I’ve been a touch busy over the past few weeks, what with work and a couple of fly orders. I have just completed an order of tubes, Samuari’s. It was special order and quite frankly they were a pain at first but once I got into them they were OK. But, I found that they were one of the most expensive flies to tie and finding the materials in the UK wasn’t easy from one supplier. I ended buying from a German company who I found, very good although the package did take a while to arrive but when it did, it was worth it.
Now I have one more order to complete and its back to my own tying and fishing, hopefully exploring some ideas I have and some new streams.
The sparkle tubes which I have come to really like, gave me the idea of a saltwater baitfish. The resulting fly is likely to be improved upon because when I finished it and thought the head might be better if I used fabric paint with sparkle.
The thing with this fly is that it is not one that you can tie in a day, this is due to the varying varnishes and glues applied in stages to allow each application to dry. This is mainly for the head area. The first stage being coloured nail polish with a colour to match the back on the top and a pearl for the underneath, an idea that I got from Jay ‘Fishy’ Fullum book “Fly Tying With Common Materials”. The eyes are then added with zap-a gap goop. Then when that is dry, I add a layer of epoxy.
The wing and under wing is layered congo hair with flash blended in with an over wing of minnow back blended congo hair.
The first fly in the series of tube patterns is my take on the Sunray Shadow. Last year I found myself tying a set of flies on single hooks where the hooks (either gold or silver) were used to compliment the colour of the fly. Hence, with these tubes, I have used varying colours of the sparkle tubes to compliment the colour of the under wing.
The tubes themselves have a colour within such as yellow or blue (for example) and these are selected according to the colour of the wing being tied. The thread colour is also selected to match the colour of the underwing.
Tube length of the flies in the picture is 1 1/4 inches (seems about right to me) but this can be changed.
Under Wing- Bucktail, colour to suit conditions or choice of tyer/fisher, a few strands of crystal flash to match colur of wing. Long goat hair tied over followed by long Peacock herl.
Head- Varnished thread, mostly clear to show thread colour.
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.