Needle Tubes

Grays Needle Tubes

Ultra slim stainless steel tube fly tubes with outside diameter of only 1.5mm developed for tying very fine needle tube flies for salmon, steelhead and sea trout fly fishing

The Needle Tube, like its antecedent the Needle Fly, was designed originally with sea trout in mind. The aim was to produce fine, shiny, steel tubes on which to dress extremely slim, sparsely dressed lures of up to around two inches in length, lures which might create a tantalising impression of a small fish or sand eel which would be irresistible to summer sea trout, a task for which the Needle Tube has proved extremely effective. Developed and made in Scotland by Grays of Kilsyth, using ultra slim stainless steel tubing, the type used in the manufacture of hypodermic needles, Gray's Needle Tubes are currently the finest plastic lined metal tubes available for fly tying, with outside diameters as low as 1.5mm. Being made from fine polished stainless steel, needle tube flies sink more readily than plastic or aluminium tube flies but fish a little less deeply, and perhaps more attractively, than the bulkier and heavier copper and brass tubes.

The Needle Tube lends itself to the dressing of slim tube flies not only for sea trout but for other species, particularly salmon and steelhead, although their dressing might be adapted for any predatory fish, pike or bass for example.

Needle Tube Review in Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine

In his review of Gray's Needle Tubes, in August 2011, Magnus Angus wrote:

". slender, gleaming tubes; utterly functional and very tempting! . these are extraordinary in a couple of ways slimmer than any straight tubes I have seen for sale stainless steel which is both hard to find and hard to cut.

. flies tied on these tubes are not like heavy bulky conventional tubes, these are light and sleek, cast easily and can be controlled by a sink-tip or poly-leader. Want to fish deeper use a faster sinking line. In other words these are modern tubes for modern fishing techniques which emphasise easier casting and employ sophisticated modern fly-lines to determine fishing depth.

As a fly tyer the proportion, neatness and finish of these tubes and the neat finish I can achieve on them appeals directly to the satisfaction I get from fly tying. And stainless steel tubes are about as tough as fly tying tubes get so my carefully tied flies should fish a little longer. Then as an angler, the slimness of these tubes makes me think of clear water and sea trout. The shorter tubes seem ideal for those wee speck-like flies for low flows, longer tubes for faster water or fishing into the dark ..."

Read the full Needle Tube Review


Dressing the Needle Tube

Tying Tube Flies on needle tubes can be a very simple process. The tube fly body may be dressed in the normal way or left undressed to give a simple, very slim silver fly body, as shown in the example above. A short length of silicone tubing is then used to connect a hook of appropriate size, treble, double or single. If a fly longer than 40 mm is required, two needle fly tubes may be joined in tandem by a length of the silicone or PVC tubing to produce a fly of anything up to 8 cms in length.

Needle Tubes can be dressed to create a wide range of flies, from a short and very slim micro tube of only 10 mm in length, perhaps for summer grilse in a low water, through the whole range of 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 mm tubes, dressed for salmon, steelhead or sea trout fishing throughout the season. The longer tubes, dressed sparsely, make very attractive sea trout lures, more easily dressed, and just as slim as the popular sea trout snake fly, for late night sea trout fishing. Lighter than the traditional copper or brass tubes, but heavier than plastic or aluminium tubes, Needle Tube Flies sit somewhere in the middle of the weight scale, with a sink rate similar to a dressed double hook or a Waddington lure, but with the benefit of a hook - treble, double or single - which may be changed according to fishing conditions or replaced when damaged. Since their introduction at the start of the 2008 fishing season, these ultra slim stainless steel fly tubes have made something of an impact worldwide, recording many notable successes - Atlantic salmon, steelhead and sea trout ..... Read more about their success in Needle Tube Fly Fishing

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