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  1. Hey all, I haven't done a lot of posting here, mostly because there has been so much information to soak up I haven't had time. But I appreciate everything discussed on this site, and can't tell you how much it has impacted my tying in a great way. I just started really tying this last spring in April or May, and so I'm slowing building up my repertoire and supplies. Ok, probably not as slowly as my wife would like, but hey, she likes that I have a great hobby. Anyways, the main point of this post is to do a little bragging on Collins Hackle. After reading so much about it here and on other sites, I decided I needed to call the man and talk to him. So I did, and we had a great conversation, and I sent in an order for 4 #3 capes. A grizzly, a dark barred ginger, a barred dun, and a brown. The grizzly is incredibly awesome to say the least. Hackle length is good, quality is outstanding. I've tied with a few bronze and high & dry capes from Whitings, as well as a #2 Metz, so I have those to compare it to. The brown cape was unusual in that the smaller sizes (14-18) are quite small in overall feather length. You grab one that looks like it should be a 14, and when you check the hackle length it is much longer, sometimes even a 10. But again, great quality, color, and wrap-ability. The barred dun and the barred ginger were pretty much the same in quality and feather amounts. They had the least amount of smaller feathers, but those feathers were very good, and true to form. The saddles all ranged from 10-14 mostly in size, but a lot of variability in some of the feathers themselves, meaning it could go from a 14 to a 10 in the same feather. But like most people already know, he doesn't care about the saddles. Still usable for sure though! Definitely could see that his grizzly capes are the highest quality of what he produces. One thing that I want to know is the lack of twist when using a hackle. I was really impressed with how well they went on the hook. Better I think than any of the other breeder's capes that I mentioned before. Here are a few pictures of the hackle, and some flies I tied with it. In the picture with the big group of flies, I used my whiting's capes for the parachute Adams and Purple Haze, as I had tied those before I got the capes from Collins. However, I used the barred dun from Collins for the gray haze cripple. I highly recommend these capes to others.
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