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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
If you plan to tie up a lot of dries of the same size and the same or similar pattern, then have a look at the Whiting 100 packs; very even hackle sizes and good stiffness for dry flies.

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+1 on Whiting 100's. High quality hackle as you would expect from Whiting and good stiff barbs. For tying a lot of dries in similar sizes, they are excellent. I particularly like them for Griffith's Gnats. They are also perfect when you are looking for certain colors sizes and don't want to buy a whole cape.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

Whiting 100s.. Though convenient seem kinda rip-off-ish.. especially when I've read that a saddle can tie you around 1600 flies in the 12-18 range.. obviously I'd imagine you'd have to be one efficient tier to get all 1600 flies.. but even then..

Whiting 100 pack = 100 flies of 1 size = $20-25
Whiting Saddle = 1600 flies of roughly 12-18 = $40-80~
Whiting Cape = 800 flies(if i remember what i read correctly on capes) 8/10-26(maybe smaller) = $50-80~

just food for thought when buying 100 packs
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
Whiting 100s.. Though convenient seem kinda rip-off-ish.. especially when I've read that a saddle can tie you around 1600 flies in the 12-18 range.. obviously I'd imagine you'd have to be one efficient tier to get all 1600 flies.. but even then..

Whiting 100 pack = 100 flies of 1 size = $20-25
Whiting Saddle = 1600 flies of roughly 12-18 = $40-80~
Whiting Cape = 800 flies(if i remember what i read correctly on capes) 8/10-26(maybe smaller) = $50-80~

just food for thought when buying 100 packs
Exactly the reason i want the capes
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

Whiting is probably the best dry fly hackle your going to get, but they will cost you. Charlie Collins has a great grizzly neck I would say the quality is as good as Whiting only the feather count is less but so is the price, a lot less. Next time your at the somerset show you should go over and cherry pic what he's got before it opens to the public. His other colors are OK, barb stiffness may be a little off but the griz is fine. If your getting into this tying thing just buy the whole neck, you'll use it. I would say Griz, Dun, Coachman brown neck would be a good start and you really don't need to get anything better then Bronze grade unless your going to tie into the size 20's. The better grades have more of the smaller sized hackle.

The saddles I had that I never used, Sold them off to those beauty's that had to have them in their hair, $650 bucks I got for a number 1 Whiting that I paid $15 for. Needless to say I had to scratch off the price tag before I sent it out.

Another thing with Whiting saddles is that the barb count is a lot higher then a neck. Always seemed to make the flie look a little over dressed. You can really see it when you try to tie some of the classic Catskill patterns.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

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Originally Posted by schrob View Post
Whiting is probably the best dry fly hackle your going to get, but they will cost you. Charlie Collins has a great grizzly neck I would say the quality is as good as Whiting only the feather count is less but so is the price, a lot less. Next time your at the somerset show you should go over and cherry pic what he's got before it opens to the public. His other colors are OK, barb stiffness may be a little off but the griz is fine. If your getting into this tying thing just buy the whole neck, you'll use it. I would say Griz, Dun, Coachman brown neck would be a good start and you really don't need to get anything better then Bronze grade unless your going to tie into the size 20's. The better grades have more of the smaller sized hackle.

The saddles I had that I never used, Sold them off to those beauty's that had to have them in their hair, $650 bucks I got for a number 1 Whiting that I paid $15 for. Needless to say I had to scratch off the price tag before I sent it out.

Another thing with Whiting saddles is that the barb count is a lot higher then a neck. Always seemed to make the flie look a little over dressed. You can really see it when you try to tie some of the classic Catskill patterns.

Man, I can tell you if i'd had some hackle back then too i'd have sold out the the beauties tool.

Thanks for the tips, Rob.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

f you can hold out for a bit longer, I think the price of hackle is going to drop like a rock. I am starting to see the prices come down on ebay, and even with those lower prices they are hitting the end of the auctions with no bids. There are a bunch of hair people that bought a ton of them and are going to get stuck with them. If we all refrain from buying them for a while they are going to get pretty cheap I have a feeling. I'd like to see them get cheap enough to make some of them take a bath on them. That'l teach them to mess with our feathers.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

It's a value judgement and an issue of funding.

If you have enough money to buy all of the colors of saddles and/or capes you need/want, then by all means, buy the saddles and/or capes. And buy them at the highest grade you can afford.

