This time last year I was tying a number of tube flies for a friend, mostly Snealders, Collie Dogs and Sunray Shadows. Although I was aware at the time that tubes came in standard aluminum, brass and Copper as well as plastic plus the Juri Shumakov tubes I didn’t know there were others until a chance encounter with the Canadian Tube fly company. Recently I ordered a small selection to get started and so follows a multi part series occurring when I get the chance to try new ideas. The selection was a small number of the types of tube which they have available and is enough to get me started with some ideas. As you can see, it is not restricted in colour.
From this small selection I haven’t managed to get past the sparkle tubes (plastic with sparkles mixed into the plastic). These offer so many possibilities including saltwater baitfish. There are several types of tubes which I plan to get once I have had a chance to see what I can do with these but it already looks like I’m going to have to get some more of the sparkle tubes.
The benefit a selection of different types or styles of tube is that a pattern can be designed around a tube best suited to the fly. It also allows a fly to be adapted to different fishing conditions as well as the adjusting of the weight of the fly and the size.
I am currently using a Veniard tube holder which just goes into the jaws of a standard vice. When I find a tube vice that I am happy with then I will switch but until then I will use the system that I currently employ. The adapter comes with 3 pins (that I can see on my table) but I have found that hat pins also fit it. A little tip which I came across last year is to use small bits of rubber band on the pin at the head to hold the tube more securely (see picture below).
The pins above the adapter are the ones that come with it and below are hat pins. The advantage of having the extra pins is that during the tying of saltwater baitfish patterns the tube can stay on the pin while the epoxy is curing and being held position with a bulldog clip.
The other thing I found was the tube cutter. Where as before I was using a craft knife, I am finding that this is much better and can recommend it over other methods of cutting plastic tubes.