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So, I think I want to tie some tubes

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Do you gents and maybe gals think that just buying a variety kit with holder for my rotary will suffice for starting to tie tube flies for steelies? Looks like the equipment is pretty inexpensive for the most part.

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I have an HMH tube tool that came with a variety of tubes and junction tubing and it's great for me. I highly recommend it for just getting started.

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That would certainly give you a variety t start with to figure out what you want to do.

 

Here are some good places to look for getting started

 

http://www.canadiantubeflies.com/index.html

 

http://globalflyfisher.com/tiebetter/tube-flies/the-basic-concept.php (an excellent overview)

 

This and all subsequent videos in the series are an excellent introduction

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I don't know about your side of the pond but my tube fly vice cost 1/3rd less than the HMH tool does over here.

 

If you are looking for a cheap try out use the tubes from Q Tips and a piece of bent stiff wire to hold them.

 

Take your wire and bend the end 1/8th inch at 90 degrees. Cut the cotton wool ends off your Q Tip. One cut at 90 degrees one at 45 degrees. Drop the bent wire into the tube from the pointed end. Place the wire into your vice jaws so the tube is touching the tips of the jaws and tighten. Tie your fly. Stop short of the 45 degree cut so you can trim it off after tying (remove wire first). Leave about 1/16 inch proud of the head. Use a flame to mushroom the ends of the tube.

 

Some time ago I did a SbS on getting started on tying tubes. Rather than put the whole thing here I'll give you the link. There really is no need to spend much to try out tubes. You probably have the things you nee around the house. If not I bet you could get going for less then $5. Now that is cheap, but, as my father used to say... "Only a rich man can afford a cheap suit."

 

Cheers,

C.

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"If you are looking for a cheap try out use the tubes from Q Tips and a piece of bent stiff wire to hold them."

 

Wire hangar fits in a q-tip tube nicely.

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Good stuff Crackaig, For my first tubes I used a sewing needle that I stuck in the jaws of the vise, worked fine. Over here, the HMH tool goes for around $25 and comes with an assortment of tubes. How much is it over there?

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The last time I saw one it was over £30 (about $45), but I have just done a quick search and found it for £24:95 (about $37:50). By comparison my tube fly vice cost £17. Those prices (except the vice) are without any tubes added. This would be normal for anything fishing related. Usually change the $price for the £price.

 

If you are going to use coat hanger wire for the method I suggested. Take a file to the non bent end, and file flats on it to help the vice grip it. (You will also want to round off the cut ends of the wire).

 

Cheers,

C.

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Yes you can use an Allen Key. The bent over end will have to be ground own to a stub 1/8" long. if you don't it will interfere with tying.

Cheers,

C.

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Pro Tube has a great system, and if you want to try a spectrum of their tubes and cones, grab the kit. I started by picking up their "needle" and a narrower but deeper selection of their tube items, since I didn't want to deal with "one of these, two of those,"...etc.

 

For others wishing to experiment with tubes and not ready to commit to a system, here are a few more ideas for tube holders that will work with most any vise:

 

Felting needles from sewing/craft store. Inexpensive but a tad brittle. Plan on breaking a few.

 

Blind eye salmon hook. Another tyer may donate a damaged or otherwise low value hook for the cause. Or make your own with a cutter and file.

 

Small, steel crochet hook. Nip the business end and clean up with a file. The finger "flats" mount into vise jaws for a strong hold.

 

If you're tying tube flies for steelhead and are on a budget, consider something other than Qtips or coffee stirrers. You want a material that can handle cold temps without cracking or snapping.

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I have both the HMH and the protube system and i find i use the HMH more as the protube pieces get pricy each piece .50 - .55 so by the time you use a tube, cone, hook keeper ect you can be into the fly for 2.00 before you put any materials on it so for saving money and getting started i would vote HMH.

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