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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I was tying up some midge patterns last night and decided to try some micro tubing. I've seen some flies tied with it or other similar things. I did clear over green and clear over red. I tried wrapping it loose, tight, and in between. I just couldn't get it to have the look I was going for. So between that, and trying to get the stuff tied in (which is a pain until I figure out how it works better), do you guys have any tips for working with this stuff?

I plan on using clear D-rib tonight to see if I can get the look I'm going for a little better.

Thanks,
Eli
 

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Try this -
Tie in the tubing at the eye of the hook and wrap tightly back to the bend or where youwant to stop. Then wrap back towards the eye with either a tight or loose wrap depending on the bulk you want. If it is a small midge just tie in at the eye and lay it against the hook as you wrap it down with thread. The hardest part I had was making the U turn at the bend and heading back.

Bob
 
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As you wrpa the tubing forward, slightly release tension on the tubing and you'll get a nice ribbed effect.

Like Kimo said - try threading some med wire in clear tubing, makes a nice translucent colored body
 

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For midges you need something small. I use 6X & 7X tippet. On the San Juan we used to call them an M&M (Mono-Midge). Tie in a piece of mono over the top of your hook....then wrap your chosen color of thread (Olive, brown, and red worked best there)....let the bobbin hang at the eye, then wrap your mono forward. Tie down and either add some grey or black dubbing....or none at all.

I have a feeling your thinking about Pueblo on January.....Very durable fly and nice translucent effect.

Hope this helps,
John G.
 

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well, as usual, Kimo is right. Cut the tubing before tying it in to reduce bulk.

I also stretch the hell out of it under thread. then I take my first wrap of other material under the tubing to support it when I start to wrap it (hope this makes sense). Here is my fly for the swap. I use clear micro tubing over the top of holographic flashabou... I just love the look and have a beatis emerger in the works using a simmilar body

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the tips, guys. I'll have to try some of these next time I tie (maybe tonight)! I'll let you know what works best for the look I'm going for.

Eli
 

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One other thing... when you use the stuff, experiment with the tension. I find that I try not to stretch it much when palmering so it stays round... or stretch in the beginning and less as you go so a small taper is created.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've definitely been playing with tension. This stuff is pretty cool, seems like you can do a lot of different things with it.

I had some time to play around on the vise while the baby and girlfriend were sleeping this morning. ;D First off, I didn't realize there were different sizes of micro tubing. The stuff I got just say s "Micro Tubing Clear". It's from Hareline Dubbin, Inc. This stuff is TINY. I was trying to feed a wire through it like Jim suggested, and I swear, I thought he sent me on a snipe hunt or something. Haha. Anyway, I found a much bigger (bigger diameter) piece in my tying stuff that a friend gave me. Wire went in there with little trouble. Anyway, here's a picture:


The ones on the left are the ones I tied the other night, which is what made me start this thread. The green one has micro tubing wrapped around it, but I pulled it really tight while palmering. To me, it didn't look like anything much different than a thread midge. The others on the left are ones I wrapped with less tension, getting closer to the effect I wanted.

On the right are the ones I tied today. You can see the difference in size of the tubing. I really like the way the wire looks in the tubing, but on these size 20 hooks it looks too bulky in my opinion. What do you guys think of these?

By the way, thanks Kimo for suggesting cutting at an angle first. That made a huge difference!

Thanks again for all your help, everyone!
Eli
 

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The ones on the left are basically a Barr's Pure Larva. Really, not a complicated fly. The tubing covers the thread, so it is more durable at that point. That fly will fish just fine and the color combinations are almost endless, even though a few colors will cover most situations you will run into. The flies on the right are a bit bulky as mentioned and anytime you bulk up a small hook, you lose the space in the gap and that means more lost fish. You can also get some midge krystal flash into the tubing and play around with that. But, you won't be able to stretch it much with the flash without stretching out the flash and making it useless. Keep playing around and show us what you come up with.

Juan
 

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I think you'll like the effect of the d-rib, if you get the real small. It stays more round than the tubing, which flattens out when you put tension on it.
 

