Weather  MDC

Mark's Tying Wax Recipe

This recipe for tying wax was provided by Mark Van Patten, Stream Biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation and featured tier on the popular fly fishing show - The Tying Bench. To follow Mark on his facebook page Click here.

It is an excellent substitute for head cement as it avoids gluing liquid soaking into the fly pattern. The contents of the wax makes it difficult for the finishing knot to come lose.


Percentage by weight:

  1. 70% Pine Rosin - ordinary violin bow rosin, pitcher's mound rosin or rock pine rosin (found on ebay)
  2. 20% Beeswax
  3. 10% Castor Oil


  1. Melt all the ingredients together in a sauce pan on low heat. [Only use your wife's favorite pan if you have a death wish.]
  2. VERY LITELY oil a Teflon muffin tin with castor oil on a piece of paper towel.
  3. Pour the mixture on the muffin tin to about 1/4 inch deep.
  4. Let it set up until it is slightly solid then place flat in the freezer for 30 minutes to finish cooling and set up. (Don't get frustrated because not all batches are equal.)
  5. Ideally, the wax should not feel very sticky and should feel hard. It will soften if left in a shirt pocket or in your hands for three to five minutes allowing you to smooth worn edges from the thread.
  6. If you want a softer wax you can reduce the Rosin and increase the Castor Oil proportionally. Rosin is what makes this wax work. If you reduce the Rosin, do so judiciously.
- Up -