Author Topic: Differences in tubes and how they fish  (Read 839 times)

Online smalljaw

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Differences in tubes and how they fish
« on: 02/24/18 04:31 UTC »
Reading the topic on splitting tubes made me write this. There has been a debate going on about injected tubes versus hand dipped tubes and as someone who has used both and still uses both kind let me tell you my observation based on 30 years of using these lures. The very first thing is the action is NOT THE SAME!!!!! A dipped tube has a different fall and a random darting action when being snapped with an inside jig head. Injected tubes fall straighter, even with a big gap between the head and top of the jig head they fall much straighter. Anyone who has used tubes will tell you that the bigger the gap between the jig head and top of the tube will give you a wider spiral on the fall, injected tubes have the same type of action but the tube is sort of mechanical, it will spiral tighter and almost in a perfect circle, the dipped tube will vary. Now it sounds as if I'm bashing injected tubes, I'm not and I do use them, for me I like the injected tubes in larger sizes, 3.5" minimum but 4" mostly and I Texas rig them and pitch them to cover for largemouth, the straighter fall makes for a more precise presentation and easier to get through small holes in cover. I believe the reason for this is due to uniform wall thickness throughout the tube, a dipped tube the walls free form without the constraints of a mold cavity surrounding it so it isn't perfect, little variances cause it to be a little more erratic and when smallmouth have become conditioned to a plethora of tubes the slightly more erratic action is a difference maker. When I snap jig a tube, a hand dipped tube will snap up and fall left or right, you can't really tell, injected tubes will fall one way, if I snap the tube up and it falls a little to the left, I can bet money it will do that for the entire retrieve. Now when fishing deep water and making long casts you don't see the tube, but just knowing that one is more erratic gives me more confidence in one over the other, and in 30+ years of fishing tubes I have yet to have anyone use an injected tube and catch more fish than me with a hand dipped tube, it has never happened. I'm not trying to sound cocky or claim I'm this awesome angler, I'm not, I'm an avid angler who has used the tube since it came on the market. Over that time I learned why some tubes have become favorites while others not so much, and all you had to do was be on the water and it became clear because one thing we all like to do is buy, and try, new stuff. So a lot of tubes from different brands began hitting shelves by the mid 90s and by the 2000s even more brands and I probably tried them all and you didn't have to even read the packaging, you knew when you dropped the tube in the water and watched it fall in clear water what you had and you fished every tube hard wondering if the new one with certain kinds of scent will work better than the old hand dipped tubes we used for years and after a bag or two you would realize that it just wasn't working as advertised. I know some will disagree but any tube from 2.75" to 4" that is hand dipped or lets just say dipped, is going to have a different action than an injected tube, and I'm not talking a huge difference, but it is enough that you can see it and when the fish aren't active those subtle differences are game changers. Injected tubes with uniform tails poured on splines work fine and most of the time are great but the waters I fish for smallmouth are pressured and when the fish shut down a dipped tube is the go-to for almost every angler and guide I ever talked to and fished with and depending on where you are and the fish you are after it may not be a big deal but for some of us the subtle differences can be the determining factor between a good day and a skunk.

Online Lines

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #1 on: 02/24/18 06:02 UTC »
Good article smalljaw. I have been thinking about buying a tube mold, but haven't done so because I didn't know enough about them. I normally don't fish tubes, but was going to sell them to a few guys that I know who do use tubes. Your post was quite informative for me, and will help me decide which way to go. Thank you!

Online Lamar

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #2 on: 02/24/18 07:19 UTC »
  Good read SJ. I guess that's the whole idea behind the stupid tube and the gitzit glider. Making the tube fall irregular.

Online andrewlamberson

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #3 on: 02/24/18 08:14 UTC »
Interesting ! Maybe that's why a scratched up tube from catching a few smallmouth seems to catch more than a new one? The body isn't as uniformally smooth? I wonder if ribbed tubes fall more irregular than smooth tubes?

