Cut-to-length tubes for tube flies
After just finishing some flies on the cut-to-length tubes I got to thinking about how they looked compared to some pictures I have as patterns (and I need to buy more tubes also, the sample packs I had are gone). After you cut an inch off the cut-to-length tube, I found my cuts were a little rough so I heated them with a cigarette lighter and formed them by shoving a finish nail up the tube to even out the cut and put a little flange on the end of the tube.
What have you found to be the best tool to cut the tube initially to reduce the roughness of the cut? What do you use to get that all round nicely formed flange on the end so the leader does not fray? Do you flange both ends? I was thinking maybe the nail was not the right idea, maybe another tool would be better..
Thanks alot, tubes are relatively new to me so I am still learning.
I use a razor blade to cut mine. And I use a nail or a pin to aide me when I am heating them up to form the flange on the end of the tube same as you. I usually do this on both ends of the tube. However, plastic tubes will usually not fray your tippet, especially the scandinavian stuff. It is fairly soft and will knot cut the leader. Hope this helps.
Lay the tube on a cutting surface (wood, cuttingboard etc)
Put the razor edge down on it.
Roll the tube sideways.
I use a single edge razor blade to cut mine. To get a square end; I made a jig by drilling a hole in a piece of wood (needs to be a snug fit and square to the surface), slide the tube in the hole and use the wood block surface to slide the razor along and push through the tube. I then us a lighter or candle and twirl the end of the tube (free hand) close to the flame. A small burr forms in ID and I remove this with an Exacto knife. The whole process takes a few seconds. The key to a uniform, good looking flare, whatever method you use, is to get a square end.
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