Is 5-Minute Epoxy a Thing of the Past?

24 comments / Posted on / by

Clear Cure Goo. Photo By: Louis Cahill

I can’t remember the last time I had to break out my smelly two-part epoxy bottles at the tying bench.

For several years, 5-minute epoxy was a mainstay in my fly tying. It worked great for molding my streamer heads, coating my popping flies and equally well for putting my finishing touches on the backs of my nymph patterns. Fast forward to present day, however, and epoxy has quickly become a thing of the past. In the eyes of most legitimate fly tiers, epoxy is nothing more than an old school tying material and technique that has become outdated. Innovative fly tying companies like Clear Cure Goo have taken the idea of epoxy and reinvented the wheel by introducing a full line of UV curing products. They serve the same purpose as epoxy but are less messy, more efficient and easier to work with at the vise. After using them, I now look at my life long stash of epoxy bottles on the bench and wonder if I shouldn’t just toss them all in the trash. I could use a little extra room on my tying bench anyway and I’m tired of looking at dried up epoxy patches with wooden stirring sticks adhered on scrap all over my work area.

If you haven’t yet tried or bought into the hype of Clear Cure Goo products, I suggest you test them out. Clear Cure Goo calls their UV curing products “the cure to epoxy”, because you’ll no longer waste time prepping your two-part epoxy for each fly you’re tying, you won’t feel rushed and you’ll have zero waste. Go ahead and keep that 18 rpm epoxy fly and jig turner around if you want just in case, but I’m putting mine on ebay for a few extra bucks towards purchasing more Clear Cure Goo products.

Hotspot Zebra Midges coated with Clear Cure Goo Hydro. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Since I’m slapping around epoxy, I thought I’d throw a few slaps Sally Hansen’s way, pertaining specifically to her “Hard as Nails” nail polish. I started using Sally Hansen’s back in the day for coating my tiny midge larva, trout beads and other tiny nymphs to provide that life like shine. It was a breeze to work with and it gave me that great shine in the water, but its one down fall was it didn’t last very long before it started cracking and coming off. Clear Cure Goo “Hydro” serves the same purpose, but the UV curing process makes it super tough and much more durable than the nail polish. It’s not just good for coating flies, it’s perfect when you’re tying flat wing or other multi-layered streamers and want them all to lay out nice and stay in place. Take peacock herl for instance, which is a staple for finishing off many baitfish pattern recipes. I always have a problem with keeping it all together on top of the fly. Andy Bowen, from Cohutta Fishing Company, showed me all you need to do to fix this problem is brush the Clear Cure Hydro along the peacock herl, hit it with the UV Light and it will lock into place. So simple, yet genious. Clear Cure Goo gets emails all the time from fly tiers around the world with new ideas and uses for their products. We’ve only begun to scratch the service on their products capabilities and I’m looking forward to seeing all the cool fly patterns that are invented because of them.

Bowen’s Baitfish Minnow

Warning: Be aware of your battery power levels in your UV Light. When the batteries get low they don’t always provide the necessary power needed to cure the UV products completely. Also be aware that some of their thicker UV products dry with a slightly tacky touch. Lastly, experiment with the optional applying tips that come in the Clear Cure Product package. These will provide you with much more control in the amount of UV product you apply and where you apply it. For more information about Clear Cure Goo, go to their website and watch their product videos to find out all about them.

Have you found a niche way of using Clear Cure Goo Products in your fly tying? Please drop us a comment.

Keep it Reel,

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

24 thoughts on “Is 5-Minute Epoxy a Thing of the Past?

  1. I repaired a hole in the clear backup lens of my truck’s taillight so it would pass inspection. Saved me $195 in parts and labor.

  2. I was getting rushed & tired with wrapping mono on some Charlies for bones. Out went the mono, in came the CCB Brushable for the body, over top of some pearl falshabou wrapped on the shank. And they worked, too!

  3. I fixed a hole in my condom one time…. My plastic framed glasses cracked… again, Clear Cure Goo to the rescue. Radiator leak in the middle of BFE, Yup, CCG patch. Oh and I occasionally use it for fly tying! Hydro is the HEAT!

  4. My wife tried it as a top coat for nail polish….it IMMEDIATELY caused pain, that took 20 minutes to fully go away. Yeah, wont be suggesting that again.

    I’ve used it to put a tiny nub on my gun safe key so I can easily know how to hold the key right side up if it’s dark.

    I used it to fix the vacuum. One drop to hold a switch in place long enough for me to use super glue for the rest.

    Sometimes, I even use it for fly tying.

  5. I wish a I had a more “creative” way to use CCG, but I’ve made a note of these new ways to use it.

    I do use it to seal a knot or two on sink tips. I had never used 5 mins epoxy for fly tying because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle. CCG has really opened some creative doors for me in tying some big meaty flies I tie. I find ways to use it in nearly every fly.

    I can’t live without this stuff.

