Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Bend Back Eel size 1. great little baitfish imitation

Although this pattern is primarily for saltwater fishing I think it would make an excellent Pike fly.The hook rides point up so will help prevent snags when fishing close to the bottom. I tied this on a size 1 stainless hook but larger sizes would be great for the Pike.

Size 1 stainless mustad hook (bent in vice)
Pink barred rubber legs
rainbow flash
peacock hearl
Diamond Hard UV resin

Tight lines.....Rich

Friday, 27 January 2012

Bug Bond v Diamond Hard test results

There have been a few inaccurate reports recently on the subject of UV resins, especially Deer Creek Diamond Hard and Bug Bond. These where made by people who didnt even have a bottle of each to compare so how they can comment on it is beyond me............Shame on you!

I do have both resins to hand so decided to write my own review on the pro's and con's of each. First let me apologise for the state of the Bug Bond bottle. It tipped over in my drawer and leaked slightly smudging the label so apologies to Mr Edwards of BB if he reads this review.

The torch I used to cure the BB is the 1watt UV torch that Deer Creek sell as I dont have a pro BB torch. As far as I am aware the DC torch is equally or more powerful than the BB torch and the wavelengths are the same so this should not affect results.

All resins where cured using the manufacturers stated times and a bit of common sense....:o)

Test 1 involved applying both resins to a brown envelope and curing for the stated times. I then dropped marabou onto each square of resin from a height of approx 6". After a couple of seconds I tapped the envelope on my worktop to shake off any loose fibres.

As you can see BB is clearly not tack free as quite a lot of marabou stuck to the resin. DH passed this test well with only a single strand clinging to it.

I found this test odd as BB used to be totally tack free so all I can assume is the resin has changed since its first introduction.
Diamond hard is the clear winner here.

Test 2 involved applying a strip of resin approx 25mm long and approx 1.5mm deep to a piece of wood and curing. This served 2 purposes,the first was to test adhesion properties and the second was to test curing ability on an average thickness of resin. They where both cured for 10s using the 1watt UV torch.

Both resins had excellent adhesion properties to the wood but as can be seen from the picture BB left a slight residue underneath the cured surface. Although this did not affect the adhesion properties to the wood I am certain it would affect its ability to stick to a hook shank or other smooth surface. This could be helped by longer curing times for the BB but I am trying to keep things as even as possible.
Diamond hard is the winner here but only by a small margin.

Test 3 involved removing the strips of cured resin from the wood and testing its flexibility by bending it between my fingers. As you can see both resins performed well here although the DH would have broke if I had bent it anymore. BB on the other hand is more flexible and feels rubbery compared to DH.
Bug Bond is the winner in this test.

Test 4 is probably a little extreme and doesnt really apply to the world of fly tying/fishing but I am putting it in to show I am trying to be as impartial as possible.
I took the 2 strips of cured resin, put them on a strip of wood and hit them with a hammer! I used roughly the same amount of force used to drive a nail into wood. This is a lot more force than you would encounter whilst casting or playing a fish so I will leave it up to you to decide if it is relevent or not.
BB is the clear winner here as its flexibility absorbed the hammer blow where the harder properties of DH caused it to shatter but I still question the relevence of the test.........

For test 5 I simply applied the resin to a bare hook shank to test its clarity and adhesion properties.
Its hard to see from the pics but DH is definately slightly clearer when cured. I am not talking a massive amount here but still it is clearer than BB. Adhesion properties where pretty much equal as I applied a bit of common sense and cured the BB for a few seconds longer which seemed to do the trick. I broke the resin off the hooks and BB still had a slight residue under the cured surface. This did not seem to affect adhesion to the hook so its probably not worth worrying about.
Diamond Hard is the winner here but again only by a small margin.

For test 6 I tied 2 identical flies (as close as I could get them) and coated the finished head in the resin to test for ease of use and the resin's ability to transfer UV light through it. The thread I used was a danvilles flymaster plus neon green which  glows brightly under a UV light source.

I found BB to be a little tricky to apply in places as it did not seem to flow requiring constant input from the bottle tip to get it fairly smooth. DH is totally different, it is still a viscous resin so can be applied thick but it flows nicely requiring only a gentle turn of the vice to give it a smooth finish.
Obviously both BB and DH has its uses here. I can see BB being used for an application that requires the resin to stay put and not run where DH would be used for creating a smooth coating over a surface or head etc..

The results for the UV light test are as different as chalk and cheese. BB does not allow the UV reactive thread to glow, clearly stopping any benefit from having a UV thread. DH on the otker hand glows nicely letting the UV properties of the thread really light up which is great when fishing as the thread creates a little "hot spot" on the fly.

