The Use of Coneheads in Tube Flies
Traditional and Turbo or Monster Coneheads
The perfect combination, this is what all fly tying enthusiasts strive for. Each element of a tube fly has an impact on how it performs. From color to shape to material type, all affect the success of the fly. But one of the most important aspects of tying a tube fly is to achieve the optimum weight, this is crucial to the depth, speed and action it will have in the water. One of the components that greatly helps to control the weight of a tube fly is the conehead. There are two main styles of coneheads available, the traditional conehead and turbo or monster conehead. The water conditions and target species will help you choose which of these is most suitable for your tube fly.
Traditional coneheads are available in many different colors, finishes and weights depending on your desired presentation method. They are very easy to tie with and give you a number of advantages in and out of the water. Coneheads add weight and a streamlined profile to a tube fly, this makes casting comparatively easy and helps sink the fly to the desired depths much faster. This can be especially beneficial when fishing for salmon and steelhead that are hold up in deep, cold water. Coneheads also protect the head of the tube fly and the tapered end makes it very aerodynamic in the water regardless of the current strength.
Turbo coneheads, also known as monster coneheads, offer many of the same advantages as the traditional with the main difference being the wide, disk like profile they create. The flat surface of this conehead creates a turbulent swim pattern. As the fly moves through the water, the large surface area of the head creates a vacuum behind it that causes the fly to "wiggle" or swim. This live action lets you use very soft material in your tube fly because the violent water stream the conehead creates lets even the finest material maintain it's volume. Michael Frodin's Turbo discs are well known, and his dvd Make 'em Swim features many patterns that use them. The picture to the right is a still shot from this dvd. A good review, by Kasper Mühlbach, of this dvd can be found at www.globalflyfisher.com. Eumer Tube Flies also has monster coneheads that are available in several sizes.
Coneheads are paving the way to achieving the goal of tying the prefect tube fly. To see how easy it is to use a conehead on a tube fly watch this short video clip. There are an amazing amount of tying instructions available online for patterns featuring coneheads. Youtube is a great resource to actually watch how a conehead is tied into a tube fly. Here are a few videos to start with: Cone head tube by Brendan Garland part 1 and part 2, Clouser Minnow by Eumer Tying Bench, Steelhead Killer with a Monster Conhead by Eumer Tying Bench and Prince Nymph by Greg Senyo.