When it comes to head cement, I can’t figure out which is better between a cement that’s acrylic or one that is water based. I know that an acrylic type like Hard as Hull brand needs a thinner added to it for obvious reasons, as one that is water based can be thinned out with water which is convenient.
Is one more durable than the other? Orvis sells both, and the water base is always cheaper for what I have seen, which is friendlier on my wallet. But cheaper has it’s limitations.
For most of my dries I don’t bother to cement them – just whip finish the fly and done. Most of them wind up in a tree before they come undone. There’s a decade-old bottle of Rumpf cement somewhere in the tying mess. The volume never seems to get lower – I just keep thinning the stuff as it gets old and thick. I do cement stripped quill bodies otherwise they’d be goners after one fish.
I just whip finish and don’t bother cementing. Not to be inappropriate on this forum, but for spiders that I tie with Pearsalls silk, I find that waxing the thread before whip finishing helps snug the knot up.
Your right on SteveG about using wax, it really helps to hold things well like tails & hackle. I try to remember to do that, but I get forgetful at times. Which brings up Creeks opinion as it’s like insurance. Since I do forget to use wax at times I never seem to forget the cement because it’s like the finishing touch.
My flies seem to last a long while also, and if it is the cement that helps, I can’t really say either. But maybe that’s a new experiment for this year, hmmm. Yes, I think it is.
I do know when it comes to peacock herl, cement applied on the shank of the hook makes the herl stronger, so I guess there is a use for it. Though what I’m getting from you gents is, it’s personal preference.