Gels generally come in slender tubes, with some form of nozzle, the most obvious being ‘Gherke’s Gink’. Regardless of brand, generally, a tiny amount of gel is deposited onto your index finger. This is then massaged between thumb and finger to liquefy before anointing the required part of a fly. Rather surprisingly, when applying gel-based floatants the more frugal you are the better, as liberal amounts not only clog up materials, but an oily slick initially surrounds your fly after casting out. Low riding flies and emergers in particular benefit from gels as specific amounts can be applied to certain parts of a fly, a perfect example being something like a Klinkhamer when you want the body and thorax to become submerged. Naturally then, only the wingpost and hackle should be subjected to any treatment. One thing to be mindful of with gels is they readily melt on warmer days, turning instantly to liquid. If housed upside down on your vest or bag sometimes there’s a tendency for them to leak, which is not only wasteful, but messy too. For that reason, I tend to store/carry mine with the nozzle uppermost.
The wingpost on this dry fly is now ready to float.
Now rub the gel between index finger and thumb until viscous.
Squeeze out a small amount of gel onto your index finger.
Gently work the gel into the fibres with index finger and thumb.
Next, apply the gel by rubbing it on to the area you want to float.