Softex [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Softex

01-30-2003, 05:22 AM
Has anyone tried the subsitute for Softex don't remember the name of the stuff. The problem I have with Softex is the fumes and the drying out. The subsitute comes in thick or thin. If its as good as Softex ,should I buy the thick or the thin? FishHawk

01-30-2003, 06:39 AM
I use this stuff all the time; it's a bit less troublesome to work with than 5-minute epoxy, so I suppose I consider it a time-saving step, and using it has other benefits, also, as it's supposedly non-toxic, is easy to clean up if any drips onto the tying desk, dries crystal clear and quite hard (applies to both the thin and thick versions), and requires no real preparation. I usually apply it by dipping my bodkin in the jar, taking some of the stuff out, then pasting it on the fly and working it in to the materials. Two coats is all that most of my flies get, and they hold up quite well against some of the more toothy fish I encounter (blues, jacks, 'cuda, etc.). The other method I sometimes employ to coat a fly is to simply dip the head into the jar, allow excess to run off, then work it in as needed or set the fly into a frying wheel. Overall, I'm pleased with this product, and keep several jars of thick and thin consistencies on my desk.

01-30-2003, 06:54 AM
By the way, I use the thin formula most of the time; just seems easier for me to work with.

01-30-2003, 08:20 AM
Would you please identify manufacturer. Thanks.

joe wojtan
01-30-2003, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by DFix
Would you please identify manufacturer. Thanks.

Yes that would help.

01-30-2003, 09:39 AM


01-30-2003, 12:10 PM

You said this stuff is hard when it dries? It isn't flexible and rubbery like Softex? Just wondering why they call it "Soft Body".


01-30-2003, 12:30 PM
I just started experimenting with the stuff and so far it dries rubbery and clear..I like it..but have not yet used it much to get a clear picture about it.

01-30-2003, 02:15 PM
I'd say that it dries to a very tough, rubbery finish, not rock hard like epoxy. Even so, it does dry clear. Having tied some surf candies up last week with rattle chambers in the belly sac area, it's possible to see the bearings inside the chamber quite clearly, and this is through pearlescent body braid, monofilament tying thread, and the soft body material. I'd say it's pretty clear. The thick formula is nearly as viscous as silicone rubber; haven't tried making any "silicone flies" using the thick soft body yet, but I imagine that it could be used with Photo-Flo in much the same manner as silicone is used. The drying time with the thin formula seems to be around 20-minutes or so, a little less time for the thick, I think. After that, additional coats can be applied.

01-30-2003, 03:21 PM
I kinda like the way the softex smells :whoa:

01-30-2003, 03:32 PM
Dude, gimme another hit of that Softex :hehe:
I also use Soft Body to give my crease flies a bit more durability, btw. Seems to help them last a little longer if they should be happened upon by a "chopper". I'll have to see if I can take some pics o the flies I use this stuff on; everyone will be able to see "clearly" how this product looks when dried.

01-30-2003, 05:37 PM
I like the material as well. It works very well as a coating for braid or tinsel bodies, sets up in about 20-thirty minutes. Fully dry in two hours, full cure in 24.

I've had good success using it for sandeel patterns, and used it in place of epoxy for the Sandeel Jiggy that Steve Farrar ties. n flies where I use molded eyes, affixed with CA Glue, I over coat the head and eyes with Softbody and put it on a wheel. They dry very nicely and hold fast. (If you get any CA slopped over onto and clouding the eyes, the SB also clears them nicely.)

I have only used the thin formula- it tends to thicken over time like any fluid and can be thinned with a few drops of water.

Also available at most fly tying suppliers.

01-30-2003, 05:39 PM
Thanks. I'll have to try some of that stuff (the Soft Body, that is :hehe: ). One of the downfalls of Softex, aside from the odor and toxicity, is that it's not totally clear when it dries.


01-30-2003, 09:41 PM
Good thread!
I bought some softex a couple years back but didn't use it much because of the smell/danger (I need all the brain cells I've got left). Recently I saw Stan Macerwicz(sp?) use it on his bonito killer at the Marlborough show. Stan used one of those squeeze bottle dispensers many use for head cement. I think one of the problems with softex is the container, that huge opening allows some serious evaporation take place in short order. The toluene is still some nasty stuff and I'm careful not to touch it but the head cement dispenser significantly reduces the fumes and handling.
I'll have to give this soft body a try, if it dries clear and is non-toxic it's worth a shot. Does anyone know who makes it? I've used some of the Loon products with good results but still like hard as nails (another unhealth substance) for the durability.

01-31-2003, 04:06 AM
Do you need to use a drying wheel with this material? It sounds very interesting stuff.

01-31-2003, 04:16 PM
Jim the manufacturer is Angler's Choice... the stuff's fairly available from most major suppliers.

01-31-2003, 05:15 PM
Thanks. I think they make angel hair too.

01-31-2003, 07:45 PM
Since I stopped using SOFTEX...
I tend to finish the flys I'm tyin'...
I'm much less likely to break away from the vice and suddenly find myself washing the car or calking the tub.
I no longer hear nearly as many voices...
And my ballance and coordination are much better!:whoa:

01-31-2003, 09:53 PM
Penguin..don't try to fool us..the soft tex exposure is still with you... not me thought.. ever since I stoped using the stttuuuf ii havvvve been sssinging iiinn theee raiin..heeeey.. whho goes ther!!!!.....Iiii likkkkkke thhhhhe colllor greeeen don''''t you.///djhsy329657 to9332 ikkxdc;;s00akmd .................................................. ................

