Loon UV Resins and Lights
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UV resins have become a standard material on our fly tying bench. They are incredibly versatile, reliable, and fun. It's never been easier to build durable and realistic flies. Wingcases, bodies, eye coverings, scudback, head cement, etc etc. You can find a use for it on virtually any fly pattern. Even something as small as a stray feather that's not sitting quite right. Apply a little bead of resin to the stem, hold it in position, hit it with the light, DONE. Plus they don't harden until you expose them to UV light, so you have plenty of work time before curing. And they don't dry up and solidify like many epoxies and glues sometimes do over time. It's a great way to step up your game.
Although this is not necessarily "new," we still see a lot of people wondering about this stuff. Lots of people in the shop want to try them, but don't want to spend the money, or are confused by all the different types. Loon has made it very easy, with 3 main "consistencies" to choose from; Flow, Thin, and Thick.
Loon Flow ($16.95)
Flow is the thinnest of the lineup, with a "watery" consistency. It's a good coating over adhesive eyes to prevent water from getting under the edge. It's also great for treating feathers to hold their shape when wet, similar to Softex. We've also used it to solidify dubbing bodies so they won't unravel after a fish or two. Wire ribbing is often used to add durability to a dubbed body, but with this stuff, you can inject this resin into the dubbing, cure it, and it will create a rigid body that won't fray. The Flow also cures "tack free," meaning it hardens without any sticky/oily residue afterward. Most importantly, this consistency is a great substitute for good old head cement. As stated before, this stuff will never dry out in the bottle, which means you can feasibly use every last drop. Comes with 2 applicator nozzles, and a brush applicator.
Loon Thin ($16.95)
This stuff is in the middle of the spectrum, with a consistency similar to syrup. You can apply a drop of it to a nymph, and it will hold its shape briefly, before dripping down into the body. This is the most universal in the lineup, and can be used for pretty much anything. It's really good for making basic heads, capping eyes on streamers so they don't get peeled off while stripping, and perfect for hardening a wedge-head spun deer hair streamer. That famous "bubble-back" wingcase on a Copper John? This is the stuff you need.
For larger nymphs we often use for steelhead, it's an easy way to add durability and realism. Hexes, stoneflies, wigglers, shrimp, etc. Since it dries clear, it also adds an illumination element to the bug. Light hits the resin and kind of "illuminates" it, acting almost as a translucent beadhead. We've even used it to stiffen wings on hexes to retain their shape when wet. The uses are endless!
Loon Thick ($16.95)
Thick is obviously the thickest of the bunch, similar to molasses. Most people use this for creating hard, durable streamer heads (like a fish mask). It can also be used to create wingcases on nymphs, stiffening hair wings, or creating hard bodied terrestrials, like ants or beetles. Want to add profile to a spey fly? Apply to the underside of marabou, craft fur, or flashabou to "prop" them up to give the fly a bigger profile. Can also be used to create hard heads on saltwater flies like Surf Candy or Albacore flies. Great stuff.
In order to harden these resins, you'll need a UV light. Loon has several to choose from. They all work on these resins.
Loon UV Infiniti Light ($59.95)
By far the best light we've used for UV resins. It's extremely powerful, which translates to faster curing time. Plus you can recharge it via a USB cable, so you never run out of batteries. The LED on/off switch will change from green to red when a charge is needed. This thing is the real deal.
Loon UV Bench Light ($39.95)
A more compact version of the Infiniti, the Bench Light is a basic torch that can cure all these resins within about 15 seconds. One cool feature is a zoom knob that allows you to focus or broaden the light depending on the situation. It's powered by 1 AA battery (included) and lasts quite a while. This is our top selling torch. Basic, reliable, affordable.
Loon Nano Light ($19.95)
This little fella can do everything the others can, it just takes a bit longer. It's obviously not as powerful, or as big, but can still cure all resins no problem. Lot's of people like this for on-stream wader repair, since it can be used with Loon UV Wader Repair and Loon Knot Sense. It's an easy choice for people wanting to start using UV, but don't want to break the bank on a light. It's powered by 1 AAA battery (included).
If you're still reading this, you should really consider diving in and giving this a try. It's fun to use, and the applications are limitless. Here's an easy route to take:
Loon UV Fly Tying Kit ($79.95)
The UV Kit has everything you need to get started. Comes with a bottle of Flow, Thin, and Thick, an assortment of applicator tips, brush applicators, and the Bench Light. You couldn't ask for a more simplified way to get into the game.
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