Traveling wave tubes (TWTs) operating at S-band are to be improved by suppressing the second harmonic frequency. Among the different possibilities, two techniques, namely harmonic injection and a filter helix for frequency selective signal suppression, are studied in more detail and applied to S-band tubes in both simulation and measurement. In addition, their suitability to improve tube performance by reducing the second harmonic is discussed. Moreover, filter helix implementation in TWTs with an arbitrary pitch profile along the interaction area is considered. In this context, the dependence of the pitch discontinuity reflection coefficient on several filter helix parameters is investigated. The influence of those parameters on the filter performance is shown by filter helix optimization. Measurement results of the optimized filter helix TWT are presented.