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Old 13-09-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Hackle feathers ????

I'm sorry folks but I'm struggling to take all the info on board about what type of feather does what sort of hackle. Indian, Chinese, capes, necks, saddles, cock, hen etc etc

Given that I don't tie a great number of flies, I'm looking to buy a small number of feathers (20) that I can use for general flies. I'm probably going to tie some mini lures, wets, crunchers in size 10 - 14. What feathers should I buy and where's the best place to get them?
I'm only be looking to get a few colours, maybe black, brown, grizzle.

I see the like of Cliff Harvey Angling have 4 Indian cock capes for £10. Is that the sort of thing should be going for, or are cock hackles more for dries?

Apologies for the daft question, I've had a search about on the previous threads on here and I'm just going round in circles

Cheers
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Old 13-09-2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

Cheap cock capes (from the male birds) are fine for all uses i.e dries, wets, lures etc, the £4 ones off ebay are great. I'm a beginner myself and i would mever dream of spending £60 on a metz or whiting cape, thats just nuckin futs!
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

these have been given the thumbs up by few forum members dunno wether Celtic flycraft still has them in stock Celtic flycraft Whiting 100's saddle hackle
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

As with most things you get what you pay for, generally hen hackles are softer and more water absorbent which makes them better for sub surface patterns. Cock hackles are stiffer and less water absorbent which makes them better for dries, you dont have to pay the earth either and will get hundreds of flies from these.

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Old 13-09-2012, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

Cock indian capes are fine for traditional wets and you will get away with them for dries. Indian capes have a larger amount of "trout" sized hackles than chinese.
These I tend to use for lures and salmon flies.
Indian hen capes are idea for spiders and trout wets.
I have tied thousands of flies with these capes and have had no real problems with them.
Expensive genetics are at the top of their class and a joy to work with but for most everyday flies the cheaper indians are fine.
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Old 13-09-2012, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

No point in me adding anything really to what you are looking for. The 'cheapy capes will cover most things until you are looking for a really good dry fly hackle, then if you feel you can afford it buy a quality cape. If your near try the Burton on trent Fly fair, bound to be some reasonable priced capes there I would think and you can handle them before you buy. I have one or two really nice dry fly capes and they really do stand out when you are looking for something special, but I am now leaning more to spun deer hair for dry fly hackles, they seem to catch trout and float well. Don't forget partridge and grouse feathers for hackles as well .... Jackdaw head/neck for those really trouty spider patterns. Old hat I know but still catch trout.
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Old 14-09-2012, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

Thanks for the info guys. Things are a bit clearer now.
I think I'll try the capes from Harvey Angling and see how I get on with them - unless my lottery numbers come up this weekend.
Cheers
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Old 14-09-2012, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

Richblue6, I realize that you're a beginner etc, however when you get more serious about fly tying, you'll realize that genetic capes/saddles are far from being "nuckin futs" but are are actually a good investment, as the price per feather is a lot less & you get less waste as the feathers are more uniform.

Ask anyone here who'se been tying for any length of time & they'll tell you the same. I've been tying both pro & amateur for 40+ years & have in excess of 300 Indian/Chinese/other capes & over 130 genetics by Whiting, Metz, Chevron etc. These days I only use the former, if I don't have the colour I want in genetics.
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Old 14-09-2012, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

I think the only thing I would add is that genetic cock feathers should not be used on Palmered wets. They just don't seem to create the correct profile/action in the water.

Brilliant on dry's though. You can often get away without using a floatant and a couple of false casts restores their floatability.

John H
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Old 14-09-2012, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Hackle feathers ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyhanger View Post
I think the only thing I would add is that genetic cock feathers should not be used on Palmered wets. They just don't seem to create the correct profile/action in the water.

Brilliant on dry's though. You can often get away without using a floatant and a couple of false casts restores their floatability.

John H
I take it you are referring to capes rather than saddles which I think make a good palmer.
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