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 Post subject: Bergman's Fly Floatant
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:53 pm • # 1 
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I did a couple of ULFF searches for "Bergman" and "floatant" and didn't get any results on Ray Bergman's floatant recipe from his great book, Trout. I've tried his recipe and for a few pennies' worth of paraffin dissolved in the remnant of a can of Coleman fuel, I have enough floatant to last years. After dipping a fly into the solution contained in a small wide-mouthed bottle with a leak-proof cap and shaking, then shaking the excess solution off the fly using the VERY effective rubber band fly dryer I found in this The Frugal Fly Fisherman forum, it floats like a cork; better than any floatant I've ever used.

Here is a link to an article referencing Bergman's floatant recipe in the book showing a test comparison with commercially available products
2 ounces of paraffin dissolved in 1 pint of non-leaded gas

However I have found two *three* disadvantages to this floatant recipe.

The first is it congeals below 60° fahrenheit. So you can either carry it in a tightly sealed bottle inside a shirt or jacket pocket or I've heard that a little less paraffin in the mix will help.

The second disadvantage is it's an extremely flammable mixture. Smoking a pipe, cigars, or cigarettes... :hat when treating your fly would be a bad idea, but I'm a non-smoker.

*The third disadvantage is I have not been able to find a larger jar to mix and store a batch of floatant or a small bottle to carry with me that seal well enough to keep the Coleman white gas from evaporating for longer than just a couple of weeks.*

Last edited by Brian_Miller on Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:36 pm • # 2 
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That is very close to what my dad used to mix up for us when I was a kid. He would shave Gulf Wax


(paraffin wax) that my mom used in canning into carbon tetrachloride that you could buy over the counter at the drug store, it was banned from consumer products in the US in 1970.. The carbon tet would evaporate and leave the wax film same as Bergman’s formula except it would not ignite while smoking and did not have the smell. I would think an industrial acetone today would be close t the same.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:53 pm • # 3 
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Thanks for posting that Brian.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:44 pm • # 4 
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What I use. ... dryfly.jpg[/IMG]

Love it, and yes, if the kindling is a bit damp......

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 2:50 pm • # 5 
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Hi folks,

"un-leaded gas" isn't a good idea. It smells. I prefer Coleman fuel or straight VMP Naptha (basically Coleman fuel without the anti-rust and other additives). VMP Naptha is gin clear also. In the old days they called this stuff "White gas". Once evaporated, it doesn't leave a discernible smell.

In recent years I have cut back on the amount of paraffin I use so that I can have one formula for both winter and warmer seasons.

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