 But why would the body be irregular if you are dipping them on a rod? Isn't it acting the same as the insert in a molded tube?

I suppose as we dip we don't keep the rod perfectly straight and then we get some irregularities in the body.  Darn, now I have to go find my tube rods and dip some to see if I can see a difference in wall thickness!

When I want my tubes to have more spiral and irregular flight I bend the hook eye to the side. It is kind of like "un-tuning" a jerkbait or making a turn on a parachute.

« Last Edit: 02/24/18 08:19 UTC by andrewlamberson »
" You can't buy happiness...But you can buy fishing gear...and that's kind of the same thing"

Online WALLEYE WACKER

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #4 on: 02/24/18 08:22 UTC »
Great read SJ

Online ctom

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #5 on: 02/24/18 08:50 UTC »
I enjoy some smallie fishing occasionally. I use a lot of different baits. I held off getting an injection mold because I dipped the tubes I used, not only for smallies but walleyes and Lake Trout too. Then came the injection mold. Both types of tubes got fish....if they were willing to hit tubes. The "subtle" differences between the two types of tubes never seemed to make a difference of any sort by my observations and when tubes got shunned, I changed baits until I found something that worked. There are times, quite often actually, where tubes are simply dead baits.

I still dip tubes for a couple guys that prefer to cut them themselves, but I also inject as many for the same two guys. These guys fish all over Minnesota and Wisconsin and Canada. They carry a ton of tackle simply because tubes, regardless of dipped or injected, are not a meat and potatoes bait. Personally I catch more walleye and Lake Trout on tubes.

 

Online smalljaw

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #6 on: 02/24/18 10:44 UTC »
Interesting ! Maybe that's why a scratched up tube from catching a few smallmouth seems to catch more than a new one? The body isn't as uniformally smooth? I wonder if ribbed tubes fall more irregular than smooth tubes?

 But why would the body be irregular if you are dipping them on a rod? Isn't it acting the same as the insert in a molded tube?

I suppose as we dip we don't keep the rod perfectly straight and then we get some irregularities in the body.  Darn, now I have to go find my tube rods and dip some to see if I can see a difference in wall thickness!

When I want my tubes to have more spiral and irregular flight I bend the hook eye to the side. It is kind of like "un-tuning" a jerkbait or making a turn on a parachute.

Ribbed bodies do 2 things, the catch and hold air which will create bubbles and the texture can sometimes cause the fish to hold on longer. When you inject a mold to make a tube, the wall thickness is uniform as the outside wall solidifies against the mold surface. When you dip a tube the outside wall solidifies against the air and that creates subtle differences as the tail cools faster than the head simply because the tail is out of the plastic first. The outside wall forming in the air also makes for a softer texture, I don't know why but dip the rod in the plastic and then inject a mold and tell me which tube is softer, the dipped tubes always seem softer and I think that also plays a role. I only use tubes for bass and injected tubes make for great flipping and pitching baits and for skipping under docks but for clear water smallmouth, a hand dipped tube simply works better and I've been fishing them a long time and the difference in catch rates between the two are noticeable.

Online Muskygary

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #7 on: 02/24/18 12:09 UTC »
What about the size of the nail? Say a three inch tube made with a small nail, compared to a three inch tube made with a larger nail? The bigger opening which occurs with the larger nail should fall slower (because of the amount of air in the bait). The amount of the lead head would also play into the fall rate. Correct?

Online Fishermanbt

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #8 on: 02/24/18 13:26 UTC »
Man I love this thread. I have never taken into consideration all the variables a tube has.  With that being said I now will never question my wife’s purse selection again.

Online ctom

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #9 on: 02/24/18 13:35 UTC »
You'd be wise to never question your wife's purse selection.

Online smalljaw

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #10 on: 02/24/18 13:59 UTC »
What about the size of the nail? Say a three inch tube made with a small nail, compared to a three inch tube made with a larger nail? The bigger opening which occurs with the larger nail should fall slower (because of the amount of air in the bait). The amount of the lead head would also play into the fall rate. Correct?

