tube or not to tube fly [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: tube or not to tube fly

02-02-2002, 10:37 PM
so,is tubin better or what?i have fished with limited tubes and i am not sure.maybe i am missing something??

02-03-2002, 12:14 AM

Welcome to the Forum. This past season was my first full season with tube flies only. The reason has everything to do with improved hooking to landing ratios. I must say that the experiment was a resounding success, with approximately an 80% landing rate! This is in comparison to my traditional (and very common) rate of around 50%. This improvement is due to the properties of the short-shanked wide gape hooks used. The Nordic Single Spey hooks I use are beautiful, they hook almost like a circle hook and the short shank gives no leverage for the hook to work loose during the fight. In fact, I often found it difficult to unhook the smashed barb hook because there was nothing to grip to twist the hook out - I couldn't ask for more.

The second great advantage is the fact that when you hang-up or otherwise dull the point of the hook the fly is not ruined - you just tie on a new hook! This is a great feature. Finally, tube flies also alow you to fish some really large flies that are still light and easy to cast, or some really heavy ones on metal tubes and everything in between. I know I will never go back to standard hooks for my steelhead flies.

02-03-2002, 01:33 AM
a tubin i will go.thanks for the those nordic spey hooks you use have a straight eye or turned up eye?also,i read you sometime use a long rabbit tail on your flies.i know a couple of ways to stop fouling but i am always interested in new ways?

02-03-2002, 10:42 AM
Another great feature of Tube flys (as Kush was commenting on) is you can tie the things any size/lenth/weight/ etc., you want without having to use a HUGE xxxx size hook. Metal tubes or no, you can still tie a fairly small size, big bulk, wrap with lead, bar bell eyes, etc.

Lot larger range of options than with a 'regular' hook.

02-05-2002, 10:23 PM
Oh you can tie small tube flies ?

Send me some small nymph patterns on tubes which I don't think
can be done and look life like.

Wooly worms and egg sucking leeches do not count :whoa: :whoa:

02-05-2002, 10:46 PM

Don't be so negative! I don't know how small you need your nymphs to be but I tie some low-water tubes like green-butt Spratleys that are extremely fine and are a match for size 6 & 8 partridge low-water hooks- they are actually elegant - if I do say so myself. I tie these on very thin diameter tubing (finer than the little tubes on WD-40) that I buy in a model shop - it's called Goldenrod.

As for life-like, I guess that would be a matter of opinion. While it is possible to tie flies with a dorsal and ventral side (as my Spratleys are) tubes tend to lend themselves to "in the round" dressings, which actually suits nymphs very well. But as you undoubtedly know, the big thing about any successful pattern is the confidence factor. If you feel at all negative about your fly, tube or not then you will not catch fish with it.

Now I do happen to believe that some exceptionally effective small nymphs can be tied on tubes - but you will have to tie your own!

02-06-2002, 12:16 AM
Hi kush Where is this mythical hobby shop that has all the fine diameter tubing for lining 1/8 od tube. I have tried to get my nurse freinds to liberate some some IV. tube but have pulled a blank so-fare. Have got some tube from the hobby shops on the north shore but not really what I'm looking for.

Regards saltRon

02-06-2002, 06:30 AM

Some one will have to show me a picture of a realistic looking weighted small tube fly size 8 and below.

I have asked this question several times and no one has been able to produce evidence.

Stone or Hex limbata may fly pattern preferred.

If this can be shown, I may then try to convert from standard nymph patterns on standard hooks. Until then I think it would be unproductive.

Truthfully, I have never seen a picture of any tube fly in a realistic nymph pattern.

The challenge is out.


02-06-2002, 07:58 AM
If your looking for extreamly small tube material (brass, alum., stiff plastic) call a hobby shop that has a good selection of materials for building model airplanes and ships. Our shop even has square tubing .... don't know what you'd use it for, but its available. The small 'od' metal tubes run 65 cents a foot, and up, here in Medford, plastic a bit less. Think the tube sizing is by 1/32" and up; a Tube cutter is $5.00 and will 'last til lost.'

If these materials are unavailable in your area e mail me and I'll mail you some. Fit nicely in a large envelope with a 34 cent stamp.

02-06-2002, 05:48 PM

I don't know the name of the model shop I got this from, it's on Scott Road here in North Delta - Ill check it tonight as I drive by it. The tube itself is used for throttle cable on radio controled airplanes. I think Fred's advice is good, concentrate on hobby shops that specialize in radio controlled models as they have all kinds of cool tubes and stuff.

02-06-2002, 07:02 PM

Yes there is a big hobby shop about 8 blocks from my house which I will be checking out as soon as I get back from the LA business trip a week from saturday.

Don't delete this thread will need it for reference.

Do I really need a tube cutter ?



02-09-2002, 12:57 PM
Stopped into the hobby shop today.

Got some small brass and metal tubes and the tube cutter.

On my way. :D

Now have to figure out the rest. Hooks, plastic tubing, flaring tool to ensure their are no burrs on inside of tube etc..

The Joe Bates "Streamers and Bucktails , The Big Fish flies " book has a good section on tying tube flies.

I think these will dive like "Red October" down into the strike zone and further solve my midwest steelhead nymphing problems,
get deep quickly, etc...