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The Feather Emporium

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5 minutes ago, Rjohn7 said:

if I followed that rule I'd never buy anything.  I don't even think there is a shop close enough for me to shop in person.  there used to be one about an hour away and its now closed.  I tend to buy from people that if it doesn't meet my requirements for quality I can send it back.  I also tend to only buy the high end stuff (grey peacock pheasant hides,  blue eared pheasant hides or anything over $500) from people who will take very very good photos for me until I am satisfied.  even over $250 I expect a couple of good photos at the minimum of the specific hide.   This shouldn't be too unusual.

There are 3  reason I never buy hackle I cannot examine

The first reason is that hackle can be under or over graded.

The second reason is that without examining the hackle, you cannot really tell the distribution of the sizes hackle on the cape or saddle.

The third reason is that you can't see the color accurately even in a photo. I take the cape or saddle outside and examine it in the sunlight.

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11 minutes ago, SilverCreek said:

There are 3  reason I never buy hackle I cannot examine

The first reason is that hackle can be under or over graded.

The second reason is that without examining the hackle, you cannot really tell the distribution of the sizes hackle on the cape or saddle.

The third reason is that you can't see the color accurately even in a photo. I take the cape or saddle outside and examine it in the sunlight.

all great points if you have that option  I do not.   I tend to buy hides,  and there is no standard grading for them,  and each feather type must be examined carefully by its own standard.   I would love to be able to go into a shop and find full hides or hard to find types.  Its just not an option I have.  If I was buying capes that I could just go to a shop and examine that is what I would do.  Do not forget I do have the option after I examine them of sending anything that does not meet my standards back.   I have done that on a melanistic pheasant hide that was not the quality I was looking for. 

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I placed  an order with FE last summer even though I knew it was iffy reading all the reviews. Same problem with the shopping cart, so I phoned him, placed my order ( 8 saddles) and paid over the phone, 6 days later my cc got charged so I figured the order is on its way. 2 months went by and still didn't get my feathers so I phoned FE with no answer and could not leave a message because the voicemail was full. 3 days and 20 unanswered phone calls later I got my feathers--weird, I'm happy with all the saddles I ordered. What pissed me off wasn't the 2 1/2 months to get my order but not being able to reach Dave in any way to even see if the order was shipped, that was so frustrating!! Ill try to avoid FE from now on.

As Rjohn7 said, I'm 1500 miles away from the nearest fly shop. So all my materials are ordered online including hackle, all fly shops will refund your money or exchange the hackle if you are not happy. Even the odd times I go on holidays and able to go to a shop, they usually don't have the hackle I'm looking for and told it will be a special order (still sight unseen). That's the nice thing about the internet, just need to do a search and you'll find what you're looking for, reach out and ask for more pics, questions ,phone them up and tell them what you're looking for, they will help you. Twice I returned hackle I was not satisfied with and got full refunds.

 

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I can't speak for a lot of stuff to get over the internet, but if hackle is what you need...Charlie Collins of Collins Hackle Farm is A#1. Great prices on his hackle and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. He is a super guy.

And of course I use John McLain of FeathersMc for my salmon fly materials...none better.

Feather Emporium...for me...problematic once, but never twice.

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30 minutes ago, SalarMan said:

Charlie Collins of Collins Hackle Farm is A#1

I agree nice stuff, he didn't do international orders (Canada) for the longest time, now he does but with no guarantee so per is web page.

Saddles are better for me than capes, ill tie 5 or 6 dz of the same fly in the same size at ounce, saddles are just more efficient for me, Whiting is my first choice than Metz. Unfortunately Collins saddles are not in most part dry fly quality.

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3 hours ago, upnorthtier said:

I agree nice stuff, he didn't do international orders (Canada) for the longest time, now he does but with no guarantee so per is web page.

Saddles are better for me than capes, ill tie 5 or 6 dz of the same fly in the same size at ounce, saddles are just more efficient for me, Whiting is my first choice than Metz. Unfortunately Collins saddles are not in most part dry fly quality.

I agree on the saddles from Charlie, but when it is included with his very fair price for a neck you can't go wrong. Plus the way he cuts the neck from the bird you get those super spade hackles for superb tailing material as well as tying Hewitt skaters. A product that is tough to beat and from one of the good guys.

By the way for those who are interested, he grades his necks by the quantity of feathers. They are all of equal quality.

And I will add I have no skin in this game...just a customer with GOOD experience here.

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I have bought feathers from David quite a few times and have not had a single problem. He's a one man show and you can easily call him

and ask for what you need. He had sent a different cape that I had asked for and I had it within days of when I returned it. I don't think you can find a more comprehensive selection of feathers anywhere.

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On 1/8/2022 at 9:07 AM, SalarMan said:

I agree on the saddles from Charlie, but when it is included with his very fair price for a neck you can't go wrong. Plus the way he cuts the neck from the bird you get those super spade hackles for superb tailing material as well as tying Hewitt skaters. A product that is tough to beat and from one of the good guys.

By the way for those who are interested, he grades his necks by the quantity of feathers. They are all of equal quality.

And I will add I have no skin in this game...just a customer with GOOD experience here.

"No skin in the game" So to speak. 😁

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5 minutes ago, Mark Knapp said:

"No skin in the game" So to speak. 😁

I'm glad someone get a chuckle out of my terminology 😎

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I placed an order with FE a couple weeks ago for flatwing feathers because they are really hard to find and no local fly shops carry them even though I live in striper central.  A local fly shop  recommended ordering from FE unsolicited and showed me some of the feathers he got there.  I had no problem with my order and got my feathers a couple days after ordering.  The quality of the feathers are pretty good and the price was very fair.  Just placed another order tonight.  

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I placed one order with FE about a year ago.  After waiting 2 weeks with nothing showing up, I called multiple times but could not leave a voicemail (I think the mailbox was full).  Then I emailed and I believe the emails bounced back. Then i did research on BBB and found a litany of complaints.  So I contested the charge through my credit card.  About a week later the product arrived and it was fine (this was about 3 weeks after my order was placed).  The next day he called and asked me if had a problem and why I had contested the charge and if I had received the product.  I explained what happened and that was that. There was no apology on his end, just a bit of indignance which was off-putting.  I love browsing the feather porn on his site, but am gun shy about ever ordering from him again.

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Hoped for the best and placed an order, took about a month and delivery was missing items.  Emails were just returned with excuses, filed with PayPal for a refund.  Quality was mid to poor, capes seem almost antique… spend just a smidge more at other places and get a better product run by a professional customer service oriented vendor… that’s what I’ll do from now on.  

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my recent order arrived in about a week. i will order again when i need more hackles

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