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Cheap Hackle Help

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Hay guys I was just wondering if you have any discount fly tying material resources. I find my wallet is always a little lighter every time I purchase something. So I decided to see what you guys think, and I know when I was starting out these posts always helped me. So anyway what are your resources?

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Is the question for "cheap hackle" or "discount materials"?

 

 

For hackle get the whiting introduction pack for about $60.

 

 

For materials check out fly tyers dungeon and your local big box craft stores. There's a wealth of tying materials in a craft store

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Check out Ebay. There are some real deals on there, but do your homework to avoid being screwed. Always check shipping prices as well. Also, bear in mind that a lot of synthetic materials are manufactured for other uses than fly tying, and you can often find them at a fraction of fly shop prices. I don't like paying any more than I have to, so I do a lot of digging, and it seems like I'm always finding something. Norm's suggestions of FTD and craft stores are excellent.

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Those of us who have been tying for a long time likely have several sources we use. I know I do. Depends on what I need at the time.

 

What type of hackle do you need? I can agree with flytire if you're tying trout flies, but not if a $4 pack of strung saddle is what you need to tie bass or saltwater flies.

 

If you're tying is diverse, then get used to the lighter wallet. If you're intention is to only be cheap, then stop tying & buy your flies. It's way cheaper, but certainly not as much fun & will limit the patterns you can get. You have to pay to play!

 

There are deals around, but you have to look for them. Like Peter said, Ebay is a good source, however, you need to know what you're buying there & how much it's really worth. Just as as example, I bought a nice looking black saddle several months back. Paid less than $20 for it with shipping. The seller listed it as a dry fly saddle. If I had been looking for dry fly hackle, it was not a good deal because the hackle was not dry fly quality. However, I don't tie dry flies, and wanted it for Woolly Buggers. It was a great deal for my intentions.

 

Do some searching & find several online fly shops that carry the type of materials you use most. Sign up for email notices about shop events & sales. The site sponsor, JStockard is a good source & sends out such emails. They carry some materials I like & when they go on sale, I stock up. Plus, I'll sometimes see items they have on sale that I don't really need, but buy a few anyway just to add to my stock at a lower price. Saves on some shipping when I buy this way too. I'm still spending, but in the long run, I save a few bucks.

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Those of us who have been tying for a long time likely have several sources we use. I know I do. Depends on what I need at the time.

 

What type of hackle do you need? I can agree with flytire if you're tying trout flies, but not if a $4 pack of strung saddle is what you need to tie bass or saltwater flies.

 

If you're tying is diverse, then get used to the lighter wallet. If you're intention is to only be cheap, then stop tying & buy your flies. It's way cheaper, but certainly not as much fun & will limit the patterns you can get. You have to pay to play!

 

There are deals around, but you have to look for them. Like Peter said, Ebay is a good source, however, you need to know what you're buying there & how much it's really worth. Just as as example, I bought a nice looking black saddle several months back. Paid less than $20 for it with shipping. The seller listed it as a dry fly saddle. If I had been looking for dry fly hackle, it was not a good deal because the hackle was not dry fly quality. However, I don't tie dry flies, and wanted it for Woolly Buggers. It was a great deal for my intentions.

 

Do some searching & find several online fly shops that carry the type of materials you use most. Sign up for email notices about shop events & sales. The site sponsor, JStockard is a good source & sends out such emails. They carry some materials I like & when they go on sale, I stock up. Plus, I'll sometimes see items they have on sale that I don't really need, but buy a few anyway just to add to my stock at a lower price. Saves on some shipping when I buy this way too. I'm still spending, but in the long run, I save a few bucks.

Thanks And I'm looking for some wet hackle, I have a couple dry saddles. I've had some success with ebay, I bought a whole rabit pelt (no face though) I got it for 5.30 cents that's including shipping. I'm planning to dye it and cut into sinker stripes.

