Its been some time since I've posted anything on here but that doesn't mean I went anywhere! I recently bought a commercial grab bag from Collins Hackle Farm and I figured I would give all of you some pictures and some observations, good and bad, since dry fly hackle is a topic that seems to overwhelm many. I am in no way affiliated with Collins, and am not here to advertise. just an honest review. Here we go.
Price of this grab bag is seriously low, $60 to be exact. Youll never be able to find four necks for this price. Although they are of a color of his choice, Charlie will never choose a color that you wont use often. the colors are very vivid and lifelike, and I'm the most impressed with the barred dun. The Picture of that neck doesn't do it justice. Super Buggy. Next, feather length. The length of the feathers on these necks are decent. Size 18-20 seems to be the smallest feather of a usable length. However, the feather length increases more exponentially than any other neck ive seen and by the time youre in #16, the feather is more than long enough to handle. Barb stiffness is very nice, comparable to metz or whiting. Stem flexibility is just the same. One thing I will point out is the barb density on each feather IS slightly lower than the top of the line. The same goes for feather density of the neck. just a bit below the rest. Web in the smaller sizes is no issue with these necks at all. If you're a large drake or hex tyer, youll be very pleased with these necks because of the very small portion of web that the larger sizes have. Over 3/4 of the larger feathers are web free.
So I'm sure youll read this and think "wow that's just an OK review", but one thing to keep in mind is that this is the COMMERCIAL grab bag. Essentially, this is the lowest grade that he carries. For 15 bucks a pop, these things will not let you down and will provide you with tons of utilizable feathers. Ive never ordered any of his high grade stuff because of how much I like this deal. I cant imagine what his high grade stuff is like. I have been very pleased with the customer service as well. I sent my payment out on Thursday, and received it the following Monday. reasonable shipping costs. I will continue to buy from them as long as I tie. If anyone has any questions, let me know.