Fly Tying Tubes

Fly tying tubes are a must have in any salmon fly tyers armoury. Fly tying tubes are available in a wide range of sizes, colour and materials. Metal tubes are available in a range materials - from lightweight aluminium tubes to heavy copper and tungsten, these tubes are normally supplied in predetermined lengths which are chosen depending on the size of the pattern being tied. Metal tubes are normally finished with a plastic liner to avoid damage to the line, some are supplied with the liner pre-fitted while others are not and are designed to be used in conjunction with a liner tubing. Adding your own liner tubing gives you the option to add a conhead or disc to the front of your finished fly. Platstic tubes are usually sold in longer lengths allowing the tyer to cut them to any given length to suit different flies. Tying fly patterns on tubes gives the angler great advantages over tying on traditional hooks as tube flies tend to last longer and offer more movement in the water. We stock an array of different coloured, types and sizes of tubes from some of the leading fly tying brands so you can be sure to find a tube to suit your needs!


Tube flies are an innovative approach to traditional fly tying, offering versatility and a distinct set of advantages, especially for salmon fishing. Instead of tying on a standard hook shank, the materials are bound to a tube and a separate hook is then attached for fishing.

What are fly tying tubes used for?

Tube flies serve several unique purposes in the world of fly tying:

  • Versatility: Anglers can easily swap out hooks without changing the fly, allowing for a match to various fishing conditions.
  • Durability: When a fish is hooked, the fly can slide up the leader, away from the fish's teeth, potentially increasing the fly's lifespan.
  • Adaptability: Tubes come in various sizes and weights, allowing for the creation of diverse fly profiles and sinking rates.
  • Safety: In catch-and-release fisheries, using a small, short-shanked hook with a tube fly can be less harmful to fish than a traditional long-shanked hook.

Fly Tying Tubes:

Understanding the components and types of tubes is essential for effective tube fly creation:

  • Material: Tubes are typically made from plastic, metal or a combination of both. Plastic tubes are lightweight and can be used with added weight (like coneheads), while metal tubes sink faster and are often used in faster or deeper water.
  • Size: Tubes range from micro sizes, just an inch or so long, to several inches in length, allowing for a variety of fly sizes.
  • Inner vs. Outer Tubes: Some systems use an inner and outer tube combination. The inner tube holds the tippet and hook, while the outer tube is where the fly is tied. This setup can help with aligning the hook correctly.
  • Colors: While many tubes are clear or neutral-colored, they also come in a range of colors for added attraction or to match the overall color scheme of the fly.

Tying on Tubes:

Working with tubes requires a slightly different approach and some specialised tools:

  • Tube Fly Vise: While some regular fly tying vises can hold tubes with the right attachments, there are vises specifically designed for tube fly tying, providing a secure grip.
  • Needles: These are used to hold the tube in place while tying. Some tyers use simple sewing needles, while others opt for specialized tube fly needles that fit their vise.

Choosing the Right Tube:

The selection of a particular tube type and size often depends on the fishing conditions and the intended fly design. For instance, in faster water or when targeting deeper-holding salmon, a heavier metal tube might be chosen. Conversely, in slower or shallower conditions, a lightweight plastic tube could be more effective.

In summary, tube flies offer a modern twist on traditional salmon fly tying. Their adaptability, durability, and effectiveness make them a valuable addition to any salmon angler's fly box. As with any fly tying endeavor, understanding and experimenting with various materials and techniques is key to mastering the art of tube fly creation.

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