SoftTex vs Epoxy??? Anyone [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: SoftTex vs Epoxy??? Anyone

07-03-2004, 05:57 PM
I was on the verge of coughing up the $10 for a jar of SoftTex, when I opened it and was left light headed from the fumes. How many people have used it out there? Do you like it? IS it worth folling around with for a epoxy alternative?

07-03-2004, 09:59 PM
I tired it and don't like it for these reasons: 1) it's fumes are something else (as you have already found out); 2) it takes a long time to dry (humid weather makes it even longer); 3) it is not as durable as epoxy; 4) it doesn't give as smooth and level a finish as epoxy; and 5) it takes longer to apply a good coat on a bullet head. I also found that if you dunk the fly head in the jay like some recommend, it is a real pain to get it out of the hook's eye because it wants to keep flowing back into it as you remove some of it.

5-minute epoxy if much easier to apply, provides a more durable finish, and doesn't have the fumes of SoftTex (so you don't get "loopy"), and forms a very even and smooth finish.

To keep the 5-minute epoxy level and to prevent sagging when it is applied, simple take an 18"-36" section of plastic 1/2" water pipe (CPVC), place a foam insulating sleeve over it, and turn tje foam covered pipe in a rod finish turner (one can be made from a rotissierie motor cheaply). Then as you put the epoxy on a fly, simply stick it in the foam of this "fly turner". I've ben able to put 5-minute epoxy of as many as 3 dozen bullet head flies as a time doing this before the epoxy was too thick to apply.

I couldn't get 3 dozen flies coated with SoftTex and have the eyes cleared nearly as fast.

07-04-2004, 02:31 AM
I agree, 5 minute epoxy is a much better finish, but softex does have its usses. For creating baitfish patterns that maintain a certain form but allows the fish to close there jaws around it and crush you can beat softex. Just don't expect it to last long. It usually tears after one or two fish.
Tight Lines!

07-05-2004, 09:19 AM
I kind of figured that would be the response. Now that epoxy seems to be the winner, are there any clear favorite for brand? I have been using a two part, five minute that has worked great for me. I haven't gone as far as the rotisery motor yet but who knows!

Epoxy has certainly helped my little DNA sandeels for the beaches up here. What used to be a fouling nightmare is now a sight fishin assassin! :wink:

07-05-2004, 10:01 AM
I've never considered Softex to be an alternative to epoxy. To me, they are each used for different applications. If you need a flexible coating/adhesive but don't like Softex there is another type called Soft Body that is supposed to be more user-friendly than Softex. I've never used it, but some people seem to like it.

Check this out:


07-05-2004, 10:45 AM
This is Softex fly someone gave me. It demonstrates some of the usefull features of Softex. You can completely crush the fly into what ever shape and it bounces right back. The fly was dipped, forming a shell (the softex stayed on the outside, didn't penetrate). I can see where the spreader technique mentioned in other threads would elemenate the need for dipping.

07-05-2004, 02:15 PM
I agree with Quentin - they are both good for certain cases.

One case I like softex better is to coat ez-body for making squid mantles. The flexibility is important, and it's much lighter. I find it very durable and even after many fish the softex is in great shape - maybe because the ez-body mesh holds it on better.

Epoxy has it's place, but for lightweight flexible applications softex is the way to go. Just use it outdoors :eek:

07-05-2004, 08:02 PM
I suppose tying outside is a good idea if you were to use the stuff. ..... So the final Question I have about softex would be will it dry clearer than a silicone will? I finally figured out that a 50/50 mix of dish soap and H2O will act as a good finger solvent for application...... Yet I haven't liked the finished product b/c the silicone is cloudy and hsn't seemed to have penetrated the fibers of the fly(Bucktail)

07-05-2004, 08:30 PM
Silicone is not durable at all where I have softex flies that are almost four years old and tough as nails. Softex (or the other less toxic one Quentin listed) is much clearer and way more durable. Again combine it with a mesh tube or other structural component and it is virtually indestructible.

Silicone is more pliable than softex though, and can be put on thickly.

Why use a finger to apply? Just go to Starbucks and grab a handful of their stirsticks. Anything with tolulene should avoid contact with skin.

Or find those non-latex or latex painting gloves in the bag for .99 at Home Depot if you insist on using the finger.

07-06-2004, 06:18 AM
Dave Skok uses Softex all the time. However, he did tell me to be careful using the stuff because of the fumes. Also, I had trouble with the stuff drying up and had a difficult time opening the jar thus ruining a whole bottle of Softex. Make sure you don't get any on the threads of the bottle.

07-08-2004, 03:45 PM

If you are looking for a good brand of epoxy, see if you can find Devcon 5 minute epoxy. It does not turn yellow as fast as other brands.


07-09-2004, 06:06 PM
I bought Pop Fleyes the other day and I am planning on getting some devcon to try, although I use Zpoxy and I haven't had much problem with my epoxy turniing Yellow...... Although a tailing loop and rocks make it so you don't even get to see if it will turn yellow :hihi:

10-13-2004, 05:18 PM
Hard Head finish works great and dries fast.


10-14-2004, 09:24 AM
I use Zpoxy 5min and like it. Much easier to work with if you soak the bottles in a bowl of very hot tap water for 5 minutes before using.

I use softex for completely different applications than epoxy. It is the best anti-fouling agent I have found and works great with sythetics for SW flies because it dries clear and flexible. It dries to the touch in about 30 minutes which isn't too bad. Plus.....I kinda like the fumes :Eyecrazy:

10-14-2004, 06:56 PM
There's another product out there worth investigating called Body Soft. It's similar to Softex, comes in a thick and a thin version, and is water based so there's no fumes!!!! I've been using it for a couple of months and am pleased with it. The makers claim that the thicker version can be used in place of epoxy but I haven't tried the thick version yet. (saving something for this winter.)


10-15-2004, 10:15 AM
Soft body thick is an excellent alternative to softex and it dries much clearer.

Softex is some bad $hit, it contains toulene - look it up online for health issues.

BTW - most people think it's the fumes that will get you, while that's true the worst thing you can do is to touch the stuff with you skin.

Just say NO!