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Some wisdom from the tubing girl: that's right, prepare to *get stuffed*!

Remember, everybody knows me as the 'wire stuffed tubing' girl. The idea came to me while reading John Barr's 'Barr Flies' and tying up some Pure Midges. I grew up the kid of an electrician, and my first job was for Underwriter's Laboratories - when you see the UL marks on wire, they don't do diddly with the metal part of the wire - it's for the insulation, which means all wire gets pulled out of the plastic before it gets tested. So there I was with this tubing, and I'd gotten a few cool colors of wire on my desk, and I remember how much my husband had complained about flies with wire ribbing always falling apart after abuse from fish teeth, rocks, tools, etc. I wanted to tie some flies for *durability* and gee, isn't that what wire insulation was for, anyway? (well, besides keeping the electricity from going places it's not supposed to go!)

1) If you choose to do some wire stuffed tubing, here's some easy tips: don't try to stuff too fat of a wire into too small of a tubing - much frustration will result. Try a slightly larger diameter of tubing: my favorite is the Hareline Midge Tubing, which is just slightly larger than the Micro size. I regularly use this with small size Ultra Wire. Remember, tubing stretches, so for every 3" or so of wire, you'll need about only 1.75 to 2" of tubing. Don't try to be all efficient and do a long piece - you'll get so frustrated you'll quit and never want to try again. I will cut up an entire package of Midge tubing into 2" lengths, or shorter, depending on what I'm tying, and keep them in the bag. Or better yet, I'll use a shot glass and cut several lengths of wire in the 3" length, use my wire straightening pliers if I need to (got these years ago while doing wire jewelry), and keep them in the shot glass. Easy to do in front of the tv.

2) The 'stuffing' part. This is really not hard. You may need to grab your magnifier, use your desk light, and in my case, take off your distance glasses. (I apologize as I have a hard time recognizing people at shows as I'm usually tying without my glasses on, and I can't see clearly past 18") I'm right handed, so I hold the tubing in my right hand, and wire in my left. Thread the tubing like threading a needle, the only difference is once you've started the wire in the tubing, roll the tubing back and forth between thumb and forefinger and the wire just slides right in.

I'll work up several dozen of these when I'm getting ready for a show. I'll keep groups of colors in separate ziplock bags in my 'synthetics' drawer in the desk, so it makes it easy to grab what I need. I've found my best selection of colors of both wire and tubing at Charlie's.

Don't forget about what you can put underneath the tubing/wire combo too. Thread, like the aforementioned materials, comes in about as many colors as a high end box of colored pencils. Also as there is tinsel in nearly every color and finish, the sky's the limit. This is where it's fun to screw around and wreak havoc.

It depends on the type of bug you're tying, but you can tie the wire/tubing combo in at a variety of places - the tubing will stretch and mash down to pretty much nothing, but if you need bulk, say, on the abdomen of a fat caddis emerger, letting it bulk up in the vicinity of the bend of the hook is perfectly ok. Remember, it's sometimes the flies that you really tied yucky that frequently will catch more fish!

Here's a few examples:

Okay, this is where I actually did use micro tubing: on a size 22 TMC 2487 hook for midges. Not all are with tubing, but I think you can figure out which ones are.


These were early Gummi Caddis with micro tubing: I didn't like these due to too many segments - tubing wasn't fat enough
[IMG]

This was much bigger: size 10 TMC 2457 hook with chartreuse midge tubing, white wire, and holo tinsel underneath.
[img]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o162/fishingaldenver/HydropsycheChart-whiteoverltolive.jpg

Variations on a theme: different colors yield slightly different results.


Here's the Holo Gummi Chironomid: same 2457, different colors - clear tubing, wine wire, red holo tinsel.
[IMG]

More caddis again. This time golden, Amber wire (I think), cream thread, clear tubing.
[img]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o162/fishingaldenver/Golden-caddis.jpg

This is one of my new favorite fish grabbers: My spin on John Barr's Graphic Caddis. I just used my fave caddis shade, chartreuse, and as it's an emerger, it's worked so well - despite the fact that it's on a barbless hook, the 2499SP-BL has such a wide gap, I haven't lost fish on it yet - usually either pops all the way through noses or ends up in the back of tongues. Showed them to John Barr and he liked them too.


