What is a Tube Fly?

Tube flies are flies that are tied on a plastic, copper, aluminum or brass tube. It is most commonly tied on plastic. The tippet of your leader is passed through the tube and tied to a loose hook. The hook is then pushed back into a soft plastic sleeve at the rear of the tube.

They are one of the most versatile of fly fishing flies and can be tied for trout or steelhead.

The Advantages of Tube Flies

The uses and benefits of tube flies cannot be overstated here.

• The fly and the hook are separate, which allows you to change the hook if it should become dull or the fly if it should become frayed.

• You can have a large, yet still lightweight fly.

• All but the smallest of trout flies can be tied on tubes.

• They use a shorter hook than a larger fly would use. This is because a larger fly has more material tied onto the hook. This means that the trout cannot use the leverage of a long hook to break free. This results in a larger number of landed fish.

• You can get really creative with your fly designs.

• You can easily carry a small bag of flies in one pocket and an assortment of hooks in another. You can then mix and match depending on the need.

• You can tie some really heavy flies using the metal tubes. Different sink rates can be accomplished with either a heavy tube or a heavy cone head.

• They can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like (plastic vs. brass).

Styles of Tube Flies

There are two styles available today, the bottle and the standard cylinder tube.

• The bottle tube has (wait for it….) the shape of a bottle. It varies in diameter over its length. These are mostly made of brass, tungsten or aluminum.

• The straight cylinder tube has a uniform diameter throughout its length and is the most common of the tube flies. These tubes are made of mostly plastic but sometimes are also made of aluminum, brass and copper.


These flies are worth your consideration. They are becoming very popular among trout and steelhead fly fishers. They are one of the most versatile fly systems available today.

Learn More About Fly Fishing Flies

The variety of fly fishing flies is mind-boggling. Our guides will educate you about the different types of flies available. Then, buy our curated fly boxes to help you match the hatch.