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The Modular Tube Fly - Part 1
By Benson Adams

  One of the biggest upsides to tying on tubes, whether they be metal or plastic, is that they are highly modular with multiple options that can be swapped in and out. Two options are the ability to easily change or add color, and the ability to add or remove weight to a pattern, all this being done fairly easily on the river. With the third option you can add weight, size, color, and incredible action to your tube fly.

  Part One of the Modular Tube Fly series will cover some of the basics and go over some options that you might not know about. As tying on tubes gives us many different choices, these are just some of the options that I use in the Modular Tube Fly System.

  The freedom of the Modular Tube Fly System allows us to take the best of each tube manufacturer’s products and combine them together to create a superior tube fly system. In most cases, each company has its strong points and sells all the products you need to create your tube flies, whether they be metal, plastic or a hybrid. I believe taking the best from each company and combining them to make the optimal tube to tie on for your situation is the most effective procedure.

  The Canadian Tube Fly Company has just about every type of tube that you need to tie on for salmon and steelhead flies. I really like their junction tubing; it works on a large range of different types of tubes and is available in many different color options.

  In the picture below I have combined products from Eumer and Tubeology. The Eumer Cone Tube on the bottom of the picture below is fitted with the junction tubing that is packaged with it. Instead of the junction tubing that Eumer provides, I prefer to use one of several different from other manufacturers to fulfill my tying needs.

  The Tubeology System is pretty interesting (pictured below), and allows you to add several different sized and shaped cone heads to their tubes by screwing them on to the thread portion on the front of the tube. They also have a very good quality tube vise adapter that works extremely well with their tubes. However, it only works with Tubeology tubes, because you actually screw the Tubeology tubes onto the vise adapter. The Tubeology Hook Retainer (or junction tubing like everyone else calls it) works well, but it only comes in 2 color options, clear, and glow in the dark. If you use Tubeology tubes and want to add more color by way of the junction tubing, I would suggest buying some Canadian Tube Fly Company Junction Tubing in water colors you want and use them with the Tubeology tube.

  One of my preferred combinations when tying bigger Intruder-style tube flies is to use HMH Hybrid Tubing to tie on, and Tubelogy hook retainer or Canadian Tube Fly Company junction tubing. I use a heavy cone head on the front of the fly. If needed I add a smaller cone head weight to the rear of the fly using the junction tubing to hold it in place. We will explore this option further in Part Two of the Modular Tube Fly System.

  In the pictures below we have four brass Eumer tubes. The two on top are Teardrop tubes and the two on bottom are Crayfish tubes. If you look above and below the brass tubes there is a clear plastic piece of junction tubing. This is the junction tubing that comes with the package of Eumer tubes. As you can see it is not very long, and has no color. With a little bit of competitor product swapping we can easily add both length and color to the tube fly.

  If we take the first two Teardrop brass tubes and use some HMH Hybrid Tubing (large size), we can add both size and color to these tubes. Simply cut a length of the colored hybrid tubing and shove it on to the back of your tube. I like to push it up the tube about halfway. This both secures the hybrid tubing and gives the brass body a bit of color to it as well. The HMH Hybrid Tubing can be used either to tie on or as junction tubing, making it a very handy tube to have around. It also comes in several different color options.

  Now for the two Crayfish brass tubes we will use regular HMH junction tubing in size small. Simply select the color you want to use, cut it to the desired length, stick it on the back of the tube, and you are finished. This is a very simple swap that adds color and functionality to these tubes. The size small HMH junction tubing works really well for smaller hooks that just don’t hold in larger sized junction tubing.

  Pictured below are the same four finished brass tubes just waiting to be fished.

By Benson Adams 2012 ©



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