What is Fulling Mill Glass UV Resin?
Fulling Mill Glass UV Resin is a clear liquid resin that can be applied to a range of fly patterns to give them a hard glassy coating or a hard durable head. As the name suggests, this resin is activated, cured and hardened simply by zapping it with light from a special UV LED torch.
Why not use varnish or epoxy?
Varnish and epoxy have both been used by fly tyers for years, but while they have their place, UV resins are now preferred by most fly tyers for creating smooth buzzer bodies, making hard shiny heads and even attaching eyes to streamer patterns.
Epoxy resins need to be mixed and left to cure and you can end up wasting a lot of product. Varnish is still handy for many things, but it's slower to use as you need to wait for each layer to dry before applying the next. UV resin sets in just a few seconds and leaves a hard, shiny finish rivaling half an hour of varnish layering.
How do you use Glass UV Resin?
The most effective way to use Glass UV Resin is to add a very small amount and then use a dubbing needle to spread it over the area you want to cover. As it doesn't set until you've exposed it to ultra violet light, you get a good amount of time to smooth the resin over the fly to get the perfect finish.
Once you're happy with the look, get your UV torch and shine it all over the fly for about 30 seconds or so. It should set rock hard and be nice and shiny. If you want to build up the profile you can apply more layers of resin on top, and if you want it extra shiny you can add a thin coat of varnish - though that's only a finishing touch.Davie McPhail / YouTube.
What patterns is it suited to?
When used on the body it's great for buzzers and perdigon nymphs. It's got a nice hard, glassy finish which covers up any imperfections in your thread wraps to create a beautifully smooth and shiny finish. UV resins like this can make even a mediocre fly tyer like me produce patterns that look half decent.
It's also really handy on larger fly patterns, like big streamers and pike flies. I've used it both to attach 3D eyes to the sides of my bigger streamers and to form a head on bigger patterns tied from craft fur and similar materials. It's far easier to use than epoxy and when smeared into craft fur gives the head a really great look and helps maintain the fly's shape very nicely.
What's it like as a head cement?
It works great for sealing the thread at the head of the fly. Once you've whip finished, use a dubbing needle to transfer a tiny drop of Glass UV Resin to the thread and rotate it around the fly until it's soaked in (taking care to avoid the eye). Then, give it a zap with the UV torch and your fly will be transformed. It gives a really professional finish to flies.
What's it like to use?
It has a moderately thick consistency and is fairly easy to apply thanks to the narrow applicator nozzle and the squeezy bottle. You can extract just the right size drop and suck back any excess into the bottle by relaxing your grip. I use a needle to spread the resin where I want it before setting it with the torch. The black bottle used also keeps the material away from UV rays, so if you reseal the bottle carefully and keep it in a sealed bag, it should last you for ages, as each fly only uses a tiny amount of resin.
As is often the case with UV resins, some of them, like this one, are a little particular about the quality of UV torch you use. With a good UV torch and fresh batteries (Fulling Mill's Kieron Jenkins recommended I use Duracell Plus) it dries very quickly and the finish isn't in the slightest bit tacky, as you can find with some other resins. However, with a cheap torch or weak batteries, it may not set fully and could remain tacky, so you do need to invest in a proper torch and fresh batteries to get the best results.
Fulling Mill make their own UV Resin Torch which should guarantee you good curing when used with decent, fresh Duracell Plus batteries. When properly set, the finish is hard, shiny and as the name suggests - glassy. It's great stuff and makes lovely flies. If you watch Davie McPhail's fly tying videos, you'll know he's a regular user of it, which is as good as celebrity endorsements get!
How much does it cost?
Fulling Mill Glass UV Resin costs £16.95 a 20g bottle. It's available from Fulling Mill dealers and directly from the Fulling Mill website. The recommended UV Resin Torch costs £15.54. That's about the same price as the similar kit from Bugbond.
Available from: Fulling Mill