Why tube flies?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Dipnet, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. John,
    You are correct, of course. I was generalizing. I should retract that statement. Just stirring the pot a bit. I was thinking of some of the simpler patterns.
    I've modified the statement.
  2. That follows what I was taught when I was a kid fishing out of Pt. Defiance. One of the Boathouse "old-timers" took me under his wing and taught me how to fish SRC. It was all bait and gear but he taught me that when trolling "fire cracker" herring for these wily fish, when you got a hit you should kick the motor into neutral, strip a little bit of line out in order to let the herring drift as if stunned and then wait for the line to come tight before setting the hook.
  3. The most important advantage of tube patterns is that in most situations they are gentler/cause less harm to hooked fish.

    I tie all top water flies as tube patterns for the following reasons: (1) they float better thus less foam needs to be used, (2) smaller lighter hooks can be used, (3) can use foam shapes that give realistic profiles. My favorite top water patterns(see photo) are: sand lance, Delia's squid, pile, worm, and chum fry. For floatation I use: 1/8 and 1/4 inch diameter cylinders, small sized pencil popper, and foam dinks(hook size 10).


    Attached Files:

    dfl, Jack Devlin and Dipnet like this.
  4. Tim, I started tying tube flies a few years ago for silvers and cutt's, I think for salmon they are great but don't like them for SRC's, I've had more misses on tube flies than standard flies on short shank hooks. Others may have had different experiences but I'll stick with short shank hooks like Gama CS15 for cutt's and don't feel they are any harder on the fish then tube flies, unlike long shank hooks...

    I agree with Jack about cutt's and short strikes, just doesn't happen very often IMO so there's no reason to worry about having the hook at the rear of the fly, (unlike silvers) in fact I think it's a disadvantage... I've caught very small cutt's on fairly large flat wings and the tails are six times longer than of the hook, but they know right where to bite them and it's not the end of the tail !!!

    I would agree with Roger as far as top water patterns go, makes perfect since to use tubes, due to there lighter weight,
    and I have some in my box...

    I think you should tie up a few for the fun of it and some for the silvers next fall...

  5. Im split on this one I like them both but for different flies. Light patterns that I want to wake through the surface I usually like tubes. They Create more of a disturbance and the hook at the rear seems to help when stripping quickly over pods of fish.
    If I dont get any surface action or see any movement I will tend to switch over to a flatwing and fish it slower which has much more movement than a tube pattern. When this is the case I rarely get short strikes even with long sand lance patterns, or at least I never feel them. Instead it usually gets slammed.
    So my vote is tubes for topwater, and hooks at the head for slower deeper work.
  6. Tim,
    I am not a fan of tube "flies" for SRC, but I do like them for Silvers. When I fish for Silvers I am fishing for the table so whatever works is fine with me and tube "flies" are a good fit with Silvers.
  7. All good stuff and my thanks to everyone! I'm gonna try 'em!

  8. Now I am confused, how are they like lures? I've tied maybe a two dozen tubes for steelheading as the temps drop in late fall, but they are all patterns I used to tie on AJ's, or in the case of intruders, on shanks. Why are these same patterns lures if they are tied on a plastic tube? Not trying to be negative at all, just curious as I am new to tubes.
  9. No problem, thanks for asking for clarification.

    Tube flies do not meet the WDFW definition of a fly; they would be classified as a lure and therefore, are illegal in Fly fishing-only waters.

    WDFW Definitions: (pgs 10-11 of Regs)

    Fly: A lure on which thread, feathers, hackle, or yarn cover a minimum of half of the shank of the hook. Metallic colored tape, tinsel, mylar, or bead eyes may be used as an integral part of the design of the fly pattern.

    Lure: A manufactured article, complete with hooks, constructed of feathers, hair, fiber, wood, metal, glass, cork, leather, rubber, or plastic, which does not use scent and/or flavoring to attract fish.
    Dave Evans likes this.
  10. The regs as to what is and what is not a fly in Oregon is a little vague. Most likely, if you ventured into the state with tube flies, I believe you can fish the flyfishing only fisheries without a problem.


    if you want to fish the famous North Umpqua, from July 1 through Sept 30, you can not use a tube fly ... this is the purist period if time (tweed jackets are required) :D

  11. Thanks for quoting those regs Freestone, but does anyone know if WDFW actively enforces this regulation in regards to using tubes on fly-fishing only waters? Has anyone out there actually been cited for this?
  12. Nice lures.:)
    Freestone likes this.

  13. Ahhh, now I get it! According to this definition, a fly is a lure, but a tube fly is a lure that is not a fly.
  14. It would seem so (according to WDFW). Taking it a step further, I would guess that putting scent on a fly or a lure makes it bait??
    I think I will have to curtail my practice of rubbing a herring on my flies:). Stinking up my waders, anyway.
    A further thought: According to WDFW rules and regs, is a Miyawaki "Popper" a fly or a lure???? Leyland, are you reading the mail? What say you?
  15. Because of the stinger?

  16. HI Pat, how is my favorite former "Professional Amateur" doing?

    I don't know.
    My thinking: Once the hook, upon which the materials are tied, is clipped, is it still a hook? Then, is the addition of the stinger hook considered (by WDFW) a continuation of the clipped shank and therefore it becomes "the hook"? If not, then it doesn't fit the criteria for a fly (according to WDFW).
  17. Interesting question, Jack!

    Maybe this can be passed along to the WDFW so they can further refine their definitions?

    Also, in the definitions that Freestone listed, why is a fly called a "lure" and then a lure is called a "manufactured article"???

    Even after working in the sportfishing industry my entire life our regulations often mystify me!

    :scratches head:
  19. Yeah, I know....???

    So a fly is a lure but a lure is not a fly unless "thread, feathers, hackle, or yarn cover a minimum of half of the shank of the hook. Metallic colored tape, tinsel, mylar, or bead eyes may be used as an integral part of the design of the fly pattern."

    Yikes! I'm getting a headache!! :confused:
  20. Flies, spoons, spinners, streamers, poppers, sliders, plugs, etc. etc. are all lures. A fly is a kind of lure for which WDFW creates a special category and then further defines it. Everything else falls under the category of lure.
    I'm not too happy with their choice of the word "manufacture". Generally, it connotes "large scale". But, I understand their (WDFW) meaning. (I think).


Share This Page