Tube Flies and Drinking Straws

Tame your tubes! Photo: Kyle Shea

When it comes to tube flies, we’re big fans. Tube flies are fun to tie and offer many advantages over traditional shank-style flies. However, unlike traditional flies, storing tube flies can be a bit of a hassle.

For the most part, a simple Plano box does the trick. That is, until a gust of wind comes along while you have the top open, blowing your flies all over the river. Fly wallets work great at times as well, although wet hands can become a problem when trying to remove only one fly at a time. We’re constantly searching for the best way to house our tubes while out on the water, and while there are more options out there today than ever, we still find this old school trick to work extremely well. Enter, drinking straws.

Yep, those drinking straws. Simple plastic drinking straws found at your local grocery or drug store work wonders for storing tube flies. At only a couple bucks for hundreds of straws, it is an extremely cheap solution. Simply cut to length and slide each tube fly into the straw so that the head of the fly sticks out the end. This way, each fly is far less vulnerable to being blown out of your box when searching for the right pattern, and removing flies from your box with cold wet hands is a breeze. Best of all, housing your tubes in drinking straws compresses even the bulkiest patterns down allowing you to fit more flies in your box! With that said, some flies that incorporate large dumbbell eyes or coneheads may not slide easily into some straws. However, the extra weight on these flies usually keeps them in the box anyhow.

Want to get really organized? They come in a bunch of different colors to help color code your patterns for quick identification. Or better yet, look for clear straws so that you can see your fly through the straw.

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