It depends on whether there is salt in the bait or not. If you are using salt, and all my tubes have salt, the smaller opening will fall faster because the wall thickness is heavier and there is more plastic so more weight. I don't know if the air in the tube cavity would make much difference since it will fill with water and push the air out fairly fast. To be honest I never really paid attention to the fall rate as I did the action on the fall, my tubes are dipped on 3/16" and 1/4" rods depending on profile I want but I use jig head weight to dictate the fall speed.

Online Fishermanbt

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #11 on: 02/24/18 15:24 UTC »
You'd be wise to never question your wife's purse selection.
I’m a slow learner

Offline Porkrind

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #12 on: 07/18/18 10:30 UTC »
Bringing this older thread back up because I just learned quite a bit about tubes and I’ve fished them for quite some time and have been looking at both the dipping rods as well as the Tango tube mold. That said I have decided which way to go. I’ve been leaning towards the Tango tube mold because I can change the tails on it using different splines if I want. Either way I go will be for me and not to sell with the exception of a couple friends who fish some tourneys. They are always asking if I can make this or that because they know it’s unique and not something others throw. Talking about the plastics part of this now, just how soft is to soft for a tube whether it is dipped or injected? I know salt is a must to me in a tube but wall thickness would be another question I have for dipped tubes. Thanks guys and this was one of my favorite threads ever on here that I’ve read.

Online Lamar

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #13 on: 07/18/18 16:45 UTC »
To be honest I never really paid attention to the fall rate as I did the action on the fall, my tubes are dipped on 3/16" and 1/4" rods depending on profile I want but I use jig head weight to dictate the fall speed.

  I just read this and I disagree. Respectfully. It's why I fish a 5/8 oz jig instead of a 1/4 oz one. It doesn't fall any faster. Gravity pulls at the same speed no matter the weight. The bigger tube will displace more water and slow it down some but same size tube different weight will all fall the same speed. Why I fish the 5/8 oz is because it's heavier and easier to control in the wind. Fall rate to the bottom is the same if I make it the same profile.
  Oh and I don't use salt in my tubes either. If I'm using a weight then what is the salt going to help me with ? It only weakens the plastic.
« Last Edit: 07/18/18 16:48 UTC by Lamar »

Online ctom

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Re: Differences in tubes and how they fish
« Reply #14 on: 07/18/18 20:18 UTC »
Lamar mentions salt and weaker plastic. When I fish walleyes with tubes in the late fall I use straight plastic, no salt, and let the jig get the tube down. For walleyes and sauger, since they're both not short on teeth, I like a tube with a heavier wall in the tube portion but I like the way the injected tails work over the hand-dipped. I made this little unit to allow me to inject substantially heavier bodies and I get a whole lot more mileage out of the tubes if the walleyes are hungry.



Seen here is the Do-It spline and the Do-It insert. At the bottom is the insert I made to get much heavier bodies on the tubes. I made a boring jig from some 1/8" strap steel, drilled and tapped to accept a 1/4" coarse thread bolt, threaded end up. After centering the 1/4" tapped bolt hole in the drill press, I drilled and tapped for a 10-32 screw. After tapping for the screw the 1/4" bolt was cut to length to screw into the spline and the 10-32 screw was cut to the same length as the Do-It insert. Just screw this in when a heavier, more tear resistant body is desired. I use a small drop of scent oil to lube a 1/4 ounce ball head cast on a light wire wide gap hook, usually in the 4/0 to 5/0 range and have at it. The head slips right up in the pocket and the eye of the hook gets pushed thru the nose end of the bait. This is one of the best walleye baits a guy can dunk when the water temps are dropping like a rock as it can be fished fast or slow or anywhere in between. I make all my tubes with Essential plastic and zero salt. Between the plastic and the thicker walls these tubes take a beating and it takes a lot to tear one.