The Rocket

A fairly new concept: large salt water flies tied on tubes

By Martin Joergensen

The Rocket - tube and epoxy
During a recent gettogether with some Danish flyfishers I hauled out some of my cod flies. One of them was this one - The Rocket. They were quite excited about the fly - first of all because it's a light tube fly, second because it's very durable. They saw in it not only the cod fly that I had made, but also a pike fly, a fly for pike perch and a universal fly for all kinds of deep fishing for larger fish.

Bottles of epoxy
A year ago or so I bought two bottles of epoxy, but not before recently I started using it. It was Bob Kenly's principles of combining tube flies and epoxy that was the impulse.

A treble is commonly used for tubes in Scandinavia. I prefer a single hook

I have since then made several large epoxy coated patterns which have all proven succesful, but it was the combination of the tube, Gartside's braided Corsair tubing and epoxy that really was a hit. This fly is the most rercent result of this combination.
The idea is to use the plastic tube to make a light fly and the braided tube to hold the epoxy in shape.
By covering all tail and wing materials and the dumbbell eyes with the tube and then the epoxy you get an almost indestructible fly.

Heavy fly
The fly is still heavy, but not nearly as heavy as a similar fly tied on a large hook. It's not easy to cast, but with patience in the backcast and less ambitions regarding casting length it's not that bad.
I have experimented with a sinking line on a 9 weight 11' two hand rod, and that works very well when you have gotten used to it. One of the above mentioned fishers - Michael Jensen - urged me to try a short one hand rod in stead - like an 8' 9 weight, and I will if I get the chance.


Tube Cotton swab tube, melted in both ends
Thread Black 6/0
Tail Black squirrel or Arctic fox
Rear body Dark olive dubbing
Wings Black squirrel or Arctic fox and peacock herl
Sides Orange squirrel or Arctic fox
Front body Dark olive dubbing
Body/head Corsair tubing, ½" diameter
Gills Red flash dubbing
Eyes Painted dumbbell metal eyes
Cover 5 minute epoxy (or according to taste)

Tying instructions
A true rotary vice makes the epoxy work much easier. You can also study this animation for a clearer understanding of the process.

  1. Cut the cotton of the swab and melt the tube lightly in both ends to create a collar
  2. Mount the tube in a tube fly vice or on a heavy needle in a standard vice
  3. Tie in the thread approx. ¼" from the rear end of the tube
  4. Tie in a ½" tuft of hair to circumference the tube and form a tail.
  5. Dub ¼" of the tube with olive dubbing
  6. Tie in a 1 ½" long wing above and below the tube
  7. Tie in 4-6 peacock herls on top of each wing. Length approx. 2 ½"
  8. Tie in two tufts of orange hair as sides to reach the tip of the tail
  9. Dub yet another ¼" of the tube
  10. Whip finish and cut thread
  11. Prepare a 1" pjece of braided tube by folding it a bit 'into itself'
  12. Do this by pressing the tube together, reversing it into itself, and pressing it with a pen or similar cylindrical object
  13. Pass the now semi closed end over the fly so that it covers the front body and the base of the sides and the wings
  14. Make sure that the 'side lines' of the tube are parallel with the sides
  15. Press the tube together and tie in the thread over the narrow part
  16. Secure the tube and tie on the eyes
  17. Make sure that they sit in the right angle with regards to the wings
  18. You don't need to secure the eyes more than just adequately
  19. Wind the thread to a point behind the eyes
  20. Apply some flash dubbing tightly to the thread
  21. Make a small ball of tightly wound dubbing behind the eyes
  22. Whip finish in front of the eyes
  23. Prepare a suitable amount of epoxy on a piece of paper. I usually put a sheet under the fly to mix on and to catch drops
  24. Apply the epoxy with a match
  25. Start by covering the eyes and the front of the fly with a small amount
  26. Then cover the braided tube. Make sure you get the the rear edge of the tube
  27. The epoxy will sink into the materials under the tube
  28. Keep on adding epoxy, while constantly rotating the fly to avoid dripping
  29. Finally add epoxy over the gill section
  30. Keep on rotating the fly while the epoxy settles. The least pause or hesitation will make it drip

    The leader is drawn through the tube and attached to the hook which is then drawn into the soft silicone tubing.

  31. When the epoxy stops moving, keep rotating for a few more rounds
  32. The fly will now be hardned and very hot
  33. Leave it in the vice for a few seconds
  34. Draw a piece of silicone tube over the bare piece of fly tube
  35. Use a treble or single hook according to taste

User comments
GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted August 24th 2005

When the fly is done, there will be a small piece of the tube protruding in the rear of the fly under the materials. Press a piece of slightly larger diameter soft tube over this as an extension. This extension serves as a guide for the hook. When the hook is attached it will be drawn into the soft tube and sit fairly tight there.


From: Ginger Allen · gallen·at·  Link
Submitted August 24th 2005

I don't understand step 34. Never have tied a tube fly before.

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