View Full Version : Tested: Albolene as Fly Floatant

Stana Claus
03-03-2013, 11:24 PM
After seeing Corbo's mention of using Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser as a dry fly floatant in this thread (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16694), I just had to give it a try. After checking Wally World and Sally's Beauty Supply, I finally located some at my local Walgreen's. Unfortunately, they didn't have the 6 oz jar, just the 12 oz jar for $12.99. But I bought it anyway and now I have a lifetime supply for both me and my son. :smile:

The first challenge was portioning out some into a suitable container for carrying on the stream. I looked in my travel kit and found an almost empty bottle of hotel shampoo (you know, those little bitty free sample sized bottles) that had a flip top lid and cleaned it out. Then I took a spare injectable marinade syringe and drilled out the business end to push a little more volume. Within just a few minutes I had it loaded up and ready to go.


Then it was off to a nearby stream for a test session. I went to one of the local creeks that is seasonally stocked by TWRA that's not too far from my house. Unfortunately, when I got there the air temperature was only 29 degrees, and the water wasn't much warmer.


I rigged up with a #14 Haystack and dropped a slightly weighted #16 BHPT off the back end. I squeezed out just a tiny bit of Albolene, rubbed it between my fingers to liquify it, then dressed the dry fly with it. I had never been to this creek before, so while I searched out some deeper water that might have a trout or two hiding in it, I proceeded to cast my flies into every pocket, run, and riffle I came upon to test how well the floatant would hold up. I must say, I was very impressed. I floated that fly through all the sorts of places that tend to drown a dry pretty quickly, but it never got waterlogged. Even after snagging the dropper on a twig and dragging the dry down, a couple of false casts to dry things off and it was back to floating like a cork. I fished that rig for just over an hour and never did have to reapply any floatant or use my dry shake. Of course, I didn't catch any fish to get it slimed up good, but that will be the next test.

All in all, I'd have to say I'm pretty convinced that this stuff is all that AND a bag of chips. I wonder how well it will work with CDC. Anyway, thanks for the tip, Corbo. I owe you one.

03-04-2013, 06:48 AM

That would be the Slime of the century.

Funny thing is I too have the humungous jar and can't seem to find it around the house..... have had that jar for more than 12 years and might need to purchase another lifetime supply.

03-04-2013, 07:44 AM
Stana Claus;105175

Beautiful pictures! I am sure just being in that moment was worth every bit of you effort!

03-04-2013, 11:34 PM
Santa Claus..... I thought you were supposed to mix the Albolene with lighter fluid inorder to come up with a mixture that would be the flotant.....Did you not mix any lighter fluid with yours ???
I found a recipe online but I don't recall the portions.....I want to say 1 part Albolene to 7 or 8 parts lighter fluid..... You can probably do a Google search and find it...... if you got just the Albolene to work ....great.......... :confused:

Stana Claus
03-05-2013, 11:15 AM
I've seen recipes that called for mixing paraffin with various solvents like lighter fluid, white gas, etc. in ratios like what you are describing, but Albolene seems to already be mixed. According to the ingredients list Albolene is mineral oil, petrolatum (petroleum jelly), paraffin, ceresin (another type of wax), and beta carotene (vitamin A). I suppose you could dilute it with some sort of solvent, but I really don't see any need to do so. The key seems to be to use just a tiny little drop that you liquify by rubbing it between your fingers before applying it to the fly. Too much and your fly gets goopy. Of course, you can always use the excess as an effective hand moisturizer to help eliminate chapped hands (another problem I have with other floatant products).

03-05-2013, 10:18 PM
I'll try the "straight stuff"...next time out ....you may right !!

03-06-2013, 09:27 AM
I have used Chapstick as an emergency substitute for fly floatant.

Stana Claus
03-06-2013, 11:50 AM
You know, after thinking about those ingredients, I bet Albolene would make a dandy emergency streamside fire starter in a survival-type situation. I may just have to give that a try, too.

drag line
03-06-2013, 02:35 PM
I have been using Albolene on my furled leaders that I make and find that just one application at the start keeps them floating high all day long. And you are right about a life time supply

03-06-2013, 06:17 PM
Drag line; that is wicked good idea!

I've been using IT for about 20 years and don't mix anything into it and I apply it very lightly. Just a dab will do ya.

03-06-2013, 08:22 PM
Could this also be used on floating line as well as leaders? Would I still need to clean it first, or would this replace my fly line cleaner?

Byron might have to start a beauty section in the shop:rolleyes:

03-06-2013, 08:55 PM
Before long a fly angler will be able to catch a nice fish and wade out of the water and give someone a makeover. Between this floatant, line nippers (nail clippers) and some fly tying materials like nail polish and SHHAN. Don't forget to spare one of your best pieces of hackle for their hair!