Friday, January 4, 2013

Fly Products: Review of Loon Outdoors Pt 1 - Fly Tying

Andrea over at Loon has been great to us here at TLTFF, constantly reaching out and always swift with her responses to any questions or contact we have. A big thanks goes out to her and Loon for allowing us to maintain a great relationship and review some of the coolest products on the market.

Some of you may remember our first review of Loon's products back in March. We reviewed their UV Wader Repair goo which was actually the first time we had ever used anything UV. Since then, Loon has propelled themselves into the UV market and risen to be among the top in the industry. The only down side that we found, at the time of the previous review, was that you had to let the sun's UV rays do its work to cure the UV products. Thats why this time around, we went ahead and got ourselves a UV light from Loon.

Loon offered two different UV lights, a small flashlight size (the UV Power Light) and a mini, keychain sized one (the UV Mini Lamp). We had the mini lamp for this review since we figured its compact and easy to pack and travel with (if your one of those people who finds themselves tying flies out of the back of your car/streamside) and well, it was cheaper. But boy oh boy, did it get the job done!
Perfect for keeping on a vest, the UV Mini Lamps allows UV Knot Sense, UV Wader Repair, UV Boat Repair or UV Fly Paint to cure almost instantly. It also is great for charging glow-in-the-dark items, like Bio-Glow. Batteries are included.

- UV light for curing Loon's UV products
- Lightweight and ideal to carry in a vest
- Uses 4 AG3 batteries (included)

Coming in at $15.95, you do really get your bang for your buck since batteries are included and those little AG3 batteries can cost you on the upside of $5.00 at the store. I've used this mini lamp a whole lot over the last month and a half (see conclusion for details), and this little bugger consistently gets the job done.

Continuing down the UV path, we move on to the next product. Loons UV Clear Fly Finish is basically UV cured epoxy. It comes in two consistencies, Thick and Thin. We had the priveledge of using the Thin finish. The Thin comes out in a watery, sweet smelling drop with the included Needle Tip. You have to be quick with this stuff with your lamp or else it will drip right on off the fly.

With less viscocity than the original, UV Clear Fly Finish Thin is perfect for delicate applications without sacrificing curing speed and strength. No mixing or waiting is required, and it remains workable until exposed to direct sunlight or Loon's UV lamps, at which point it will cure in a matter of seconds. Use it as an adhesive for eyes, a thick head cement, quick-building clear back for scuds, or instant repair for damaged flies.


- Build fly heads and bodies
- Instantly cures with sunlight or UV light
- Needle tip included for precision tying

UV Clear Fly Finish is for those who believe "five minutes to cure is five minutes too long." No mixing or waiting is required, and it remains workable until exposed to direct sunlight or Loon's UV lamps, at which point it will cure in a matter of seconds. Use it as an adhesive for eyes, a thick head cement, quick-building clear back for scuds, or instant repair for damaged flies.


- Build fly heads and bodies
- Instantly cures with sunlight or UV light
- Needle tip included for precision tying

Coming in at $29.95 for the bottle and Needle Tip, it seems overpriced but honestly, I bet one of those bottles could last you over 500 saltwater flies, if it didnt drip so much, I definitely want to try out the thicker of the Fly Finishes. Boom.

One of my favorite new products from Loon, and definitely the most useful, is their new Mixing Cup. Whether you use it for its intended use to mix or simply as a place to store beads for all those BH nymphs your tying up, it really is a good buy.

The Mixing Cup is the perfect vessel for modifying head cements and UV Clear Fly Finish, and all but eliminates clean-up. Because cements will not bond to the Mixing Cup, once cured they will pop out.


- Unbreakable
- Suctions to smooth surfaces
- Will not bond to cements or epoxies
- Eliminates clean up

Coming in at $7.50, it is definitely worth purchasing one or two for your tying bench. I've been using the mixing cup for everything from mixing the head cements to adding the next in line product for the review to the UV Clear Fly Finish, making for some super radical flies.

Next up, one of the greatest ideas to date for us fly tyers who have bought into the whole epoxy and UV game, powder to mix into your goo. Loon's Fly Tying Powder is offered in a few different colors and one that will make your jaw hit the ground its so innovative. The pow pow we reviewed was the of the Pearlescent sorts. After mixing up a little smidge in my Mixing Cup with some UV Clear Fly Fishing, one of the coolest Surf Candies I've ever tied, will absolutely make the Stripers go crazy come Springtime.

The new Loon Pearlescent Fly Tying powder gives tyers the ability to add pigment and sparkle to their tying cements. Available in Red, White, Blue and Green, they can be used to completely alter the appearance of a fly, or give a subtle flash. They are compatible with traditional cements as well as UV Cured cements.


- Adds pigment and pearlescence
- Available in Red, White, Blue and Green
- Non-toxic
- Compatible with all Loon cements and UV Products
- Compatible with other brands of tying cements

Coming in at $14.95, again a bit steep, especially for someone who doesn't fish salt too often. Off the top of my head I can't think of any fresh flies that would need it unless you wanted to put a dab on a nymphs back, in that case this bottle will last forever!!! The powder is offered in a glowing Phosphorescent as well as...wait for freaking cool...Tungsten. Yup, Tungsten. To add the little bit of weight you need to your fly, they have Tungsten powder. Awesome. Unfortunately we didn't review this stuff yet but you better believe we will eventually. 

Moving on and continuing down the UV trail, we come to Loon's UV Fly Paint. Now this stuff, let me tell you, innovation at its finest. We were able to try out a the Orange, one of three colors Loon offers (Yellow, Red, and Orange). The orange paint was great for making a few eggs and coloring some bass bugs. The yellow and red I imagine would be great for that as well.

