This Stratocaster was built by one of the UK’s best makers of relic guitars. The owner, who’d had it from new, complained that the back of the neck felt sticky and so it did.
I found that a good clean and polish helped matters a lot, but the owner wanted the neck de-glossed. Once I’d removed the gloss however the stickiness was back, due to the “pre-cat” finish that had been used on the neck.
The only solution then was to strip the back of the neck completely and seal with Tru-Oil which I did. The original finish is feathered in at the heel, so the transition cannot be felt.
The neck was now silky smooth and not at all sticky. It will however need periodically to be re-oiled to maintain its slick feel.