The advantages of the salmon tube fly are impressive:
Flies and hooks are separate so you can carry a lot of flies in your shirt pocket and the hooks in a small container.
You can use non-stainless steel hooks (which are sharper and stronger) in salt water, just throw them away in a bin when you are finished fishing for the day.
You can cater for barbed and barbed-less fishing. You can use treble hooks, or double hooks or single hooks. Most salmon fishermen use a treble hook but the beauty of salmon tube flies for salmon is that you can choose what ever hook you want. You can vary the size and type to match the type of fish you are after, the water situation and regulations, quite often some waters will not allow treble hooks so doubles suffice.
If the hook dulls, just replace it instead of sharpening it at the water edge.
The tubes are more durable, because when you hook the fish, the tube fly slides up the leader away from the mouth of the fish. We have found they can last 5 to 10 times longer than standard flies!
You can tie huge flies without buying expensive long shanked hooks - indeed some say they swim better and look more natural with neat small wee double tube fly hooks
Salmon Tube Flies & Pot Bellied Pigs
Tubes now account for as many if not more fish each season than do traditional single hook flies. During the early season when the water is cold, tubes offer the fly fisherman a lure/streamer large enough to tempt what can be very dour fish.
Using A Tube Fly
To tie the fly onto the end of your leader, simply pull the hook from the rear of the plastic tube, tie the hook to your leader and re-insert the hook into the tube. If the hook becomes damaged it can be easily replaced without disposing the fly. If you have problems of the hook inserting itself up the tube thread on a bead at the rear of the tube just in front of the hook eye. Always have spare hooks with you!.
Lighter tubes of nylon, in slow or medium flowing rivers, tends to flutter very attractively as it swings across the current mimicking the natural movement of bait fish or a shrimp. Use a fast sinking line to get the fly down to the required depth. It makes the fly swim more naturally. In deep water on lakes and reservoirs the copper weighted tubes come into their own realm. Watch the Local Regulations!
There is one disadvantage with using tubes. It is nothing to do with the effectiveness of the fly at catching fish but more to do with the wording of local fishing regulations. An example of this is that in America, Washington State a fly based on a tube is defined as a lure and not a fly under their State regulations and therefore can not be used on fly only water. Their regulations define a fly as 'a lure on which thread, feathers, hackle, or yarn cover a minimum of half of the hook shank of the hook'. We only sell plastic tubes. The regulations in Eastern Canada forbid the use of 'weighted flies' for Atlantic Salmon. Metal tubes are considered 'Weighted flies'. Consult your local fishing regulations before using tubes to see if they are so narrow minded as those of Washington State.