Three Tools for tying Tube Flies – and a Recommendation

Many fly tyers express confusion regarding selection of a basic tool to secure tubes in a vise. This post will show three of the tools I’ve had considerable experience with, with a quick note regarding two tools that I have a little experience with. I’ll close by noting my preferred tube fly tool.

The tools I’ll focus on here are:

Eumer Tube Fly Tool

HMH Tube Fly Tool

ProSportfisher Flexineedle

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I will not say much about the old style brass Eumer Tube Fly tool even though it is a perfectly good tool and it fits in most fly vises. The tool uses mandrels that have a sharp point on them and I occasionally poke myself on these. If you have one of these nicely crafted brass tools and are happy with the results I see no reason to make a change. One of the needles will fit the ProSportfisher system tubes as well as others and you are good to go.

NorVise tube fly tool. This is an accessory for tyers who own a NorVise.

NorVise tube fly tool. This is an accessory for tyers who own a NorVise.

I have also used the Nor Vise Tube Fly Tool. Again, this is a good tool for tying tube flies on a rotary vise, but it requires the tyer to own a Nor Vise and is specifically designed for use  with this vise.

Tube fly tools. At top is a Eumer Tube Fly Holder, the small size. In the middle is a HMH Tube fly tool. At bottom is a ProSportfisher Flexi Needle.

Three very good Tube fly tools. At top is a Eumer Tube Fly Holder, the small size. In the middle is a HMH Tube fly tool. At bottom is a ProSportfisher Flexi Needle.

 

This is a small Eumer Tube Fly tool: these are offered in three sizes - I find the small size most useful for the tube flies I tie. While this tool works well for holding tubes, I actually find that it makes a very nice bodkin and I also use the square rear section of the tool to help fold my hackles.

This is a small Eumer Tube Fly tool: these are offered in three sizes – I find the small size most useful for the tube flies I tie. While this tool works well for holding tubes, I actually find that it makes a very nice bodkin and I also use the square rear section of the tool to help fold my hackles. This tool fits well in almost all fly vises.

 

This is an HMH Tube Fly Holder. This tool fits well in nearly all fly vises and comes with mandrels of three sizes to accommodate  three sizes of tube.

This is an HMH Tube Fly Holder. This tool fits well in nearly all fly vises and comes with mandrels of three sizes to accommodate three sizes of tube. One nice virtue of this took is that it can be used to secure OPST dumbell shanks to tie Intruder style flies. The HMH tool is a little more expensive but includes a small assortment of tubes and junction tube.

 

This is a large ProSportfisher Flexineedle. This tube holder holds a wide variety of small and modest diameter tube material and fits well in most fly vises. Pro Sportfisher also offers a smaller and larger (predator size) flexineedle, but  the large is the most generally useful for all but the smallest and largest size tube.

This is a large ProSportfisher Flexineedle. This tube holder holds a wide variety of small and modest diameter tube material and fits well in most fly vises. Pro Sportfisher also offers a smaller and larger (predator size) flexineedle, but the large is the most generally useful for all but the smallest and largest size tube.

 

Recommendation. While I have yet to tie with a tube fly tool that did not perform well, I have gravitated to the ProSportfisher Flexineedle over all the other options available. The tool is siimple and versatile and as I will note in a successive post, the needle can be modified so that I can use my Regal Vise in rotary mode and simplify the process of tying on the underside of my tube flies.

I would add that the flexineedle clamps securely in the vast majority of fly vises, but there may be the odd vise that is not quite up to the task of holding a Flexineedle. My vise for tying tube flies is the Regal Revolution Vise. Tying with a NorVise requires either using the tube fly adaptor or the fine point conversion.

Jay Nicholas – winter season 2016/17

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