Powder floatants?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by fowie, Jun 20, 2013.


Powdered dry fly floatant is

  1. Where it's at

  2. A big gimmick

  3. Something I want to try

  4. What is floatant?

  1. I was asked to review a couple types of floatant from FishPimp. I had never tried a powder system before for dry fly floatant. You can read my review here. I liked their liquid floatant, but the powder wasn't very impressive. Has anyone had better experience with it? What are the advantages?
  2. Liquid floatant the night before and powdered desiccant to get a couple more casts out of it.

    It's kind of funny how a ghost colored white fly seems to catch as many fish as whatever color the fly originally was.
    orangeradish likes this.
  3. I use topride. That stuff will float a wet gym sock.
  4. I've tried many dry fly floatants in my many years of fly fishing. Paste, to spray to aerosol back to paste then to Moose snot and now to Lochsa. This last one is the best that I have ever used. Costs a little more but works a lot better that the other junk I've tried. I think I'm done experimenting with fly floatants. I have so much of that junk I won't have to buy anymore before I die.

    Oh, I've also tried that dry stuff. Didn't like it. To messy
  5. I think any of the paste type floatants work fine if applied to a dry fly before you get it wet. Once a fly "drowns" then "Frog Fanny" or other powder desiccants will restore the floatability for some more casts before you have to change flies. I would never use a powder on a "dry" fly-the pastes, whether it is the Loon product, which I use, or any of the other ones on the market work very well. There used to be a liquid product Steve Worley carried a long time ago from Whitefish MT which smelled like liquorish worked the best of any product I've tried but it is no longer available. Rick
  6. I found some of the Orvis product in the dirt a few years ago and used it on a couple flies...absolute crap. But, then I was told that the powder desiccant is really only useful if it is the first product used on a new fly...not after numerous slobbers with Gink. That said and tried, I still do not find it as good as Gink and nowhere near as good as the liquid concoction a guide friend of mine makes... I call it "cork" because it works that damn good.
  7. It seems to work well on CDC whereas the liquid stuff just gums it together. That's about all I use it for, but it works well for that.
    dryflylarry likes this.
  8. I carry Doc's Dry Dust with me all the time. Although it directs you to apply before fishing, I only use it on water logged flys to dry them out. I have a small snap top container that I can open with one hand, insert the fly, close the lid and shake. If the fly is super wet I blot it on my shirt before dusting. I use Gink for pretreatment before fishing.
  9. You need to differentiate between the two types of powders used for dries. There are desiccants which are hydrophillic (attract water) and are used to dry out a waterlogged fly. These are what is usually found in the containers that the fly is placed in and shaken. When using these you want to be sure to get all of it off the dry fly before fishing it again, as any powder left on the fly will attract water.
    Then there are the actual powder floatants which are hydrophobic (repel water). These are brushed into a fly that has been dried out. They work very well, and are the ONLY floatant that should be used on CDC.
    Frogs Fanny is probably the best known brand. However, Frogs Fanny is quite expensive - about $5 for a very small bottle. Frogs fanny is simply fumed Cab-O-sil which can be purchased from industrial suppliers for about $20 for about 2-3 lifetime supplies.( I got mine for free several years ago, by asking Cab-O-sil company for a sample to try out - doubt that you could do that now). It is, however, a real PITA to transfer the material from its original container to a small bottle that has a brush. I use a turkey baster to transfer the powder to an empty Frogs Fanny bottle.. I also wear a face mask when performing the transfer. If you decide to go this route be sure to get the FUMED Cab-O-sil. The unfumed Cab-O-sil is hydrophillic.
    Another good use for the Fumed Cab-O-sil is to brush it into a weighted nymph such as a GRHE. This will result in the nymph having lots of small air bubbles when fished, which seems to be a bite trigger.
    I just checked Amazon, & a gallon of fumed Cab-O-sil (probably enough for at least 3 lifetimes of fishing) is $25.
    Kent Lufkin and freestoneangler like this.
  10. If you tie the dry fly properly, you won't need floatant :)

    Seriously, I, too, have tried powder, paste, liquid, gel and lip gloss. The powder works okay if you follow BaldBob's suggestions. When I first started flyfishing, I used the powder with pretty good success. In those days, there wasn't much to choose from.

    I wasn't kidding about the lip gloss.

    Many moons ago I was fishing The Madison at Three Buck Bridge. It was during the evening hatch when I switched to a dry fly because the large trout were rising everywhere that I realized had no floatant.

    I'd heard that you could use Chap Stick as floatant so I asked Virginia if she had any. She didn't but told me she did have strawberry flavored lip gloss. What the heck, I gave it a try and it worked! I don't know if the strawberry flavor had anything to do with it but I can't argue with success.

    I don't know if I can recommend that you run out and buy strawberry flavored lip gloss to use for floatant but one evening on The Madison it sure saved my butt.
  11. Great points BaldBob... there is indeed two types, hydrophillic vs. hydrophobic, a subtle but important aspect about how they work. Also, thanks for the tip on fumed Cab-O-Sil... the folks at Frogs Fanny probably won't be sending you a Christmas card this year :D.
  12. Using bait ,huh
  13. Yup, strawberry flavored.
  14. I am with Rick. Paste to start or apply the night before fish, once wet apply in powder. Good day of fishing a dry fly!

  15. Frog's Fanny is good, especially on CDC or even non-CDC small flies. Even with my hair wing flies like stimulators I apply some Aquel and then brush some FF in. Works great. Another trick is to spray and soak your flies with Camp Dry stuff. Let it dry overnight then fish as normal.
  16. If i get dries in advance I usually spray them with scotch guard and let them dry overnight. Then on the water I'll use a little bit of paste since that's what I use on the furled leaders.
  17. If you want a lifetime supply of dry floatant, check out this website: http://www.epoxyproducts.com/silica.html It explains what hydrophobic fumed silica (Frog's Fanny) is and you can buy a quart of the stuff for $6.50 if you scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link. You can also mix it 50:50 with flower drying silica gel ( get it at any craft store) and you have the equivalent of Shimizaki Dry Shake. ;)
  18. Good point. The stuff I was trying was a 2-stage chamber, so stage 1 was the dessicant and stage 2 the hydrophobic floatant (stuff gets EVERYWHERE). It seemed to work okay, but not great. Guess I need to try it again and realize it's more of an addition to your pre-applied liquid floatant, not a from-scratch type treatment.

    Thanks for the input!

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