Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homemade Tube Fly Box

This past summer I attended Spey Nation, and one of the raffle prizes there was a tube fly box that caught my eye.  I sat on the idea all summer, researched some other successful designs out there, and finally this fall I made my own.   I tweaked the design a bit, and made it with materials I had laying around.  By making it myself I could customize it, and it was crazy cheap which I like when it comes to fly storage.  Total cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of FREE  to  $12 depending on what you have laying around.

Here are the materials and steps...

Step 1:  Get some wire (I found 20 gauge galvanized steel wire to be perfect for small and large diameter tubes).  Cut as many lengths as you would like to go in the box.  Make them around 4 inches long, as this is the easiest size to work with, without wasting too much wire in the end.  

Step 2:  Get an old fly box (I found the cheap plastic shop boxes to be the best).  Rip out the foam, and measure the width.  Cut the wooden dowels to fit snug (see pics below for a better idea).  
Step 3:  Wrap the wire around the dowel (2 to 3 turns is fine).  Depending on the size of your flies add as many wire sections you would like. My boxes (which are streamer sized) have 10 per dowel. 
Step 4:  Put the dowel in the box.  Trim the wires to length (or not... it doesn't really matter), also consider filing down the ends of the wire so they are not so sharp.  The slight bends in the wire is what holds the tubes securely.  The larger diameter tubes may require larger bends in the wire.  
Step 5:  Depending on your initial dowel cut you may need to glue/epoxy them in.   Putting them in without glue is ideal as you can adjust them later, add more, and change configurations. Here's my setup (specifically for BIG tubes), but you could arrange it differently... 3 rows all going the same direction come to mind for smaller sized tubes.
Step 6:  Make more!  Here's another box of mine I made from an old plastic fly shop box.  You can see the wires rotate up making it simple to grab a fly or put one away. 
 Here's the finished product from above.  It is made from an old plastic lure box.
If you tie tubes, or are thinking of starting to tie them, give this box idea a try!