I'm not really a beginner, because I have been tying since about 1987, but I've been very off and on over the years--intense all-day-everyday spells alternating with everything gathering dust in a plastic storage bin for years. As I have been acquiring materials again over the past several years, the one nagging issue is the cost of hackle.
Clearly it has gotten much more expensive. The old Metz capes I have still have like a 12.95 sticker on them. And I know this topic is covered ad nauseam. Even so, after relentless googling I just can't figure out the best approach that won't break the bank.
I want to tie mainly dries, size 12 and as small as 24. A cape will have some 24s on it but not many (correct me if I am wrong). A saddle will mainly have a narrower range of sizes. So if I am out to spend, say 150 bucks, and to replace my old moth-eaten Metz capes, is the best approach to start with a full Whiting brown cape, a full Whiting grizzly cape, and a couple Whiting 100s in midge sizes? I saw a Cree on ebay for 140 but I'm not sure about all the cree hype. I do like to tie small.
I don't really want to buy half cape starter packs because I will be doing this way past my mid life and want to have the stock. So bronze grade?
I do apologize if this is annoyingly simplistic to all of you who regularly shop for materials, but I would appreciate the guidance.
Thanks in adavnce. I mostly lurk but you guys are the best source of info on the net.