Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish review

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I’ve been using Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish for several months now and feel it is time I can write my thoughts about the product. UV Clear Fly Finish comes in two flavors, thin and thick, and there are uses for both.

UV Clear Fly Finish is a UV cured glue. This means you can apply it, and it will not solidify until you cure it with a UV light or place it in direct sunlight. Loon has the product available in a UV Tying Kit that includes, the Thin, Thick, and UV Power Light, or you can buy each one separately.

As you can see below by this deceiver style fly I tied, you can build nice clear heads with this stuff.  I used the Thick to begin forming the shape and cured it in stages, applying the Fly Finish over itself after curing each stage. On the final coat, I used Thin to help with tackiness.  In my experience with any of the UV resins, the thicker you apply it, the more time it takes to cure it. I’ve been using Loon’s UV Power Light and it does a good job, but I feel these types of lights could be stronger. The UV Power Light is much better than the light I was using before. Basically, the stronger the light, the quicker and better experience you will have with curing any UV resin on the market.

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One of the first questions everyone asks is about the tackiness of the glue after curing. Using the Thin, is the best way to achieve less tack. It is difficult to avoid tackiness if you only use the Thick. But, again in my experience, this is true with other resins as well. I have been able to achieve a tack free touch with the Thin. Always make sure your light has strong batteries. So with thicker heads, like the one on my deceiver, I always apply a final coat of Thin as I mentioned before.

I haven’t noticed any yellowing or fading of the product after the fly has sat for an extended period or fished.

I’ve recently tried UV Clear Fly Finish on my knots in my leaders to help secure them. I just checked and the resin is still covering the knots and is hardened well. I just had that same leader in the water yesterday. Loon produces a product for this purpose called UV Knot Sense, but the Fly Finish seems to have the same effect. It may be the same formula, but I don’t know that to be a fact.

Finally, I feel Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish is a good UV resin. I think it does a great job of doing what it’s advertised to do. Loon always strides to manufacture products that are non-toxic to help preserve our environment which always makes me feel good. I do think we could benefit by having much stronger UV lights in this area. Maybe that will be the next step. However, I’m confident in using Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish for my UV resin fly tying purposes.

To learn more and view other Loon Outdoors products, visit their website.

20 Comments

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20 Responses to Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish review

  1. I have used a number of UV cured finishes over the past 2 or 3 years and all have some problems, tackiness being the main one. I now use Loon UV Knot Sense exclusively with little or no problems. I also leave new flies out in the sunlight for an hour or two for added ‘insurance’. In fact when I can I do a short torch partial cure, then put the flies out in the sun, even days later depending on the weather – tackiness gone.

    • Paul Beel

      Good idea Tony, I’ve heard of others doing this same thing.
      I agree.

      Thanks for commenting!
      -Paul

  2. Thanks for the review! I have been using Knot Sense for about a year now, and I was wondering how it compared to this stuff.

    I use a UV light I found on Ebay for about $5. It has 16 UV LED lights, and seems to cure my Knot Sense pretty quickly.

  3. Kim

    I use Loon UV clear fly finish thick and it is difficult to get a tack free result. Right now i’m experimenting with leaving a fly in the window to see if it gets tack free.
    I just ordered the thin version. Hope i get a tack free result. It’s not a complete dealbreaker if it needs to be put in sunlight to cure tack free, but i would prefer the torch being enough.

    • Paul Beel

      Kim,

      It is difficult. I have had the same problem with many of the resins that are available. The sun usually does the trick, but I’m still wondering if we need a better light to help with the curing or maybe the resins need to improve their formula a bit. I have been able to get tack free, but not all of the time. The UV Clear Fly Finish in Thick is very difficult as you can see by my review, you will have a better chance by using the Thin. But it is still difficult to achieve.

      Thanks,
      Paul

      • Kim

        I’m sure it’s the light. Some use the Knot sense (different product) and get a tack free result leaving it in the window for a day, so it so it should be possible with Loon products.
        I did not had that luck today. After being in the window in sunlight for a few hours, it’s still tacky. A little improvement, but that’s it. The few hours 3 maby, seems to not be enough, but it was with closed window and UV gets about 90% blocked through glass, so maby i should just open the window and see what happens. Abit cold in this time of year 🙂

        I really really don’t like the idea of having to coat the flies with varnish. I don’t like that it’s toxic fumes and nail varnish stinks so awful i’m sure the fish is going to reject my flies 🙂

        • Paul Beel

          Some swear by Sally Hansen, but I’ve never tried it myself.
          You could try some other brands of resin to see if you might like those better.

          -Paul

    • robert

      DEER CREEK makes a product and it is truly tack free.

  4. Have you considered hot melt glue…a tack free finish. See more at my website http://www.hmgflysystems.com

  5. Darrell Philbrook

    Hi Sir: I’m an old flytier from way back when, and I started using the UV resins 3 or 4 years ago, and finally purchased some LOON thin and used it and at first it seemed like it would be a supper product and it maybe anyways. The problem I noticed is that after it has cured a few minutes it starts to leave air bubbles or not adhering to the thread that is used for the head. I use only Danvill or UNI. So maybe you have noticed this and found a remedy for it, would you please inform me to what it might be. Thank You Darrell Philbrook/Aroostookflytier

    • Paul Beel

      Hi Darrell,

      I would recommend using a bodkin and adding small amounts of UV resin at a time and try to smoothly and slowly apply to avoid creating air bubbles.
      I hope this helps.

      -Paul

  6. Darrell Philbrook

    I used the very small tube needletip and apply it in very small sections and then spread it with the same tip. In my estimation that should be about the same as using a bodkin…. thanks for getting back to me. Oh by the way I have been tying and dressing classic salmon flies for over 65 years. So it the using of very new products that might mess me up.

    • Paul Beel

      Darrell,

      I posed this question to Loon Outdoors today and this is their response. I hope it helps. This response is from Matt Callies at Loon.

      “My self and many of our team have found that waxed threads can act like a parchment paper of sorts to many UV resins. We have found that in conjunction with Paul’s recommendation is to let it soak in. In our case we are using Flow or Fluorescing which is in a Flow viscosity. Out side of that the other question that I have about this scenario is the light source. To me I think that it may be weak battery as well. Led lights are killer because of the output and ability to outlast a filament bulb in terms of battery life. The down side is that the light will continue to emit light even when the batteries are next to dead thus causing a incomplete cure. I field a lot of our UV technical questions and more often than not its a cheap light that is the incorrect wave length for the catalyst of the resin or the battery. I hope that help out some? “

  7. Darrell Philbrook

    Thanks for the reply, in the same day!!! wonderful,,, well it just happens that I am a impatient old fuddyduddy when it comes to something that I should know and am not upon it. I think it is like you mentioned, the quality of the light wasn’t powerful enough. I had a new light come since I asked about this this morning with a wave lingth of 405 nm and 200mw power which is a lot more powerful that my old light. Again thanks for the followup and tight/lines.

  8. Jimmy Franco

    How much does it cost and where can I order the UV clear fly finish?

  9. Ted

    Can the UV Clear thick version be thinned? If so what should be used?

    • Paul Beel

      From Loon Outdoors –
      If you add flow to thick it will thin out and not mess up the cure. If you try anything else then it will not work.”

      -Paul