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Old 07-29-2013, 09:29 AM
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Default thinking to venture to tubes

so, lately i've incurred a bit of flak on some boards for tying predominantly 'shadow box' and not 'fly box' flies, which got me thinking to try other more 'useable' patterns (not that the classics aren't usable), including tube flies, moderns speys (Sweeney Todd) etc, as well as trout flies (iron blue dun) and the like which most folks will be happy to fish. Basically, im expanding my repetoire

Tube flies seem like a nice challenge, but having never tied on them i'm interested to know what to start with in terms of patterns or materials.

THis will be a whole new outlet for my tying cash, so i guess i'll take it one or two patterns at a time.

What tubes? Heads or no? hint, tips and advise gratefully accepted.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: thinking to venture to tubes

Hey Eunan,

First off, I wouldn't let anyone else's comments about your tying cause you to change your focus in the least. Sounds to me like a good reason to reconsider your contributions to said board(s). Tying is about your enjoyment and not anyone else's. While it's true that your flies are works of art and probably deserve to be mounted in a shadow box, there is no reason why someone couldn't fish them. I'd chalk this up to a testament of your skills at the vise. They'd be a helluva fine set of flies to swing, that's for darn sure!

I am by no means a master, I've only been doing tubes for a year. Right now, I'm using Eumer Tubes and HMH tubes but will likely be going to Pro Tubes. These look killer.

Pro Tube Fly System

Basically, you can eliminate a few steps by using these. With most of the tubes, you cut small tube, melt the end insert into the larger tube and secure with thread and Zap A Gap.

The cones/beads can be specific more so than your hook and bead, so my recommendation is generally to stick with like brands. For instance, if you're going the Pro Tube route stick with Pro Tube cones/beads/weighted heads or bodies. Sometimes, you'll find that the shops note alternative cones/beads. HMH cones seem to work with Pro Tubes if I recall correctly.

I mostly skip the cones and do a head just as you do on your traditional salmon flies.

As for patterns, I mostly do intruder style flies, but enjoy taking more traditional spey patterns and free styling into an intruder style pattern. I don't know that there is as much tradition with these as you're accustomed to with your salmon flies. Many people do just as I do and adapt more traditional patterns into tubes. There are some who also do lots of free style stuff as well. I've no doubt you will be a natural after just a few flies.

Amherst Pheasant tail centers, Arctic Fox, Finnish Raccoon, ostrich plumes, marabou, rhea, hanks of flash, JC, schlappen, hackle, and various diamond flat braid/diamond braid used for Crystal Spawn are the common materials. Dubbing in various colors too. My guess is you've already got plenty of those listed.

My most used materials from that list are Amherst PT, Arctic Fox, Dubbing, schlappen, Rhea, flash, various diamond braids and JC. You can do a lot with just those materials in various colors. I'll try and get a SBS together sometime this week, I'm working on some tubes now.

I'll also shoot you a PM later with some online resources that have been helpful to me to use as reference.
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Last edited by jaybo41; 07-29-2013 at 08:02 PM.
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