GilV

DIY Tube Fly Box

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I did searches and couldn't find any threads in regard to making these boxes. I am making a tube fly box. I have a 4"x8"x1 1/4" old Scientific Anglers box with thin flat foam in the bottom. I took the foam out and glued 4"x 1/2" magnetic strips down the center. I have wire I am going to bend and put through the foam, leaving the end straight to slip tube flies on and let the magnet hold down the wire.

 

This will do me for now, but I would like to see some other ideas, if anyone has made one.

 

Thanks

Gil

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Half way done with this box. It will hold 64 tube flies and is ugly, but it will work for now. Also tried using a regular fly box with the slits. I just formed one end of the wire in the shape of a small hook, struck in the slot for a fly and put a slight bend in the wire and slipped the tube on it. This also works and will be what I use next. Looks much better and neater. I am testing two boxes, one will hold 90 and the other 39.

 

What are you currently using to hold your tube flies, I assume just a plastic box and lay them in it? That is what I was doing, but I don't like having them loose. Seems pretty inconvenient finding flies and not dropping some in the water.

 

Thanks

Gil

 

PS - after just trying both the best is just using a regular box with a wire with one end shaped like a small hook. Forget the magnet idea I did, not worth the trouble.

Edited by GilV

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This is what I did and found works great. Simple and fast. Didn't get any responses above so I thought I would just post pics of what I did.

 

All I did was use a fly box I had that has slits in the foam for hooks, used Hillman 22 gauge galvanized wire, bent them to form a hook, cut to length and put a slight bend in the shank near the hook end to hold the tube. I made two different lengths for now. The flies on the left side in the box are all tube flies. The box can hold tube flies, flies on shanks with stingers and traditional flies. The tube flies just slide off the shank and the shank stays in the foam, until I want to remove it. The tube just slides back onto the shank when you want to put it back in the box.

 

I made this while I had a bid on eBay for two tube fly boxes. Luckily I lost the bid at the last second. This is more versatile and I can change the configuration anytime I want. Extremely inexpensive to make. The wire is $1.95 for 100' at True Value. You can make more shanks than you will ever need and they make any fly box with foam a tube fly box.

 

Thanks

Gil   

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tb3.jpg

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What a dope I am. Now that I did all of this, I could have just used a hook and stuck it in the hook holder end! Ha! This is why I will never be rich!

Gil

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Hooks aren't the way to go, since it defeats the purpose of a tube fly, so I am back to sticking with this box. I added another fly holder for flies tied on shanks with a stinger. Thankfully I lost the bid on the ones I was going to buy on eBay.

 

Here is a picture of the shanks for tube flies and those tied on shanks with a stinger. This will keep the flies on shanks tight in the box to prevent them flopping around. Put the eye of the shank through the S hook and the stinger in a hook slot.

 

Gil

 

sfly2.jpg

Edited by GilV

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One last thing I am going to do with this box.

 

While in Nova Scotia I stopped at a gift shop along the river. Once inside I found out it was a fly shop also. I got friendly with the owner and made a few purchases. I didn't know it but there are striped bass up there nearly all year long.

 

He was selling some marabou striper flies. Each fly he sold was in a small plastic tube (like a thin straw) to control the marabou. I have thinner straws being delivered today and will post some pics. Those marabou flies take up a lot off room in a box and it is near impossible trying to keep the feathers from getting caught when you close the box.

 

Gil   

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13 mins ago, GilV said:

Each fly he sold was in a small plastic tube (like a thin straw) to control the marabou

Look on one of the shopping sites for "extra wide smoothie and bubble tea straws." Look for the clear straws so you can see what's inside. They are perfect for holding bulky streamers, articulated flies, etc. Articulated flies fit with the hook hanging on the edge of the tube. For conventional streamers I cut a slit up one side of the straw and slide the hook up the slit till the entire tail of the fly is in the tube. I have small 3" x 4/5" x 1.75" polypropylene boxes that hold 20 or so of these flies in their tubes.

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I used the smaller straws I ordered. They were the size I was looking for, but would only be good for smaller marabou flies. I had to put slits in some of them. I ordered two more clear sizes regular and bubble tea. After I get these straws I will install them, take some pictures and let you know what I think. Looks promising so far though. Using these would allow a lot of additional flies to be stored in a box.

 

Thanks for the tip Smath.

Gil

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There is one drawback to this system. When I'm on the water and digging through a box that's filled with these tubes, it's easy for one to fall out of the box and into the water. The advantage of conventional boxes is that everything is locked down when you're fumbling with cold wet fingers to find a fly.

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That is why I use a conventional box. For the tube flies those shanks hold them in like a fly with a hook and they slide off the other end of the shank. The shank stays in the foam. The flies tied on shanks with a stinger I can probably just use the stinger to hold the fly and the straw tube will hold them straight and condense them. Therefore for them I will not need the S hook I made to hold the shank eye end in the box to keep them straight.  

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I saw their boxes but they are way too expensive for me. I didn't know they used S hooks. The boxes I use are very inexpensive (under 8$ shipped) and enough wire to make more boxes than you will ever need is under $2 shipped. What I have done works great for under $10.

 

I get the other straws today and will post some pics tomorrow.

 

Thanks

Gil

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  A friend here in Oregon uses lots of tube flies for steelhead.  He bought a length of poly tubing at a hardware store, and cut it to lengths to fit the compartments in a cheap plastic organizer box.  The Poly tube lengths are right about 3”.  Then you just slip the tube fly into the poly and drop it into the organizer box.  I don’t have a photo, but each compartment holds about 8 tubes, and I think there 8 compartments in the box.  I believe he used 3/8” poly tubing.  It’s translucent so you can see the fly pretty well, but he talked of upgrading to a clear semi rigid tubing material instead.  He said he had less than $5 invested in materials for each box.  

 

 

I also use lots of tube flies, but mine are just dumped into ziplock bags, or half ass organized by color or weight into a dollar store plastic organizer.  His system is way better...

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