And as soon as you get them, wash and clean them, dry them thoroughly and re-bag them. No matter who the seller is, they're going to have grease, dirt and potentially bugs or eggs in them.

When it comes to buying saddles or capes, it depends on what you're going to tie (variety of flies and sizes) which works best for you... and if you can hand inspect them, it's worth it. Barb length and stiffness is but one measure... if you get a saddle or cape that has been exposed to too much heat or direct sunlight, the stems will be coarse and brittle, or is you get ones from malnourished hens/roosters, you'll get thick and stiff stems that won't wind perpendicular to the shank of the hook.

While 100-packs may not seem like the best long-term bargain- if you're only tying a limited number of flies in the sizes that the packs include, or if you're tying to sell the flies to get more $$ to be able to fill your cupboards, they are an excellent way to go- they're hand picked and almost always near perfect.

---------- Post added at 05:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:29 PM ----------

A bit more on what I was saying about cleaning feathers:

I learned the importance of having CLEAN, well packaged and labeled materials at a pretty young age after having an infestation cost me a few pelts, tails and capes. Don't assume that materials you purchase or receive are always insect free or have been properly treated and cleaned. SMELL them on receipt, check them for excess fat or oil (on the skin side), and NEVER introduce them into your inventory until you have given them an opportunity to prove themselves worthy! This isn't usually a problem with synthetics, but natural materials definitely need to be 'studied'.

Even with the highest quality on-skin or on-hide materials (Hoffmann, Metz, whatever) you will periodically find problems that can be easily cured by spending a bit of time checking them over and washing them. Look at the skin and see if there are any 'blobs' of fat or greasy/oily areas- you can typically find these by running a piece of medium blue or grey paper across them and see if it darkens. After using a razor blade and sharp scissors to cut away any fat or excess skin, you can use the edge of a spoon (dedicated to this purpose, NOT a kitchen utensil!) to scrape the back of the skin and make sure there's no more surface fat.

Now, smell the patch and see if you pick up any oily scent. Even if you don't, washing the materials is a good idea. Fill a clean sink with warm water and a small amount (a couple of tablespoons) of Dawn dishwashing detergent. Place the neck in the water and allow it to sit for a few minutes, then using your hands, rub the skin surface gently to remove any surface oils. Turn the neck over and 'swish' the feathers through the soapy water while fanning them away from the skin. Drain the sink and rinse both sides of the neck under running warm water until there is no soap remaining. Rinse the neck again under cool water and place it skin side down on a pad of paper towels to drain and dry. If you have a ceiling fan, place it on the table under the ceiling fan and turn it on medium to help dry the feathers out. You can also do this with a hair dryer on low heat by draping the skin side of the neck over your hand and aiming the dryer at the feathers.

Allow the neck to dry completely for a day or so and then place it in a NEW, CLEAN, ziploc-type bag and label it with the date you purchased it and the source you obtained it from. IF YOU'RE REAL PARANOID... you can pop it in the freezer for a couple of days and pull it out before introducing it into your inventory... this way if there were any insect eggs you may have missed, it will kill them.

One thing you'll notice after doing this is there will be a BIG difference in the color of the feathers from before and after washing, the other is how much the feathers will shine. You can do this with necks, saddles, full capes, any "feathers on skin" patches and you REALLY should consider it. All it will take is one rancid or buggy patch that ruins the balance of your materials to change your mind.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

Good info Stimmy

I got the the hackles, and they look and feel well worth the money i paid for 4 half capes ($60)
I also got this nice info sheet about all the whiting hackle type. This info is available online, but i thought i'd post some images here too
If anyone wants, i have high Res PDF files of the images just shoot me a PM with your email address and i'll forward them to you

Eunan

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

+2 for the 100pcks I find them way more economical for my uses. Especially since you can get a mixed pack from one of the online shops, three colors and three different sizes. That covers 99% my tying obviously others want more bang for the buck but I like the simplicity of it.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackles

-1 for the 100 packs.

They more than double the cost per fly. Now the mixed packs are a little better.

So basically, you made a a good choice in my opinion.

I have a mountain of of hackles, so I have no need for the introductory pack. The ones I have seen usually have a brown/grizzly and black dun. That 60 bucks will take care of nearly all of your tying.

I have a ton of whiting hackles and they are awesome.
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