Prefered Hackle

The Forum is Closed. Forums The Hatch Prefered Hackle

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  PurpleMayflyHatch 2 years, 1 month ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    For all you tiers out there who know hackle far more than I do, ( which I would bet is all of you ) What is your preferred hackle brand. The brands I am aware of mostly are Whiting, Metz and Keough. I like the Whiting the best followed by Keough because they seem very similar in quality to me. I don’t like Metz all that well. One of the things I like about Whiting is that they have Mayfly Winger Patches which work great for wings for the Adams and others as well.

    But recently other brands have come into view, Ewing and Collins. What I like about Collins is you get the cape and saddle together at no extra charge. So it’s like getting a saddle for free. They also have a really nice warranty that if you don’t like their product for any reason, just return it for a full refund no questions asked. But I have never seen it here in Colorado.

    Has anyone here used either Collins or Ewing hackle? I am interested how they compare to Whiting in quality.



    I have a Collins neck & saddle (barred ginger) from maybe 20 years ago. Decent neck, only a few saddle hackles suitable for even salmon-size dries. I know that says little about their current quality.

    I like Whiting 100’s for virtually all my hackled dries. They tend to run a size large – when they say #18 it’s often (but not always) #16. Otherwise they’re great IMO.



    Whiting for stiff fibers and long feathers. I have Metz from over 30 years ago that I still use on #16’s and larger. I don’t always want the stiffest hackle on some flies. Today, its not so much the brand as it is the neck itself. I like to see and touch before I buy, so no necks through the mail. They’ve come a long way, and today’s genetic hackle is second to none, all of the top breeders.

    Kinda funny, a long-time friend and I were discussing hackles earlier. We are sure that really, all anybody needs is one good grizzly. It will work for any pattern, and is used the most by both of us. We said this as we were thumbing though our accumulated brown, white, cream, ginger, orange, light dun, medium dun, dark dun, black, yellow died grizzly, olive grizzly, and other assorted, needless necks we have “wasted” hundreds of dollars on over the decades. What a crazy addiction. Hell, we agreed we could have saved all the money we spent on hackle over the years and bought hundreds of premium flies from the best tiers in the country and never had to squint, cuss, complain about light, or kill our backs tying the same bugs.

    We looked though our thousands of dry flies in boxes and bins, and the ones with hackle would all work just fine with grizz. But, what fun would that be?


    Scotty MacFly

    Grsdlnr, I have noticed the same thing with the 100’s that the size runs large. I really don’t like that because it defeats the purpose of tying the size I need.

    You have a good point Lightline about grizz being the one hackle that is used so much. I use it more than any other type, but I tie just a few flies that have given me good success. I think I only tie a dozen different flies, and some are nymphs I sell to guy’s I work with and to my nephew. As for dries with hackle, off the top of my head, I tie maybe eight different patterns. And the grizz hackle is used most.

    I also have noticed that even from others I have talked with, they have hackle that they have bought years ago. I do wonder how the quality has changed since then.


    I know this is an old thread but I just love good hackle.

    Whiting saddles for me. But you do need to have a good look before buying, sometimes they don’t have a great variety of sizes per saddle.
    I compensate for the lack of good tailing feathers by using moose mane for most of my mayfly patterns.


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