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for wet flies nothing is cheaper then going out and shooting a few starlings with the BB gun and then if you want you can hunt partridge and quail and get a nice dinner to go with your tying materials also if you have friends with chickens you can sometimes talk them into butchering a hen and skinning it for you

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Nothing beats guns and road kill. I kid you not, when I open the back door you won't see a squirel for hours now.

 

I tie a lot of hair type flys so I know I can use a large bunch. Do some web searches and you will find trappers selling pelts like coffin furs or Moscow mule and hide. I use woodchuck for my tails so I bought a full pelt that was not suitable for taxidermy for real cheap.

 

eBay is cool too. I might buy the whole large auction just because I see an item and then resell it. You don't make money but you get the item you want. But watch what you are buying and do some homework before purchasing. Usually if the guy selling is a tier then you won't have a problem, usually. Watch out for the mass marketers of items.

 

 

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Most upland game birds are good sources of soft (wet fly) hackle. Pheasants, Quail, Partridge, Grouse and even breast and flank from most ducks can be used as wet fly hackle. Hen chicken necks, and saddles are not all that expensive (compared to dry fly hackle.) Under feathers from most birds make an excellent marabou feather. I use marabou from wild turkey (domestic turkey is where the rest of it comes from,) and pheasant, as well a quail or grouse.

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http://www.barlowstackle.com/Hen-Saddle-Patches-P2209C152.aspx

 

the hen patches are really great. the feathers are mostly all the same size. Nice colors and dyed as well

 

 

Same site but the streamer necks are cheap too and i love the ginger and silver doctor blue. they have a natural barred i would like to try.

 

http://www.barlowstackle.com/-Streamer-Rooster-Necks-P1105C152.aspx

 

and

 

http://www.barlowstackle.com/Indian-Rooster-Saddle-Patches-P2203C152.aspx

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Nine times out of ten when you buy cheap you get cheap. The necks I get I don't have to worry about infectious capes that would ruin my materials I have on hand. Check out your local shop first then the internet you might get cheaper necks. Good luck.....

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Thank you everybody for the help, I realize if I buy inexpensive materials I risk the chance of bad mats. What I was meaning was if you guys had any sites that had materials that where a little less money but same quality.

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Many wet flies, and nymphs can be tied with hen hackle, hen saddle, and body plumage from many birds like pheasant, quail, grouse, partridge etc. None of these materials are all that expensive. Look at Hook & Hackle for some imported hen or rooster necks, they are well priced.

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I was going to say there is no such thing as cheap quality hackle. I bought a cheap cape off of eBay, the feathers were good but I only got around 50 or so. The saddle was $10 my $50 Whiting Cape had 10x the feathers .... Spend the money you won't be disappointed .....

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Any hackle we buy can possibly be contaminated with vermin. That would depend on how well it's prepared & handled. Has nothing to do with the price, or the brand, as it's always possible to get contaminated after it leaves the supplier. I've had packaged materials arrive with either the bag opened, or with staple holes in the bag. This makes it possible to get contaminated while in transit. It only takes a tiny hole in a plastic bag to allow moths or other vermin to get into materials.

 

 

I make a point of keeping new materials, regardless of price, away from older supplies & I'll stick new materials in the freezer when it arrives. The price we pay has nothing to do with contamination.

 

Generally, if you buy materials from an established seller, one who has been around awhile, like the site sponsor JStockard, you'll have no problems. If you buy from sellers who process barn yard type materials, & they also take the necessary precautions to minimize the possibility of contamination, then problems will also be few. However, you do not know when you buy, so unless the material already shows signs of a problem when it arrives, take the time to make sure. Keep it separate, make sure it's in a sealed bag, and a few days in a freezer won't hurt it.

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Colinda has given you some good links to pictures of just what you need. For wet fly hackle, quality is NOT a big issue. Almost any hackle will work. Hen necks and saddles from any supplier will be pretty much the same. They will be fine, just shop for the best price, although there isn't more than 75 cents difference from one shop to another.

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