To a freshly emerged flyfisherman the selection of chemistry products and tools must look overwhelming. To help you out selecting the products you need for your flies and fishing I have summarized a little here with usage of the different products and what you should consider. In addition to Tiemcos market leading products, Guideline has its own small range of floatants. There are numerous more out there but I believe these are the finest. Before you select a chemistry product, you should ask yourself if environmental issues are important to you. The items presented here are not harmful to nature or yourself. But don’t eat them, real food is cheaper!
AMADOU AND DRIERS
Amadou is made of a fungus that lives on birch trees among others. The material has natural fly-drying qualities and soaks up moisture quickly when you squeeze the fly between the two patches. Amadou works well on all kinds of flies. Another great product in this category is the Tiemco Flykerchief II, it has the same absorbing qualities as Amadou and can also be used for cleaning your glasses. One of these two is a must have for dry flies and is the first step to revitalizing your fly.
These are intentionally meant to help drying and refreshing your fly after catching a fish or when it does not float well any longer. If you put a wet fly into a shaker it will become white or gray and you will need to apply gel- or liquid floatant to restore colors. The Classic Tiemco Dry Shake is such a product that is available in white or dun color for darker flies. Many people use flies with cdc today, flies tied with these feathers have unique floatability and are very effective. However, they do need a little more care than flies tied with other materials. If you have flies tied with cdc as legs, the Powder Floatant is very good to have, gels and oils will not restore their suppleness the same way. In addition to the shaker there are powder filled bottles with a brush inside. These are very handy when you want to apply floatant to a certain area of the fly (emergers) and they are super for restoring cdc wings and fibers for legs. I would never be without one. The Tiemco Dry Shake Brush is such a product and its really great and long-lasting.
GEL AND LIQUID FLOATANTS
These floatants are normally the first you apply to a fly. Most on the market today are made of silicone and applied to the fly via your fingertips (small amount). Silicone is not Cdc flies best friend, the fibers and barbules on these feathers will collapse and the fly will not float nicely if you use silicone based floatant. For cdc flies and all other there are 3 floatants that work well: Tiemco Dry Magic, Cdc Gel and Cdc Oil. That said, you still have to be very cautious when you are applying these floatants to the cdc fly, tiny amounts on your fingertips and just lightly touching the fly. A fresh cdc fly from the box does not really need any floatant, but adding a little, especially to the body helps a lot. So which one to choose? Gels are “at the water” kind of treatment, oils can also be used at the vice to pre-treat the fly. With oil, remember to do a little false casting for the excess to come off before you present the fly to the fish. Oils are the thing for flies with cdc legs but its not so good as gel when it comes to helping hair and cock hackle float. So in fact I think you should have one of each.
To summarize this I think you should have a drier like Amadou and a powder flotant with or without brush, I use both. Finally a gel for most of your flies and cdc oil for those small cdc patterns and other flies with cdc legs. By the way, Cdc Gel is not only for Cdc, it works well on all other materials as well.
See our full range of floatants here