The Barbell Tube

Published Mar 13th 2009

A step by step tying of a tube fly created for steelhead in the north-west USA


The author

I've been spending some time lately playing at the vise with some interesting bottle tubes.
Here is my latest. I like it because it shows how varied you can be with tube tying.
Tying behind the tube, on the tube body and in front of the tube. All the possibilities.
I also like the way there is lots of flash under the feathers, a light to darker progression from the back to front of the tube.

The junction tube with the liner allows me to use either an up or ring eye hook and have it snug in the liner or hanging back a bit in a kreh loop. (the liner will stop the knot from pulling up).

Barbell Tube
TypeTube fly
Steve Egge
Year of origin
Target species
Atlantic salmon (sea run)
Steelhead (sea run)

TubeSilver Barbell tube – 15mm
Junction tubingTransparent Blue
Tying threadBlack
ButtBlue Polar chenille tied over junction tubing
MidBlue Marabou tied in a dubbing loop
FrontBlue and Black Marabou blended and spun in a dubbing loop.
Hackle Blue Doctor Lady Amherst spun in a dubbing loop
CollarBlue Doctor Guinea
ConeBlue Aluminum Cone bored out to fit over liner tube.

Raw Tubes  -
Raw Tubes
Drilling - The Nor Vise is so smooth you can use it as a drill!

Set up - Assemble Tubes - Junction tube has been jammed up onto the rear taper of the tube. Liner tube extends 3 mm behind rear of barbell tube and joined with Junction tube by thread wrap over front of junction tubing.
Set up
Start thread - Secure the hook holding tube with the first thread wraps
Start thread
Polar chenille - Wrap on polar chenille over front of junction tubing.
Polar chenille
Trim - Trim the polar chenille and start the thread in the middle of the tube
Marabou - Spin the blue marabou in in a dubbing loop and wind on the center of the tube
Spun marabou hackle - Spin Marabou in Dubbing loop and wrap over thin middle part of tube.
Spun marabou hackle
Angel hair - Add a few strands of angel hair in fron of the marabou
Angel hair
More marabou - Spin a Mixture of Blue and Black Marabou on the front liner tube.
More marabou
Amherst fibers - Spin Blue Lady Amherst in a Dubbing Loop. You may want to keep the marabou from mixing in by \
Amherst fibers
Amherst done - Once the amherst is spun, wrap it as a hackle in front of the marabou
Amherst done
Guinea fowl - Add a Guinea fowl hackle in front of the amherst
Guinea fowl
Cone head - Finish the fly by slipping a cone head over the inner tube, trim this and melt it to a collar, which locks the cone in place
Cone head

BTW … the vise used in tying is a Nor-Vise with the new Tube Conversion. The taper on the cone allows a junction tube to slip over it and hold things securely. You can also "unscrew the cone collet" and compress the tube between it and the bead to prevent twist and hold the tube securely (same mechanism as the Snowbee and the Renzetti).
I used the old tube conversion to hold the drill bit and make the hole bigger on the aluminum tube to fit over the liner tube. The vise is so smooth you can use it as a drill!

Thanks for looking.

Steve Egge
Puyallup, WA

A selection and a fish

User comments
From: Sarunas_St · sarunasst·at·  Link
Submitted March 13th 2009

Hi there,
Nice and VERY simple tube! I like it!
I will try some colors for Lithuanian fish.
Tight lines,

Comment to an image
From: Glenn Roberts · glennkroberts·at·  Link
Submitted August 11th 2010


Great looking fly. But I don't understand or see (doesn't show in picture) how liner tube is joined to junction tube with thread wrap over front of junction tube. Would it not be easier to melt the read end of the liner tube up against the rear of the bullet tube (and then add junction tube) you do to finish the fly off after the conehead?

Tight lines.


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