking at supplies for the dental clinics, which use the same technology for fillings and tooth repairs. But they were nowhere near being cheap! On the opposite. Not surprising when you consider the demands on health care materials.
The nail business is a lot less demanding!


David Ball's picture

Having liked the loo...

Having liked the look that Tuffleye gives to flies, I set about trying to find a cheaper product that gave me the same effect, as being unemployed for the first time in my life I couldn't warrant the outlay for the more well known products. I stumbled upon the UV Gel used in the nail art industry. I bought the UV light, the base coat and top finish coat for a fraction of what you would pay for Tuffleye etc. It gives just as good a finish and cures in seconds.
Cheers Dave


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