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Old 01-01-2010, 09:12 PM
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Default Hackle??

Im going out to buy some hackle tomorrow. Any ideas of what color I should get?
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

Depends on what you are going to be tying. Grizzly and ginger are pretty typical for dries. Whiting puts out small packs of feathers in different colours which might be a good choice for now.
If you are tying streamers then it is a different feather again. If you tell us what you are tying we can be of better service.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

Im going to be tying dry flies in sizes 10 and 12 to start. I was looking at getting a saddle.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

If you are buying 1 saddle, maybe look for a ginger grizzly or a cree variant which will be harder to find but a great feather to use. Not sure if whiting has them or no. Typically the grizzly and a ginger will get you by on a lot of patterns.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

For dry flies, the best selling hackle colors are (not in any particular order):
- grizzly
- light dun
- medium ginger.

The product that Kerry was refering to is the Whiting 100 pack. Eack pack has enough hackle to tie 100 flies. They also come sized. For each size, you can tie up that size and one up and one down. So a size 12 pack can tie sizes 10, 12, and 14.

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Old 01-01-2010, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

BobbyC, Like Mosca and Kerry said, see if you can find the 100 packs - they are great for someone just starting out and allow you to get different colors, sizes, etc.. without having to buy a bunch of different capes or saddles, plus the feathers are pretty good quality and I have found that they don't twist alot when I tie with them.

d
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

Look up whiting intro packs. They contain 4 half capes in standard colors (grizzly, Lt dun, brown, tan) though primarily size 12 - 16, they have enough in 8 - 20 to give you a broad range of options. They run about $60.

Grizzly and brown are needed. If you only buy Grizzly (I would suggest Grizzly if only buying one) than you will have an almost emediate desire/requirement for brown.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

The Whiting 100's might be a good way to go for now (15-18 bucks), perhaps a Grizzly size 12-- as Mosca says you can use it for flies sizes 10-14. These are a pleasure to use, and you'll get several flies out of each feather. At some point though if you do a lot of tying, it will be more cost effective to buy a whole cape (or 1/2 cape) or a whole saddle (or a half or quarter saddle).

Another alternative is to look for something like a Hebert Miner Pro Grade Cape (25-30 bucks). These are a owned/sold by Whiting and have a GREEN Label and come from a different genetic line of birds than the more familiar and more widely available "Whiting" line with a RED label (Pro grade "Whiting" label capes are much harder to find). A cape will have a wider range of feather sizes (from 8 to 18 on a Pro grade Hebert Miner) and have enough feathers to tie up around 350 flies or so. Higher grade capes (Bronze, silver, gold) will be much more expensive. Although they might have more and longer feathers (you'd be able to tie more flies out of each one) you'd also be paying a premium for smaller sized feathers in the 20's.

By comparison a saddle will tend to have a narrower range of sizes than a cape. The sizes on a saddle will vary by brand (Metz, Hebert Miner, Whiting etc) with individual saddles also varying to some extent. For example most Whiting (Red label) saddles will have feathers for sizes 14-16. Saddles from other genetic lines tend to run a bit larger. Hebert Miner saddles for example typically run a bit larger than Whiting saddles with mostly sizes 12-14 and some less commonly running mostly 10-12. Again, have someone in the shop help you make sure that whatever you're buying will have the sizes you want by taking the saddle/cape out of the pack and checking. If you're buying sight unseen from an online shop, you might try calling their 800 number before you place the order to have someone pull one for you.

As far as colors go, as the other folks have said Grizzly is a great first choice.

From there, in order of general utility, I'd probably go, in order...

...for a brown (used alone for patterns like Elk Hair Caddis and Royal Wulff, mixed with grizzly for Adams, March Brown)

...then medium dun (alone for a variety of patterns including Blue Wing Olives, caddis, Hendrickson, Quill Gordon, Mahogany Dun, and can be mixed with grizzly to get a lighter dun or brown for a darker "rusty dun")

... and then a cream or light ginger (for spinners and late spring/summer hatches like Sulphurs, Light Cahills, PMDs etc and mixed with medium dun for patterns that call for "light dun")

By using these four colors alone or blending them, you can match most of naturals you're likely to run into, as well as a many popular standards.

Also, remember you can use less expensive materials for now like Snowshoe Hare (the feet), cdc, poly and deer hair (sold as coastal or comparadun hair) to create dry fly patterns that don't use expensive dry fly hackle. So for example you could buy some grizzly and maybe brown hackle for now and some dun dyed CDC or snow shoe hare's foot (for blue winged olives) and some white CDC or Poly for spinners, and a patch of medium brownish-gray comparadun hair.

Just a few examples of some dry fly patterns that don't use dry fly hackle that you can google:

Usuals- Snow shoe hare
Poly Wing Spinners- poly, antron or other synthetic
Tons of emergers and stuff like CDC Sparkle Duns- CDC
Sparkle Duns, Comparaduns, X Caddis- "coastal" or "comparadun" deer hair patches

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

You've already got great adviceremember you can mix hackles...brown and dun ,grizzly and brown,ginger and brown,rusty dun and variant for instance if you tie fast water flies.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Hackle??

amazing set of information Mark. That would be good to add to "fly tying tips: Sticky"
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