Fly Rod Tubes
Traditionally Fly rods have been protected by aluminium tubes and I have recommended those made by REC in the States. In the UK only anodised thin gauge tube have been available with fairly gaudy coloured anodised caps. These tubes also suffer the disadvantage of only coming in standard sizes.
Following various requests and after some experimentation I have managed to design and make a tube which I am happy with.
The pictures and descriptions below describe what I can now offer. Please note that currently these tubes are only available when purchased with a new rod or a restoration project.
I make tubes predominantly in 1 3/4" diameter and in 16 swg tubing. That is 1.6mm thick which is more than 50% thicker than readily available tubes. I will also make 1 5/8" diameter but this is only suitable for small two piece rods.
End caps are machined from 1/4" wall aluminium tube, given a knurled finish and fitted with polished hardwood infill externally (Ebony above Rosewood below but currently gunstock grade Walnut) and cork rod protectors internally. The blank end is fitted with a felt pad internally. The Aluminium tube is given a "brush" finish and a thin coat of protective lacquer.
The removable end cap is held in place with a rubber O ring. These allow the cap to be readily removed by twisting but not with a straight pull so the cap is secure in transit. As well as offering a good seal this cap detail allows unobstructed access to the open tube end.
Tubes will be supplied mated with a straight rod bag (no ties just a hanging loop)and made to the correct length to suit the rod.
The latest form of butt closure. Now all aluminium rather than a timber plug.
In designing the tubes the prime objective was to protect the rod inside. Everett Garrisons tubes were held in high regard in this respect and I have used a similar gauge of tube.
Above is the crude load test on a bare tube. That is a Peugeot Partner 2 litre diesel by the way. Below is the result, one shallow dent, not bad as it took me half a dozen attempts driving back and forth over the tube until I got it central! I would not advise you to try it with Cordura covered pvc.
Alternatives and cost
The tube as shown above retails at £45, when bought on its own. A more economical model is available with a turned hardwood end cap costing £40. Each new fly rod that I make is supplied inclusive of one of these tubes. Please note that availability of tubes to purchase alone is often restricted due to pressure of rodmaking.
The tubes can be made in any length to suit the range of fly rods that I make, the price is the same. I have also made 2 1/4" diameter tubes for coarse rods, these have wooden end caps and retail at £50 but the length that I can make is restricted.
Caps and butt ends can be made sealed as shown above or provided with ventilation holes as preferred.