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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tacky UV Resins... The End of the World?

Simple solutions for tacky resin

Alpha Predator with a resin head

Over the past few years it seems like everyone has adopted the new UV resins as a substitute to normal Squeeze n' Mix 2 part epoxies.  Yes...  Bliss is defined as a resin that can be cured instantly to achieve ultimate and instant gratification.  All of the sudden we are putting epoxy backs on our Copper Johns and hard heads on our baitfish patterns instantly! Ah yes, these are the good ol' days of fly tying where so many good things like UV resin are readily available to us.  This being said, there has been a lot of discussion and debate about what is the "best" resin to use.  To be honest - I like them all, but I'm a bit partial to Loon due to the fact that they are a stand up company that is all ears when their customers give them input, and they try to do what's best for the environment.

Like any good thing, there is a caveat to having this miracle resin, and it's a HUGE downer called hate tackiness so much that I want to punch it in it's fat tacky mouth, but the solutions are so simple that we shouldn't get so worked up about it.
Low Fat Minnow
tackiness.  Yes - the fact that 90% of the resins out there cure with a noticeable tack on the surface that just so happens to be a marabou and dubbing MAGNET.  Here is a question to ask yourself... and repeat after me, "Is tack really all that bad?"  After asking yourself that, I invite you to take a step back and look at the Divas that we have become.  Tackiness is a prime example of a #firstworldproblem.  This being said, I absolutely

When I first started getting tack, I was using Loon wader repair back in the day with the single LED light that took like 150 hearing aid batteries.  I thought that the tack was because of the light at first, so I started using the sun to cure it.  Guess what.  The big ol' sun is still no match for tack.  A good light is definitely a good thing to have because it will cure your resin faster, but tack is not the result of using a bad light - it's a chemistry thing.  I've been told and actually scolded many a time about it.

I heretofore provide you some solutions to stop tack in it tracks, thus, allowing us to be divas like we deserve to be.

Tack elimination solutions:

Buzzer with UV Resin
Solution 1 - Use a tack free UV resin as a top coat.  Some of the most popular tack free resins are Loon Flow and CCG Hydro.  These are very thin resins that can easily be applied to another resin coat to create a tack free barrier to the world.  Other tack free resins are out there, but Flow and Hydro are the two I'm most familiar with and are readily available.  This is what I use 95.773% of the time.

Solution 2 - Tag your tacky surface with a head cement.  The best one I have found is Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails.  I have also used Hard as Hull with great results, and the only downside to this method is that you don't get instant gratification... Go cry me a river...  Once you stop sobbing the SHHAN is dry.

Solution 3 - Rubbing alcohol / hand sanitizer.  Dab a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab or a q-tip and apply to your tack to watch it magically disappear.  Hand sanitizer has the same effect (if it's alcohol based - which most are) but I usually don't put it on a cotton swab or q-tip.  The only issue with this is that the hand sanitizer will leave kind of a matte finish to the surface.  I really like a shiny surface so I don't use this one very much.

Solution 4 - (this is for coating larger surfaces) Use Loon hard head, or a 2 part 30 minute epoxy as a top coat.  This requires a fly turning wheel due to the size of the surface area covered.  This is a very cost effective method, and the 30 minute epoxy is the ticket to a bullet proof fly that won't break.  You could just use 100% epoxy, but it's much easier to form the general shape of the head with UV resin because you can zap it in place instantly.

Solution 5 - Travel to the planet krypton to the resin springs of non-tack-nia and scoop up the resin in a hollow mammoth tusk.  This is the place where all non tacky resin is naturally spewed forth, and very little makes it back to earth.  This is why dentists can charge you so much for it.  The only other people that will offer to sell you the resins of non-tack-nia are the Kenyans...  so... pretty sketchy.  You best stick to solutions 1 through 4.

All in all... Tack is really not that big of a deal, and there are several solutions for eliminating it.  Would it be good if all resins were not tack free?  Absolutely!  Until then, we can hate tack, but we just can't be divas about it.

~ Cheech


  1. Or you could just use Deer Creek resins! Seriously, they are the resin to use. I don't understand why we still fight with trying to overcome tackiness. I did for a while and then tried the Diamond Fine Resin and it was like going from neoprene to Gore-Tex. Why pay all the money for a resin and still have to treat it to be non-tacky? I understand that people want a cheaper option, but sometimes you just have to pay for quality. Suck it up people. Get over it and try something that works the way it should. Tacky resins are like dial-up and Diamond Fine/hard is like high speed internet. Put on your big boy boxers and drop some dough on the goods. You will be impressed and I think you will never look back. Casters Fly Shop and Feather Craft both carry Deer Creek Resins and can be ordered online.

    1. For no tack, Flow is all go. $12 per bottle.

  2. I contacted the 4 major players in light-cured resin (LCR) industry about 1.5-2yrs ago & 3 of them agreed to answer questionaire about product & I did do some interviews for a blog post. I also reviewed a few of the lights. I was impressed with folks at Bug Bond, Loon, and Tuffleye not just because of the product offered but also because their communication was very good including education & product support. From my internet searches I also found these 3 manufacturers had better customer reviews, esp when it came to communication. Those are the businesses I support! I do have a favorite, but I think it is more of a personal like than one product being decidedly better than the other. Yep, all 3 have a differing amount of tacky surface. I use Sally H consistently to eliminate the tack and keep the head clear and shiny. If the head gets a matte finish d/t my not removing the tack or if I used something other than Sally, I've been told the matte surface still appears clear in water(say, if you have LCR over fish eyes). I agree with this. I haven't asked about this, but I am guessing that if there was a chance you would want to add more LCR after eliminating the tack, one would have better luck with adherence if you used the LCR company's product to eliminate tackiness than use of Sally Hansen. No sure, though! AND, the resins of non-tack-nia are the best but on my last trip, there had been enacted a rather pricey 'tusk fee' (like a rod fee to fish on someone's property) to scoop the wonder resin at the spring. Twitch

  3. Feelin the flow .... doing the bull dance. If ya know, ya know.

  4. I went back and forth between all of the big guys...Loon, Deer Creek, CCG, etc

    That is pretty much the way they rank....

  5. Have used them all over the last 6 years. Deer Creek is the best. Totally tack free in seconds.

  6. Deer Creek Diamond hard and Diamond Fine, the only resin that is tack free. Been using it for the last 5 years.

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