February 6, 2018 at 11:06 pm #7831
Is it possible for hackle to get brittle?
I just got my hackle from Whitings and I have a saddle that the hackle doesn’t want to fan out like it should…I think.
This is Whitings red label saddle hackle. I normally get the High & Dry hackle, and have never had this issue. When I wrap it around the hook it goes all over the place kind of like what deer hair does when you start to tie it in. The barbs seem ok, but when I tie them in some break off ( at least that is what it looks like ). Hard to explain it.
Are you guys familiar with the red label Whiting? This is my first bunch of the red label. If this is normal, then ok, I can deal with it. But if it isn’t, I will stick with the High & Dry. I even compared the two hackles, and the H&D hackle stood straight up and was nice and uniformed, but the red label looked like a star burst.
I almost have to place the red label hackle on backwards to get it to look decent.February 7, 2018 at 9:39 am #7832
I have not tried red label but have a suggestion.
After tying in the hackle stem but before wrapping it dub a VERY little bit of fur in the thorax area of the fly. Just slightly fuzzy thread – no more. I’ve found that hackle looks better when I wrap it over a base of dubbing like this rather than over a bare hook or thread wraps. I learned this trick back in the Stone Age when all I could afford was cheap neck hackle, before quality necks from Whiting, Metz, etc were available.
Hope this helps, Scotty.February 7, 2018 at 1:53 pm #7833
I wish I knew how to post pictures, that way you can see what’s happening. The hackle isn’t too long, it’s like 1 1/2 the size of the gap.
The barbs seem to be a little stiffer, just a little bit, and as for the number of barbs, just by looking at it, because I sure a heck aint gonna count them, looks like there may be a little more than the H&D series from Whiting.
Tonight I’m going to try a different saddle. The brown saddle seems to do the same thing, but not as bad. I will try my others and my cape and see what happens.February 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm #7834
I suck it up and buy the higher grade hackle. Not happy about it but it does make nice flies.February 7, 2018 at 5:31 pm #7835
These were $60 each. Right now, not happy.February 8, 2018 at 10:29 am #7837February 8, 2018 at 1:52 pm #7840
Thanks for the link, Creek. The Whiting “cape tops” for $5.50 are a steal – I tie a lot of little bugs.February 8, 2018 at 2:04 pm #7842
I could save a lot of money if I tied small flies, but I can’t see the little buggers on the water.February 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm #7846
Ok, I’m happy again. I found that feathers/hackle, is a lot like our hair/beards. Some grow a little different in directions, so they may need coaxing to get to lay right. So I have found that I can turn the feather around backwards and wrap it like normal, and it looks ok. I can also slow down and stroke and hold the barbs back and that does really well.
It’s rare that you get a saddle or cape from Whiting and it doesn’t want to wrap like it should, but I guess it does happen. I have used only Whiting products for the past few years trying out and seeing what I like best, and I like Whiting the best. I would still like to order from Collins Hackle, because I hear it’s really good, and a lot cheaper than the other brands. And the owner does it old school where you can send him a letter, or call him and tell him what sizes you are tying and what colors you want, and he will set you up. Just send a check. Plus, when you order a cape, you also get the saddle for free.
I found this from another forum.
I figure it’s worth a try.
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