Radencich Salmon Flies Salmon Fly The Art of the Tube Fly

The Art of the Tube Fly

The Art of the Tube Fly post thumbnail image

The Art of the Tube Fly

Imagine a fly that’s lightweight, versatile, and deadly effective – that’s the beauty of the tube fly. Unlike traditional flies tied on hooks, tube flies have a hollow, cylindrical body made of metal or plastic tubing. This unique design offers several advantages, making tube flies a compelling choice for fly fishers of all experience levels. So, ditch the hook (figuratively speaking) and explore the fascinating world of tube flies!

Advantages of the Tube Fly Design

The innovative design of the tube fly sets it apart from traditional flies:

  • Lightweight Champion: The hollow body of a tube fly makes it incredibly light, allowing it to mimic small baitfish or insects with exceptional realism. This is especially beneficial in still water or slow-moving currents where fish are often wary of heavier flies.
  • Weedless Wonder: The design of the tube fly minimizes the risk of snags on weeds and other underwater obstacles. This is a significant advantage when fishing in areas with vegetation or rocky bottoms.
  • Versatility Unbound: Tube flies can be tied in a vast array of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them suitable for targeting a wide variety of fish species. You can find tube flies designed to imitate everything from minnows and shrimp to leeches and nymphs.
  • Interchangeable Heads: One of the biggest advantages of tube flies is the interchangeable head system. The fly body is attached to a separate weighted head, allowing you to quickly switch between different weights to adapt to varying water depths and currents.

Remember: The innovative design of the tube fly offers numerous advantages, making it a versatile and effective choice for fly fishers of all skill sets.

Tying Techniques for Tube Flies

While tube flies offer advantages, tying them requires a slightly different approach than traditional flies:

  • The Right Tools: You’ll need a specialized tube fly vise that can securely hold the hollow body while you tie. Additional tools like a whip finisher and bodkin can also be helpful.
  • Material Selection: The materials used for tying tube flies are similar to traditional flies, with threads, feathers, and various dubbing materials commonly used. However, you’ll also need tubing in different sizes and weights to create the body.
  • Tying Techniques: The basic techniques for tying flies still apply to tube flies. However, there are specific methods for attaching the body materials to the tube and securing the head. Many online resources and instructional videos can guide you through the process.

Remember: Tying tube flies requires some specialized tools and techniques. However, with a little practice and the right resources, you can create your own effective and personalized tube flies.

Essentials for Tube Fly Success

To maximize your success with tube flies, consider these additional tips:

  • Rod and Reel: Choose a fly rod with the appropriate weight and action for the size and weight of the tube flies you’ll be using. A medium-action rod with a good line control is a good starting point.
  • Line and Leader: Use a floating line for most tube fly fishing, especially when targeting fish near the surface. Match your leader length and tippet weight to the size and species of fish you’re after.
  • Retrieve Techniques: The retrieve technique for tube flies can vary depending on the situation. Sometimes a slow and steady retrieve works best, while other times a faster, erratic action might be needed to entice a strike.

Remember: The right equipment and fishing techniques are crucial for getting the most out of your tube flies. Experiment and find what works best for the specific fish species and water conditions you’re encountering.


The tube fly is a testament to innovation in the world of fly fishing. This unique design offers numerous advantages, making it a versatile and effective tool for anglers of all experience levels. Whether you’re a seasoned fly fisher or just starting out, exploring the world of tube flies can add a new dimension to your fly fishing experience.

Related Post