Tube Flies

As part of what appears to be an on-going obsession with doing new, at least to me, things, I am interested in tying tube flies for salmon, tiger muskies and most other sorts of fishies. What are the best sources of tubes, popper and slider heads?


Active Member
Man, sore subject for me in terms of Craft Store/hardware/auto shop sourcing of tubes x(

I ended up buying off the shelf from a local shop. For streamer (baitfish) style flies, I stick to the hard saltwater type tubes. I have pretty much mastered tying sea habits on them, and they proved very effective on Dorado, skipjack, roosters, and one sea lion in the sea of cortez last fall. for a sample. Bad pic...

For steelhead, the softer type tubes, where you can just cram a size 4 or 6 hook directly into the tube have worked great for me, and are less of a hassle to work with. Buy the longest ones they have, as the price is the same for 10 pieces regardless of length :hmmm . The 2.5 inchers can be used to make lots of half to three quarter inchers for summer flies}(

If you can find the "high pressure guage" 1/8th O.D. nylon tubing everyone writes about in books and articles, let me know...

As to heads, just get standard cylindrical "live body" foam, cut it, and sand or grind to shape. Pre-shaped are expensive, and I don't really love the shape of any of them personally.

vintageflies off of ebay has everything for tubes, I got a tube fly vise, 150 1 inch glass tubes, and a bunch of mylar in different baitfish colors all for under 30$ cant go wrong with that. total professional tube fly setup. tube flies are an excellent fly for saltwater salmon. for plastic tubing if your ever around hood canal stop by the tackle shop on south shore, he has rolls of that kind of stuff for cheap. I used to tie them up with aquarium tubing, ugly but very effective. straited out a paper clip folded it in half, put one end in the vise and held the paper clip together slid on the tubing and let go when it was in place and it holds the tubing real still, wont spin around.

saltwater flyfishing in the northwest is a science as well as an art

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
Go here scroll through the posts or use search. There is quite a bit of helpful and specific information about tube flies.
Also be sure to look in all the various forum's for tube flies of all types. Some how the search function does not seem to dig up as many posts as I can find by scrolling through but that may be how I am using it.

Latest posts