UV Fly Paint is the perfect way to instantly add bold or subtle details to a fly, or to change the color all together. The UV cure gives the freedom to make changes on the water, as the paint cures in seconds when exposed to direct sunlight or Loon's UV lamps.


- Create colored fly heads and bodies
- Change fly colors on the water
- Cures soft and pliable
- Instantly cures with sunlight or UV light

- Easily adds detail and color to salt water patterns

Coming in at $7.50, this product is honestly at steal and ideally priced for someone wanting to try something new. The tube is the same size as all other Loon tubes, 1/2 oz, but will last awhile. Probably a good 50 eggs.

Again continuing on with the gooey goodness, we come to Loon's Hard Head. This does not require UV lights and does essentially the same thing as the UC Clear Fly Finish and Powder but is offered in a much larger range of colors, takes the place of your boring old clear head cement, is better for the environment (as with all Loon products), and is way underpriced for how great it is.

Odorless, non-toxic, one part thick head cement perfect for building colorful glossy heads and bodies. Dries hard and clear. Never mix epoxy again.


- Thick head cement
- Dries hard and with a high gloss
- Odor free
- Water based
- Comes with applicator brush
- Excellent for building up heads and bodies
- Perfect for painting poppers 

Coming in at $7.50 for a 1 oz jar, it really is underpriced. Offered in Orange, Black, Clear, Red, Pink, Yellow, Blue and Green, you could get a whole set for only $60 bucks. We used the Black, Pink and Green, all were indeed great for Poppers and a few minnow patterns for the current Pickerel run in the Bay.

This brings us to our last product, Loon's Hydrostop. Great product, probably one of the best buys since its pretty much ready for like 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 dry flies.

Hydrostop permanently treats new flies with a floatant. Coming in a conveniently large container hundreds of flies can be treated, dozens at a time. Flies allowed to soak for 5 minutes and then dried overnight will float higher when they are used. Perfect for yarn-type indicators as well as pre-treating dubbing. 


- Permanent waterproofing treatment for flies
- Large mouth container to treat dozens of flies at a time
- Great for waterproofing indicators, dubbing, etc

Coming in at $7.50, it follows the common cost of anything Loon really. Affordable and ideal, its another product that won our hearts. With over 50-60 flies making their way through this bottle, i really don't know if this thing is ever going to run out. Like, this thing may be a one time purchase. I can seem myself all gray haired and burly in 40 years still using this container.

One of Loon's biggest competitors in the UV market is Clear Cure Goo. Now I've never used their products, but I've talked to a few guys who have and the one thing they always fuss about is the cost of the UV light. CCG only offers one light, and its $30, so $15.95 aint bad at all. Now if you want to really delve into the numbers game, overall, CCG does cost less than Loon. BUT WAIT, if you look deeper into the products, you get more in one container with Loon's products AND your using your conscience, by not having an impact on the environment with Loon.

With all of factors considered, here's how we've rated Loon's products on our TLTFF rating scale:

The UV Mini lamp is definitely getting 5 out of 5 stars. This little guy has cured over 50 bugs, 3 wader holes, helped build a GoPro egg timer time lapse device, and set at least 20 leader knots for me so far and is still going super strong.

The UV Clear Fly Finish - Thin is getting 3.5 out of 5 stars since it really was a bit too viscous and tended to drip before I could cure it, wasting some. It also is a few dollars over what I could like to pay for it.

The Mixing Cup, definitely 5 out of 5 stars, made mixing materials and powders exponentially easier and is holding about 10 bead heads as we speak. Ideal, well priced, and overall useful.

The Pearlescent Fly Tying Powder gets 4 out of 5 stars. I'm not 100% sold on the powder bit yet but definitely getting there. The WOW Factor isn't totally there yet, probably since I haven't been able to hook up on a fish on a fly thats been tied with this goodness yet.

The UV Fly Paint gets 4 out of 5 stars and not 3.5 only because it really is innovative. The price is there and the use is great but when you have the powders and Loon's Hard Head Cement, this stuff is kinda tossed to the backseat. I love the idea, and love the use, but the Head Cement is where its at, for now. I'll wait till more colors are introduced to give it the full 5.

The Hard Head Cement gets 5 out of 5 stars for sure. Loon really put a new spin on an old staple of us fly tyers and added some great color. I love using this on Poppers and by adding a little indicator blotch on the back of some ants and beetles.

Finally, the Hydrostop. Finishing off the review with a solid 5 out of 5 stars, I love this product. As really the only one in the TLTFF Crew who uses dry flies on the regular, I have to say this product not only saves time on the water by not having to bring in your fly to coat with some floatant, but it saves you money big time. Like I said before, this little container will last forever, and $7.50 for 2 oz of forever is pretty damn good.

Hope this helped you fly tyers out there, especially those looking to jump into the UV game. I'm telling you, its addicting. I've tied more flies since I got my UV Loon stuff than I probably did for all of 2012 up to that point. From Poppers to dries, nymphs to GoPros, this stuff works. Roll on over to Loon Outdoors and check it, make sure you let them know we sent you. Make sure you check them out on Facebook and Instagram as well!


*This review was completely unbiased and this/these product(s) were lent to me for review purposes only. This review, as with all of our reviews was, completely fair with no intentions coming into it of giving it a "good" or "bad" rating. We do our best to keep all reviews as fair as possible with biases being thrown out the door.

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