Tube Fly Adapters

Nick Clayton

WFF Supporter
I'm getting ready to place an order through Waters West for some materials I'm needing. I've been wanting to get into tying some tunes for a while now so I figured I would go ahead and order that stuff as well.

Looking at their site there are several options for tube fly adapters to be used in a standard vise but I'm not sure which I should get. Cheaper is definitely good but I don't want to end up with something I don't like.

So which style adapter do you use, and what do you like about it? For 45 bucks I can get the HMH premium tube adapter. It comes with two mandrels, some tubes and some junction tubing. For 25 bucks HMH offers a starter kit. It's hard to tell from the site what the difference is.

They also sell a couple others such as the Pro Tubes Flexi Needle which is 17 bucks and is simply a needle that you clamp in the vise and supposedly works with many sized tubes.

The flies I tie here will be be used for src and salmon in the salt, as well as possibly rock fish and ling flies. I probably won't be tying many trout flies.

I'd very much appreciate any input you all can provide

Nick
 

yellowlab03

Active Member
I have only used the HMH tube fly starter kit with the two mandrels. I like it, but don't have any experience with any other types. I have tied on large HMH tubes down to their micro flexible tubes. Saltwater flies and small trout tubes. Not much help, it ain't broke so I don't need another one.
 

Stuart_Stringer

Active Member
I have both the HMH starter set and the pro tube needle, along with some Canadian tube fly company needles. The HMH is nice because it is held really securely in the vise jaws, but the tube can spin on the needle. It really sucks when your tube slips and you loose about 20 wraps of thread.

The pro tube needle really securely holds the tube due to the tapered flat section (I use pro tube flexitubes almost exclusively now) without any spin issues. Problem is my vise won't hold just the bare needle well (I use a fixed neck angle vise), and the needle pops out of the jaws.

My solution? Use the protube needle in the HMH clamp thingy. It just barely fits through the hole. No tube spins, and the needle is super secure in my vise. Best of both worlds, but also the most expensive option!

The Canadian tube fly company needles are a tapered round needle that would hold the tube well in conjunction with the HMH clamp, the problem was that the narrow portion of the needle is kind of short, making it hard to tie long steelhead tubes. For shorter tubes it worked just fine, but I have broke a number of them.
 

Matthew LeBret

Active Member
I use the pro tube needle on my Regal vise and love it. I haven't touched my hmh adaptor in over 2 years. I get creative with my tube materials so if I run into the problem of the tube being to big for the needle I build up some thread around the needle and it grabs the tube just like it should
 

jwg

Active Member
To might think first about the styles of flies you plan to tie.
Some tube fly materials vendors emphasize metal conehead styles and have all the parts for that.
Knowing what you want to tie might influence which vendors 'ecosystem' you buy into

For trout, or pink salmon, I happen to have HMH and have been happy with it. I can clamp the tube into the same metal loop that holds the needle, so no tube spinning issues

Jay
 

yellowlab03

Active Member
To might think first about the styles of flies you plan to tie.
Some tube fly materials vendors emphasize metal conehead styles and have all the parts for that.
Knowing what you want to tie might influence which vendors 'ecosystem' you buy into

For trout, or pink salmon, I happen to have HMH and have been happy with it. I can clamp the tube into the same metal loop that holds the needle, so no tube spinning issues

Jay


I have done the same thing, also do it with metal tubes. I go to hobby stores and buy the aluminum or brass tubing and then tie on that when I want heavy weighted flies and then use the HMH micro tubing as a liner.
 

jwg

Active Member
I have done the same thing, also do it with metal tubes. I go to hobby stores and buy the aluminum or brass tubing and then tie on that when I want heavy weighted flies and then use the HMH micro tubing as a liner.

Hey nice tip.
can you say a little more about metal tubing sized to match up with the HMH micro tubing liner.
Are you using heat on the end of the plastic to expand it and hold stuff on.
Jay
 

yellowlab03

Active Member
Ya, I just took their normal sized flex tubing and some of their tubing that comes in the 36" coil or whatever length it is to the hobby store and just found the aluminum/brass tubing that the HMH stuff would fit into. After I tie on it, I will cut the plastic tubing maybe an 1/8" or shorter (but not much) longer than the tube and I will take a lighter to it to flare it so it stays in the metal. Then you don't have to worry about the metal cutting your line, and the fly stays level and sinks evenly. I imagine you could cut two pieces of the plastic, flare one end then glue them in like that too if you wanted to save the tubing. I have wanted to polish up the aluminum to a glass finish and tie on it for saltwater glass minnow flies.
 

Anil

Active Member
I'm getting ready to place an order through Waters West for some materials I'm needing. I've been wanting to get into tying some tunes for a while now so I figured I would go ahead and order that stuff as well.

Looking at their site there are several options for tube fly adapters to be used in a standard vise but I'm not sure which I should get. Cheaper is definitely good but I don't want to end up with something I don't like.

So which style adapter do you use, and what do you like about it? For 45 bucks I can get the HMH premium tube adapter. It comes with two mandrels, some tubes and some junction tubing. For 25 bucks HMH offers a starter kit. It's hard to tell from the site what the difference is.

They also sell a couple others such as the Pro Tubes Flexi Needle which is 17 bucks and is simply a needle that you clamp in the vise and supposedly works with many sized tubes.

The flies I tie here will be be used for src and salmon in the salt, as well as possibly rock fish and ling flies. I probably won't be tying many trout flies.

I'd very much appreciate any input you all can provide

Nick
The HMH "premium" kit is identical to the "starter" kit in every way except, the mandrels. The starter kit has a couple of bent pins (that work just fine) while the premium kit comes with polished stainless tapered mandrels. They work a little better. If you want to tie with HMH micro tubing, you will have to purchase the HMH micro mandrel, or make one that fits.
I have the "premium" kit and have tied on it for over 20 years. It used to be the only option and it came with 3 mandrels.
Hope this answers your questions
 

Nick Clayton

WFF Supporter
Thanks for the great info all. I went ahead and ordered the HMH premium kit last night along with a selection of tubes and other goodies. If it's anything like the rest of my tying I'll surely be spending a small fortune on more stuff in the bear future but hopefully this will get me started
 

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