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Tying Wax
#1
Hi All:

I was wondering what everyone is using for tying wax. I use very little, just for dubbing, and only have goopy Wonder Wax. Am I missing out out something important here that will help me build a better fly? In addition to what you use, where on the fly do you find it most useful? Do you use different waxes for different things and who supplies it? Thank's for the help!!

Best,
Dave
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#2
Dave,

Cobblers wax is the wax you will want to get familiar with, and it's what most classic tyers use.

John McClain (FeathersMC) sells some of the best I've used and it's made by Bill Bailey.

It's super sticky and helps to lock in materials when you're tying.

Bill has even mastered a liquid version that I really like.

Jon
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#3
I have several waxes that I use for different areas of my tying. I think they are pretty much variance's of "cobbler's wax". To attach my gut and the underlayment of the whole fly is a very hard wax. After tying the gut in, I pass a flame (Bic lighter) over it to melt that area. Should mention that my prime effort is to tie the tightest fly I can to prevent anything from failing. I also use a softer very sticky wax during the construction of the fly. I use a couple other that I use. One, I heat and place on the area for the wing mount area and immediately mount the wing. This locks the wing in place VERY tight.
Happy Trails!

Ronn Lucas, Sr.
ronnlucassr.com
ronn@ronnlucassr.com
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#4
Thanks for comments. I noticed that John has a white wax and a darker "cobblers wax", does anyone know if they are different in consistency of just a color variation?
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#5
First...I use two different waxes on my salmon flies. The cobblers wax from McLain and a wax from a local guy whose product line is Jack's tackle. Sadly Jack has retired and his wax as well as a long list of fine materials is no longer available. The cobblers stuff is nice and tacky, with the black (darker) stuff being the tackier of the 2 varieties. The black is what I use on the head when needed. McLain also has Bill Bailey's "Tyer's Wax" which I find quite good as well. One piece of that will last a lifetime.

The classic Wonder Wax is just too slippery for many things on salmon flies...but is great stuff for dubbing trout flies...none better for that.
Petri Heil,
George
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein
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#6
(07-01-2020, 07:05 AM)CSFT II Wrote: First...I use two different waxes on my salmon flies. The cobblers wax from McLain and a wax from a local guy whose product line is Jack's tackle. Sadly Jack has retired and his wax as well as a long list of fine materials is no longer available. The cobblers stuff is nice and tacky, with the black (darker) stuff being the tackier  of the 2 varieties. The black is what I use on the head when needed. McLain also has Bill Bailey's "Tyer's Wax" which I find quite good as well. One piece of that will last a lifetime.

The classic Wonder Wax is just too slippery for many things on salmon flies...but is great stuff for dubbing trout flies...none better for that.

Thank's for the information George, how is the "tyer's wax" different from the cobblers? Do you store the cobblers in water?

(06-30-2020, 07:08 AM)admin Wrote: Dave,

Cobblers wax is the wax you will want to get familiar with, and it's what most classic tyers use.

John McClain (FeathersMC) sells some of the best I've used and it's made by Bill Bailey.

It's super sticky and helps to lock in materials when you're tying.

Bill has even mastered a liquid version that I really like.

Jon

Thanks for the info. Jon. I am curious what you use the liquid wax for? I actually bought some of that a while back but didn't really figure out where to best put it to use.

Dave

(06-30-2020, 01:08 PM)Ronn Lucas Sr. Wrote: I have several waxes that I use for different areas of my tying. I think they are pretty much variance's of "cobbler's wax". To attach my gut and the underlayment of the whole fly is a very hard wax. After tying the gut in, I pass a flame (Bic lighter) over it to melt that area. Should mention that my prime effort is to tie the tightest fly I can to prevent anything from failing. I also use a softer very sticky wax during the construction of the fly. I use a couple other that I use. One, I heat and place on the area for the wing mount area and immediately mount the wing. This locks the wing in place VERY tight.

Thanks Ronn! If you don't see any posts from me for a while you can assume my materials went up in flames and I am re-stockingSmile
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#7
Go hard core and make your own.  Here's a good starting point - 721C formula

7 parts by weight of Rosin (available at music stores for violin players or online)
2 parts by weight of Beeswax
1 part by weight of Castor Oil

Very carefully melt, preferably not over an open flame, because this stuff is flammable.  Pour into silicone mini muffin or candy molds and let cool.

Experiment as you see fit -- more rosin makes it tackier, more beeswax makes it softer, different oils will also effect the end result.  Add a little carbon black if you want a black wax.

Charlie Vestal

Help repeal the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
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#8
(07-01-2020, 01:12 PM)Charlie Vestal Wrote: Go hard core and make your own.  Here's a good starting point - 721C formula

7 parts by weight of Rosin (available at music stores for violin players or online)
2 parts by weight of Beeswax
1 part by weight of Castor Oil

Very carefully melt, preferably not over an open flame, because this stuff is flammable.  Pour into silicone mini muffin or candy molds and let cool.

Experiment as you see fit -- more rosin makes it tackier, more beeswax makes it softer, different oils will also effect the end result.  Add a little carbon black if you want a black wax.

Charlie Vestal

Help repeal the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Interesting, thanks for the recipe Charlie. I happen to have all those things laying around the house, maybe i'll give it a go.
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#9
I just keep my wax cobblers in small zip lock bags...the one thing Pryce-Tannatt and others didn't have in those days. It works just fine...but be certain the bag is completely sealed when not using the wax!!
Petri Heil,
George
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein
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#10
I made some 7-2-1 this spring but used olive oil. Making it was an adventure. A camping burner, an ancient enameled pan I had in the garage, and an old spoon were the tools.  Found it a bit too sticky and soft at 68F/20C. Re-melted it and adjusted it to 7.2 - 2 - 0.8 which seemed better. Maybe the olive oil was a bad idea. But after I left a piece in an OPEN zip lock bag for a few weeks, the surface hardened up enough to handle without it getting too sticky on my hands, yet spread on to thread with light pressure and set like concrete once I released thread tension.  I have had other waxes that if left out get too hard, no doubt the residual turpentine leaving the rosin.  (In Pryce-Tannatt's day the trick was to put little pellets of wax in a jar of water, preventing the solvent evaporation. )  For mine, I used 1 cm x 1 cm silicone ice trays, so it made 160 tiny pieces from 200g of the formula. Enough for a lifetime for me and lots of friends. Everything, including a cheap digital scale is available on flea-bay (olive oil from the pantry). Probably can make another batch from the remainder of the $25 worth of raw materials including the scale. So try making some, or message me and I'll send you a few pieces.
-Peter
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