Dry fly necks

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by troutpocket, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. troutpocket Active Member

    Posts: 1,785
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +335 / 0
    I've been tying for around 6 months and would like to get into dries. I've focussed on nymphs/leeches/streamers to this point. I don't have loads of $$ to throw at hackle. I'm looking at two options through cabelas: the Metz multi-packs at around $30 for three small patches of hackle (around 300 feathers total in three colors) or the cabelas full dry fly necks at $20/ea.

    Has anyone used the cabelas necks and what did you think of them? Is it worth the extra $$ to use Metz/Whiting/Keough necks?

  2. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,822
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,731 / 0
    I have bought the quarter saddle by Whiting. There are enough feathers there to keep you going for a long time. I've had mine about three years now and it is only half used. I also buy some of the cheaper ones because those feathers are just a little bigger. For Wooly Buggers.

    The quarter saddle's run about $15.00 to $18.00,depends where you buy them at.. And are sized to the size of the fly you want to tie. Just a thought.

  3. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,694
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +249 / 1
    >Is it worth the extra $$ to use
    >Metz/Whiting/Keough necks?

    In a word. Yes. Given the astounding improvements through a focused genetic program the lowly chicken has been transformed into a feather factory aimed straight at the fly tier.
    It is important to remember that it is no longer necessary to purchase necks to get the qualities that you want. The best bang for the buck is now in saddles. As indicated by Old Man saddles can be purchased in quarters, halves and whole.
    Everything about these feathers is far better for hackling than cheap (low quality) necks. You will be able to get more flies per feather, more feathers per area of skin patch, the flies will float better, be easier to tie and look better. There is still a place for cheap necks from India and China (I use them all the time for wings) but it is not in the standard dry trout hackles that I imagine you are refering to.

    For an overview of the evolution of hackles take a look here.
  4. Canedawg Member

    Posts: 203
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Another option might be

    to buy Cabelas' Micro pack of Whiting feathers. They are $11 per package and are enough to tie around 100 flies. They come in 12# thru 18#,and have all the major colors. I have some and it is great hackle at a reasonable price. Also you can build your inventory over time.
  5. troutpocket Active Member

    Posts: 1,785
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +335 / 0
    Thanks all for the tips. Now to decide whether to spend a few extra bucks to get the whiting "silver" grade or stick with the cheapest "bronze".

  6. willieboat Member

    Posts: 444
    Lacey, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I think that you should answer the following: Am I going to be tying dry flys in size 16 or smaller? If the answer is no, you want to go with the cheaper necks. As a new tier you just might not tie size 16 to 20 very often. Without a doubt, top quality hackle give you a better fly, mainly because they are long and stiff. Often with some of the cheaper stuff, you will have to use two feathers for a bushy fly, such as a humpy.
    Spend your cash on top quality hooks!!
  7. Tom Hawkins Newbie is fine w/me, I havent been FFing too long

    Posts: 60
    Oak Harbor, WA (on Whidbey Island)
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hook and Hackle is having a terrific sale at this very moment.......
  8. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,743
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Local Breeder

    I've been getting some great hackle from a local breeder over in Elk, WA. No twisting when wrapped and great barb count, excellent stiffnes in the barbs. He only deals with tiers, no middle man. His website is www.conranch.com. I have no interest in Conranch, other than he provides great hackle at reasonable prices, plus he and his daughter are a delight to share a stream with.

  9. Scott Behn Active Member

    Posts: 1,201
    Lk Stevens, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for the information there Ron...I think that perhaps they'll have a new customer.
  10. Warren Perry Grizzly 6

    Posts: 254
    Bow, New Hampshire, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have also had favorable experiences with Conranch hackle. The customer service is second to none!

    Grizzly 6