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Old 02-11-2014, 11:15 PM
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Default Quills..a good place to buy ?

I love tying quilled body flies but quills are kinda pricey for the few you get in a pack. I admit..I hate to clean off fibers just to get a quill..so..is there any place that you can get a decent quantity of naked quills at a reasonable price ?

If one ask for them,,what are the best quill stems..from a hen or rooster ? Pretty new at quills and no next to nothing about the 'chicken' end of them.
Thanks

Mike
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Quills..a good place to buy ?

i would buy a package of strung hackle in the colors of the flies you want to tie and take about a half hour or more on a crappy/stormy saturday morning rocking out to your favorite tunes and sipping whatever you like to sip and strip the fibers off of 20-30-40-50 hackles an tie them into a bundle. yes its a tedious chore but the results are worth the reward.

i certainly wouldnt waste good money on buying a whiting (or any other brand for that matter) cape or saddle just to end up stripping the hackle for quills. buy the strung hackle
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Quills..a good place to buy ?

Thanks flytire, excellent idea.

Mike
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Quills..a good place to buy ?

For hackle quill bodies, I'd suggest rooster hackle, specifically rooster neck. Saddle hackle quills are generally much too fine and lack the taper that produces better wrapped bodies.

If you choose to prepare quills from strung hackle, look for strung Chinese neck hackle. These are large feathers, with long barbs and robust quills with nice tapers. Much of the packaged strung hackle is saddle. One obstacle, though, may be finding strung Chinese neck in colors suitable for trout flies, since these feathers are often packaged for salmon/saltwater/bass tying and dyed accordingly. Also check the feather length; you don't necessarily need the longest (6"+) feathers, but you'll probably want something longer than the 3" feathers offered in the cheaper packs.

I have some old genetic rooster capes with ideal feathers for quill bodies at the butt end. I wouldn't spend significant money procuring a genetic cape for this purpose, but I wouldn't exclude them if available at reasonable cost. The butt ends of rooster capes offer little use othewise, and a high volume tyer might just let them go at little or no cost.
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