what is the difference in hackle grades?

Don't worry about that stuff right now. Go buy some cheap, strung, long-ish hackles. You don't need anything fancy for woolly buggers.

Hackles come in sizes too, by the way.


Active Member
Hackle grading really becomes an issue in smaller dry flies. For buggers it really depends on the size. Are you talking size 8 to 12, or bigger? I tie all size ranges and find that a even a bronze/grade 3 Bass/saltwater neck will give me everything I need, and they aren't expensive. If you only tie the little guys, you may find yourself with lots of left over feathers if you don't tie other feather based streamers. You can get by with only black feathers for Black, olive, and brown buggers, so don't feel the need to buy 3 kinds of hackles. For Buggers words like "chinese" shouldn't frighten you, but for dries run like hell!

This guy is kind of old school, and not up to accepted "internet standards" but he has some great stuff at great prices. http://www.eflytyer.com/