Why tube flies?

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#1
So....

I've been getting more comfortable with tying over the last year or so and have been filling up boxes with standard-tied flies.

Being retired and always looking for more challenges I'm considering tying some tube flies but my biggest question is "Why???"

My history: I've been mostly wading Puget Sound beaches for SRC and salmon. I sometimes take a frameless 'toon out on local lakes. I'd like to expand to more western Washington rivers and streams. Also, I'm seriously thinking of buying a good powered fishing boat for all types of water but mostly the salt.

I've been doing a lot of web research, both here and other places, and have learned that with a tube-fly, one can easily change a boinked hook and still keep the fly or vice versa, replace a chewed-up fly body without changing the hook.

So what other advantages do tube flies have? Why do you tie and fish them?

Any input/opinions are appreciated!
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#2
I tied a number of tube flies and gave it up. The one and only advantage, if you want to call it that, is the ability to use different gap hooks. As I couldn't see any real significant advantage over tying a fly on a hook shank, I put away my tube fly tying tools and went back to tying flies on hooks.

If there is a significant advantage that I've missed, I'd really like to know what it is. As it is now, I have a lot of tubes and the tools required for tying tube flies and never use them.
 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#3
If there is a significant advantage that I've missed, I'd really like to know what it is.
That's what I'm trying to figure out! ;)

As it is now, I have a lot of tubes and the tools required for tying tube flies and never use them.
Even though I'm not sure I want to start tying tubes, you can send your stuff to me!! :p
 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#6
Yeah, I too have read that tube flies allow easier hook-sets.

Is that true or do I have to visit http://www.snopes.com/ to see if that's an urban legend? ;)

And if the hooking capability is true, how does that differ from tying a standard pattern with a stinger?
 
#7
I've been doing a lot of web research, both here and other places, and and learned that with a tube-fly, one can easily change a boinked hook and still keep the fly or vice versa, replace a chewed-up fly body without changing the hook.

So what other advantages do tube flies have? Why do you tie and fish them?
Over the past 25 years I have fished mostly for sea-run cutthroat and salmon on Puget Sound. About 10 years ago I started tying almost all saltwater flies as tube patterns. An exception is the Ferguson Green and Silver pattern which is tied on a long shank hook. Over the last 8 years I have done numerous tube fly tying demonstrations. The advantages of tube fly patterns listed below is from a handout which I used.

ADVANTAGES OF TUBE FLY PATTERNS FOR FISH

1. Tube fly pattern can be slide up the leader and a Ketchum Release tool or similar device can be used to release a fish in the water without handling it.

2. Small Gamakutsu SC-15(saltwater series) can be used. I use #4 and 6 hooks. They are small diameter nickel plated hooks that are susceptible to corrode fairly rapidly if left in a fish's mouth. Plus these hooks will not cause as much harm to fish in comparison to a larger diameter stainless steel hook.

3. This is the MOST IMPORTANT ADVANTAGE! If a fish is hooked deep in it's mouth/gills the tube pattern can be slide up the leader. The leader can be sniped near the hook. It is better to leave a small diameter hook in a fish's mouth/gill rather than attempting to remove the hook with a release tool or forceps which have a high probability of causing excessive bleeding and demise of the fish.

4. If a standard stainless steel hook pattern is left in a fish's mouth/gills, the fish will have to deal with a large fly pattern which may have dumbell eyes or a cone head. It has to be more invasive in comparison to a small diameter SC-15 hook.

ADVANTAGES OF TUBE FLY PATTERNS FOR FLY FISHERS

1. A fly pattern will last much longer since after a fish is hooked the pattern will often slide up the leader away from the teeth of a fish.

2. Short strikes can be minimized. A length of tube can be used that will place the hook near the rear of a fly pattern.

3. If a hook is broken or becomes dull, it is easy to change out the hook.

4. It is harder for a fish to throw a pattern since short shank Gamakutsu SC-15 or similar hooks can be used. A fish does not have as much leverage to "throw" a fly pattern in comparison to long shank hooks. Non-tube fly patterns that use cone heads or dumbell eyes particularly clouser minnow are prone to have fish "throw" the fly pattern.

Roger
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#9
Over the past 25 years I have fished mostly for sea-run cutthroat and salmon on Puget Sound. About 10 years ago I started tying almost all saltwater flies as tube patterns. An exception is the Ferguson Green and Silver pattern which is tied on a long shank hook. Over the last 8 years I have done numerous tube fly tying demonstrations. The advantages of tube fly patterns listed below is from a handout which I used.

ADVANTAGES OF TUBE FLY PATTERNS FOR FISH

1. Tube fly pattern can be slide up the leader and a Ketchum Release tool or similar device can be used to release a fish in the water without handling it.

2. Small Gamakutsu SC-15(saltwater series) can be used. I use #4 and 6 hooks. They are small diameter nickel plated hooks that are susceptible to corrode fairly rapidly if left in a fish's mouth. Plus these hooks will not cause as much harm to fish in comparison to a larger diameter stainless steel hook.

3. This is the MOST IMPORTANT ADVANTAGE! If a fish is hooked deep in it's mouth/gills the tube pattern can be slide up the leader. The leader can be sniped near the hook. It is better to leave a small diameter hook in a fish's mouth/gill rather than attempting to remove the hook with a release tool or forceps which have a high probability of causing excessive bleeding and demise of the fish.

