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MarkNY 09-09-2003 09:48 PM

Carrying/Storing Tube Flies?
hi, in the last year, ive been using tube flies. mostly bucktail streamers for landlocked salmon and lake run browns. i havent figured out a good system of storing these flies in my boxes. right now, i leave a hook on all the tubes and put them in a box with "nubbys". the type where you squeeze the hook between two round nubs. im looking for some ideas on how to store tube flies in fly boxes. any suggestions will be appreciated. thanks, mark

juro 09-09-2003 09:56 PM

I do the same, but also use a little flat plastic case or just the shirt or vest pocket. The nordics go into the flybox, but the flies are harmless in the pocket.

Most of my steelhead tubes are variations of proven loopeye patterns adapted to the tube, small intruders, etc - although the tube has spawned some new ideas for tying in the round.

kush 09-10-2003 08:59 AM


I use a simple box with "bins", the hooks go into a small square bin and the tubes into the longer bins. I have used some almost excellent boxes from Orvis. They are almost excellent in that they have adjustable bins and the lid has a waterproof rubber seal, but there are two problems. One is less critical, that is that the hooks tend to slip through the gap between the lid and the bin wall which puts them all over the other bins. The second problem is the one that has led me to not buy any more of them - that is the little plastic tab that holds the lid shut broke off after a couple of seasons - not acceptable!

Currently I use some cheap plastic boxes from Plano, not adjustable but they do the job. Ihave been interested in the European style tube fly boxes, but I fear they are quite expensive. You can see some Wheatly's if you do a search, it is an interesting set-up, I may pop the bucks for one one of these days.

wrke 09-10-2003 09:47 AM

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Hi Mark
They ain't pretty, but here's what I've done lately. Shallow Flambeau boxes 7" x 3 3/4" x 5/8" (you can get them at CFF, you know where that is). Take the foam out (it's a bit messy), cut the foam into four 1/2" strips. Using double face tape, put 2 foam pieces together, drill small holes to insert tubes and double face tape into the box. Much cheaper than the English boxes, but they work well. You can carry the hooks in any tiny box.

wrke 09-10-2003 09:55 AM

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Here's a close up. Tubes fit snugly into the drilled holes.

kush 09-10-2003 10:08 AM

Well done Bill, I remember the discussion a few months ago - obviously you are far more motivated than I! This might inspire me to do the same.

You could always carry your hooks stuck into the foam strips...

wrke 09-10-2003 10:27 AM

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Mark, Kush
I also use the small C&F box for very small tubes. It has the transparent plastic cover with a magnet to keep it closed and the other side has slots to hold hooks. Super for small flies.

t_richerzhagen 09-10-2003 10:55 AM

Plano + Plastic Straws

I have been using the Plano box, Like Kush, but inserting the flies in short sections of plastic straw. That allows you to carry more flies and keeps them contained when you open the lid in the wind. The straws come in different diameters, you want a tight fit. Also, the clear ones allow you to see the pattern without taking the fly out of the tube.

macspey 09-10-2003 05:14 PM

Tube Lanyard
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Greetings all,

I've been fooling with similar flybox setups for my tubes, nothing ever seemed very 'handy' or space-effective. On a trip to Labrador last month, I tried this system, and I found it pretty good. Just a lanyard of old flyline strung with safety pins, a couple of different sizes. I kept the bundle tucked in a shirt pocket, pulled it out to change flies. Got a few funny looks from some of the boys on the river -"nice necklace, dude!" :rolleyes:


loco_alto 09-10-2003 07:12 PM

the necklace idea is quite beautiful, provided that the flies don't get smashed. I don't fish tubes enough, and mine are all purple and black, so wouldn't be as attractive as that set-up. I like it!

MarkNY 09-10-2003 08:44 PM

Wonderful !!!
excellent, thank you all for your replies. all are very helpful. my problem is solved. now i have to tie up some more tubes. and bill, yes you did get me "hooked" on tube flies last fall. im slowly incorporating more and more tubes into my boxes and less and less standard ties. lots of fun! thanks again everyone.

wrke 09-10-2003 10:18 PM

Wonderful! I love the lanyard/neckless idea. I head for New Brunswick on saturday and I'll make one up tomorrow or friday. Makes the flies really accessible.

macspey 09-12-2003 08:32 AM

Good luck in NB- I'd be interested how the 'necklace' works for you. I'm loading mine up for the final foray to Cape Breton next month.

wrke 09-22-2003 04:22 PM

The "necklace" works fine. I actually hung it between my wader straps so the flies hang just in the front of the waders. Only problem is the size of the safety pins available in my local store. Size 3 (2" ones) have a wire diameter that only fit tubes with large openings. Many of my flies are tied on smaller diameter aluminum, brass and plastic tubes. The wire on the larger pins is just too fat. I'll need to find a source for large pins with smaller diameter wire. But the concept is really handy. Fishing was pretty good.

macspey 09-23-2003 12:56 PM


Glad to hear the lanyard worked out, I know what you mean about the pins. I've used some #2's for smaller flies, but the total length of the tube body has to be less than 1". The wire dia. on the #2's that I have is 0.036", which is fine for the smallest tubes that I use, WD40 tubes. Wire dia. on my #3's is 0.043", which is snug on the small ones, but accommodates tubes up to 1.5", if a little of the 'catch' is filed off. I guess a few minutes at the grinding wheel would take care of things. (cripes, grinding safety pins! she won't believe this one...):D

Glad to hear the fishing was good- I've heard they're needing some water up there. If they get what we're getting right now here in NH, it oughta help. A good friend is in Boiestown for the week, sure wish I could have made it too...Work is an ugly word!


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