So, I sat down tonight to tie a musky fly. I planned to experiment again with skunk tail. Then, I recalled the one skunk fly I did fish was fairly buoyant in the water –something I didn’t want occurring with the next fly.
At that point, my plans ran amuck. Experiments with buoyancy of 3 fly tying materials occurred, along with readying a few newer flies for an upcoming musky trip.
I examined another skunk fly and a couple other musky flies I'd fished this weekend. Then, I reinforced some fly heads with Loon UV Clear Fly Finish. BTW, I give this resin –at this time anyway- an ‘A’. If it didn’t still feel a little ‘tacky’ after hitting it with my Loon UV mini light, it would get an ‘A+’. I make it a point of setting the flies outside in the sun for a short time and most of the tacky feeling is then gone. I believe this commonly occurs with many light-cured resins. The tiny version of the Loon UV light also has an on/off button which is easily pressed. If thrown in a bag and there is pressure on the button, one may later discover the light has dead batteries. If my opinion later changes on the resin I will post something at that date. For now, I believe if one uses a good light-curing resin, there is no going back to other adhesives for big fly heads. Time is precious. (BTW, I've reviewed a couple of resin-curing UV lights. Here is the link: http://strip-n-twitch.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-fly-tiers-comparison-of-uv-curing.html ** I've learned that using these light-cured products can make fly tying more efficient and creative, but these resins are not without their 'quirks'. Following more research, I plan to post tips and tricks to increase one's ability to successfully cure the resin and to maintain an appropriate resin-fly bond. In the meantime, visit your product's website for more information. If your questions aren't answered there, visit the competitors' websites; chances are you will find some answers. UPDATE 1/9/13: 'Tips for Use of Light-Cured Resins' to be posted very soon!) http://strip-n-twitch.blogspot.com/2013/01/major-light-cured-resin-players-answer.html
So, to be clear, the slightly crinkled buck tail (fur taken near the tip) was the most buoyant –sitting in the surface film, the skunk tail with fur taken closer to the tip, sank to mid-surface, and skunk tail with fur taken near the base sank the lowest- just at/near the bottom.
I won’t promise that you will have the same results in your tying room. However, it doesn’t take much time to trim off a hank of fur, immerse it in a little water & experiment for yourself. Back to that buoyant skunk tail fly: the skunk fur was taken from the tip & I also incorporated buck tail, most likely taken from near the base. A few feathers had been tied in as well. Now I know why I had a buoyant fly! As far as buck tail goes, generally if you tie with the fur from the base, it will flair more. It is also generally longer than the fur at the tip. These were characteristics I desired when attempting to create a larger, bigger profile fly, but now I fully realize the trade-off. I sense a new, quicker-sinking musky fly in my near future!