As I mentioned before this 2nd material is available in Winona, MN as well as any other city that has a decent hardware store. It’s cheap, at $4.98 a bottle it has the potential to make a few hundred flies. The part I left out of [singlepic id=1473 w=320 h=240 float=right]the last post is that this material has the potential to make some of the best terrestrial flies ever. Why, you ask?? Because if enough is used, this material can make an un-sinkable fly. Yea, I said it and it requires NO flotant. Check the video below if you need proof.

So now the wait is over, the material is Gorilla Glue. It has it’s downsides but once I saw the potential for some pretty amazing results I felt it necessary to run out to my local Menard’s to pick up my bottle. I was given a tip regarding this video (thanks Mister_Bubble), I watched it and learned a bit. I learned much more after I got it home. Taking a small drop of water with maybe twice the amount of glue, mixed with a toothpick a gel is formed which expands and dries white in the span of a few minutes. It cures harder in approx. 30 minutes and is ready for coloring with markers 24hrs later. I will note right away that the time frame for this product can be varied, you can mold the tacky glue after a few minutes but you risk ruining the shape if you try to alter it too soon. I will also say that the information I am listing is how I have figured out to use this product with decent results, yours may vary.[singlepic id=1486 w=300 h=220 float=left] I choose to let it cure for 24hrs before applying the marker because I am not rushed and I prep a space to dry and cure these flies, something to think about before you jump in.

The 1st two imitations I tried were a plain jane ant pattern and a version of a bug I’ve got to think Driftless Trout take readily, the “Asian Beetle” a.k.a. Harmonia axyridis. These non-native’s were introduced to our region as a way to control soybean aphids, they now run rampant and cause maybe more harm than good. A #18 Standard Shank 2x Nymph Hook with a body of peacock herl and a few turns of black or brown hackle (trimmed short on the top) forms the base for this fly. The bug in the video was tied with the Mustad R70 and is un-sinkable. The ant patterns however DO sink and despite my efforts to use a 1X fine dry fly hook they still sank, now that is a #18. I think a larger fly would float, it depends on how much of the glue you get cured on the hook. Also, there may be something to how much water is mixed with the glue resulting in a number of air bubbles that are trapped which ultimately float the fly, something for me to think about and work on. All of the beetle patterns I tied float as if they were made of cork and I tried some thick shanked hooks.[singlepic id=1481 w=300 h=220 float=right] If one could create a small mold and line it with maybe Vaseline or a non-stick agent you might be able to make some cool Popper bodies, the video kind of hints at that.

One last attribute that needs to be addressed before I give my nod of approval to this material: durability, once cured this stuff is 100% waterproof and it’s freakin’ glue so it gets and holds hard. You can however press your fingernail into the finished product and it will dent a bit, this lends me to believe that after several trout teeth these might get a little beat up but no more than say traditional close cell foam terrestrial patterns. Also, the markers have really held their own and don’t seem to be affected by the water as of yet. So for those of you adventurous enough to give this a go I think it has the potential to create trout crushing terrestrials. If you decide playing with this glue isn’t for you, keep it and fix your kitchen cabinets or something else with it, at least it isn’t that bag of crap from the craft store that will be moved from one stash spot to the next until you accept it has no use on a hook.

Other Notes:

  • Make sure you purchase the correct Gorilla Glue Product (Quick Cure, Dries White)
  • Use wax paper, its disposable and keeps the messy stuff in a small area.
  • I use a bodkin to apply the mixed product, SMALL amounts needed to make #18 flies.
  • Use the bodkin to tease the glue to help shape it, wipe it off every time.
  • Blow on it to flatten it or push it early in the drying process.
  • Use a feather stem inserted into the hook eye to move from your vise and hold the fly after initial drying but before curing.
  • Do not touch the glue until after it has set up or you run the risk of having the glue stick and pull like taffy from the hook.
  • Wait until the glue won’t adhere to your fingers before trying to shape, be sure not to wait until it hardens if you plan to shape it.
  • As with most things Fly Fishing or Tying, Patience is your best friend.

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  1. Very cool. Coincidence too – see my last post and note the head on the streamer cemented with Gorilla Glue. For a while there I was using that for my BWCA flies. However, it bubbles/expands while curing and I don’t really like it. The variety you’ve tried here looks better.

  2. That’s awesome! You need to figure out a way to incorporate that into an emerger pattern so it will actually emerge up thru the water column after stripping it down. A+ for creativity. p.s. I get all my glass beads and steal leader spools from Michael’s craft store.

    avatar Mark Hess

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