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Best 4 capes / saddles color for hackle?

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Pretty new to fly tying and I'm trying to build up my supply of dry hackle.

I have a very nice collection of wet hackle colors but for dry I'm pretty limited.

Mostly I'm looking for something things in the 10-24 range for size as well.

So to my quesiton.

What would be the best colors to purchase in both cape and saddles to give me the best options.

I've already settled on medium Dun as most have suggested, as well as natural Grizzly.

If you could only purchase 4 saddle/cape combos what would you get?

Just to let you know I'm freshwater only but I'll tie anything I can learn to.



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i saved a lot of money buying the whiting into pack. it came with 4 half capes. this set of feathers will tye a whole lot of flys and you get 4 different colors. cant beat the deal.

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for a new tyer i would also suggest the whiting intro pack


they might tie down to 24s but as a new tyer are you ready to go that small?





I'm not sure about 24s yet, but I have tied some Little Black Stonefly's at a 20 so far.

I about go blind... but I manage.



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For dries I would happily only use 3. Black, cree and barred ginger. I would stick to a cape as these have a wider size range with fewer of each size. A saddle will have a much narrower size feather but obviously nearly all feathers are that size. So if 12/14 were your 80% flies a saddle with that range would be much better. But if you want to try your hand at #10-#24 a cape might cover those. Pro grade or bronze whiting would be my fav.

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If I were to start over my first 6 capes would be (in order of preference):


medium dun



light ginger (maybe barred)


light dun (maybe barred)


a cream hen cape (preferably a "winger") would be nice for spinners

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I would stick with capes like some have stated, they will give you a wider variety of sizes per skin. I would go with the following colors:


1. Medium Dun

2. Grizzly

3. Light Ginger

4. Brown


With the Dun and Ginger I would try and get them in the barred variety, Collins hackle has some nice barred necks and you get the matching saddle with the purchase.



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For me hackle is the most impotent. For hackle for Wet files or even streamers i would go more away from hackle capes. I would get a chucker skin, a English Partridge a half or 1/4 grizzly saddle (for the price ) If you got money. but don't want to spend a lot of money. then buy one thing at a time.


This is what i would start with if i wanted to get some feathers.


Chucker skin- $24 's tops- They have nice small blue dun to drac k dun hackles


English Partage- for tails and colors $25-$30


1/2 or 14 grizzly saddle $25- $40 or maybe a 1/2 of a Grizzly Cape $25- $40


Some streamer capes from Barrows tackle for about $10 each they have Ginger, Nat, Barred, Furnace and Nat Brown and a ton of dyed colors for woolly buggers.


a Ringneck Present $12 to $14


These are what i would buy if i didn't know much about hackle . I hope this has helped you

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If capes are your thing i would go to a fly shop a but it there but the colors i like are


Ginger, Barred Ginger or any light to dark brown color



1. Any form of barred or light brown color Like a Barred Ginger


2. grizzly


3. light or bleached grizzly


4. black or dyed Black over white.


5. coupe of Hen necks in speckled brown and gray,


6. Cree if you can get it.


7. Any variant with colors like white, dun, brown badger hackles all on one cape.


variants capes are a great vale cuzz you may get meany colors all one 1 cape


if i was trying to get 3 capes it would be


1. Cree


2. Any form of Grizzly


3. variant


hope this helps you out :)






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