Just went searching for materials today at a local hobby shop. I've been tying using Pro Tube materials and couldn't stomach the prices. This was especially so when I started to consider articulated (multiple tube sections) polychaete worms on a tube. The materials I found today, while not ideal, look like they're going to work for many applications. And, they're pretty cheap. They take basic fly structure cost from about $0.60 to about $0.10. That's tube only, not cones, beads or other materials. Still a substantial per fly savings. What I found was the following: Styrene 3/32" tube. 6 - 14" pieces for $3.35 Great Planes 5/64" Silicone fuel tubing. 1-24" piece for $1.89 The sizes I've been tying so far, and are the basis of the cost estimate are a 1 1/4 inch piece of the styrene with a 5/8 inch piece of the fuel tubing. The advantages/disadvantages I've found so far are: 1. (+) When heated the styrene ends flare but don't close the tube end. Don't need to use the mandrel to open it back up. 2. (-) Easier to catch on fire, but not too bad. 3. (-) Bent tubing retains the bend easier at room temp. (mixed blessing if you WANT weird action on a bugger) 4. (+) Flare the end used to to hold the silicone tube piece and you probably don't need to glue. 5. (-) The inside diameter appears to be a little large to SECURELY hold the hook eye. Tested with a Gamakatsu SS15 #6 and it did grip, but not as tight as I'd like. This would be a disadvantage for a baitfish pattern where the hook orientation may affect the fly orientation. Should work fine on Wooly Buggers and Worms. Further testing and material search in order. 6. (-) Wall thickness of silicone tube is a little thick. If you tie tail materials too close they may flare too much. On the other hand, that could be helpful to add motion to your tail materials. 7. (+) I was afraid that the styrene would become brittle when cold. My short (20 minute) test in the freezer with an immediate violent bend didn't break the tube. 8. (-) Only one color available, but colored Sharpies or mylar wraps should fix that. The styrene surface feels like it will hold the Sharpie ink. 9. (-) Outside diameter of the styrene is a little large for the standard ProTube cones and disks, BUT a few seconds in a Dremel (small chuck) and a piece of sandpaper and you're in business. I'll try to remember to followup on this with anything new I find out.