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Tube Flies

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I've been wanting to experiment with tube flies for a very long time now. After reading Tom Rosenbauer's and April Vokey's articles in the latest issue of the Fly Fisherman Magazine, I was intrigue.


These are some of my creations on tubes (so far): Articulated Flies (similar to those that I'd tied on Fish Sculpt articulated shanks and posted a few weeks ago), Wooly Buggers, Zonker and Clousers, CF Muddlers and Eggs.




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Thanks Rob. So far, I had a chance to test them out a little bit and the tube flies seems to ride the same way as the traditional flies.


There are many benefits that proponents of the tube flies trump over the traditional flies (you probable had heard them all), but the most important to me is the fact that "when tube flies are used in conjunction with Octopus hooks, the flies ride hook-point-up". They become bend-back flies (see the pic).




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For those of you that would like to start tying flies on tubes, these are some tips I had learned over the past few weeks:


1) You don't need an expensive new tube-vise or a fancy tube fly adapter to get started. There are 2 very economical options: The first is "felting needles" in size 36, 38, 40 from Kmart or Walmart, $6.95 per 4 needles. Here is the link (just in case you are wondering what felting needles looks like):


The second option is "tapered needles", $15.99 per 13 needles, . You can order them from "Canadian Tube Fly". Here is the link: http://canadiantubeflies.com/flytying-tapered-needles-full-kit.html

These are virtually "felting needles" in different sizes. Don't forget to break the sharp tips off, so you won't poke yourself.


2) Get some HMH tubes. They come in 3 sizes ($4.65-$5.85 per pack): Micro, Small, and Large. Micro is good for flies size 6-12. Small is good for flies size 1-6. Large is good for flies size 1/0 and larger. Here is a link: http://www.jsflyfishing.com/hmh-plastic-cut-to-length-tubing


3) You also need: a ruler, a razor, and a lighter. Use a ruler to measure the plastic tube to a desired length and cut it with a razor. Use a lighter to burn both ends of the cut tube, so that they form lips around the tube. The lips will prevent your thread from slipping off the tube.


4) Attach a felting needle onto your regular vise jaw. Insert the tube onto the felting needle and start tying.


You can start tying flies on tubes with just under $20. Give it a shot, if you are looking for something new to try.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm happy to report back that the tube flies have been working wonderfully.


For steelhead, my land/hook ratio increased to about double from 30-35% to 70-80%.


For smallie, there are some adjustments needed to be tingled - For instance, a fly tied on tube needs extra wraps of wire to counter the buoyancy of the plastic tube and in order for it to have the same or similar sink rate as a fly tied on a regular metal hook. But, a Foxy Crawdad tied on a plastic tube did account for the first 19" smallie of the year, yesterday.



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Jstockard has some tube fly deals until may 11. Spend more than $10 and add in the tube fly adapter to your cart, and it's free. Plus other stuff. Just thought if let you tube fly tyers know! Ryan

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Tube Fly Update:

After my recent white bass outing, I learned that the tube flies didn't give good jigging actions. A Clouser tied on a tube doesn't get as much the up & down (jigging) motions as the same fly tied on a straight shank hook. A Clouser tied on a jig hook (60 or 90 deg) get the best up & down actions.


Tube flies are good for swinging and horizontal presentations, not jigging presentation.

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