4. If a standard stainless steel hook pattern is left in a fish's mouth/gills, the fish will have to deal with a large fly pattern which may have dumbell eyes or a cone head. It has to be more invasive in comparison to a small diameter SC-15 hook.

ADVANTAGES OF TUBE FLY PATTERNS FOR FLY FISHERS

1. A fly pattern will last much longer since after a fish is hooked the pattern will often slide up the leader away from the teeth of a fish.

2. Short strikes can be minimized. A length of tube can be used that will place the hook near the rear of a fly pattern.

3. If a hook is broken or becomes dull, it is easy to change out the hook.

4. It is harder for a fish to throw a pattern since short shank Gamakutsu SC-15 or similar hooks can be used. A fish does not have as much leverage to "throw" a fly pattern in comparison to long shank hooks. Non-tube fly patterns that use cone heads or dumbell eyes particularly clouser minnow are prone to have fish "throw" the fly pattern.

Roger

Crap, that was just flat out awesome Roger, flat out awesome.
 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#11
Yeah, I expected that Roger would chime in and I very much respect and appreciate his comments.

He seems to be a guru of PS saltwater tube flies and I thank him for his reply. :)

So to reiterate what you posted Roger, tube flies allow easier fish release, allow anglers to hook more fish and at the same time make fly-fishing a bit simpler due to the reduced instances of replacing either hooks or fly bodies.

Did I get that right?

So what about fishability? Do our local fish like 'em better than standard flies? I know you've fished them a lot! (You don't need to give out any secrets!)

Regardless, I'm probably gonna start tying 'em 'cuz I like doing something new! ;)
 

kelvin

Active Member
#12
Over the past 25 years I have fished mostly for sea-run cutthroat and salmon on Puget Sound. About 10 years ago I started tying almost all saltwater flies as tube patterns. An exception is the Ferguson Green and Silver pattern which is tied on a long shank hook. Over the last 8 years I have done numerous tube fly tying demonstrations. The advantages of tube fly patterns listed below is from a handout which I used.

ADVANTAGES OF TUBE FLY PATTERNS FOR FISH

1. Tube fly pattern can be slide up the leader and a Ketchum Release tool or similar device can be used to release a fish in the water without handling it.

2. Small Gamakutsu SC-15(saltwater series) can be used. I use #4 and 6 hooks. They are small diameter nickel plated hooks that are susceptible to corrode fairly rapidly if left in a fish's mouth. Plus these hooks will not cause as much harm to fish in comparison to a larger diameter stainless steel hook.

3. This is the MOST IMPORTANT ADVANTAGE! If a fish is hooked deep in it's mouth/gills the tube pattern can be slide up the leader. The leader can be sniped near the hook. It is better to leave a small diameter hook in a fish's mouth/gill rather than attempting to remove the hook with a release tool or forceps which have a high probability of causing excessive bleeding and demise of the fish.

4. If a standard stainless steel hook pattern is left in a fish's mouth/gills, the fish will have to deal with a large fly pattern which may have dumbell eyes or a cone head. It has to be more invasive in comparison to a small diameter SC-15 hook.

ADVANTAGES OF TUBE FLY PATTERNS FOR FLY FISHERS

1. A fly pattern will last much longer since after a fish is hooked the pattern will often slide up the leader away from the teeth of a fish.

2. Short strikes can be minimized. A length of tube can be used that will place the hook near the rear of a fly pattern.

3. If a hook is broken or becomes dull, it is easy to change out the hook.

4. It is harder for a fish to throw a pattern since short shank Gamakutsu SC-15 or similar hooks can be used. A fish does not have as much leverage to "throw" a fly pattern in comparison to long shank hooks. Non-tube fly patterns that use cone heads or dumbell eyes particularly clouser minnow are prone to have fish "throw" the fly pattern.

Roger
what Roger said...and the are f-ing cool to tie
 
#14
Yeah, I expected that Roger would chime in and I very much respect and appreciate his comments.

He seems to be a guru of PS saltwater tube flies and I thank him for his reply. :)

So to reiterate what you posted Roger, tube flies allow easier fish release, allow anglers to hook more fish and at the same time make fly-fishing a bit simpler due to the reduced instances of replacing either hooks or fly bodies.

Did I get that right?

So what about fishability? Do our local fish like 'em better than standard flies? I know you've fished them a lot! (You don't need to give out any secrets!)

Regardless, I'm probably gonna start tying 'em 'cuz I like doing something new! ;)

I have started to convert all my standard SRC patterns to tubes. Easy to tie, tweakable and I see no difference in the catch rate other than better hookups.
Also, you can store a bunch of flies in your pocket, rolled into your hat or jammed in a small box. No hooks to foul since you keep the hooks in a small box or in some foam to grab when needed.
Check out Les Johnsons book for tons of history and patterns. They go back a few years.
Enjoy!
Dave

Tube Flies: A Tying, Fishing & Historical Guide
 

golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#15
Much less likely for you hook to get wrapped on your leader/fly with tube flies. You can just leave it on your line and never have to waste time stripping in to check your fly