Eyes - Sticky Question [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Eyes - Sticky Question

12-16-2005, 03:14 AM
What is the best way to stick eyes on? I like to use domed eyes but they won`t stay on by themselves. I`d rather not epoxy over them if I don`t have to. The bodies on my stuff is shaped with Softex or Softbody, to prevent foling. The eyes by themselves look great , until they hit water, coated with Hard Head they last a while longer before falling off. Epoxy works well but yellows and I don`t want to coat the whole front of the fly with epoxy and turn it into a surf candy. Never used Goop much. Would you just put a dab on the back of the eye or cover the whole thing? This question has been plagueing me for years. Is there another product I`m missing out on?
PS The things that run thru your head at 4:15 in the morning after sucking in Softex fumes for a few hours.

12-16-2005, 03:17 AM
Where in the world is Matt... no wrong guy, JF Basser? Did he go native and stay in the Islands?

12-16-2005, 06:43 AM
I use a dab of goop behind the eye. works weell and easy to repair if/when it falls off.

12-16-2005, 06:53 AM
JF Basser? Did he go native and stay in the Islands?

He took a job as assistant cruise directer on the boat he was on. Teaches the guests the finer point of fish catching during the day, then multi-tasks at night dressed in drag and performing on the choras line in the after dinner shows.

I dab a bit of epoxy on my Clouser eyes - or not. Frequently I just don't bother with the eyes.

12-16-2005, 07:02 AM
I have tried using Zap a dap a goo with varying results. I usually run a thick bead of it around the thread wraps and then push the eyes into it. Then wet your finger and smooth the Zap down between the eyes and around the edges and back into the fly a little bit. It seems to work better with fibers the zap can penetrate like polar fibre and not as well with mushies. There is a good demonstration of it in the first-light tuna video. Way less time consuming than epoxy although the eyes will pop off once in a while and you have to glue them back on.

12-16-2005, 08:01 AM
JBasser was last seen casting from the rear deck of the cruse liner with a pencil popper. :hihi:
Steve try the Goop. I had the same problem and the Goop works.

12-16-2005, 08:01 AM
Basser is back in town, but trying to catch up with a few things at work after the vacation...should be back in action in a few days.....did battle with a few Snook while in Islamarada..interesting fish! they certainly like to bull dog back to the mangroves :Eyecrazy:

re stick on eyes....use jungle cock :tsk_tsk:

12-16-2005, 09:35 AM
I'd offer two possibilities.....

First, if you are using softex for the fly anyway, why not put the eyes under some softex? I do this on some patterns, and yes, the softex is not completely clear, but the eyes still look good, and I can attest to the fish catching ability...had batches of sea habits with epoxy and softex heads in Baja, and saw NO difference in the number takes between the materials.

Other option would be to use some Goop on the backs of the eyes and stick them on....I have best success with this if the goop from the two eyes can actually meet, but that is on a fly without other adhesive....If you have a core of softex, this probably isn't necessary.

Only 8 dozen flies to go before the season starts!


12-16-2005, 10:04 AM
Two options that are pretty bombproof:

1. Tab eyes. They are mounted on the side of the head with a tab that extends into the thread wraps. BobPop showed this to me a couple of years ago when he began tying his hollow flyes. The tab eyes are not readily available, but there are a couple of vendors at the upcoming fly shows that have them in stock.
2. Molded eyes with a post. A small circular hole is burned with a cauterizer large enough for the post. Insert some goop into the hole with a toothpick, and push the post into the hole. More times than not the post has to be shortened with nippers to insure the eye is flush with the side profile of the fly. Enrico Puglisi used this method on a lot of his flies.

12-16-2005, 10:18 AM
Mind you I am still a rookie out here but I have had great luck with the zap a dap a goo. Towards tye end of the season though I got a bunch of the tabbed eyes and do not see my self using much of anything else next year.


12-16-2005, 10:31 AM
Jim, I like that idea of the eyes with the post. I`ve never noticed any before. Are they available, where could I get some?

12-16-2005, 11:19 AM
One more option...

The aluminum eyes that look like clouser eyes but are very light. I use them for big mac patterns and bunker. They do not invert the hook and cast great. The recess holds the sticky eyes in place thru thick or thin. They work very well with the plastic 3-d ones too, not just the flats.]

Not great for all applications (large diameter) but great for baitfish and squid patterns.

12-16-2005, 03:15 PM
Another option I have used with some success is EZ Sparkle body. Start with a spot of white or yellow and then place a smaller drop of black on top for the pupil. Using different diameter dowels to apply the outer and pupil portions helps ensure consistency. They seem to hold up pretty well.

12-16-2005, 06:13 PM
Saw this on another popular fishing Forum. Use fetch cement the one that people use to glue the feathers on arrows. I got a tube today and will give it a try.
FishHawk :smokin:

12-16-2005, 06:51 PM
All of JimS ideas are good advice.

Try mixing five minute epoxy. Last longer than super glues. Only have to apply it to the skicky side of the eyes. No one seems to think of this method, but it works. The epoxy also penetrates into the Softex or softbody and is least likely effected by saltwater. Rough up the area where the eyes will go and try to make a small hole. The epoxy will fill the hole and bond both together as one unit.

12-17-2005, 08:52 AM
Slinger, the eyes with a post that I was referring to are called solid plastic eyes. They are readily available at most fly shops.

12-18-2005, 01:01 AM
Got a demo from Scotty at the Den today and a tube of Zap A Dap A goop PoopAloop whatever... hopefully I won`t have to keep reeying flies all season.

12-19-2005, 04:00 AM
Apart from epoxy I use Knot Sense. Makes great clear and tuff heads. Partial or complete covering of the eye or the complete head if it's not too big.
Btw if you need cheap UV lights to dry Knot Sense: children’s spy-sets often have one for the "invisible writing".

12-20-2005, 11:42 AM
I use these for larger applications (squid, herring, whatever)...
Heavy mono crimped into a "V" and eyes affixed with epoxy...
Tag ends trimmed once tyed in place...
Heavy mono can be bent/positioned to enhance final mounted eye appearance...
Insinuates a 3-D "depth" without compressing the fly body...

12-20-2005, 11:44 AM
Here's an example...

12-20-2005, 12:55 PM

Penguin, this is a truly creative solution, thanks I think I will adopt it.

Dble Haul
12-20-2005, 01:01 PM
I think I'm going to try Bill's suggestion for the fletching cement. I too have heard it mentioned in many circles as being durable and easy to use.