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Making Fly Tying Wax

By Paul Little

Tying wax is not a dubbing wax; it is used for its adhesive properties only. However one can use it for touch dubbing or misting the fur onto a waxed thread.

Equipment required:

  1. Stainless Steel Pan.
  2. Silicone tartlet/ice cube tray; not too large a diameter
  3. Digital weighing scales.

Ingredients required:

  1. Rosin
  2. Beeswax, as light in colour as possible.
  3. Castor oil

Method for say 7:2:1.5 (by weight) wax

  1. Prepare and weigh the ingredients: rosin, beeswax and castor oil. The rosin and beeswax should be in small pieces to aid the melting process.
  2. Start for example with the formula “7:2:1.5”, that is 7 parts rosin, 2 parts bees wax and 1.5 parts castor oil by weight. Hence if one makes the weight of rosin 70 grams then the beeswax will weigh 20 grams and the castor oil 15 grams.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a stainless steel pan (this will forever be your wax pan!) and place on a medium heat. Do not leave the pan unattended, the wax can combust if it becomes too hot. Do not let the wax boil, excessive heat can darken the wax.
  4. When completely melted remove from the heat and let to cool slightly, this allows any bubbles to dissipate before pouring.
  5. Pour into the moulds and allow the wax to cool forming solid blocks.
  6. If a wax this formula is needed to replicate Cobblers wax than just add a small piece of Pitch or a small piece of original Cobblers wax to colour. This will be perfect for spider bodies like that of the Greenwell’s Glory.

Articles by Paul Little