Flying Fish Fundamentals

Applying Stock Tape

There are two sizes of tape supplied, 5” x 5” and 3” x 5”.  This is enough to do 1 stock, the larger of the 2 pieces for the forend and the smaller for the butt.


Preparation is important in this endeavor as in most.  The stock should be clean and free of wax and oils prior to applying the tape.  This is best accomplished with a mild solvent such as lighter fluid or Stoddard solvent.  DO NOT use lacquer thinner as it will eat thru most finishes used on stocks.  If you want to be really cautious, use Windex, it will remove most of what you don’t want on the stock.  If you are replacing existing tape and have residue to remove, W-D 40, Kroil or almost any of the penetrating oils will do a very good job of getting off the old sticky stuff.  Just take your time and be sure to clean the area real well before applying the new tape.


Next take the time to mark the centerline of the tape by folding it in half longways, and mark the centerline of the stock.  A couple of inconspicuous crayon marks will suffice for aligning the tape as you apply it. Position the forend piece as far forward as possible, but not out of the rest.  The butt piece should be from back of the ear position in the rear bag and forward.  Take the time to set up your rifle in the bags before you finally decide on your tape position.  It is time well spent.


The real leap of faith comes upon application.  The best way I know of to achieve a smooth, bubble and wrinkle free tape job is with a wet stock and a squeegee.   The best squeegee I know of for the job is in one of your kitchen drawers.  One of the semi rigid spatulas, such as Tupperware or Rubbermaid; the kind you use for cleaning out the cake mix pan.  Wet down the area of the stock you are applying the tape to.  Peel back one end of the protective paper from the tape.  DO NOT remove the paper all the way, it will allow you to hang on to the tape with out doing a “fly paper” routine.  Use the squeegee to apply the tape, smoothing it from the center out, removing the paper as you go.  To those who built models as a kid, this is just like putting on the decals after you finished the paint job.


The one last thing to do after you have put the tape on is to wax everything.  Even the PTFE tape can benefit from a quick wax job.  Carnauba wax is best; something like good old-fashioned Johnson paste wax.  Don’t use the silicone waxes now suggested for car finishes.  These are OK for the paint on your rifle, but won’t do a thing for the tape, whereas the paste wax is good for everything.


One last thing, the PTFE tape is SLICK!!!!. If you find yourself in a bag/rest setup where the gun is pointed up, it may have a tendency to slide backwards.  You will probably find yourself using more front bag squeeze, but don’t depend on that to hold the gun. 

To contact us:


Flying Fish Fundamentals


4315 Ashby Ave.

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

Phone: 515-556-5833

Fax: 515-277-6038


E-mail : davidhalblom-bugtyer(at)


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