Monday, March 11, 2013

Cheaper Option for Coneheads on Tube Flies

I have been tying tube flies since I heard about them many years ago. HMH and now Pro Tubes innovative designs have really made it easy for fly tiers to really apply their skills and design. The only beef I have had with tying tubes over the years has been dealing with the high cost of cone heads. Being that I hate using dumbell eyes, it has has really become a pain in the ass. Being that I work in a hospital, and have tubing of all kinds of diameters made of different materials, I have really experimented but never really found the answer. What I did come up with become more simple.

With the use of a pair of fine scissors (of razor blade), vice, bodkin, lighter, standard fly tying coneheads and small HMH 3/32" tubing I solved my problem. Though you can use larger diameter tubing as well.

With scissors, cut a small slit in the tubing. It does not really matter what the length is, though you do not want it to be too long due to the stability of the tubing. You can experiment with what you have and each brand of coneheads are different. By cutting a small slit into the tubing, then trimming it, you can fill it to the diameter of the entryway of the tube.

You will find with experimenting how much you need to cut in order to pull the conehead to a seated location on the tube. There may be a small gap present after it is seated around the rim, but this will only leave a small cosmetic flaw. At this point, you can fix some glue to the conehead as well, but found it is not needed if there is enough tubing pulled through the conehead.

Now that you have the cone seated to the location you have found, you can lightly heat the end with a lighter. By doing so you can smooth out the edges and trap the cone at the end of the tubing. This step is very easy. You can then take a bodkin, while the tubing is still warm at the end smooth out the inner edges of the tubing entryway. You now have a fixed cone on your tube ready for tying. You can do this after tying your fly, but would recommend doing so after you get a hang of the process and know how much tubing you need to feed through the cone. Simple and easy way to save some coin.

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