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Old 11-07-2011, 03:06 PM
peregrines peregrines is offline
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Default Re: What kind of hackle should I get?

Here's table hopefully


Rooster Feathers
Type of feather Typically hackles hook sizes in this range, but inspect where possible Note: Expect some variation in sizes. Individual capes and saddles may fall outside the ranges given for any of these listings so inspect before you buy Approximate price as of 11/11/2011 Note: capes and saddles are cut lengthwise down the middle. As a result they have the same range of feather sizes as whole capes and saddles, just as many feathers. saddles are cut both lengthwise and width wise. As a result, the distribution of feather sizes may vary with saddles from the top half of the saddle tending to have a smaller size range than the feathers from the two bottom saddles. Uses
Woolly Buggers  
Whiting Bugger Pack 12-4 $21.00 Excellent for buggers, although double the price of the Ewing pack it has 3x the feathers and will tie a wider range of sizes. Available in a wide variety of natural and dyed colors
Ewing Bugger Pack 12-8 $9.00 30-50 feathers per pack, less than a 1/3 the number in a Whiting bugger pack. Available in a variety of natural and dyed colors
Bottom feathers from a dry fly cape Varies Included as part of dry fly cape These are long feathers with long barbs, can be used for hackling buggers and other uses (wings on streamers etc). Generally the barbs are too long or a bit too soft for most dry fly patterns
No name Strung “bugger hackle varies $5.00 Generally the barbs are too long for all but the largest size buggers size 6 and larger, and often the useable portion of the feather, once the fluff at the base is stripped off, make them unsuitable for palmering up a large 3x or 4x long streamer hook
Dry Flies  
Genetic Dry Fly Capes Capes offer a wide range of sizes. Higher grade capes will tie down to smaller sizes, and because of greater length of individual feathers and quantities of feathers will tie more flies
Whiting Introductory Pack (four capes in Grizzly, Brown, Dun and one other color) Size 18-8 or 20-8 $60.00 An excellent buy for someone just starting out with dries. Pack consists of four capes (Grizzly, Dun, Brown and one other color). If you find one that also includes a Light Ginger you’ll have a wide variety of hatches covered using these colors alone or in combination. Because capes are cut lengthwise, you get the full range of sizes, just as many feathers. This pack helps reduce the initial “startup cost” of buying an assortment of high quality dry fly hackle in a range of sizes and most used colors. Once you’ve been tying awhile and pick through them you can replace them with whole capes or saddles as needed.
Whiting Combo Pack (Two capes in Grizzly and Brown) Size 18-8 or 20-8 $48.00 Brown and Grizzly capes, excellent quality. Although this combo has the two most popular colors, for a bit more ($12.00) the Intro Pack above gets you a dun cape and another color cape
Whiting (with a Red Whiting label) Pro 20-8 Bronze 24-8 Silver 26-8 Gold 28-6 Pro $45.00 Bronze $60.00 Silver $90.00 Gold Also available in capes Bronze $34.00 A bronze grade Whiting cape is probably the biggest work horse among tyers- it will handle a wide range of sizes, withn long feathers that will typically hackle 2 or 3 flies.
Whiting Hebert Miner (with a Green Whiting label) Pro 18-8 or 20-8 Bronze 20-10 Silver 22-10 Gold 24-8 Pro $30.00 Bronze $47.00 Silver $65.00 Gold $92.00 capes also available: Bronze $27.00 Silver $36.00 Pro grade at $30 is an excellent value and offers a wide range of sizes from 18 or 20 and larger. Great bang for the buck.
Metz Capes Grades 3 18-10 2 20-10 1 24-10 Grades 3 $ 40.00 2 $50.00 1 $70.00 Also available in capes, grades 3 $ $22.00 2 $29.00 1  
Keough Capes Grades: Tyers Master Grades: Tyers $40.00 Master $55.00 Master grade said to have a much higher hackle count (more feathers) than the tyers grade
Small breeders that sell direct to consumers
Collins Hackle Small breeder, products not available in shops, deal direct with Charlie Collins 607-734-1765 Commercial Grade 4 pack (4 capes) generally size 18-8 Grade 3 18-8 Grade 2 20-8 Grade 1 22-8 Commercial Grade 4 pack $60.00 Grade 3 $30.00 Grade 2 $50.00 Grade 1 $60.00 Extensive range of natural and dyed colors, with solid and barred feathers, including many shades of natural duns. Feathers with thin flexible stems that wrap easily. The capes themselves are physically smaller than Whiting and Whiting Hebert Miner birds and the individual feathers are shorter. Grade 3 capes are a good choice hackling flies size 18 or 20 and larger. Grades 1,2 3, include saddle at no extra charge. Commercial pack consists of 4 capes, but no choice of colors, does not include saddles.
Conranch Small breeder, products not available in shops, deal direct with Denny or Liz Conrad 509-999-7472 www.conranch.com Grade 3 Grade 2 Grade 1 Grade 3 $30 Grade 2 $50 Grade 1 $60  
Ewing Dry Fly Mini packs 3 Pack sizes advertised as having feathers to tie 12-14 14-16 or 18-20 in a single color $5.00 per pack Horrible vased on the only one I bought. Approximately 1” square patch of skin from cape with feathers attached. Supposed to have 30-50 feathers, but very few actually are useable in the sample of size 14 and 16’s I received, Very short in overall length, the longest was 1 ”
Genetic Dry Fly Saddles Note: Due to the fashion craze for hair extensions, genetic dry fly saddle feathers can be hard to find. Hopefully this fad will soon pass. Since saddles tie more limited range of sizes than capes it is especially important to verify that any particular saddle will tie in the size range you want.  
