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Thread: Dry Fly Hackles

  1. #1
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    Question Dry Fly Hackles

    There are obviously a lot of dry fly fishermen on this forum so I imagine that many of you use quality genetic hackles (Metz, Whiting, etc) for your flies. Unfortunately 90% of my fishing is with the nymph so I don't use dries that often. I therefore struggle to justify spending big money on genetic capes.

    1. Any tips on acquiring cheaper capes or getting away with lesser quality in your flies?

    2. What do you use?

  2. #2
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    I managed to pick up a bunch of hen hackle capes a while agao. They are what I use for my nymphs, they were really cheap, R10 bucks a pop, I must have 20 of them... I'll look at them tonight, and see if they were branded...
    Mike McKeown

    You're either fishing or waiting...

  3. #3
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    Kevin

    Whiting feathers produce packets of hackles called "100's". These packets contain enough super saddle hackles to tie one hundred flies. They are also classified according to size, so you can buy say enough hackle for 100 size 18 black parachutes. I am guessing, but I think that you could get these for about R 100 per packet, so each fly will work out at roughly R 1.

    Another option is to look at the Hareline Flytyer's Choice capes. No idea on price and local availability, but the quality is reasonably good.

    Personally I only use the Super Saddles nowadays. I buy half a cape at a time and just select the capes with smaller sized hackles. The only drawback on these Super Saddles is that you very rarely find feathers as small as size twenty. For these really small patterns you will need a high quality dry fly cape.

    Hope this helps.
    MC

  4. #4
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    The Whiting’s 100’s are definitely very nice option to use and also the option of half capes. Using good quality hackle makes a big difference on the enjoyment of tying small dries.

    I was sitting in the same position as yourself, mainly nymph fishing but wanting a reasonable quality cape for the occasional dry. I was pretty lucky as one of the tackle shops had gotten some Keogh Genetic capes in at a good price last year, R170 a cape instead of the usual R250, so I bought a few of those. They not as good as the Whiting’s (though nothing is better than Whitings) but for me they are fine considering the small amount of dries that I tie.

    One thing to remember with Whiting Capes, as you can tie more than one fly with a single hackle, if you reuse your hackle it works out cheaper than say a Keogh cape, but if you tend to throw away the remaining usable hackle after each fly it will work out way more expensive

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, I can get a Metz grade 3 half cape at a fairly decent price through mail order. But I won't have the chance to inspect it. You reckon that grade 3 is OK?

  6. #6
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    Kevin, take a look a the following link http://www.hookhack.com/flytiershints.html

    There is some very interesting readin regarding capes, jsut make sure you scroll the whole way through as there are lots of article on capes, not jsut the first few.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Gael, the "Hoffman Hackle Study" link sure is interesting. Sounds like Whiting are head and shoulders above the rest and Metz are on the slide. I'll have a full read when I get some time.

  8. #8
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    Got myself a Metz grade 3 grizzly half cape by mail order, waiting for it to arrive. I'm looking to get a brown Metz microbarb saddle grade 2 as they are available at my local shop. Unfortunately Metz seem to have a stranglehold in NZ through their association with Umpqua so there is not much Whitings around. But I'm keeping my eyes open.

    Grizzle and brown should account for 90% of my needs so will be able to retire the tatty old indian capes.

  9. #9
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    Your grade 3 will be more than adequate for your needs Kevin. I would imagine that you wont be going much smaller than 16, and this should be fine. Incidentally, I tied a few dries on sixe 18 hooks the other day that took on the proportions of a sixe 14, so long were the hackles, but they proved to be very effective. I never dropped a single fish!
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

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