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Neck Hackles

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Rooster, touch kids forehead.  

Pullet, touch kids nose.

Hen, touch kids chin.

Repeat. 

Go back and touch kids nose and ask.  “What’s that?”

Kid says “Pull it!”

Grab nose with fingers and show thumb sticking thru as the nose...”You said pull it”

One kid said “chicken?” 😝

Yall no fun.....

36DAB937-E2C0-433B-A2DF-C7D43A94C311.png

4588D139-1D4B-4180-8CBF-82B8E32B8120.png

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11 hours ago, redietz said:

Those appear to be saddles, not necks.

 

They are saddles but they show the improvement in hackles.

I actually prefer saddles because I have found that the very small and very large hackles on necks are wasted and never used. A single saddle hackle will tie 3-4 dry flies and you but the saddle with the size hackles you want. Generally they have a lot of 2 sizes and some one size smaller and one size larger. I tie mostly size 12 to 18 flies so a saddle centered on size 14/16 is perfect for my needs.

 

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Years back on occasion I would find " Strung Saddle Hackles" at a shop in Milw. Wis.. That was a hit and miss deal as to finding the right size to fit your needs. I like Silver tie mostly 12-18 size flies. Does anyone know of a good source for the saddles we are talking about?   

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10 hours ago, SilverCreek said:

They are saddles but they show the improvement in hackles.

I actually prefer saddles because I have found that the very small and very large hackles on necks are wasted and never used. A single saddle hackle will tie 3-4 dry flies and you but the saddle with the size hackles you want. Generally they have a lot of 2 sizes and some one size smaller and one size larger. I tie mostly size 12 to 18 flies so a saddle centered on size 14/16 is perfect for my needs.

 

I prefer necks for the same reasons that you don't like them.  There's a variety of feather sizes; I still tie down to 22, which I can't find on a saddle. plus the larger hackles make for tailing material.  I agree, though that sometimes being able to tie 3-4 dries with one feather is a convenience (and you can skip the hackle pliers) but if I want to do that, I'd just as soon buy the Hundred packs rather than a whole saddle.

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1 hour ago, redietz said:

I prefer necks for the same reasons that you don't like them.  There's a variety of feather sizes; I still tie down to 22, which I can't find on a saddle. plus the larger hackles make for tailing material.  I agree, though that sometimes being able to tie 3-4 dries with one feather is a convenience (and you can skip the hackle pliers) but if I want to do that, I'd just as soon buy the Hundred packs rather than a whole saddle.

I do own some necks for when I need hackle that is smaller or larger than the saddles I have. Saddles are so much cheaper especially in the Whiting Pro or Hebert Miner Pro that I can't justify buying necks.

What I have found is that hackle graders are not perfect. Sometimes they over grade and under grade necks and saddles. So I don't buy mail order. I examine the hackle that I buy because I am looking for a specific size range and color and sometimes you find hackle that is better than the grade on the package.

I think you probably have seen this comparison of hackle but I post it for those who have not.

https://www.flyfishfood.com/2014/09/hackle-comparisons.html

9b9d85f0c8c9243761651a5b6e4328d8.thumb.jpg.0d4e53cd919e06476fc3e2c8e6484fa4.jpgHackle-Chart.jpg.7139dd66981ba9f4c6a1a31af3a1315d.jpg

 

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On 10/14/2020 at 7:06 AM, Capt Bob LeMay said:

A quick note about chicken feathers, saddles or necks, hens or roosters... The ideal freshwater fly tying necks (or saddles) aren’t exactly what saltwater tyers need at all... In fact that lovely genetic product so prized by skilled freshwater tyers is lost on those of us that tie for the salt, mostly...

 

Instead, we’re looking for wide, webby, saddles and neck hackles that are strung in uniform lengths and dyed or bleached as needed.  Most freshwater tyers would consider the feathers that I prize to be junk and pass them by whenever they come across them...

I raised some of my own for this very reason. However, Capt Bob's comments can also apply to some types of flies used in freshwater too. Dry Fly hackle does not make the best large bass, Pike, or Muskie flies. I now fish for Striped Bass in freshwater, and want the same types of hackle that I used for tying Tarpon and other "saltwater" flies. I use many of the same flies for Largemouth Bass. 

IMO, there's no such thing as "junk" hackle, it's just that there's specific characteristics to hackle, which makes it suitable for the various types of flies. Back when I was raising my own birds, and I had big White & Barred Rocks, schlappen hackle was very cheap to buy as it was considered one of the poorest quality hackle types by a lot of folks. Now, you'll pay a premium price for it if you buy it, as it's now in high demand for Steelhead & Salmon flies for fly styles such as Intruders and Spey flies. Still the same hackle as it used to be, but folks found a good use for it, which increased the demand and the prices. So, "quality" is relevant to what it is you're tying. 

It all depends on what you need! 😉

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8 minutes ago, tidewaterfly said:

IMO, there's no such thing as "junk" hackle, it's just that there's specific characteristics to hackle, which makes it suitable for the various types of flies.

It all depends on what you need! 😉

Agree 100%.

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Whiting has achieved a great business model (McDonald’s) 🍔🍟for standardizing and excelling in the dry fly hackle market

but sometimes I like Italian.🍕🥗   There are a nbr of growers putting out an excellent product these days. For the most part

I am a “Cape Man” though I understand the advantages of saddle selection.

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Well said Tidewater... I do also use some genetic hackle for specific purposes.... Mostly Metz #2 for grizzly saddle patches (used to order them ten at a time...) as well as grizzly saltwater necks from Wapsi (pretty sure that those are actually capon necks...).

 

It all depends on exactly what your planned use is.

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