tube flies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: tube flies


wet fly
12-23-2003, 03:41 PM
I have used tube flies exclusively for the past 2 years. I have kept records of fish hooked to landed ratio of different hooks and compared to a regular fly. It has been interesting research. My friends thought I was just fishing. Now I am wondering about attractiveness of tube flys especially in the smaller sizes. It seems in the size 6 or 8 hook size I have more takes on a regular fly. We have so many proven fly patterns developed over the years. It has been difficult for me to make a fly on a tube to mimic a hook tied fly. The bigger intruder and popcicle type flies can be tied nicely on a tube fly. Any thoughts. Jerry

fredaevans
12-23-2003, 04:24 PM
I've given up trying to tie small tube fly's; shifted off to Waddington Shanks or just on a 'regular hook.'

Philster
12-23-2003, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by wet fly
It seems in the size 6 or 8 hook size I have more takes on a regular fly. We have so many proven fly patterns developed over the years. It has been difficult for me to make a fly on a tube to mimic a hook tied fly. The bigger intruder and popcicle type flies can be tied nicely on a tube fly. Any thoughts. Jerry

Are you tying your smaller flies on the same 1/8 O.D. tubes? Kennebec has a thinner tube for smaller flies and it works great for me on 1/4 to 1 inch flies. They still plane up on grease line presentations, but I'm working on that:chuckle:

kush
12-23-2003, 05:26 PM
Wetfly,

I have been using tubes for 4 full seasons now and rarely use a regular fly. I have had good results with smaller flies, however there are a few things I have done.

First, I was not happy with the thicker bodied flies, so I have looked for thinner diameter tubes. The best I have found are fine graphite tubes (from the tips of broken/discarded rod tips - any rod builder will have lots). These give me the slim profile I want in my low water patterns.

The second thing I have done is to convert my favourite patterns to "in the round" ties - I will post a few photos in a little bit. Finally, to answer Philster's concern about them planing, I use an intermediate poly leader and 4-5' of tippet. This keeps the pattern just under the surface where I want it.

Doublespey
12-23-2003, 05:28 PM
I had the same problem planing with small flies on floating line. Then I went to appx 3/16" OD brass tubing I bought at the local hobby shop. Dremel tool to cut, widen, and smooth (each tube takes less than 30 seconds to complete) and I'd found the solution. Very slim profile and similar weight to conventional flies tied on a medium wire hook.

I also don't like using silicone or surgical tubing on the smaller flies, but have discovered that a small bead holds the knot of the hook (at least 8lb Maxima, which is my usual summer leader material), and thus the hook itself, in the correct position. This is an Atlantic Salmon technique I first saw in Les Johnson's and Mark Mandrell's <sp?> book on Tube Flies and it's worked very well for me.

happy hookin,

DS

kush
12-23-2003, 05:45 PM
Here are a few of my favourite low water tubes. Note that the larger Green-butt Sprately is tied with a dorsal wing, but the others are all "in the round". As well, the Thompson Stone on the left and the Purple Sprately on the right are tied on the same air brake tubing I use on my larger tubes, while the others are on the graphite tubes.

Philster
12-23-2003, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by kush
to answer Philster's concern about them planing, I use an intermediate poly leader and 4-5' of tippet. This keeps the pattern just under the surface where I want it.

Excellent!!! Sounds like a solution I can live with. I've tried free slidding brass beads of various sizes, and lots of other things. Can't wait for next summer to try the high tech leader solution! Thanks Kush!

t_richerzhagen
12-23-2003, 06:40 PM
Doublespey - tell us a little more about your tube treatment please. When I have tried metal tubes without a plastic liner the leader gets chafed and eventually breaks.

wet fly
12-24-2003, 10:44 AM
I see I am not the only one working on this problem. There are some great minds on this board. Has anyone had any luck in tying smaller muddler and caddis type flys on tubes? Jerry

Doublespey
12-24-2003, 11:02 AM
The copper/brass tube prep process is actually very simple. I usually cut/prepare 6-10 tubes at a time.

First, I put in one of Dremel's cutting wheels and safety glasses (very impt - don't want bits of copper or brass flying into one's eyes). The tubes I buy come in 18" lengths at the hobby store, so I just slice off whatever size and number I want.