01-31-2003, 09:53 PM
Pete, I saw a great t-shirt that said, "You're just jealous the voices are talking to me!"

Slight tangent, at what speed should a drying wheel rotate? I have some battery operated motors from a motion display @ work that cost me $0.00. I wonder if it rotates too quickly.

02-01-2003, 06:04 AM
SOFT BODY, has been around for at least 4 years, have had it at the shop for at least that long, great stuff you can cover anybody you want w/it. or make a head w/it. mix color in it, put sparkles in it. it great for MOLDING------------------>

02-01-2003, 06:45 AM
... I use the battery-operated drying wheel marketed by Flex Coat (I think); looks like a yellow outdoor flashlight converted. Can't say exactly the speed of rotation, but it's probably on their website. Seems to work pretty well, so long as you make sure that the Soft Body is worked thoroughly into the fibers, hairs, etc. If you don't, I have found that, in the event that I use two or more different bunches of fibers (like Ultra Hair) on the fly, not getting the Soft Body well into the fly will cause some degree of separation as it's drying; in other words, there's a visible gap between the different bunches of fibers, giving the fly the appearance of a huge slotted hole mid-way down the back. Makes for a few wasted materials, so I spend a few more moments working the Soft Body into the fly with my bodkin now.
SaltyDog - I also mix glitter into the Soft Body, and use that when I'm tying squid patterns for the added depth it provides. Just cheap glitter that they sell at a local craft store, comes with four colors to a 4 oz. jar for $3.

02-01-2003, 06:55 AM
I don't think anyone is knocking the softex product for durability or ease of use. It's the Health Risks ( )

So much for the hard as nails too:rolleyes:

02-01-2003, 06:56 AM
Cheap, and they turn about 6rpm and are readily available at appliance fix-it shops...
Much slower and the gooo will drip...much faster and you've got an excellent example of physics/centrifical force at work and an interesting mess to clean up (before it sets).:eek:

Saltydog...Nice looking poured (?) minnor flys...Umpqua is about to introduce a line of coloured stretchy gummy-bear-like creations that look and feel like the real tying involved!
Are these flys or lures?:confused:

02-01-2003, 07:15 AM
"Umpqua is about to introduce a line of coloured stretchy gummy-bear-like creations that look and feel like the real tying involved!

If there's no tying involved whatsoever, to me they're lures. Half the enjoyment of fly fishing for me is sitting down at the bench in the evening or on a miserable weekend day and seeing what I can come up with (usually a mess ).
If you take the wings off a plane and give it four wheels, is it still a plane or is it a bus?
If you eliminate every basic component that in some way makes all flies up (except hooks, of course), is it still a fly? Oh well, companies have to do what they can to make more money, so I don't suppose you can blame Umpqua for going down that road. They probably wanted to introduce those "items" to the fly fishing industry before anyone beat them to it. So they're size 4 sluggos, I suppose?

02-01-2003, 02:30 PM
PENGUIN, thoes flies were done w/falshabou, then coated w/the soft body every one was talking about, then cut to shape.

02-01-2003, 02:36 PM
JIMW, I know. the Soft Tex has been gone for a while, they have just came out w/ a MORE FRENDLY SOFTEX this season the soft body. has been around just as long, BUT not to meny people use it, IF it was CLEAR, I believe it would be used more. my self included."GOOD LUCK GOOD TYIN":smokin:

02-01-2003, 06:57 PM
No, a drying wheel isn't necessary but it you can get on to the next flies without worrying about the one you're holding!

02-01-2003, 07:50 PM
No, a drying wheel isn't necessary but it you can get on to the next flies without worrying about the one you're holding!

True, just be sure to tie the fly so that the hook gape is as large as possible; tying as much of the material as possible on top of the shank, or to the sides of it, will help. Tying too much below the shank and then placing the fly on a wheel will cause the Soft Body to close the gape to an extent, which leads to a fly that has a good potential for missing fish.

02-13-2003, 10:00 AM
How does the soft body compare the loon "soft head" water-based stuff? The loon product is quite thick and comes in a jar with a brush applicator. I am impressed by how easy this stuff is to use - dries totally clear and rubbery.

Fisha1 - how are you incorporating the rattles into your surf candy? I have been using them on a clouser-style (hook up) eel pattern tied directly to the shank. I'm wondering if you can thread the rattle into some bodi-braid to make it easier to attach.

Have you guys had success with rattles in the past? I'm thinking they have to be deadly on school fish purely for the curiosity/competition factor.

Dave :smokin:

02-13-2003, 11:04 AM
I find the Softbody quite easy to use. There's no odor at all that I can detect. It comes in two versions, Thin (which I Have used) which resembles the consistency of fresh epoxy and dries completely clear, and Thick which they compare in thier literature to epoxy for various uses. I have never used the thick version.

Both come in two ounce plastic jars- I use a bodkin to apply it.

One thing about the thin- it does penetrate porous materials, so for a glossy head I just do two coats, or apply it as a finish coat over a standard head cement.

02-13-2003, 06:36 PM
... I've attached rattles in two fashions: tie it directly to the shank (beneath), then cover this with pearlescent body braid to emulate a belly sac, and secondly tie the rattle to a pin, which is then tied to the shank and left to "trail" behind the bend of the hook; this method does not affect hook gap, as the first method has the tendency to do. Both methods seem to work quite well.
Overall, the thin Soft Body gets much more use on my flies than the thick formula.