Published Jun 22. 2007 - 8 years ago

Tube Fly Turmoil

The concept of tube flies is fairly well known, but we still get questions about the basic ideas as well as some of the new tube systems. This theme tries to answer them.

Martin Joergensen

Tube flies have long been stable flies for many salmon anglers all over the world, and these practical flies have also been adopted by salt water anglers in need of large flies. But tubes can be useful to almost any angler apart from those using the smallest of flies.

We frequently show tube fly patterns on the site and not rarely does that spawn some questions about the ins and outs of these flies. This theme will try to introduce newcomers to the basic concepts of tubes and pile some knowledge on top of the basics to extend a bit further on the subject.

Reasons why

There are several good reasons to tie and use tube flies:

  • You separate fly and hook. Trash the fly and keep the hook or vice versa
  • You can avoid the fly becoming a lever in the mouth of the fish
  • You can tie large but still light flies
  • You can tie some very heavy and compact flies
  • You can construct some very special flies
  • Tubes can be inexpensive (but also the opposite)

I will cover each of these arguments in further detail as we go along.

Below you see a bunch of flies tied in the traditional Scandinavian style, but tube flies are much more than that, which this theme hopefully will demonstrate. To the right you will find links to the different articles in this theme, but you can also use the keyword tube flies as an entry.

You can get an idea about the richness of tube flies by browsing this tube fly plate, which barely scratches the surface of tube fly styles.

Martin Joergensen


My brother-in-law, Peter Harding Rolls, has been a wonderfully expert and successful fly fisher all his life.
He caught some beautiful 30 lbs salmon in Tillamook Bay when he visited us in 1988. His arthritis now makes it difficult for him to tie his flies. Could you possibly suggest techniques to solve or ease this problem? If you can help, perhaps you could email him direct in the UK: Otherwise I'd be happy to pass on any advice you can give me. Very many thanks.

Great job, Martin and GFF Staff!!
You wrote a complete book about tube flies. The best guide book we can see.

Carlos Heinsohn

Thanks.Just started tying tube flies. In the 20 minutes that I spent reading your " ...Turmoil of Tube...", you have given me more insight into the nature of tube tying, than the many, many, many hours that I've spent trying to get the same information from the web. Seeing all the different tube types & etc. in one place can only help accelerate one's progress in tying tubes. Looking forward to more!
Thanks, again

Great! Waiting for the next tube articles :)

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