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scotty macfly

Collins and Ewing Hackle

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I checked to see if this has been asked, and I have a feeling it has, but I couldn't find it.

 

Has anyone tied flies with Collins or Ewing hackle brands? These are two brands I am unfamiliar with because I have never seen them here where I live. If anyone has used them, how do they compare with Whiting for quality. I have read each companies web site, but naturally they are trying to sell their product, so of course they will talk it up on their product. I would like unbiased honesty.

 

What I did like was Collins offers both cape and saddle together at the same price as a cape or saddle separately from the other brands. And a return policy that seems very good. So you get more for your money and a good warranty.

 

Any advice on these brands will be appreciated very much.

 

Thank you.

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I've been tying with Charlie Collins' hackle for a long time and would highly recommend his product. His capes may not be quite as good as Whiting, but still excellent quality and he has a fantastic color selection, natural and dyed. The saddles I've found to be decent, usually something I'll use on foam flies where the hackle won't be counted on so much for floatation.

No experience with the Ewing hackle.

 

Regards,

Scott

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The best thing about Collins' birds is the range of natural colours (which I prefer.) Charlie also has some nicely-dyed skins (especially his dyed-barred). Feather count seems to be a bit less than Whiting, but the difference in cost more than covers that difference. I am especially fond of Collins' hen capes.

 

I use Ewing Deceiver Patch feathers almost exclusively for streamer wings, for which they are superb. They are nicely-shaped (triangular and pointy rather than rounded) and uniformly flat- I don't remember ever finding a twisted stem on a Ewing skin.

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Have both and they both work very well. I have several capes from Collins and they wrap well, and I also bought every color of tailing packs that he had. You'll do some sorting but they also work well. My Ewing is a Saddle and it wraps very well. I also have a lot of the Conranch hackle but haven't gotten any from the guy who purchased it (Clearwater Hackle).

 

I have a bunch of Whiting as the shop I took lessons at sold it, and even though the tying lessons were free we got good deals on materials. This was before the fashion hackle fiasco, so when I had extra I bought hackle.

 

I know Denny sold off all the hackle he had before the sale. He posted on FAOL about needing a really natural piece of elk in a certain shade and I had a chunk and I told him I'd send it to him as he had always sent a little extra when I ordered. He kept up with what can I send in trade and I kept telling him not a problem, well one time being a smart a$$ I said fine surprise me!!! This is what he sent me!!!! there are lots of different shades of feathers on it and they wrap well.

 

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I tie flies for fishing not displays, my dries float just as good and my wet hackle flares just as well using Non-Whiting products. If the pattern I'm tying calls for a shade of hackle I only have in Whiting then thats what gets used.

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I'm another Collins fan. I've been using his capes almost exclusively for 5 or 6 years. Once I got all the basic colors from Collins, I gave away my other capes. I still have one Herbert Miner cape and a few 100 packs of Whiting saddles, but that's it.

 

Now, let's be clear, Whiting is the best. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is ... well we won't go into that. The problem is, Whiting is also the most expensive, and, for most of us, overkill. If you tie commercially, hundreds of flies a week, and go through 2 or 3 capes every year, then Whiting is the way to go. More flies per feather, more feathers per cape, mean the cost per fly is just about the lowest there is.

 

It's just that I don't tie that many flies. My Collins' capes will last me for years, so the lower initial outlay is a strong argument. The quality, especially his barred capes, is very good.

 

Ewing hackles are also very good. I have used them in the past, and if you decide to go that way, I don't think you will be disappointed. I will add that Bill Keough also produces a very nice hackle.

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I have no experience with Ewing hackle, but Collins does produce a nice product at a more affordable price point than Whiting. To add to phg's final remark, Keough hackles are nice, though they may be fairly short with quite a variance in length cape to cape, but they wrap quite easily, the barb stiffness is superb, and the smaller size feathers can be excellent on certain capes if you tie down into 22-26.

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