Tube fly length vs. hook sizes [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tube fly length vs. hook sizes

04-10-2006, 11:02 AM
Hi there,

I have been viewing tube flies on this site and due to that inspiration, last week, I picked up a tube tool attachment, tubes and a package of Mustad 9421 #6 hooks. While tying the tubes takes some getting used to, I now have a couple patterns on lengths of 0.5", 1", 1.5", but now I have another question. Since I only have this one size hook (for now), is there a tube length to hook size ratio of some sort? The #6 looks a little big for a 0.5" and a little small for a 1.5" but that may be just to my untrained eye.

Any thoughts and do you have any other pointers for tying tube flies that I should consider?


04-10-2006, 12:51 PM

That is one of the great things about tube flies. You do not need to match hook size and tube size. If you are fishing a very small tube for a large fish you can use a larger hook behind that tube. Conversely, you can use a small hook in conjunction with a large tube fly. This gives you the luxury of matching the hook with the fish you are trying to catch and not worrying so much about hook size. If you think your Mustad 9421 #6 hooks will hold the fish you are trying to catch than you are in business.

For more info on the subject, look at this tread - There is a pile of good info on hooks for tube flies in it.


04-12-2006, 05:25 AM
Agree with Charlie. Matching hooks to tubes is largely a matter of personal preference. The only exception to this is if you're fishing in very slow water, where a heavy hook may make the fly swim tail down. To some extent it also depends on the profile of the dressing as well as the length of the hook. I would tend to use a smaller hook with a sparely dressed fly than I would with a heavily dressed one.

The other thing to beware of is placing too much emphasis on the number the manufacturers choose to apply to their hooks. There can be big variations in this. For example, two of the most popular double hooks for use with tubes over here are the Loop tube double and the Partridge BMD (I don't know the rules about using doubles in Canada). But a Loop size 6 is more or less equivalent to a Partridge size 10!

The best I can say is that if it looks right to you it probably isn't wrong.