When it comes to fly floatant there are many choices out there. Here I will review some of the most popular types, to give you a better idea of what options exist in this category.
Mucilin is one of my personal favorites. Perhaps one of the most well known fly floatants on the market. It is available in two styles, the red can and the green can. The green can mucilin is my personal favorite fly floatant. Mucilin comes with a line cleaning/conditioning pad inside. This is a great thing to have around for cleaning the dirt off your fly lines. The best way to prolong the life of your expensive lines is to keep them clean. I consider this pad just an extra bonus, because the main reason I use mucilin is for its fly floating capabilities. The red can is a classic favorite. It works pretty good, but not nearly as well as the silicone based green can. I apply this liberally to my flies before they get wet. That’s the key to getting good performance from most fly floatants, to apply it BEFORE you get your flies wet. This will get pretty runny on a hot day, so you will need to put it somewhere that has a regulated temperature which is hard to do sometimes on the river. On hot days I will put my mucilin in the cooler(when fishing out of a boat) with the beverages when it starts to get runny, this will thicken it up quickly. Another trick is to dip it in the river after each time you use it. This will usually keep it solid enough for use. The final tip here is to put it into a more tightly closing container to prevent leakage. (A film canister will work well for this).
Honestly I hadn’t ever used Fly-Agra Floatant until fairly recently. This is a liquid based floatant that comes in a small vile. Just dip your fly in it and go. You will need to make a couple extra false casts to dry your fly out, but once the Fly-agra has dried, it will float your fly pretty good. In my opinion even if you have your favorite fly floatant that you will never stop using, I think fly-agra has a place in your gear bag. The reason I think so is this; Unlike most fly floatants, it can be applied and is still effective when used on a wet/waterlogged dry fly. The liquid seems to cut right through, removing the moisture and will have your fly floating like new in no time flat. One potential disadvantage of flyagra is its liquid form, this could easily lead to spills and leaks.
Gehrke’s Gink and Aquel from Loon Outdoors
Both Gink and Loon Aquel are very good fly floatants to have around. I am sure I have some of both of them in my gear bag right now. They are pretty similar in function, and they both seem to work about equal to each other. I find that the Aquel stays a little bit more firm in hot conditions, but they both turn to liquid on hot days. Its easy to go through a half a bottle in a day of heavy fishing when they are liquefied. They work equally well in the liquid or gel form.
Umpqua Shimazaki Dry Shake
There are several different dry shake Floatants on the market. They are very effective for the smaller more delicate flies. When your size 20 midge gets to sinking, this is a great way to dry it out and get it back to the surface. Sometimes with liquids and especially mucilin, your fly can become deformed from the application of the floatant. The multiple different dry shakes on the market will cure that problem. Just put your fly into the bottle, close the lid and shake it up.
Other Similar Dry Shake Floatants are:
Frogs Fanny, as in tighter than a frogs fanny..
Orvis Shake-n-Float Powdered Fly Dressing
Tite Line Dry Fly Floatant & Desiccant Powder
There are tons of different Dry fly Floatants on the market. I know I have only covered a few here, but I think you get the idea. Each type of fly floatant has a purpose, and a place in your fly fishing artillery.
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