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Uv Light


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After Peter's great talk on Dec 7, I decided to try and find out which of my materials would exhibit these UV characteristics. I was out shopping at Princess Auto and found a UV flashlight for $2.00. I brought it home and eagerly spread out my materials and turned out the lights. I flipped on the UV light, and piles of stuff started to glow. I was excited, at first. It turns out that aside from orange laser wrap material, most of the glow-in-the-dark reflection was coming from the price tags on the packages. I was particularly unimpressed when I shone the light on some of my new UV materials and didn't really see much of an impact.


It turns out that I was confusing UV reactive—a word to describe substances which fluoresce under UV light. with UV reflective—a word to describe substances which reflect UV light. If substances don’t reflect UV light, then they absorb it.


Bottom line is that aside from special photography techniques, you would be able to see UV reflective material, even with a UV light.


This article contains a pretty good summary. It was written by Ian Stewart, from a club in Nanaimo.

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Ken thank you for your research on UV. It has become very interesting to look this stuff up.


I just print off the link and will give it a good read.


Did some tying using the UV kystal flash so needless to say can not wait to go out and try it out.


Tight Lines Always

Dennis S :fishing::fish_jump:

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While doing some research on UV as it relates to fly tying I came across the same article that you posted a link to and frankly I think I am more confused now (old age) than I was before I read the article. Unless I'm wrong, the material to use is the material that is listed as UV as in "UV Polar Chenille" as it reflects UV light or other natural materials that reflect UV light on a natural basis....such as the color white or dun and not colors that fluoresce under a UV light source.


Is this correct thinking or am I on the wrong track.



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As I understand it, fluorescent materials still fit the bill. They absorb and re-emit the UV light, but convert a portion of it to the visible spectrum. I would assume that the UV reflective materials are more highly visible to the fish, in general, but fluorescent's act on the same photo-receptors in the fish's eye. They'll have better light penetration than standard colors, but not as good as highly UV reflective materials.

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As far as taking the manufacturer's word for it, I don't think that's necessary, or even a very good idea. Several products are marketed as UV, but are not. I don't believe there is such a thing as a 100% reflective surface; however small, a percentage of light gets scattered. The light that is scattered from a UV reflective material gives off a distinctive blue-ish glow, at least all the synthetics that I've seen. Once you've seen that blue tinge in one material, you'll be able to recognize it in others. Best place to start would probably be with "pure" materials, like Pearlescent UV Flashabou or Crystal Flash.

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