The next step is to expand and smooth the inside diameter of each end of the tubes. This attachment is triangle-shaped and only takes a second or two on each tube. If you don't expand the ID, you'll have a tough time getting your 8-12lb Maxima threaded in the pre-dawn darkness! :devil:

Final step is to smooth off the burrs and rough edges on the outside edges of the tubes. A simple grinder attachment does this. Depending on how smooth my original cuts were, this can be easy or the most time-consuming step of the process.

Either way, I can usually produce 6 - 10 tying-ready tubes in about 5 minutes.

I checked my leader for fraying often when I first started using these home-made tubes because I'd heard all the "you've got to line your metal tubes with plastic" talk. But I've never encountered any fraying, and these tubes are so narrow there's not much room for a plastic liner anyway.

Best of all - no planing with a standard floating line/leader.

Good Luck!

DS

Brian Simonseth
12-24-2003, 11:30 AM
Hey Guys,

Tube Works out of Portland makes some nice small dia. tubes. On my tube flies I put a small section of heat schrink, 1/8 clear to hold the hook eye. Whichyou can find at any ele. shop.


Merry X-Mas

sinktip
12-24-2003, 12:33 PM
I also am using the heat shrink for a hook holder.

I have not made the conversion to small tubes though for summer fishing. Just like the looks of a classic hook for that type of fishing and don't feel I am giving up much in hook holding ability. For summer fishing and size 6-8 flies, I am happy enough with AJs in 5 or 7 or Partridge 10/1s in 6 or 8.

MJC
12-24-2003, 02:24 PM
For summer fishing and size 6-8 flies, I am happy enough with AJs in 5 or 7 or Partridge 10/1s in 6 or 8.

I agree! In summer forget those old "tube tops" and go for the "Hotpants":smokin:

Steelheader69
12-24-2003, 04:40 PM
If you're using the 1/8" tubing. Go to any hobby shop or petstore (can find them at Fred Meyers if you have them) and go to the fish area. Look at the different air hoses. They do sell one that is about 1/8" diameter. It slides snugly over the 1/8" tubing and NO need to tie down. Plus, don't need to slip to far down on tube to make it work. So far has worked great for some friends and family I've tied them for (and the few I've had a chance to use personally). Plus, pretty cheap too.

I need to tie more for "fly fishing". Most I've tied so far have been for drift fishing. And those have worked wonders so far just drifted. Am tying up more for flyfishing though. Want to have a box ready for myself once I have the "go" for all day fishing. In fact, thanks to Fred, I have an addiction to WillieGunns. LOL. Look really nice tied on tube.

Onto smaller diameter tubes. It is odd they sell the smaller mandrels, but usually for the double walled tubes. I've been searching for smaller, but my tubevise right now only has the 1/8" mandrel. But will be contacting anglers workshop for the smaller one (think it's 1/32"). Thanks Doublespey, now have another use for my dremel. LOL. Was thinking about how to convert some copper tubing I have left over from a project. Now gonna go test it out. Wanted some weighted tubes, but don't want to spend the $$$ they want for the plastic lined aluminum/copper/brass tubes. BTW DS, how did you like Les' book??? Was thinking of picking it up (I'm a sucker for new/old fishing books). Would love to hear what others thought of it.

One last thing. Think it's anglers workshop too that carries them. Has anyone tried the multipiece tubes? Supposedly, you can expand a fly just by adding pieces. Looks interesting if you want a small GP type fly one day, then add a few pieces to make a big shrimp pattern. Curious if anyone tried them, and if so did they work? Have a feeling cost won't be worth buying. But just interesting to try once.

Brian Simonseth
12-24-2003, 05:30 PM
Hey all,

I'll been a sample of my tubes to WSC meeting so some of you will see them.

Doublespey
12-24-2003, 09:23 PM
the copper and brass tubing I'm talking about is 1/16" OD.

On it, the various flexible tubing used on most 1/8"OD tubes ain't hotpants, it's looks more like an oversized hula skirt!

DS

fredaevans
12-25-2003, 03:16 AM
I'll stick to Waddington Shanks.
:devil:

And, Happy Birthday Jesus!!:D :D :D to you all.
fae

Doublespey
12-25-2003, 04:42 PM
Sorry if I ruined anyone's fantasies :hehe: and
Happy Holidays to All!

DS