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Focus on Floatants

This summer, we are going to present a series of blogs on different elements of dry fly fishing. This week’s focus: floatants.

Gone are the days where a tube of gink was your only option for keeping your fly dry. Now, though, the options are overwhelming and can get confusing fast. When and why do we choose each type of floatant?


Traditional Silicon Floatant Gel, such as Loon Aquel and Gink, work best on patterns fresh out of your fly box before your fly hits the water. These gels work to repel water from the fly to keep it floating longer. Keep in mind, floatant is like hair gel, there can be too much of a good thing, so apply it sparingly. Also make sure not to use traditional floatant on dry flies with CDC, such as my favorite, the Mole Fly.

Loon’s Lochsa is an incredible product for all dry flies, but especially flies with CDC, as it won’t mat down and feathers and won’t melt in heat or harden in the cold which can be a problem with other gels.


The Loon Fly Dip is an absolutely game-changing floatant. To use, you simply dip your fly into the liquid. It quickly dries and seals out water and brings life back into any dry fly, even flies with CDC! There are many liquid options out there, but the Loon is by far the best I have tried.


Have you found that keeping your fly floating is more difficult because your tippet is sinking and dragging your fly along with it? Give the Loon Payette Paste a shot! This clear paste keeps its texture regardless of temperature and can be used on your tippet and leader as well as flies to keep your fly on the surface.


Shimazaki is my all-time favorite. This powder has both a desiccant and floatant in it, which means it not only re-applies floatant to your fly, but actively draws water out of it as well. I can’t dry fly fish without Shimazaki. It seems that fish will most always eat the fly on the first few casts after using the Shimazaki Dry Shake. This shake also comes in both a white and a Dun color for darker flies. My favorite way to use dry shake is to first use Loon Lochsa or Fly Dip on my dry fly straight out of the box, then use the Shimazaki Dry Shake when the fly starts to sink to perk it back up.

1 Comment

  1. Scott on June 10, 2021 at 9:25 am

    My main problem with this stuff is the containers. The liquids/gels/pastes leak and the powders either spill or get wet.

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