I have never tied on tubes before and I know both of you are accomplished fly tiers, so if I was to get into tubes, is there a decent kit to get started? I'm assuming there is an adapter that goes into the vise to hold the tube. Thanks for helping a noob out!
I do hope you can view and read this on a computer screen. I receive things via cell phone and can tell you that a 4.5 inch screen isn't gonna cut it in many cases..........
Unfortunately tube 'Kits' are even less useful beyond basic learning than standard fly tying kits. You do get the basics such as the Pin or Mandrel that you clamp in the vise which holds the tubes. There will be tubes and some cone heads etc also.
The 2 major suppliers I'm familiar with are HMH and Pro Sportfisher (Pro Tube) of those two I went to Pro Tube straight away because the system is simple. With the Pro tubes there is a single tube no liner tubes or add on hook holders. The HMH tubes work and I have some but honestly they are confusing unless you learned in a class that used them.
The flies posted on this thread are made on the Pro 40mm tubes. They are a one piece tying platform with the hook holder (rear tubing) molded right on the part you build the fly on. You decide how long to make the body and wing of the fly as you tie it and you decide how long or short to cut the rear part which is the hook holder part.
Allow me to explain the 'Hook Holder' thing. The advantage of a tube fly is that it is not tied on a single hook. You can determine what hook will meet the needs of any situation right on the water. Need barbless because you are fishing for rainbows, tie on a barbless. Need a larger hook because you are casting for steelhead or salmon, you choose size and tie it on.
These pictures may help in understanding what I am saying.
This is a standard Pro Flexi Tube, you see one whole and one trimmed to my preferred length for the hook holder (about 1/2 inch.....
Next the trimmed tube with 2 hooks that could be used, #8 Tiemco and a #4 Gamakatsu.
This shows how far the #4 would slide into the hook holder tubing
Here the #8, as you see it is a shorter shank and I will explain how you deal with this.
The #4 hook would be what I use for salmon, the eye is bigger but it will fit into the extension tube. Having the hook held firmly at the rear prevents it getting snarled in the materials like I have experienced when using 'trailing hooks'. If the hook is fouled into the winging you miss out on fish.
You can see that the hook eyes will only go so far into that rear tubing before they hit the smaller front tube where the fly is tied. That is another advantage of the tube flies. The knot you tie to the hook eye will not fit into the small front tube, if you get snagged there is a good chance you will lose the hook but not the tube fly. This is due to the broken knotted mono catching the small tubing and sticking there.
You may also notice that the small #8 hook seems too short for the length of the extension. You deal with this by tying a short loop knot or Jam Knot onto the bare hook. It takes practice to get the loop length correct but you figure it out, trust me. After a dozen jam knots you'll have it down. I tie my jam knots so that the hook eye gets about 1/8 to 1/4 inch into the extension, that will hold it tight and allow the shank and the bend / point to be fully exposed. I use the #8 hooks for trout and steelhead here and the big boys for salmon.
If you look at the other tube component suppliers through websites you will quickly see and understand why I use Pro Tubes. I also suspect that you will not find such a detailed explanation regarding how tubes work to the anglers advantage.
If you have further questions feel free to post them here and I'll follow up.
Once again, you have gone above and beyond to help out a noob like me. This is very interesting and explains a lot of the questions I had. Thank you for taking the time. I will start to look at the pro tube options! Thanks
The components are not exactly cheap but then neither is a decent 2 hand rod and reel therefore I'm going to guess your not thinking along these lines as a way to save money. I've switched to tying AK. Assassin's on tubes today, once I have a few done I'll post a thread. I'm making some with all marabou rather than my standard ties. It'll take a few go rounds to develop a good balance and I'm wondering where the hell that chartreuse marabou got to............. Weird because I know I have some . This Assassin pattern is the fly I use for Kings here and I'm hoping I remain healthy and can go after them in June.