Seeing All These Tube Flies... - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 05-09-2001, 10:59 PM
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Seeing All These Tube Flies...

...I have decided that I must jump in and start tying tube flies. Brian's Pink/White Rabbit finally convinced that I can no longer live on just your typical flies.

What do I need?...like what are your favorite tubes to use, diamater, brand? Vices? Do you just use the Renzenti tube vice or do you just use a nail?

Any special techniques or word of advice?

Do they cast any differnt then standard 1 1/2 or 3/0 Marabous? If not, then do you think a 796 XP or 1087 Gl3 will get the job done?

THANKS!!!
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Old 05-10-2001, 02:51 PM
chromer chromer is offline
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NrthFk -

I really like the Kennebec River setup. It fits in any vise and comes with a few different diameter mandrels to use with different tube diams. I think it runs ~$40.
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Old 05-10-2001, 02:58 PM
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On the topic of tube flies....I can't get my K River system to work. I tie up a fly, and I then cut it off with a knife. I can't get the tube to come off of that vise. Any suggestions, or am I just tying the flies to tight? By the way...I have been using the plastic tubes, not the metal ones, and tying saltwater patterns (clouser, deciever...) Thanks.

Nick
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Old 05-10-2001, 03:39 PM
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I bought a bait-threading needle for a couple of bucks. It's about the diameter of perhaps a 5/0 hook, and fits perfectly inside the plastic tubes i have. The head of the needle is smashed flat, so you can jam the plastic tube over the head about 1/4" and it doesn't budge. Once done with the tie, just cut off the distorted section of the tubing with a razor blade. You might choose to leave a little of the distorted section on there to help when pushing large hook eyes into the tubing. You'll want a beefy vice (like a Regal) to clamp hard onto the needle, or you could use a workshop vice.

Some day i'll buy the attachment thing, or the vice designed just for tubes, but until then, i'm tying 'em in plastic for about $2.

bill
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Old 05-10-2001, 04:28 PM
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Nick,

What kind of plastic tubes are you using? I use the older Q-Tip tubes (found in bargain stores), but I have found that not all hollow q-tips are created equal, some of the "no-name" ones are very thin walled and collapse under even medium thread pressure. The thicker tubes will take quite a bit more pressure but even those will be a little tighter on the pull off the mandrill.

I have a Renzetti tube fly vise - and I love it. The tubes do not slip and the rotary action is wonderful, plus I went and bought the Traveller head for the vise and now have both. Those who already have a Renzetti Traveller Vise should know that you can order the tube fly head which is considerably cheaper than doing it the other way round - like I did!

Tight lines - tyler.
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Old 05-10-2001, 10:45 PM
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Sounds like there are many options to the K/R tool out there. I have been having great success with mine although I've experienced the deadly noose effect you mention.

Two things you can do:

a) avoid wrapping the head too close to the flare of the mandrel, leave a gap and cut the excess like Bill says after by scoring with a razor and snapping apart

It is a little less secure during the tie process but it will prevent the binding effect. The little notch on the body of the tool is supposed to bite into the wall of the tube.

I bought mine from Les Johnson at the Swallows Nest years ago. He showed me the prototype they loaned him which had a machined sharp edge on a harder steel. He said he didn't want to send it back because it bit into the end of the tube much better than the mass produced versions. Over the years, I've realized the wisdom of his observation many times over. In this case that sharp edge is what would hold an oversize tube on a smaller mandrel, preventing compression on the device.

.02
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Old 05-14-2001, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Nick (05-10-2001 03:58 p.m.):
On the topic of tube flies....I can't get my K River system to work. I tie up a fly, and I then cut it off with a knife. I can't get the tube to come off of that vise. Any suggestions, or am I just tying the flies to tight? By the way...I have been using the plastic tubes, not the metal ones, and tying saltwater patterns (clouser, deciever...) Thanks.

Nick
Kennebec has a video on tying tubes and in it they discuss this problem. I can't recall the exact stuff, but using a "special" 3M pad they first deburr the mandrels and then lubricate them. I'm guessing that if you contact the gang at Hunter's they can probably tell you what materials you need for this, or you can borrow the vid--the sequence is about 1/3 of the way in to the tape.
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Old 05-15-2001, 08:13 AM
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Thanks for the advice, I am off to try it out again this evening. I'll let you know how it pans out. But first I'll have to get some sandpaper from work.

Nick
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