Whiting Saddles All grades of whole and half saddles typically strongest in 14-16 with some 18’s and 12’s, with some variation in individual saddles, saddles are generally either size 14 and smaller or 14 and larger Pro $42.0 Bronze $56.00 Silver $75.00 Gold $ Also available in saddles: Bronze $32.00 Silver $50.00 and in saddles: Bronze size 14 and smaller or 14 and larger 25.00 Silver 32.00 Excellent quality, with thin flexible stems, easy to wrap. Higher grades have longer feathers, and tie more flies per feather, and more flies per grade. Whiting saddles are a pleasure to work with, but like all saddles they have a more limited range of feather sizes compared to capes.
Whiting 100 Order in one size from 10-20 and one color $18.00-20.00 Loose Whiting saddle feathers, enough to tie approximately 100 flies in one size and one color. Convenient if you need a specific size color, but depending on the size you need, you might be better off with a Whiting bronze saddle or a Whiting midge 1/4 saddle for a bit more. If you just need larger sizes, consider a Hebert Miner saddle
Whiting Hebert Miner Saddle Hebert Miner saddles run a size or two larger than the regular Whiting saddles, most strongest in 12-14 or 10-12 Grades have the same size feathers, with higher grades tying more flies Pro $25.00 Bronze $47.00 Silver $65.00 Also available in saddles Bronze $21.00 Silver $29.00 Excellent quality, with thin flexible stems, easy to wrap. Higher grades have longer feathers, and tie more flies per feather, and more flies per grade.
Whiting Midge Saddle 80% or feathers size 18 and smaller usually down to 22 or 24 Pro $66.00 Bronze $88.00 Silver $116.00 Also available in saddles Bronze $49.00 Silver $64.00 and saddles Bronze $33.00 
Silver $42.00 A “specialty” saddle for small dries size 18 and smaller. Excellent quality. These are worth considering if you tie a lot of small flies for Spring Creeks or Tailwaters etc. A whole midge saddle will tie a ton of flies, consider a or saddle  
Whiting Coq de Leon Saddle size 6-2 Bronze $21.0 Silver $33.00 Long stiff barbs make excellent tails for dry flies. A Bronze CdL saddle is just a bit more than a $16.00 Whiting Tailing pack, but is a better value with a lot more feathers for the buck.
Metz Saddle Some of these saddles will hackle size 12 and larger Grades: 2 $21.00 1 $25.00 More of a bugger/streamer hackle than for dry flies because of longer and softer barbs, grade 1 better for dries, but not as good as Metz microbarb, neither as good as Whiting IMHO
Metz Microbarb Saddle Mostly sizes 14-12, some 16-12 Grades: 2 $30.00 1 $40.00 This is the Metz dry fly saddle, suitable for larger sized dries—depending on the range of sizes you’re looking to tie you might be better off with a whole or Bronze Grade Whiting or Whiting Hebert Miner saddle, or for a wider range of sizes consider a Whiting or Whiting Hebert Miner cape
Conranch Saddles Most tie sizes 14-10 Grade 3 $37 Grade 2 $50 Grade 1 $65 Higher grade saddles will tie the same hook sizes but more flies because of longer feathers. Stems are thin and flexible and wrap easily, Barbs tend to be longer, and softer and overall feather length is shorter than Whiting saddles. Available in a nice assortment of natural colors.
Warmwater, Saltwater and Streamers
Strung cape feathers typically 3 ” long useable length Relatively long barbs for size 4 -2/0 size flies using standard proportions. Short overall length makes them more suitable for collars than palmering an entire shank in open wraps Wider with more rounded tips than strung saddles.  
Feathers too short in overall length and barbs are typically too long to make them unsuitable for buggers $4.00 for 1/4 oz pack Tails on bass bugs , poppers. Available in a wide variety of natural and dyed colors over white or grizzly. 
Strung Saddle Feathers 5-7” long Realtively long barbs for size 2 -2/0 size flies using standard proportions. Short overall length makes them more suitable for collars than palmering an entire shank in open wraps. Usually used for tails or wings rather than wrapped. $4.75 for oz pack Saddle feathers tend to be narrower than cape feathers with more flexible stems making them a bit easier to wrap. After stripping off the fluff at the base of the feather, the useable length is more like 3 1/2 - 5 ”. Available in a wide variety of dyed over white colors
Strung “Saltwater Length” 6-8” long Same as above $5.45 for oz pack Worth the bit extra if you tie streamers for salt water flies. Decent for tails on deceivers . Likely to include some damaged feathers 
Metz Magnum Capes $30.00 Wide feathers with rounded tips mostly for warm water bass flies and some salt water patterns. Stiff thick stems make them more suitable for tails than for wrapping around the shank as hackle. Available in a wide variety of colors dyed over white and dyed over grizzly.
Whiting American Saddles $20.00 Excellent for deceivers and other saltwater flies, longer length and substantially more useable length than strung saddles although more expensive.
Hareline Deceiver Saddle $16.00 Same as above, and a good choice
Whiting Flatwing Saddles Bronze Silver Silver $24.00 A “specialty” feather for tying Flatwing style flies. Popular in the Northeast for striped bass. Very limited availability. Wide variety of dyed over white or grizzly colors. A good way to economize on flatwing material is to buy a white or barred white saddle cut it with a razor into quarters with a lengthwise and a lateral cut then dye them 4 different colors.
Salmon and steelhead flies
“Chinese” Rooster capes $13-15.00 Available in a wide variety of brightly dyed colors
Strung Spey featers  
Spey Cape
Strung Schlappen  
   
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Last edited by peregrines; 11-07-2011 at 04:10 PM.
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