The Tingler is simply a needle tube fly armed
with a lightly dressed single hook, as in the example above.
It is intended primarily for sea trout at night but the
principle and dressing may be adapted for any predatory
fish. I think that a sparsely dressed tube, combined with
the flared dressing on the single tail hook, creates a very
fishy impression in the water.
Over the years I have tended to arm my tube flies with
trebles. I am not sure why .... probably a mix of tradition
and the feeling that a treble may hook and hold a fish more
securely than a single hook. My experience, however, has not
really borne out this idea. Indeed, I suspect that, if
anything, I have lost more sea trout hooked on small trebles
than on singles. The use of a single hook on a tube fly may
offer the following advantages:
1. With the growing awareness of the need to conserve
fragile sea trout stocks, the single hook makes it easier to
release fish quickly and without harm.
2. The use of a long shank, straight-eyed single hook,
either dressed or undressed, allows the length of the lure
to be extended without increasing the weight.
3. The use of a lighter single at the tail end of the tube
allows the lure to swim, possibly more attractively, on a
more even keel, with the bulk of the weight towards the
front of the lure. In addition, a shorter and therefore
lighter tube may be used (where a weighty lure is not
required) in conjunction with a long shank single, which may
be more easily cast on a light single handed rod.
4. A variety of lightly dressed single hooks, in various
materials, densities and shades, may add some mobility and
vitality to the tube fly and variously dressed single hooks
can be readily interchanged with various tube dressings to
create a wide range of colour/shade/shape options. For
example, four tubes and four dressed single hooks, all with
different dressings, give a possible 16 variations of fly,
20 if we include the possible use of an undressed single
One dressed using the hair
from a Platinum Fox Mask
A Selection of Tinglers
Dressing the Tingler
Step 1 Insert a
Needle Tube in a suitable vice and lay a short bed of
tying thread at the head. Here I have selected a stainless
steel needle tube, length 20mm, diameter 1.5mm held in a
Needle Tube Vice
Step 2 Tie in a sparse bunch of black squirrel
tail (a few strands of flash may be added if desired).
Step 3 Rotate the vice through 180 degrees and
tie in a second bunch of squirrel tail opposite the first.
Step 4 Trim and apply two or three coats of
varnish to the head.
Step 5 Repeat the dressing on a suitable single
hook, taking care to leave a length of the hook undressed at
the front to insert into the silicone sleeve on the rear of
the tube fly. I have used here a Partridge Saltwater Perfect
hook, size 8.