Tube fly Clouser Minnow: very effective

The Clouser Minnow pattern in various colors is an exceptionally good fly for SRC and salmon on Puget Sound. However, sometimes fish have a tendency to short strike it or come unhooked. A long shank hook and dumbell eyes give a fish leverage to work the hook loose.

Awhile ago, I tied some Clouser Minnows as tube flies and have been very pleased how they have worked. I use a Gamakatsu SC-15 # 4 hook located near the tail of the fly. I like it better than a stinger hook on a stiff leader.

Below are my thoughts on pros and cons on using a tube Clouser Minnow pattern.


1. If the fish are short striking, there is an increased hook up rate because the hook is located near the tail of the fly.

2. It is more difficult for a fish to come unhooked as they have less leverage and the small SC-15 hook can wiggle around at the end of the tube.

3. You can have the hook riding up(use small sleeve at end of tube) so that there is less chance of becoming hung up on the bottom if you are fishing shallow water. With a stinger hook on a stiff leader that is not always possible.

4. If you are fishing from the beach and your hook point becomes damaged, it is easy to tie on another hook so that your fly is still useable.

5. There is less wear and tear on the fly as it will often ride up on your leader when you are bringing in a fish. When that does not occur, you can push the fly up the leader before releasing a fish so that you are only dealing with the hook.


1. Sometimes the fish will be hooked well into their mouth which can injure the fish. If that occurs very often especially with SRC, I will have to move the hook foreward to minimize injury to them.

I am biased toward a hook at the end of a tube fly vs stiff leader /stinger hook. So lets hear it from the other side.


PS. I have been having good success with a foam strip/tube floating sand lance pattern. I'll do a write-up on it in the next week or so after I have used it a few more times.

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Roger, thank you for the detailed information on the tube clouser. I am fishing tubes more and more and agree with all of your stated benefits. I would greatly appreciate it if you could post a photo of the clouser. I am anxious to tie some up. Thanks again for all of your great contributions to this site. I hope to meet you on the beach soon. Steve

I don't have a digital camera so am unable to post a picture. A photo wouldn't show much since it looks like a standard Clouser Minnow with a 3/32" o.d. tube(1 1/4" long) running through it. I use bucktail for the body so it is difficult to even see the tube.

Hope that helps you.

Roger-- Two quick questions: Do you use a junction tube with the fly? and: Do you wrap a body on the fly or leave the tube clear?



I use a junction tube at the end of the 3/32" tube to hold the hook.

I leave the tube clear since it not very visible. But it might be a thought to wrap it with pearl Flashabou to give the pattern a little more sparkle. On the top of the bucktail(olive or chartreuse) I'll overlay Flashabou(#6923) and on the bottom bucktail(white) I'll overlay Pearl Krystal Flash to give the pattern some sparkle.

Hope that helps.

Roger-- Thanks. It's time to unbury the fly tying bench and get busy. I've been loafing too long.

I do like the idea of tube flies and even tried the Miyawaki Beach Popper on a tube. The idea of using only a small hook has merit. It also means that we can use bronze hooks that can be discarded so that if we lose a hook in a fish, it will rust out quickly.


Richard E

Active Member
I generally agree with your Pros and Cons, and tube flies have their merit, but here are a couple of comments.

1) In your cons section, the fish wouldn't take the tube fly hook any deeper than it would a long shank hook. Hooked is hooked, whether it be by long shank or any other.

2) Tube flies, because the monofilament goes through the tube and affixed to the hook, which gives it a stiff connection. Also, the hook is sometimes rigidly held in place by a junction tube. makling a rigid connection. Even if tied with a loop knot, there isn't a 'hinge' point for the fly to move freely around the know. Therefore, because of these two items, a person can't get the same degree of 'jigging' or up and down action with a weighted tube fly or clouser tube fly as can be attained with a standard weighted fly or clouser.

Tube flies are great, but they have their drawbacks, too. :thumb:
I agree shorter hooks are better. I never had a issue with my tubes not jigging to their full potential with a tube I can use softer material without the problem of wrapping around the hook as much while fishing as with normal clouser. I guess, I'm a tube fan. They're just so versatile.
I am also using a tube fly popper. I usually set my hook so it faces down. I ' ve brained too many small cutts on clousers and fell I do less damage to the little guys. I found a great material for my tube poppers, its a closed cell foam in neon colors around a wire that is easy to pull out leaving a place to insert a tube. When I say I "found" the product, I literally did. I found about a hundred feet in a dumpster. Never being too proud I doove in, the price was right. I now have popper head material in green, purple, black, orange, yellow and my favorite hot pink.
It makes a great popper. I usually tie the head to a tube with the head flared out - I like the pop to get their attention. Mostly I catch them on my dropper Nothing with an attitude. The popper being my beach dodger. (sorry Leland)
I do use tube sinkers too but I avoid clouser eyes. Too many snapped beach rods. (my casting especially when a large fish shows leaves much to be desired.)

Jim Koolick

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Jim, I have been fishing the Nothing with an Attitude ever since the day you showed me how to tie it at Patrick's. I have taken some very nice Sea Run Cutthroats on your fly. Those of you who are not familiar with the pattern should check it out in Les Johnson's new book or stop by Patrick's and pick one up. I look forward to fishing the beach with you later this summer Jim.
Steve Rohrbach :thumb:


Active Member
Hey Jim and Steve,

I've been throwing a two-handed overhead casting rod with a new Outbound line. I've never seen my popper so far off the beach. It's damn near outta sight. I call it my "Buzz Bomb Beater." It will be the ticket soon at GG. Maybe even with Nothing attached!


Richard E

Active Member
Which two-handed stick are you using (I suspect it has to be a CND!)?

Always looking for a way to hurl my fly crazy distances while beach fishing! Sounds awesome, Leland!


Active Member
It's a Sage 8126 European, fast-action two-hander. I landed a nice wild coho at the Narrows this morning about 80 feet out! Pretty nutty stuff.

I've been fishing the Outbound line for a few months and it's rocks! I got a "sneak peak" at the line and fished it at Lenore earier this year; this line really flies! It's awesone to see a product do as it advertises. We all know that you don't always get so lucky!

Latest posts