This is one of the most recent: Electric Pheasant Tail. I was fascinated by the tiny baetis nymphs I've found clinging to rocks, and I remember some discussion on what the body of a nymph looks like as it's about to molt - that 'bubble' thing and the fact that the original pheasant tail is tied with little more than pheasant tail fiber and copper wire. I love the Amber wire, and the Mirage tinsel is just so cool. I thought to myself, why not incorporate that along the back? And it's nifty as the flash on the wingcase, too.
[IMG]

Hope these will inspire you. Thanks for all your pictures.

Hey [b]Herman[/b], does that Stretch Magic come in other colors too? I'd read in a mag from England that this guy buys the pink stretchy stuff (don't recall the name) from the bead shop in the neighborhood, and has been tying up a pink worm that has worked so well that he no longer ties up yarn eggs. Fish apparently love the color and texture, and they last a lot longer than yarn eggs. I've only seen the stretchy stuff here in the 'States in clear.
 

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Kimo said:
Yes, but the only samples I've seen were with Takahashi. It is just as easy to color it with a marker.
Takahashi is big time. He's got come connections.
I've only seen the clear here.

Nancy-That's some good stuff you put together. Thanks for taking the time to put that out there.

Juan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again, everyone. Unfortunately I haven't had time to sit down at the vise lately, when when I do, I'm tyin for the swap. :) I'll get some time here in the next couple weeks to play around some more though, for sure.

holy moly, thanks Nancy. I'm gonna grab another cup of coffee and read what you wrote. It's a lot more interesting than these tech manuals I'm reading now. ;D
 

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Getting the wire into the tubing is easy if you cheat.

In the great tradition of Liqui-Lace, I put a few drops of cooking oil into a spoon or other small vessel. I cut a short length of tubing, and place one end into the oil. I then use the tubing like a straw to draw the oil into it, ie place it in your mouth and apply suction... ahem. ::) The lubed up tubing will now allow the wire to thread with ease, and it sort of "glows" due to the oil inside. don't worry about tying it off to hold in the oil, it is a minute quantity that is in there, it will not leak or cause problems in my experience. You can get a range of UTC wire into even the Hareline micro-tubing this way, up to brassie size. Neat effects!

Cheers!

SS
 

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Thanks, Kimo. I knew you'd have a link! Hm... that pearl color has some promise! ;)
 

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FYI.

Hobby Lobby has the stretch magic tubing.

FYI#2

Stretch magic doesn't lay as flat as micro tubing from hare line dubbin or any other tubing you can buy at a fly shop.

Just be aware...I was getting really nice flat segmentation from some of the stuff I bought from Charlie's, but I went and grabbed a roll of this stuff from Hobby Lobby and it doesn't want to lay as flat as the other stuff...it still looks good, and it shows the color of the underlying thread just fine, it just looks a bit different.
 

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A good point here is that if a tyer wants to step up their game and be a better tyer, one must not go cheap for some materials. If you would rather spend money at a craft store and spend $4-5 for this material rather than spend $2 for a lot less material that makes a difference in the look of your finished product then go right ahead and do so. I often have people say "my flies don't look like yours" or "how do I make my fly look like yours"? I tell them they need to use this particular product because of this........ "Oh, I'll just use what I have". It's the little things that make the differences. In Kimo's pictures, it shows exactly what the difference will be. And we all know that he is a great tier, but not given the correct material for the job, his skills cannot overcome the materials given. Now, if you don't care and the fish don't care, that's a different story. But I care and I bet you care. Who wants to tie crappy flies?
 

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I agree fully. I have a drawer full of tying materials that I don't use because they just don't look right on a hook. I firmly believe that you get what you pay for. Everyone does not like the same things. That's why there are so many companies out there trying to get your business. Go with what you like.
 
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