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Old 01-13-2010, 03:09 PM
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Default Measuring Hackle Size...????

I've been using a Griffin hackle guage for about 6 years. I found a cut-out
guage on the back of a Whiting saddle package, and the two guages read
very differently. A #16 hackle on the Griffin is a #20 on the Whiting. I measured the distance for the #16 line on both guages, and it's very different
(can't remember exact figures).

Do you guys eyeball your hackle, use a guage as a guide, etc?

---------- Post added at 04:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:27 PM ----------

Here's a parachute Adams I just tied (down and dirty just to get a pic up).
It's a #20 Mustad dry hook, and the hackle is Whiting 100 #16. While the
hackle wasn't wound pretty, it certainly looks smaller than a #16. It measured
almost #18 on my Griffin guage.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

Frank I always eyeball the hackles....for I've never owned anything to choose them
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

The better tyers I know say they eyeball their hackle. Oh well....

Here's the same size Adams and hackle, but I spent one extra minute tying
it :

Click the image to open in full size.

Does that seem about the right size hackle???

EDIT: Looking at the second fly, I think I should have only spent 30 extra seconds, and wound less
hackle on.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

Good to know about the different sizing. Makes me think that it may be time to start measuring by wrapping around the hook, body, or post.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

I used to use a gauge but I don't anymore. The other thing is that different manufacturers and styles use different diameter wire, so if you are a fanatic or tying fussy flies a gauge does not always work.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

I agree learn to eyeball.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

I just use the hook as the hackle gauge- the proper hackle size will be 1.5 times the hook gap. I think this is better than using a gauge because there is darn sure a difference between the gap on a size 16 TMC100 and a 94840.

With the hook in the vise, form a U in the hackle, catch it on the hook's shank and pull it snug so that the barbules stick out like a palmered hackle. When you're using Whiting hackle and have a few on your quarter saddle to pick from, you should have no problem finding the right size hackle. (until its nearly used up, of course) This is one more reason why I recommend the 1/4 saddles over the 100 packs as well.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

I've always measured on my Griffin guage, and tied. Most of my hooks are
Mustad, but I do sometimes use Tiemco. I don't use Tiemco often because
I think they're brittle, but maybe that's just me....

I bought a bunch of Whiting 100 packs last year. The shop I had a zillion
100's, and little in the way of necks and saddles. I was at another shop last
week, and bought a full brown Whiting Silver saddle, cuz it was $48. When I
got home, I found a 1/4 Whiting Silver saddle in brown that I bought sometime
in the past year, so I'm really set with brown for a while. I only
paid $22 for the 1/4 Silver saddle, so I guess that was another bargain buy
that I just forgot about.

Tying parachute style was something I started doing a few years ago, but
someone at a shop told me they like to go one size over with the hackle.
That was when I started using the Griffin guage on 100's. I can tie a #16
Para Adams with #16 Whiting 100 hackle, and it looks dandy. The Whiting
and Griffin guages are way different, and I have used the hook gap to measure hackle before. Maybe it's because I'm cheap, and wonder if I wasted
my money on the Griffin guage. That thing was $7...LOL!!!!
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