Monday, 28 May 2012

Tube Bass Popper – Home Made Edition


This is my first attempt at a tube fly and I used materials lying around in my house. The main materials are a cork from a port bottle and an old pen cartridge.  This tying sequence is just a basic idea of a tube popper and probably not the most correct way to tie a tube fly. It basically just gives you some ideas regarding the materials you can use for a fly like this and how easy it is to tie it. I hope this inspires you to try this alternative method of fly tying and also see odds and ends lying around in your house in a different light.

Tube flies have various advantages such as:

  • Various types of hooks can be used with one fly
  • The fly can be used with or without a wire trace
  • Often the fly will slide up the line once a fish is hooked and then the fish cant bite down on it
  • Another advantage is that the fish will only be left with a hook in the event of line failure


1.      SF  Flash Blend - Bleeding Black (Alternatives: Bucktail, Marabou, Zonker Strip etc)
2.      Crystal Flash
3.      Crystal Chenille or Dubbing
4.      Saddle Hackle
5.      Rubber Legs
6.      Stick-on Eyes
7.      Marker Pen
8.      Nail Varnish
9.      Sally Hansen – Hard as Nails ( Ideally epoxy should be used)
10.  Superglue
11.  Wine Cork or Foam Popping Head
12.  Any material suitable as a tube – I used an old pen ink cartridge
13.  6/0 Thread

Cork and Pen Ink Cartridge
Tying Sequence:

Step 1:

Color the cork with a permanent market to act as a base layer for the nail varnish

Step 2:

Form a hole in the middle of the cork with a fly tying needle, then insert the tube trough the cork

Step 3-4:
Apply some superglue on the tube and push cork further up the tube

Step 3
Step 4
Step 5:

Paint the cork with nail varnish using long strokes

Step 6:

Leave the nail varnish to dry for approximately 20 min

Step 7:

Superglue eyes to both side of the cork and leave to dry for approximately 3 min

Step 8 and 9:

Paint a layer of Sally Hansen or ideally epoxy over the cork and leave to dry (the Sally Hansen will take around 20min the epoxy will take longer)

Step 8
Step 9

Step 10:

Cut shallow slits into the tube material to prevent your thread slipping on the tube

Step 11:

Add a base layer of thread onto the tube

Step 12:

Pinch wrap the SF material and secure with a few wraps

Step 13:

Pinch wrap some flash material and secure with a few wraps

Step 14:

Select two saddle hackle feather, pinch wrap the on both sides of the tube and secure with a few wraps

Step 15:

Take another saddle hackle feather and hold it with the shiny side facing you. Pinch wrap the feather to the tube and secure with a few wraps

Step 16:

Take two round rubber legs, pinch wrap it and secure with about 3 wraps

Step 17:

Turn the legs perpendicular to the tube and secure it further with figure of eight wraps

Step 18:

Wrap the legs in front of the cork and tie in some crystal chenille.

Step 19:

Wrap the chenille forward towards the legs and secure with two wraps

Step 20:

Wind the hackle over the chenille and secure in front of the legs with a few wraps

Step 21:

Figure of eight wrap the chenille over the legs and finish of with another few chenille wraps in front of the legs. Secure the chenille with a few thread wraps and finish of the fly by whip finishing the thread behind the cork.


Step 1:

Trim the SF and flash to the same length of the saddle hackles

Step 2:

Trim the legs to three quarters of the length of the tail.

Leg Trimming Result

Step 3:

Cut the tube behind the tail to around 5mm

 Step 4:

Cut the tube as close as possible to the cork

Final Result:

Top View

Side-on View


Step 1:

Slide the tube fly and a carp rig rubber sleeve onto the line and tie your choice of hook to the line

Step 2:

Slide the rubber sleeve over the hook

Step 3:

Slide the tube into the sleeve