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Ruben Martins Tiny Rubber Legs Tube Fly in action

The tiny rubber legs tube fly in action. Ruben and guide friend with a nice Argentina brown ready for release.

The tiny rubber legs tube [TRLT] is one of the many possibilities for tying this style of flies on tubes, adapting the size and colors to taste. This tiny rubber legs tube fly gives us the enormous advantage of being able to change the hook. Beyond the simple advantage of replacing a broken hook, it is interesting to be able to adapt the fly to different fish or regulations. In this version, the weight of the cone head allows us to use the hook in any position, positioning it upwards if the fly works very close to the bottom. Ruben Martin

More than chicken feathers

By Skip Clement


Modern-day tube flies were green-lighted in Europe a long time ago. The Brits launched the parade in the 1940s, but the Scandinavians led the way, using them for any species. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s been the British Columbians taking up the tube banner. At first, using them exclusively for steelhead, then salmon, and now the smaller Oncorhynchus mykiss. Beyond use outside of steelhead and salmon, only small pockets of believers exist in the American Northwest regarding the merits of tubes. Eastward to the Great Lakes Region, tubes meet isolated and geographic limits.

Ruben Martin, an innovator that only comes along once in a long while, took Argentina and leap frogged from follow to lead. Almost single-handedly going were men feared to tread, small, classic trout flies tied on tubes. Done in ways that go beyond his status as a fly tyer of international note. He does this magic trick by solving the Rubik’s Cube of fly fishing, attracting salmonid to eat his chicken feathers on steroids – small, classic trout flies on tubes.

Being a serious person

The reality is that he is all things major league like his fly tying, as observant as a pro fly fishing guide, as intellectually as curious as an entomologist, and a teacher of fly casting who has taken on the role of ambassador for fly fishing and conservation – tirelessly encouraging young and newcomers the value of being beholding the out-of-doors.

Ruben Martin’s Minnow tube fly pattern, tied by Martin Joergensen, editor and developer of  The Global FlyFisher and another internationally acclaimed innovative fly tyer in Ruben’s style. Materials: Pro Tube bullet body, Pro Tube Flexi Tube transparent, Pro Tube bullet body, white marabou, Polar Flash Pearl/silver, Rabbit Strip white/black, grizzly hackle, and Pro Tube Cone Head black with stick-on silver eyes. Image YouTube. NOTE: This example is not a micro tube.

Tiny rubber legs tube video is worth 1,001 words 

The tiny rubber legs tube is another use of tubes Martin uses to take advantage of its inherent option of hook changeout [any hook you want], set hook point orientation to up or down, or adapt any fly to meet hook codes [barbless or number of hooks]. In this video, Ruben demonstrates all the explaining needed.

You can use all kinds of hooks when tying tube flies: long shank, short shank, up eye, down eye, nymph, bait, circle – any profile and fly can stay the same.

NOTE: featured image is Salmo trutta illustration by award winning watercolorist Thom Glace. Used with permission.

Tiny rubber legs tube fly  recipe:

Tube: Pro Tube Flexi.

Thread: UTC 70 – Krystal flash tail. 

Body: Ultra chenille.

Legs: Rubber round footed black color. 

Conehead: Pro Tube – choose color.


Author Skip

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