Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What UV Acrylic to buy....

So there are some UV set acrylics available on the market at the moment.

Tuffleye - Available in "Core", "Finish" and "Flex"
Bug Bond - One type of acrylic - "multi purpose"
Clear Cure Goo - Available in Think, , Flex, Fleck, Tack Free, Brushable, Squeez
Diamond Hard - One type of acrylic

I couldnt find a basic break down and comparison.  So here you go:


Clear Cure Goo:

Tack free brushable $16.75
“best used in thin layers”
“tack evaporates on its on in 1-3hrs:

Hydro tack free 15ml / $20.00
“thinnest material we have made”
“can be used as a top coat on CCG materials”
“thinner than brushable”

Fleck  10ml / $11.00
Same as CCG but with flecks of
Gold, silver, green, and blue pearlescent glitter
“slight tacky feel”

10ml / $10.50
“go to material for saltwater”
"slight tacky feel”

CThin  10ml / $10.50
“one of best selling materials”
“perfect for wing casings, nymphs, etc”
“slight tacky feel”

Brushable  15ml / $14.50
“ideal for coating crease fly”
“slight tacky feel”

Flex  10ml / $11.95
“in place of silicon”
“think soft plastics”
“slight tacky feel”

Thin Squeeze  15ml / $15.50
Same as thin in squeeze bottle


Wetahook "Tuffleye"

In the tutorials Ive seen with these the tyer always uses alchohol pads, so I would assume its tacky.  The fact that "top coat" is offered would confirm this. 

Tuffleye Core 30cc 19.95
Tuffleye Core 10cc 7.95
“harder than epoxy”


Tuffleye Finish 10cc 9.95
Tuffleye Finish 3cc 3.95


Tuffleye Flex 10cc 9.95


Tuffleye Top Coat


Tuffleye Thinner



Bug Bond

Lite 20ml / $25.75
"thinner version, alternative to head cements"

Original 20ml / $25.75
"completely tack free multi purpose epoxy replacement"
**completely tack free


Deer Creek Diamond Hard

Diamond Hard  15ml / $20.50
"100% tack free"
"Sets in under 3 seconds"


For me its down to the last 2 as I just couldnt be bothered trying out all the CCG options and I dont like the fact that "Sally Hansons" or "Top Coat" needs to be used.  Im looking for a DIRECT epoxy replacement and I have no use for "flex".  I want a "super" epoxy.  Clear as glass, Hard as nails.

Heres a comparison I found.  Diamond Hard vs Bug Bond:
courtesy of

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


I think Rich just invented the "Rich Pike" test.  Bloody Brilliant.  Ordering some Diamond Hard now.

diamond hard vs bug bond
bug bond vs tuffleye
clear cure goo vs tuffleye
clear cure goo vs bug bond
clear cure goo vs diamond hard


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