This blog will take off where the book "Unsinkable Dry Flies" left off, listing new and different ways to tie flies by attaching a air bubble to the hook. The flies displayed may be imitations of flies found in other reference materials or something completely unique. If you have a new idea email us, we will endeavor to post it on the Blog with your credit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ideas for Coloring Tubing

This first idea was submitted by Matthew Timbs (12-1-2010)

I've got an idea for you. Would it be possible to use clear heat shrink tubing, and (using a hooked needle or something) pull colored dubbing through the tube before shrinking it? Would that be a way to add color? It'd still float because of the air trapped within the dubbing, and you could get really creative with the colors.

This is a good idea Matt -- Thanks for the suggestion

Something else tiers may want to experiment with is using dye or ink inside of clear heat shrink tubing. We have been playing with this for some time using alcohol ink from Adirondac with some excellent results (See Picture Below). To accomplish coloring the inside use small bottles of Adirondac ink and place the tube over the bottle spout and suck the ink inside by using the tubing like a straw. After coloring set the tubing aside and let it dry.

There are several advantages to the dye or ink method of coloring; One is cost, it is more cost effective to purchase one large roll of clear vs. several feet of a colored heat shrink; two, clear polyolefin heat shrink is lighter than most colored tubing -- clear has a specific gravity of less than one, usually around .91-.93, meaning it floats even without trapped air inside -- while most colored polyolefin heat shrink will sink because its specific gravity is more than one, up to 1.5 in some cases; and three, colors are generally more vivid and do not come off as some coloring will on the outside of the tubing over time or use.

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