Solarez – Product Review & Application Guide
As promised, Part 3 of our review will focus on to the Solarez UV resins specifically packaged for fly tyers, a product line so extensive and effective that I believe it deserves special treatment.
Tips for handling UV Resins.
1. I learned to use Clear Cure Goo as my first UV resin. The product was OK. It was faster and more convenient than the five-minute epoxy and the flies tied with it were durable and caught fish. But the new evolution products are by far superior. Seriously superior. The old resins got sticky so you had to coat them with thin head cement. The old resins would yellow and crack over time. These new resins are smooth, never sticky, never crack, and stay clear as glass after weeks of sun exposure
2. Solarez is a resin produced by surf board specialists. These professionals take their sport seriously, and the demands placed on their resins are extreme when compared to our expectations as fly tyers. I say this not because I am an expert in these matters, but as information that I take note of when testing and evaluating the potions that I use on my flies.
3. Anyone who ties with these resins, except for the bone-dry, will tell you that it takes time and repetition to get the hang of it.
4. The bone-dry is so much like a thin head cement that it is very easy to get accustomed to.
5. When an experienced tyer says these are easy to use, that is true, but only because they have time under their belt practicing. Do not get discouraged.
6. These liquids are vulnerable to any sunlight, so do not try applying to your flies outdoors unless you are a fast applicator and have practices before you go at it with a large number of flies.
7. You can cure your fly heads by laying flies outside, or putting them on a rotating wheel. This is best used if you use your UV torch (flashlight) first, to get the surface of the resin set enough to hold shape for the time it takes to get them outside.
8. These resins get more viscous on cold days than warm. When I tie flies in my garage in winter, I wear a coat and put my Solarez bottle in a narrow glass of warm water. The warmth allows the resin to flow more easily than it would if it was 60 degrees. The water doesn’t need to be hot, just comfortably warm to the touch.
9. Any UV resin will dry and get goopy over time. If you have a bottle that you have used off and on for two years, don’t be surprised if the left-overs in the bottom of the bottle have thick lumps. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a new bottle. This is not true for the small squeeze tubes. Put the. cap on, and they will last longer than the bottles.
Solarez Fly tying Resin
Solarez Thick: Day in and day out, this is the formula I reach for more often than any other if I am tying Saltwater streamers for salmon and albacore. Use this resin to form the largest fly heads; it will hold in place a long time with minimum movement until you hit it with a UV light, often referred to as a torch.
Solarez Glow in Dark: Like the clear-thick-hard formula, this UV cure best when used on relatively large fly heads; as well as on flies that will be fished at night & in deep-water fishing. With finesse, it can be used with smaller fly heads too. Some tyers have found that they coat fly bodies like Chironomids and tout these when fishing deeper water in lakes. Tarpon, snook, and other saltwater anglers give this UC cure high marks
Solarez Medium : This formula will run faster than the thick and it is well suited to fly construction when you want to put a little dab between the eyes on top, hit it with the cure torch, then add a dab between the eyes on the underside, then repeat as you gradually build- the material between and around the eyes. hold-in-place. This also works well to “tack” an eye in place on the one side of a fly, then “tack” a eye on the other side, then add a larger dab that you let flow around the entire head as you rotate the fly in your vise – before hitting it with the torch.
Solarez Medium FLEX: This is definitely a viscosity that lies somewhere between the thick hard and the thin hard, but I would place the needle somewhere closer to the thick than to the thin side of the meter.
I have found this works well on heads of flies especially where I put a coating completely around the wing and belly behind the eyes. This is common as a way to foul-proof flies, and the flex seems particularly well suited for this.
Solarez Thin: heads on small flies, perdigones, and steelhead wet flies – all of these are fair game for this formula.
Solarez “Bone-Dry”: this bottle is equipped with the most slender brush applicator I have ever seen. This makes it perfect to apply this very thin viscosity cure to the head of very small flies as well as to the body of chironomids of all sizes.
Solarez Roadie Kit: This kit is very good investment if you travel and might need to tie some flies to suite local conditions. You get a good variety of resins with maximum adaptability and a very good UV Cure light
Solarez Pro Roadie Kit: The Pro kit provides larger quantities of UV resin and is therefore a better investment if you will tie big flies on your trip of a lifetime. This is a case of “don’t skimp.”
Solarez Fly Tie Color: These 5-gram bottles are amazing. The resin hardens with a gloss that makes an ideal foundation for trigger points, highlight attractors, and fly heads as well. We have been looking for a solid quality resin like this for. years – now we got it.
While all of the UV products currently available on the market for fly tyers are very good, in my opinion, all are superior to the cure goos i worked with nearly ten years ago.
Two problems we encountered in those days were 1) yellowing of the resin over time, and 2) sticky resins even after proper cure times. The first issue had no solution. The second issue was supposedly resolved by adding a thin coat of finish UV cure after the main body of resin hardened.
I was never satisfied with that answer to stickiness, so i lived with it, like most of us did in order to bypass the laborious production of working with epoxy.
I can state categorically, Solarez UV cures do not yellow, and they are not sticvky, ever, with the possible matter of the Flex formula, and i find it hard to imagine a flex gthat is not at least a little non-glossy.
So there you have it, most ardent fly tyer-blog readers.
May you all stay healthy in this difficult time of the mist awful virus, and may we all be fishing shortly.
Jay Nicholas, June 2020