There have been a number of threads in the past concerning attaching coneheads to a tube fly. Instead of fitting the conehead onto the tube, does it make any sense to just thread a conehead onto your line in front of the tube?
I've tried that and was not pleased with how the fly worked under water; found that just a touch of cryognc. glue will usually hold the heads in place. Assuming cone head will fit over the end of tube. "Do the Glue," then tie the fly.
Most of the time I just use lead wire (.015 to .025 depending upon heavy I want the tube) as an under body.
A tube fly is supposed to have the advantage that the fly moves away from the fish and hook and doesn't get chewed up. A toothpick might prevent that.
HMH (Kennebec River Tackle) sells some very small "cut to length" plastic tubes. You get 24 4" lengths for I think $4. Cut off about one inch and shave the tip down until it fits tightly into the hole of the cone head. The tiny tube is small enough to be inserted into the front end of most tube flies. You can leave the cone off if you want, or insert it when you need more weight. The OD of the tubes is 3/32 of an inch.
I have fished tubes exclusively for steelhead for the past 3 seasons. All of my flies have some form or another of hook-holder. I've tried it without, but I just don't like the uncertainty of not knowing where the hook is when a fish takes. The hooks rarely comes out of the holder. The advantage of the short shank hook is not lost however, as the hook-holder is flexible.
The value of having the tube slide up the line is only realized when you are fishing for toothy saltwater beasties that will shred the fly - steelhead don't wreck many flies. Therefore, pinned cones will not pose a problem.
I have been fishing tubes quite a bit in the last two - three years and prefer the aluminum tubes to most other varietys out there. Brass tends to be too heavy and difficult to cast effectively. Plastic just the opposite, too light. Aluminum tubes up to three inches seem to be just about right? I have never tried to add weight to the tube itself as I am not sure what advantage this would give you. I prefer to use sink tip lines and a short leader in most situations to get the fly down to the correct depth. Good Luck and Tight Lines!
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