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Old 01-26-2010, 09:55 PM
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Default dry fly hackle?

I'm looking for cheap materials to start out. just wondering if this metz saddle hackle on ebay is for dry flies? can you tell just from a picture if it is? I know soft is webby.


METZ Premium saddle Hackle #2 Saddle Brown - eBay (item 380176045552 end time Feb-06-10 20:23:21 PST)
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

No unfortunately..... because that would be a great price. Metz saddles can be especially confusing.

There are "Metz Saddles" in grades 1 and 2

and Metz "Microbarb" Saddles in grades 1 and 2

"Metz Saddles" have longer barbs and are good for woolly buggers and dry flies size 12 and larger (not much call for dries that large). The Grade 1 typically goes for 28 and the Grade 2 goes for 25 bucks. The ebay link in your post looks like a grade 2 "Metz Saddle".

Metz Microbarb saddles have feathers with barbs usually suitable for dry flies in sizes 10, 12 and 14. A grade 1 typically sells for 38-40 bucks and a grade 2 sells for 29-30

Other's may have had better luck, but I've had some problems with Metz-- with thick stems making them difficult to wrap and tending to twist so that the barbs stick out all over the place.

Another thing--- hackle colors have a bunch of different names to describe coloration--- some like cream and ginger are obvious, and duns are used to describe feathers with grayish coloration.

But there are also names of "colors" used to describe the different markings of feathers---
grizzly black and white barred,
Silver badger-- a white or cream colored feather with a black center along either side of the stem
Golden Badger- a creamish-gingery feather with a black center
Furnace- a Brown feather with a black center.

The saddle in the pic would be a "furnace" color as opposed to brown ("Brown" = brown feathers without the black center).

Since you're looking at ebay, I would go for something like this instead, this deep rich color would be considered "Coachman Brown":
Whiting Dry Fly Hebert Rooster Cape -Coachman Brown - eBay (item 390146718120 end time Feb-21-10 07:02:12 PST)

It's a Whiting Hebert Miner, Pro Grade Cape (notice the green whiting label, which denotes the genetic "Hebert Miner" line of birds rather than the more familiar Whiting "Whiting" flock with the red label). The Pro Grade Hebert Miner will typically tie dries in sizes 10-18 with perhaps a few 20's, and typically will tie 350 flies or so. Nice long feathers make it possible to get 2 flies per feather in many cases, and the stems are thin, flexible and easy to work with.

But that price on ebay, at 35 bucks plus 5 bucks mailing and handling is higher than you'll find at many fly shops, where it typically goes for 30. Here's an example from the Bear's Den, the Hebert Miner Capes are on the top left, note Pro Grades are 30 bucks (with Bronze, Silver and Gold grades also available for significantly more bucks) Whiting Herbert-Miner Hackle at BEARSDEN.COM

Hope this helps...

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

Mike

I use Metz capes and saddles mainly because over here Whiting is so expensive(roughly five times the price). You should not buy a Metz saddle you cant check yourself because they have lot of variation in the size of feathers suitable for drys regardless of grade.

Chris
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

oh ok. thanks. that was helpful. it looks like fly shops match or beat ebay's prices on most fly tying materials. i'll take your advice and wait till i see it. thanks again.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

Rather then buy a saddle, you might want to consider the hackle packs. They come in a specific size, 12, 14, 16 etc; and in different colors.

Dan
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

Hi mepeterser2451,

The best way to learn the size and quality of dry fly hackle is to buy the Whiting 100 packs that I think Dan mentioned. They will be the exact size and color you want. They provide enough to tie approximately 100 flies. The list price runs $18. They are available in size 12 thru 20. That is, you buy a pack with the specific size you want. A different pack for a different size. Buy a Grizzly color and it will work on several different flies. After using these for a few flies you will have a better idea of what size and type of hackle you need for dry flies. The next time in a shop you will know what to look for in the capes or saddles they have.

Frank


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Old 01-27-2010, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

Frank just gave you some excellent advice for a novice fly tier who doesn't want to spend a fortune on a mistake. Whiting 100-packs! A really good dry fly cape that will tie a wide range of sizes and last a decade or longer will cost you basically $100+. 100-packs are basically $20 (sometimes you'll find them on sale for $16 or so). And you will get at least 100 dry flies out of each pack. For a newbie, that's a lot of flies...at least a year or two. So here's what you do...

Buy the grizzly and brown, or grizzly and medium dun in size 12 and 16...or 14 and 18...or whatever 2 sizes you will use the most. You've spent $100 and got hackle that you can use to tie a wide array of the most popular dry flies. Keep in mind that if you present a fly to a fish that is only one size off of a particular emergence, it probably won't hurt your success that much. In fact, sometimes it can help to go up one size. So when I'm trying to be frugal, I skip sizes like I gave the example above. If the fish are keyed on a 14 neutral colored mayfly and you've got size 12 and size 16 Adams, you're gonna catch fish with one or the other...maybe both.

This is a great way to get started on a budget without risking making a mistake on a grand scale. In contrast, if you wanted to tie Adams flies and went out and bought a #1 grizzly and a #1 brown cape so that you could tie them in the full range of sizes, you would spend roughly $200. And what you would learn in time is that those numbers, "pro grade," and all that stuff they label capes, saddles, and necks can be very misleading. I've bought top name brand #1 and #2 highest quality capes and saddles only to discover they were garbage. And you probably won't be experienced enough to hand-select your own and know what you're getting for a couple of years at best. But the Whiting 100-packs are very reliable.

FYI, I've also found a source for reliable capes and saddles. But it took a long time and they just introduced the line within the past year.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
. . . They are available in size 12 thru 20. . . .

Whiting 100 Packs
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Actually, Frank, Whiting 100s go up to size 22 - I've got several.

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Old 01-27-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

yah that makes sense you guys. cheaper costs and avoiding stupid mistakes is something i really like. what do you guys think of cabela's 100 pack for $10?

Cabela's Saddle Value Packs

Is it worth it to get whiting? The 100 packs definitely make sense since I've got 500 hooks all size 12.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: dry fly hackle?

Not a trout guy, but the obvious problem is that the Cabela's value packs say they are for 14 and 16 dries. You have size 12 hooks. That's not a huge problem, but your flies will sit a little flat, or maybe nose down a bit. Stocker trout might not care, so maybe not a big deal.

There's no indication of where the Cabela's feather come from, but I suspect they do not come from Dr. Tom Whiting. From what I know of Dr. Tom, he wouldn't sell his "seconds" to Cabela's to make a few bucks. If feathers aren't up to his very high standards, that birds genes will be eliminated from his inventory. He's that particular.

But I'm speculating about Tom's potential thinking and business model, and I've only met the guy a couple of times.

$18 vs $9.99. Me, I'd spend the extra $8.01 on Whiting 100 packs, in size 12. $8.01 / 100 flies = $0.0801 per fly. Is a better looking fly that sits better on the water and might just be easier to tie because of higher quality feathers worth 8 cents? To me, it would be. But it is your money, not mine.

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