  6. If you want a really rounded, totally smooth finish I still prefer 30 minute epoxy and a turner as it really smooths out any bumps. But I use CCG more and more. I don’t think it’s any less messy (the stuff still gets all over the place no matter what I do) and I hate the sleazy surface after you finish. This includes the so-called “no tack” version which really doesn’t do it for me. So the CCG does require an extra step or two to remove the slime with alcohol and then paint with Sally Hansen

    By the way the CCG Goo people claim that Sally gets yellow and cracked but I bought six different versions of Sally Hansen’s, put 7 drops of cured CCG on a plexiglass surface, and compared all 7 Sallies to the topcoat finish they sell. After 3 months in the sun all 7 are perfectly clear with no yellowing.

    • Tom,

      Thanks fort taking the time to give us your personal accounts using Clear Cure Goo products in the field and at the vise. Have you experimented using the optional applying tips they provide? That seems to help me, where I don’t have the “Hydro” running down to the brush applicator and getting too much product on my fly. Also, that was very interesting to hear that you applied both Sally Hansens and CCG to a piece of plexi-glass and set it out in the sun. I’ve not seen Sally Hansen’s turn yellow, It just doesn’t seem to hold up quite as well as CCG on my nymphs when their bumping the bottom on rocks. Will I still hold onto and and use my Sally Hansen’s, Yes, but I personally think that CCG has an edge on durability. That’s just my opinion though.

      As always, it’s great to hear from a fly fishing legend.


      • For the Sally Hansen’s, I was referring to using it as a topcoat for CCG. They tell you not to but it’s cheaper and more readily available (like on Amazon).

        I also use Sally as a head cement on all my saltwater flies but I do worry about the smell, which never seems to go away. For fish like permit it might scare them away. Years ago when I was head of product development here I had head cement infused with anise oil to mask the smell of the solvent. It never caught on, guess I’m just too wacky.

        • Tom,

          I gotcha now. You had me chuckling out loud when I read the part about infusing anise oil in the cement. That is so, something you would do, and I love it. Maybe one day it will catch on. I like the idea 🙂


  7. Hi Guys, I wanted to one thank you for your review of Clear Cure Products… And yes, we agree that Epoxy is a thing of the past.
    Aside from the time limitations, and problems with mixing your two materials together to make the epoxy hard- You also have to worry about Volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
    Which is why so many industries are going to Non Toxic UV resins.

    And to Tom- Our HYDRO product is a great UV product that you can use as an overcoat to cover any tack- Or you could invest in our Pro Plus light-It has a little over 3 times the power of our standard 21 LED Light. I also do not recall ever mentioning in any of our copy that Sally Hansens would yellow our product- It won’t.

    If you haven’t had a chance to use the Hydro Tom shoot me an email- Or next time I see you at a show, Ill hand you some… As far as we are concerned it is a “must have” in the Clear Cure Goo line up.

    Thanks again guys for the article- well done on the demise of Epoxy in fly tying… ( and everywhere else )

  8. I think 5-minute epoxy is a thing of past for many fly tying applications. I think the UV cured resins, which CCG is only one of several, are another great tool for the fly tier. However, epoxy is cheap and where economics are a concern or where you need a slower curing product resin, the epoxy will be hard to beat.

    Now, when it comes to coating thread wraps and making big thick built up heads like 5-minute epoxy is/was traditionally used for, I think the UV products will make 5-minute obsolete. In fact that may already be the case, especially considering UV resins stay clear where the 5-minute epoxy will yellow.
    Now, as far as topcoating flies, the UV products will have to come down in price at least half for it to be worth it for my to use in my commercial tying of poppers and spoonflies. However, for just coating a handful or when needing a fly that requires a topcoat for fishing the next day, UV resins are the way to go and is one of the things that makes them a great addition to the fly tier’s arsenal of tricks.


  9. To make mono-eyes, you can put a drop of CCG hydro on the end of a piece of heavy mono. It is faster and looks better than trying to use a lighter. You can then color the cured CCG with a sharpie

    • Rubber legs work amazing for eyes and are consistent in in size everytime and cheap. They sale all sorts of colors and sizes. Also doesn’t rub off like sharpee does. Just a tip if you haven’t tried it yet. Save so much time and looks great! Finger nail clippers let you cut them close and flat

  10. I am relatively new to fly tying, but it seems that CCG might be out of business. I seen this from today’s Gink & Gasoline email, but realize it is a very old article. The CCG website is defunct and their last FB posting is from 2020. Am I correct? Do you have another brand that you now prefer?

  11. The website appears defunct, and a web search indicates the product is unavailable. Are they out of business? I received this article in my Monday email from you today, so thought they must still be around.

  12. Your exploration of the viability of 5-minute epoxy in fly tying is thought-provoking. The evolving landscape of materials in fly patterns is intriguing, and your insights provide valuable considerations for fly enthusiasts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...