Dealing with "Unruly" fly-tying materials [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Dealing with "Unruly" fly-tying materials

02-25-2001, 10:25 AM
I was tying up some blue water flies recently and looking for a cheek material to represent the exagerated pectoral fins on flying fish. Rummaging through the various boxes of accumulated stuff I come accross some packs of holographic fiber which looked great until I clipped out the requisite chunk which immediately sprung out 360 degrees and refused all efforts to make it lie flat.

Then I remembered the old trick of wetting materials between the lips - yup, good old fashioned spit! And it worked a treat. Once dampened with spit, I was able to manipulate the strands into a fin shape and tie it in with no trouble. I'm no physicist but I guess it neutralizes the affects of static electricity and would probably work with other materials like angel hair. Also it looked fine once dry.

I dont remember where I originally read about this but it used to work a treat on traditional wet fly patterns when building matched pair wings with difficult feathers like bronze mallard flank etc.

02-25-2001, 11:01 AM
Good tip Adrian, I use a little spit when tying marabou just to control that wild and crazy stuff. It also give you some idea of the profile under current or tension.

02-26-2001, 06:39 PM
Universal Spit can keep unruly epoxy from sticking to your fingers when you have to encourage a shape before it sets up for keeps and I also use it to tame polar flash, mylar motion, and flashabou...Never tie when you're scared spitless!

02-26-2001, 11:10 PM
Cheeper than Photoflow!

I guess it's only a matter of time before some geek comes up with a genetically engineered equivalent, packages it in a gink style bottle and floggs it for $5 a pop!

02-27-2001, 03:10 PM

Universal Spit, Does it come in a bottle, tube, or what?

Where is the nearest dealer in RI?

02-27-2001, 10:24 PM
Ray...When I worked in Yemen I found the English language to be somewhat VAGUE...Please forgive me but, my reference to "Universal Spit" was directed by the fact that everyone who isn't "scared spitless" or completely "parched" has "ready access" to it. FREE!
If you have an extra small bottle, I plan on being at the Wilmington Show and would be happy to fill it for you...or, if you believe in Capitalism, perhaps we could bottle and market it for $5./oz (30% going to the Forum). Otherwise I prefer the "ready applicator" and thumb/ index finger! CHEERS!

02-28-2001, 06:16 AM
Thanks Peter.... Maybe I should have bitten my tongue on this one. But that would have differed the process....right.

Interesting enough, over 40 years ago a company called Universal was big in the fly tying materials and vise industry. They were first located in Holyoke Ma.

Take care. Will have my applicator Saturday at Wilmington.


02-28-2001, 06:19 PM
Ray...I apologize! (I did have a good laugh...)
Would you happen to know if Juro and/or the Forum will have a booth at the Wilmington show semi-clave?! Cheers...PG
Biting one's tounge would probably add to the overall positive qualities of the already effective Universal Spit...we should consider a market analysis and put some in front of a sample group. See you at the show?!

02-28-2001, 07:34 PM

Juro said the other night that all the floor spaces were sold out long ago. He will probably be there, but without a booth.

No need to apologize! I played along willing.

See ya there!


03-01-2001, 08:30 AM
Pete -

Sorry I didn't see the show question in the thread until now... as Ray says, the booths in the Wilmington MA flyfishing show (second one in New England each year) are sold out and have been for a long time.

Frankly, my wallet couldn't handle another fee anyway (as you know, Marlboro came out of my pocket). If we're lucky we'll grow enough to fund several shows across the country in strategic locations to let everybody in the Forum enjoy the booth experience... but for now it looks like I'll be able to enjoy the Wilmington show next weekend as a spectator for the first time in several years! I've got an offer to work a booth but I think I will decline. It will be great to just bounce around and enjoy the show.

Let's go have some fun!