What saddle for dry flies ?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by mrgando, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. mrgando

    mrgando Member

    Hi guys , I wanted to know what brand of saddle do you use for tying dry flies ?

    I think metz is really popular , but the metz neck #1 is like 68 USD , do you guys buy that or there are good cheaper alternatives?

    I mostly tie my dries in #12 and #14... :)

  2. Charlie S

    Charlie S Confrimed Reprobate

    Whiting, Whiting, Whiting.......with the quality and number of hackles in the same size range there is no equal.
  3. Norm Frechette

    Norm Frechette Googlemeister

    why only a saddle? why not necks/capes??

    there really is no good alternative to good quality hackle.

    metz, collins hackle, conranch hackle are all good quality hackle but whiting is the best
  4. mrgando

    mrgando Member

    What's the difference between necks capes saddle ?
  5. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

    Look at the feathers available on a quality cape vs a quality saddle and it will be pretty immediately apparent. For me, the cape comes out when I need some really micro hackles for something like a #24 shellback midge emerger, or when I need hackles with a nice taper for palmering. Saddles have very long consistent-width feathers that are great for most other dry fly applications whether it be parachutes or standard hackles, but I've had trouble finding any that have a good number of true micro hackles on a saddle.

    I'm a Whiting guy - just the highest quality I've found when compared with the other top breeders. Read something somewhere about how they had to breed the roosters with longer legs because the saddles were brushing the ground... just awesome. Yeah, they're not cheap, but they can last for a long time.

    Edit: oh, I bought a Metz grizzly cape the other day cuz it was cheap and I just wanted some cheaper "pretty good but not super great" feathers to use as parr marks in baitfish patterns. It was killing me that my first shock-n-awes had feathers from a Whiting Gold cape in them.
  6. trevally

    trevally New Member

    Whiting, Whiting, Whiting...

    Capes or necks have the widest range of sizes (roughly sz.8-24)

    Saddle feathers are usually longer and the barbs are more uniform in length from the butt end of the feather to the tip. However, the size range usually only covers the standard sizes (sz.12-18) unless you get a specialized saddle (Midge saddle for example).
  7. mrgando

    mrgando Member

    Cool :) thanks for the info guys. Does anyone have some online retailer that has decent price on Whiting stuff ??? :)

    Thanks again
  8. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    A number 1 grade Whiting saddle feather will tie about a dozen flies. For day in day out use, a good saddle is the way to go in my opinion.
  9. Whiting stuff is rarely discounted, in my experience, so any online retailer will be selling it for about the same price. I would go with a large online dealer if you want to make sure you can get an order sent to you in Chile. Since you are going to be ordering, I also would recommend Whiting, because the quality control is so high. In some other brands, it helps to be able to examine all the capes or hackles in the shop to pick out the best ones, but Whitings tend to be quite consistent.

    You don't need a 'Gold' cape or saddle to get perfectly good feathers for tying dries. The length and density of feathers on a cape or saddle is the main difference between bronze, silver, and gold rated skins from Whiting. The cost of the cape goes up faster as you go from bronze to gold, than does the number and quality of feathers (again my limited experience). I tie mostly with bronze and silver rated capes.

    I buy capes (rather than saddles) mostly because I do not do production fly tying and I tie in a broad range of sizes. As someone else pointed out saddles are great if you are tying a limited range of sizes. If you are tying mostly size 12-14, you might be better off using saddles.

  10. bjkhred

    bjkhred no longer new to board

    Whiting is the best however if you need something cheaper right now- The Avid Angler has 5 Keough dry fly capes for $19 apiece available. Black, med dun, and ginger. Sizes are about #10-#24. They don't have nearly the number of feathers as a whiting cape but for a quarter of the price they are worth it.
  11. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

    I would buy a cheaper cape if you're just getting into tying. You can go w/ a half cape or a quarter cape if you absolutely have to have Whiting, but you can get stuff that will serve you well for cheaper. Find out if you like tying before dropping serious coin. Grizzly is a great all-around hackle to begin with.
  12. Nueces

    Nueces New Member

    One thing to consider is the quality of the feathers really makes it easier to tie. They will make nice neat wraps and not "flare" out on you. So you get what you pay for.

    With that in mind, the 100 packs of the Whiting still work pretty good. If you are set on tying just one size, you can order a pack of these that will tie just that size. You have less waste (if you are not going to tie any other sizes).

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