Advantages of tube clouser minnows and other baitfish patterns

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

    Over the past year I have started using tube clouser minnows periodically. About a month and half ago I switched to only using tube clouser minnows after losing 8 adult coho in a row this summer while using a standard shank clouser minnow. Since switching to tube clouser minnows, I have landed quite a few adult coho and large sea-run cutthroat and only lost the occassional fish.

    Below are my thoughts, opinions, and "apparent truths" of advantages of tube clouser minnow and other baitfish patterns;) .

    1. A tube pattern will usually "rides up" the fly line when a fish is hooked/landed thus there is less wear and tear on the fly.

    2. If a hook is dull or broken, it is easy to replace the hook and still use the fly.

    3. The hook can easily be placed near the end of a clouser minnow or other baitfish pattern which makes it easier to hook fish that are short striking a pattern.

    4. The front part of clouser minnow tube pattern can be cut at a 45 degree angle and a 10mm pearl sequin can be threaded onto the leader. It will give the pattern an erratic several inches side-to-side motion. A picture and description of the S.T.(sequin tube) clouser minnow will be in Les Johnson's revised Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon which should be available pretty soon.

    Most important advantages:

    1. I use Gamakatsu SC15 hooks(normal #4 and sometimes #6 or #8) for all the tube patterns which I tie. They are small short shank hooks which are much smaller in comparison to most #4-8 hooks. When using a shank hook for a clouser minnow, the weight of the dumbell eyes(attached to the hook shank)gives a fish leverage to shake a hook loose. With a tube clouser minnow the dumbell eyes are attached to the tube and the hook is tied to the leader(after threading it through the tube) at the end of the tube. Thus the small SC15 hook is easily able to move about and make it difficult for a fish to shake the fly loose.

    2 When a fish is deeply hooked in it's mouth/gills, it is not good for the fish to try to get the fly out using your fingers or forceps. If you do, it is almost certain that you will cause excessive bleeding and demise of the fish. It is particularly heart breaking when it happens to sea-run cutthroat. With a tube pattern the leader can be cut behind the tube and only a small SC15 hook is left in a fish's mouth which is better than leaving a large fly pattern in their throat. The SC15 are plated hooks and should disintegrate in a short period of time.

  2. always on top

    always on top Banned or Parked

    I usually dress my tube clousers with lots of fly floatant so they can be fished TOPWATER!!!!!
  3. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

    Interesting post, I use the same type of hook on my clousers, but I guess that I will have to try some tube clousers sooner or later...
  4. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    I've been thinking a lot about that aspect of short strikers. Thinking I may have to get the tube fly adapter for the Old Nor vise.
  5. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Roger, after fishing your sequin clouser for two days over a nice school of Coho, I am convinced that the change of direction imparted by the sequin triggers more hits than a straight strip. Coho love to chase and the erratic fleeing action is like catnip. Now if I can only find a mail order source for sequins. I am tired of the funny looks from teenage girls in the jewelry section at the craft stores. I am not a stalker!

    Matt, I have the old standby tube fly attachment and it works well on the Norvise. I like it better than Norm's custom attachment.
  6. Dylan D

    Dylan D Member

    Great info, thanks for the post. I've started tying with tubes and will have to give it a shot.
  7. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Do you have some pics of these clousers? Also, are you using brass, aluminum or plastics tubes for this?
  8. Anil

    Anil Active Member

    Welcome to the dark side.
  9. always on top

    always on top Banned or Parked

    brass and aluminum cause the fly to sink...what good is that?
  10. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Witty, very witty.... BTW, nice name... :)
  11. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    James, Roger ties the clouser on a plastic tube. I have one of Roger's flies. I will try to take a digital photo and post it tomorrow. Steve
  12. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member


    Like Steve said I use plastic tubing(3/32" o.d.) but I'm going to be trying aluminum tubing soon.

    I am sending you a PM that should be helpful.

  13. Anil

    Anil Active Member

    Aluminum tubing is often refered to as ‘intermediate’ tubing because of its tendency to sink slowly. The advantage for this application would be that they (aluminum tubes) are much more durable and sink slightly faster than plastic. The few disadvantages are the additional cost and that without any care they can corrode. Try some aluminum, you may go right back to plastic or decide that they are worth the extra cost.
  14. Denny

    Denny Active Member

    Tying a bug clouser style involves weighted eyes; pretty potent floatant if it can keep your bug topwater! I'm guessing it's probably a standard baitfsih pattern; very interesting and simple concept about the floatant, though, to keep it on top. Hadn't thought about it.
  15. gt

    gt Active Member

    a couple of questions:

    - tubes of any material always have a flared end through which your line is threaded. when you cut a 45 in the plastic tube, how do you go about flaring the cut or avoiding line chafing?

    - any sequin? or a 10mm of some secret color or another?

  16. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

    I tied up some 'tubers' on the same pattern as the Stinger Clouser that I gave you Sunday morning, and was very pleased. It was a pretty anemeic exchange yesterday, but I hit several cutthroat that really wound my watch on the take. I stopped losing the airborn fish, and that included a couple that put slack in the line, and jumped several times before I could get hold of them. I was using the same SC 15 #4 hooks, and the articulated bead gizmo. Tom is picking up some circle hooks this morning, that I'm going to try as well for the sake of the shorter shank..

    I'm really sold on the tube fly variation now for all the reasons you mention in your post, plus, I find them much easier and faster to tie than the stingers I was using.

    Anybody want a handful of traditional clousers?

    Don F
  17. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member


    After cutting the tube at a 45 degree angle, I clean the inside of the tube with a dubbing needle tool. Have not had any problem with line chaffing.

    I use pearl sequins because I use pearl Krystal Flash on the underside of the fly and feel that the pearl is less noticeable. You can get sequins at most fabric or craft stores(Jo Ann Fabric) in sizes 6-10mm and I use the 10mm because they will give the most side-to-side motion to the fly pattern.

  18. gt

    gt Active Member

    thanks roger, appreciate the info.
  19. laivindil

    laivindil Member

    Is there a specific wholesale place ya'll get your tubes from or will Avid Angeler in Lake Forest Park carry them?
  20. Blake

    Blake Member

    Roger, thanks for tip on the sequin. I fish clousers all the time but usually tie them on Daiichi 2546 sz 6 hooks.
    I tied some up on tubes with sequin in front on Thursday evening and landed an adult coho Friday morning.

    laivindil, the hmh tubes are really good and you can get them on ebay or at any good local shop.

    gt, when I cut tube the other night to try it I quickly melt the end of the tube with a lighter. Just a tube habit I do so the thread doesn't slip off and it makes it smooth. I found that it is best to hold the tube vertical and lighter horizontal when melting the tube, that way you don't melt the plastic into the hole. I'm still new to tubes though, I've only been tying them for about a year. I haven't fished them a lot, but now since I've caught some fish on them my confidence in them is building and I find myself fishing them more and more.