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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

    Frank I always eyeball the hackles....for I've never owned anything to choose them

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    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 :

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Beaumont, Alberta
    Blog Entries

    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.
    Each smallest act of kindness - even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile - reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Measuring Hackle Size...????

    I agree learn to eyeball.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    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.

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    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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