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Jari's Tube Baitfish
This simple hollow tied baitfish will be great for a lot of different species, in saltwater as well as in freshwater.
The two variants are made with natural materials and a tighter, smaller head. They will swim differently and cast better into the wind than the synthetic versions.
Finnish Jari Koski has developed this simple and efficient tube fly baitfish, which will be an excellent fly for many species, pike, striped bass and many more. Everywhere where predators feed on small fish, this will come in handy. It's hollow tied on a tube to give a lightweight fly that still has some volume and size. It can be varied endlessly in material choice and color.
Tying on a tube gives you a low weight compared to size, and if you choose a large gape, short shank hook, you have a fly that can take on even quite large fish, and still be easy to cast.
This is just one way of tying a baitfish tube fly. Like most flies out there, this is a mix of many patterns. There are lots of options with this pattern too. You can change the materials, the size of the body tubing, the size of the head and the colors of the materials as well as the tube and silicone tubing.
The finished product shown above is 5 inches and should work very well as a general baitfish fly.
Take a piece of tube and silicone tube. Add the silicone tube to the rear, mount the tube on the needle and create a base of thread on the tube.
Tie in some bucktail 360 degrees around the tube.
Bring your thread forward and tie in the tubing. Make sure to melt the the front end of the tubing very well so that it doesn't unravel. This will make it last a long time. Secure everything with glue. Cut the thread.
Push the tube backwards. On this fly the tubing is a bit too long. optimally the tubing should be exactly where the bucktail starts and not over it. This will allow the bucktail to add volume to the fly.
Attach your thread again. Mix some Gliss'n'Glint synthetic fiber, bucktail and SW Angel Hair together. I like fibers that are relatively straight in a fly like this. There are many options to choose from out there. Tie the middle of bunch in on the underside of the tube as shown. Spread it out to cover the full underside.
Mix another set of fibers for the top and tie the bunch in. Spread this bunch out too. Ideally you should have the full circumference of the tube covered.
Reverse the fibers and hollow tie them by wrapping in front of the materials.
Cut and taper the fibers. Cut the ones on the bottom shorter than the ones on top. If you want to make the fly as foul proof as possible, taper the fibers on the bottom so that they just reach the bend of the hook.
Hollow tie something soft in front of the fibers. Craft fur, arctic fox, Snow Runner or similar. I have used two colors here to give the fly a darker top.
Reverse, make a small thread dam in front of the material and finish the fly. Combing or brushing the fly will help mixing the fibers and give shape.
Add the eyes on both sides.
The main trait of the fly is its round, big head. Use UV resin to just behind the eyes to secure it. The hard stuff or the flex stuff. Both work equally well.
Cut the rest of the tube off and melt the tip.