Monday, January 20, 2014

Tube Flies and Why They Kick Ass

Lots has been written about tube flies.  Some guys love them, others prefer traditional "salmon fly" hooks.  I fish tubes for my steelhead streamers almost exclusively.  All my big streamer are tied in the round, so tying them on a tube is pretty simple.  The biggest advantage for me is the ability to change out damaged hooks.  Whether the hook tip is damaged from rocks or the hook is bent from a snag, they are easily switched out and the fly that took you 45 minutes to tie is back in business.  If you pair the right hook with the right leader, you may even bend a hook from a snag before breaking your line.

The streamer above was pulled free from 3 snags before donation to the river.  Each time the brand new hook was totally wasted, but my fly was perfect.  I don't ever attempt to straighten bent hooks.  Although this will likely guarantee you a grab, the excitement will be short lived when the hot chromer books it downstream and punishes your weakened hook.  I'm typically fishing 12 or 15# Maxima Ultragreen.  I have no concerns about the SSW handling large Great Lakes steelhead since it took excessive force to pull the fly free from the snag when the hook is new.

AO's tube fly rig:
Tube fly of your choice
Skagit line with sink tip
Owner SSW size 1 or 2
12/15# Maxima Ultragreen.  
I prefer non-slip loop knots to attached the Maxima to the sink tip as well as the hook.  Non-slip loops knots are stronger than the perfection knot in my experience.  At one time I used a short section of 20# and then tapered the leader down with another section of 12# line.  I haven't seen an increase in performance and now just fish straight 12/15# Maxima to keep things simple.

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