I think its safe to say its a draw on ease of use as each one has its uses...
DH is the clear winner on the UV light test as its the only resin to let the UV properties of the material under it flouresse


Taking everything into account including cost, curing time, etc.. I personally think DH is the winner here. BB is around £50.00 for its pro kit (20ml) DH is around £30.00 for its pro laser kit (15ml).
Both resins perform well and each has its own strenghts and weaknesses but for me DH is the only one that is totally tack free and for me that is important. Someone wishing to brush the resin through fur or feathers might find BB easier to use as its more flexible but for general fly tying needs I think DH is the better of the 2.

If anyone has any questions or wants me to run a different test please leave a comment.

Tight lines.......Rich

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Bubble Float fly fishing for Pike on waters that ban fly fishing....

In quite a few of my local Pike waters fly fishing fishing is either banned or just impractical. This is because some of the waters are in country parks where the public could be walking past or maybe a canal tow patch where there simply isnt enough room to swing a fly. I suppose I could use the bow and arrow method (or whatever its called) to flick the fly into position but its far too unpredictable for my liking.

Nowhere in the rule books did it say an actual fly cant be used just the fly rod and line! I dont spin for Pike anymore so a while ago I decided give the Danish method (please correct me if I am wrong) of bubble float fly fishing a go.
 This method is not a new one by any means but it is often overlooked or simply discarded as it is not "true fly fishing". I always thought the art of fly fishing was to decieve a fish into taking your fly not how that fly is presented to the fish............If I am honest I could not care less how the fly gets to the fish as long as its a safe method that does not harm the fish or fisherman/public and of course is within the rules.

My local stretch of the Erewash has areas that are far too narrow or have too much foliage behind to make a good cast and the fact that it is a public tow path prevents me from standing above or below the swim to cast as I could seriously hurt someone. The bubble float method is the perfect soloution for these areas and it caught me several Pike during the late summer/early Autumn period last year. The Pike where not large at all, the biggest went approx 5lb but that is more to do with the water than the method.  I did get quite a few strikes at the bubble float from time to time so it maybe worth trying something different with the float this year.

Give it a go this year if you have a spinning rod lying around, it really is good fun...:o)

If anyone wants a detailed description of the rig I use just give me a shout

All the best.......Rich

Monday, 16 January 2012

Pike Flyz

A couple of simple Pike flies in size 4/0 and 2/0.

The larger fly has hollow tied bucktail at the head to give it a larger profile.
The smaller pattern is a great attractor and can be tied in whatever colour combination works for you. This particular colour combo has worked for me on my local waters although I would probably substitute the peacock herl for something for durable.

Monday, 9 January 2012

selection of slatwater and pike flies.

Heres a few flies I tied for both Pike and Saltwater fishing.

The Pike flies are my favourite "hybrid" pattern I developed and are very successful although not as hard wearing as a synthetic fly.  I still like using natural materials for Pike as you cant beat the movement you get from them, plus they are nicer to tie...:o)

Also a few salties for a friend of mine who lives in the south of England. He chucks these at just about everything that swims the coastal waters where he lives.

Tight lines.....Rich

Monday, 2 January 2012

glass minnow/surf candies

Here are a couple of glass minnow/surf candy type flies. I applied a couple of nice thick layers to each fly and the laser cured it no problem in 5 seconds flat!! Now I know they aern't the most perfect looking flies but the idea was to show how thickly this can be applied and how clear it cures...

The fly below has 8mm eyes attached with the resin and I also filled in the void between the eyes with 1 application!

More flyz using the new laser resin pro kit.

Although I have been testing the new laser kit from Deer Creek for a while I am still blown away every time I use it!
It is so quick and easy to use and gives you the best finish you can get from a UV cured resin. Imagine running your finger over a freshly polished smooth surface and you get a rough idea how this feels.....:o)

The consistency is just right, thick enough to build up a nice head/body yet it still flows nicely when you want a delicate head on a small trout fly.

Here are a few more pics of flies I have tied using the pro kit from Deer Creek.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

NEW Laser cured resin. World first for fly tying!!!

I am proud to have been a key developer for Deer Creeks new range of Laser cured Resin and now I can finally reveal how good this resin is.

The main advantages of the laser cured resin is cure time and the depth of resin the laser can penetrate. This means you can really pile this resin on which is great when making flies like surf candies etc. and still have the piece of mind it will cure quickly and tack free!!

Unlike other top resins (which shall remain nameless) this new product dries hard and totally tack free in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds (depending on depth of resin).

The laser itself has been designed with a specific wavelength for curing resins of this type and is very economical to run as it takes standard aaa batteries.

The kits will retail at £29.99 making them the best value for money pro kit around.

For more details visit deer creeks website or contact me directly as these kits will sell out very quickly.

The head on this fly had one thick application of laser cured diamond hard resin and still cured in 3 seconds!!