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Old 05-22-2011, 11:19 PM
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Default Which purchase from Whiting?

Would it be wiser to buy the Whiting Introductory Wack, or the whiting rooster cape 1/2 brown and 1/2 girzzly as a new tier?
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

I googled Whiting Introductory Pack and for $60, it's not a bad deal. If I'd known about this when I started tying I would have bought it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

If I were just starting to gather hackles in todays market the two color half necks would be my choice for dry fly tying. If you are using hackle on nymphs and wets you need to look around for some Indian Game Cock capes. Here in AK. they carry some in 'The Sportsman's Warehouse' store. The small capes have feathers that are just fine for hackling large nymphs & hoppers and will float a dry in a pinch. The large feathers located around the base of the cape are perfect for wings on streamers.

These sell in the 5 dollar range and are available in colors that are hard to find like Furnace & Chinchilla. I've given many of my stock away to friends who were beginning to tie but still have about thirty. They have been putting wings on my streamers since I started. Once you find some you'll save that expensive genetic hackle for the dry flies only.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

There's an "Introductory Pack" of both capes and saddles- you'll need to check with the vendors (if buying on line) or visit a shop to see what the "mix" of colors is.

This isn't a bad way to jump off the cliff for starters, but if you know what sizes and styles of flies you'll be tying it will help you make your decision. If tying a narrow range of sizes, you're better off with saddles- if tying a wide range of sizes, the capes would be better- but you'll run short of 18s-14s relatively quickly with half capes.

Check wit the shops/vendors- most are relatively good about working with tyers to get what they want. Some saddles have a larger volume of bigger sizes than smaller, and tyers typically prepare one over the other. These intro packs may have a better range, I haven't fanned through them myself to know.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

If you're tying only a few sizes like me you might want to pick up some Whiting dry fly hackle 100 packs. There are enough in each pack to tie over a 100 flies and each pack is specifically sized for one size fly. Google Whiting dry fly hackle 100 packs for more info, sizes and colors.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

Personally, though I'm new to fly tying as I've only been doing it a few months I've invested in good number of capes and saddles, I suggest contacting Conranch and talking to Denny or Liz the father daughter owner team and/or contact Collins Hackle Farm. If you contact Conranch they will be extreemely helpful and informative...I've spoken with Denny and he is very friendly and will help you pick whats best. I've also had a short conversation with the owner of Collins and he was very friendly, but was in the middle of the packing for trip so didn't have a lot of time, but I've heard from others he is just as great to deal with. Collins also includes the saddle for free when you purchase from him which makes Collins a better bang for your buck.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

Depends on what you want to tie. When I began tying as an adult (I won't go into my teenage tying adventures ), I wanted to tie every fly known to man. My extensive collection of materials reflects that, and I'm always being surprised to find something that I bought and never used. The dry flies I tie 99% of the time are blue wing olives, Adams, light cahills, and various elk hair caddis. Nymphs are GRHE, PTN's, Zebra midges, and Green Weenies. Wooly Buggers and Clousers round out the rest of the flies I use 99% of the time, and I can catch fish reliably with these. It's probably best to focus on tying a limited number of patterns at first, and mastering your tying skills: thread control, material placement, proportions, symmetry, etc.

Buying a neck will give you a wide range of feather sizes, but that's not much use if you intend to tie 100 Adams in sizes 16 and 18. The larger feathers will give you material for tails, but there are better tailing choices: less expensiverooster necks can be purchased for $15-$20, and are fine for tailing. I use microfibbets for tails on BWO's. The only tailing materials used on Elk Hair Caddis are used when tying X Caddis (very effective fly!), and that's antron.

I like Whiting hackle becuase it has thin stems. You can find less expensive hackle, but it's important to look at the stem thickness. Thick stems are awful to work with, and thin stems are a joy. It's just that simple. The cheaper necks I mentioned above can have thick stems, as I use them for tailing materials, and the stem is irrelevant.

I do have Whiting 100 packs, and hardly ever use them. It's been my experience that the stated size varies from pack to pack, and sometimes the stems are thicker than others. Honestly, the best way to buy hackle is in person. I bought some Whiting 1/4 saddles from Cabelas, and while the dun and ginger were dandy, the grizzly hackles were terrible: the hackle on one side of the stem was twice the length as the hackle on the other side! I bought it online, and didn't feel like returning it ($25 Bronze grade). I have Silver grade Whiting that is spectacular, but one brown saddle has thick stems in the size 16 hackles (all of the other sizes on that saddle have thin stems ).

So....What do you want to tie, and is there a good shop nearby?
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:01 AM
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Default

Thanks guys. I plan to tie primarily trout dries and streamers, and will tie sizes12-24. I fish, small streams, high lakes and larger streams. My goal is trout, trout and trout, with a bass trip here and there. I fish 2-3 times a week.

I live in Denver, so I have Trouts, Blue Quill Angler, Charlie's Fly box, Hook Fly fishing, Front Range Anglers... And more. I'm a frequent in Charlie's, Trouts, and FRA, but the limited source of hackle right now is the issue.

I'm stuck between buying from collier farms #2 capes, or Whiting capes. If I buy from Whiting, is a Silver cape really necessary? I plan to buy nicer down the road, it's just getting started. 4 different colors at 60$+ a pop hurts.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

embrace the pain... you'll learn to love it =)

it's *NOT* an inexpensive habit... and like many others, once yer hooked, you'll do ANYTHING to get that next fix!

$60 for 4 colors, I woulda loved to have that as an option 8-10 yrs ago. My most expensive cape/saddle combo was $120 for a top-notch cree but the set is a beauty!!

If you're fishing for trout and trout, at least you won't get the bug for full dress salmon flies... chasing some of the more elusive goodies for these, you'll dump a bundle!
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Which purchase from Whiting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypobaricstalker View Post
I'm stuck between buying from collier farms #2 capes, or Whiting capes. If I buy from Whiting, is a Silver cape really necessary? I plan to buy nicer down the road, it's just getting started. 4 different colors at 60$+ a pop hurts.
Charlie,

The best way to obtain the quality you want is to hand select the capes. I have found that trusting my eyes rather than the grade number or letter has always led to my being satisfied with the purchase. Only the fly tier knows what he / she needs and so you will have to go sorting the necks.

Ard
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