With the recent excitement with tube flies, I was happy to talk to the HMH representative who was working with Hunter's Angling Supplies at the Boston area fly show. I will be continuing a discussion with him about featuring a tube fly page and discussion. I think there will a strong benefit to making a connection to the manufacturers, designers, and distributors of such products as their awesome tube fly tool.
I remember when Les Johnson showed me the prototype tube fly tool (from HMH) at the Swallows Nest many years ago. It was the one they hand machined to show stores like the one where Les and Kinney worked back then. Les wanted to keep it because the production alloys were not as hard and sharp as the prototype and he liked the way the original bit into the tube.
I bought one as soon as they came in and have done plastic, brass, aluminum, both lined and unlined with it. Although I tied some awesome steely flies on the tubes I obtained from long-distance swaps with guys in Europe, I really loved using them for ocean coho in Sekiu, Neah Bay, Swiftsure Bank and the waters from Duncan Rock to Vancouver Island's Port Refroe and Nittinat Lake (shhhhhh!). The reason is that coho hit violently as if to maim the bait and a hook tied up front like a striped bass fly would be ineffective. The tube positions the hook in the rear quadrant, which makes it a stickier rig for side-swiping hooknoses. I use them for large (very large) squid patterns for atlantic inshore gamefish. The tube allows for tying an extended mantle with eyes at the base of the legs.
Anyone using a tool other than the HMH?
Sorry, not me!! In fact, I think you're the one who suggested the HMH tool to me <g>
I love it- they have wires for each inner diameter of lined brass and hard plastic tubes I tie.
The only downside is that I'm using a Regal Rotary right now and the little spring twisty on the vice collides with the wire from the tubefly holder. I'm tilting the vice to avoid this (although this kinda ruins the rotary aspect), but am also considering changing vices since most of what I ties is tubes now.
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