I like tying with mono eyes, but my attempts to actually burn mono have not really looked right. Because of this failure on my part, I’ve bought them (at $5.50 a pack) instead of making them.
This weekend I suddenly figured out how to make mono eyes using UV cure stuff (I use the loon UV Clear Fly Finish).
All you have to do is just dip a single piece of mono into the UV gel, set it and then dip it again and then set that. Repeat the process about 4-5 times and you’ll have a really nice round eye on a stalk. Get some black nail polish and paint the eyes, wait for them to dry and then coat them one more time with the UV cure gel.
The final product is a pretty good looking mono eye.
There are other ways to make the eyes, as I found out on the Facebook page, but I think this one is going to be how I do these myself.
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Tie a single overhand knot before you dip it – bulks up faster
I prefer 5 min epoxy as I can add flourescent enamel (Humbrol ect) to colour the eye
I’m with Gavin, I like to use 5 minute epoxy. Builds up faster and less hassle than using the UV light several times. Set up an assembly line process and make a dozen or more at a time. I use 20lb Hard Mason (anything heavier makes the stalk too stiff and I think at times pushes the fly away from the fish’s mouth when it takes). Cut a dozen or more piece of mono, all about 2 – 3 inches long. Light a candle or alcohol lamp and holding the length of mono in some tweezers or hackle pliers, ignite one end. Hold the mono vertically and if necessary tilt it to keep the melted blob sort of centered. It doesn’t have to get big. Snuff that one out, turn the piece around and melt the other end. Dip each end on black or dark olive acrylic paint. I fold a piece of cardboard and cut notches into it to lay the piece of mono as they dry. When you have all your pieces melted and painted, mix up a little blob of 5 minute epoxy on a piece of foil. Dip the painted ends of the mono into the epoxy. Usually the epoxy will automatically form a circular ball due to the surface tension of the epoxy. Lay them back on your piece of cardboard to dry. When dry I put them in a little zip lock bag and keep them with my other eye stuff. When you’re ready to tie, cut a piece in half making two eyes. You can squish the unmelted ends in a pair of flat jawed pliers to make it easier to tie if needed. And if you worry about the eyes pulling out, melt a tiny blob on the unpainted end before you tie them in. That blob keeps the mono from pulling out from beneath the thread wraps.
Agreed with above, but whether you use UV or Epoxy, I recommend holding the mono vertical before curing to achieve a teardrop shape.