|Tubes and Cones for Salmon|
Some anglers swear by the combination of a fast sinking line and a light, mobile fly, the idea being to impart as much action into the fly as possible. Others judge that in cold conditions a heavy fly is most effective; however, when determining which fly to use, all too often, that choice is made by nothing more scientific than bouncing the fly in the palm or your hand.
There has been a great deal of development in the area of weighted tubes – bottle tubes, in particular, have become popular. Even so, the classic Slipstream tubes sold by Veniard are still the most widely used. Brass has now been dropped from the range, leaving only copper and aluminium in lengths from ½ in-2½ in.
|Guideline Bottle Tubes|
Although copper and aluminium are now the most widely used metals, a relative newcomer is tungsten, which is much heavier. For example, a 1 inch tungsten tube weighs more than twice that of a similar-sized copper one. This enables very heavy flies to be produced – even relatively small ones. In fact, tungsten’s real benefit comes to the fore when a small fly is needed, especially one that must sink very quickly.
There are still some of the old 2½ inch brass tubes kicking around - mainly in cupboards and old fly tying chests. At the time they were the best solution when a big fast sinking fly was needed, such as the Willie Gunn.
Aluminium And Copper
|Aluminium & Copper Tubes|
|Slipstream Copper Tubes|
Replacing a Liner
|Replace a Liner|
Cone HeadsCone Heads are an important element of the modern salmon fly and can be used in conjunction with plastic tubes as well as with the metal ones already discussed.
|Guideline FITS Turbo Cones|
Various sizes can be used, however the diameter of metal tubes means that the smaller cones aren’t really suitable. For this reason, medium and large are the two sizes of cone most appropriate for a metal tube, whether it is aluminium, copper or tungsten.
|Scandinavian Tungsten Coneheads|
Overall Fly WeightWith different combinations of tube and cone, it is possible to select the weight of your fly according to the strength of the current and the depth at which you want it to fish. This can be illustrated using a Cascade tied on a one-inch tube (aluminium, copper, and tungsten) with or without brass or tungsten cone, plus a hook:
|Cascade Tied with Different Combinations|
- Aluminium tube with no cone weighs 0.57g
- Aluminium tube with brass cone weighs 1.14g
- Copper tube with no cone weighs 1.48g
- Aluminium tube with tungsten cone weighs 1.67g
- Copper tube with brass cone weighs 2.06g
- Copper tube with tungsten cone weighs 2.53g
- Tungsten tube with no cone weighs 2.71g
The plain tungsten tube is heavier than any other combination using a cone. Adding a cone to this may make it too heavy to cast, but you might want to add a cone head for cosmetic reasons. Some cones are very light and have a large recess, which are ideal for this purpose.
This experiment, if nothing else, shows that it is possible to fine-tune the weights of your flies. It also shows that, while modern fly lines play their part, it’s a good idea when tying or buying flies to have a wide selection of weights of fly at your disposal.
If you would like to try tying our own tube flies, we have a fantastic range of fly tying materials, tools and fly tying kits available at fishingmegastore.
|Dyna-King Tube Fly Vice|
This article was brought to you in association with Trout & Salmon Magazine.