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Old 02-05-2004, 05:28 AM
Norseman's Avatar
Norseman Norseman is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The West Kootenays mighty Columbia, Dean, and one day the Thompson
Posts: 170
Tube Material

As posted is what I use

Tubes I use:

5/32 copper and aluminum tubes that are avail in any hobby shop that carries K&S metal tubes. They are 12" long and run at about $1 each. I then line these with 1/8 ID black automotive air brake line. It is about 20 cents a foot.
I use the metal tubes if I need the weight to get the fly down, otherwise the air brake tubing is fine on its own...and a lot less work than making metal tubes.

Line the metal tube with the air brake tubing, and leave the front end of the air brake liner about 1/16th of an inch longer than the metal tube. Heat the air brake liner tube carefully with a lighter and the result will be a beautifully rolled back lip that rivals factory made tubes.

I leave the rear portion of the liner tube about 1/4 " long and roll the end back with a lighter, this creates a bit of a barb for the hook holder or junction tube.

I then take a short piece of medical IV tubing and slip this over the rear of the liner and bind it down onto the liner tube, with tying thread.

Fly Tyer;

No need to give up your Barracuda....I have found one of the cheapest and best holding tube flie mandrels are as follows

Go to a bicycle shop and ask to see a selection of wheel spokes. Pick the ones that will slip inside your tube material.

The spoke has a nut like nipple on the end of it. This is used to tighten it into the wheel. The nipple is key to the success of the mandrel.

Cut the spoke to the desired tube length.( cut the end opposite the nipple nut) make a hook like bend in the cut end, this is held in you vise jaws, just like an ordinary hook. Now undo the nipple nut and slip on the tube material. Re attach the nipple nut and tighten in down until it makes contact with the tube material. The nipple nut has a nice taper to the leading edge and it will act like a wedge in holding the tube tight, keeping it from rotating when applying your thread and fly materials.

Seriously, this is one of the best tube fly vise adaptors you will find....I am actually thinking of marketing this neat little version.

Try it will end up costing you about $6 for half a dozen assorted length mandrels.

One thing I did forget to mention was how to cut the tubes to length.

After much tinkering around I found that a mini tube cutter is the best way. You can find these in any hobby shop or a hardware store. They are simply a mini version of a common pipe cutter that plumbers use......Forget using a only makes burrs in the tube that are difficult to remove.

For Metal Tubing

The important part about using the cutter is NOT to go all the way through the tube , as it creates a narrowing of the tube wall. What you want to do is to use the cutter to simply score the tube. I adjust the cutter so it makes contact with the tube wall. Then tighten the cutter wheel lightly on the tube, rotate the cutter until it rotates freely without any drag, then adjust it once more and take another couple of turns.

Now stop cutting....remember all you want to do is score it....much like cutting glass. Then I place both thumbs on opposite sides of the score line and gently flex the tubing back and forth
( works best on copper) until it snaps cleanly. If you have made too deep a cut you will need to ream out the cut end. I simply use my scissors in a closed position. Insert the tapered part of my scissors into the narrowing of the tube and lightly ream out the mouth of the tube until the liner fits nicely into the metal tube.

Cutting the Air Brake Tubing: Is done with a safety razor blade; cut it perpendicular to the length for a nice clean, square edge.

By the way ...the liner is Air brake line tubing found in any good automotive store. I use LORDCO here in BC Canada ( not sure if you have that store in the U.S or not). If the parts guy is having a hard time understanding what you need , tell him it is the same line used in the tractor trailer transmission shifters, for the big rigs that use air shifters in their tranny's. It is black, is 1/8th inch inside diameter. Don't get the clear it doesn't melt as nicely as the black.

Also the IV tubing is the best that I have found for making the junction or hook holder , especially when making metal tubes. The reason being, it is very thin walled and it will match the metal tubing diameter exactly without a big lump as you will get if you use air line for aquariums. Makes for a very even body on the fly when finished.

Best regards.....Jake'

Tight Lines and Screaming Reels!!!

Last edited by Norseman; 02-05-2004 at 05:30 AM.
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