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Necks and Saddles

Joined:
2010/2/18 6:47
From Lehighton
Posts: 59
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I've been tying for a little while and i bought one of the metz three packs, just to get me started. Don't really have many feathers left is the sizes i need. Just trying to figure out what the difference between the hen and rooster, and necks and saddles is. Like which is for dries vs. wets, and where i'd find the smaller feather for 18's and smaller. Not buying right now, just startin work for this season tmrw. Just tryin to get all my ducks in a row so i know what to look for when i get the funds together.

Posted on: 2010/3/16 21:40
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Re: Necks and Saddles

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Quote:

NotLong4PA wrote:
I've been tying for a little while and i bought one of the metz three packs, just to get me started. Don't really have many feathers left is the sizes i need. Just trying to figure out what the difference between the hen and rooster, and necks and saddles is. Like which is for dries vs. wets, and where i'd find the smaller feather for 18's and smaller. Not buying right now, just startin work for this season tmrw. Just tryin to get all my ducks in a row so i know what to look for when i get the funds together.


Good questions. I’m thinking I should break this up a little bit. First an anatomy lesson. I’m not trying to be insulting, but a lot of people don’t really know where the supplies come from other than their Orvis shop or a craft shop.

Necks of course are from the neck area of the chicken. The neck is actually skinned clear up to the comb and stretched out flat and dried and treated.

The saddle is from the back of the roster. Pretty much just ahead of the tail.

If you buy a cape, it is pretty much the entire rooster skin (with feathers of course).

Attach file:



jpg  rooster1.jpg (75.41 KB)
348_4ba0af955f344.jpg 653X604 px

Posted on: 2010/3/17 6:31
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Re: Necks and Saddles

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Now, about what each type of feater is used for...

You can tell the difference between a rooster neck and a hen neck by the price tag.

Seriously, you can tell by looking at the feathers. Rooster neck feathers are stiffer and are more pointed on the end. Hen neck feathers are softer and very rounded on the end and a lot more webbing. If you see them next to each other it becomes obvious.

I'll start with hen necks. Used mostly for wet flies because they are softer and buggier looking when submerged. They are too soft to provide enough surface tension to keep a dry fly afloat.

Rooster neck: the smallest feathers are obviously used for the dry flies that require hackle. catskills, parachutes, etc. A good premium neck will get you some size 20 or even smaller. The bigger feathers are used for streamers and tail material for some dry flies. The quills can also be used for quill bodies. Bigger ones can also be used of you want hackle on you bass bugs.

rooster saddles: In recent years, some roosters have been bred for long and uniform saddle feathers (not the one in the above picture though). They can ge used for a lot of different things. If I want to tie a whole bunch of size 14 dry flies, I go with rooster saddle. You can even tie numerous flies from a single feather. way more cost effective than using neck feathers. I also use these for palmering hackle on woolly buggers because it is softer than rooster neck and looks buggier in the water. Saddle feather are the best feather for bass bugs.

The roosters used for fly tying material are often breeds that were used for fighting. Not that this matters. Just a little trivia.

i'm sure I didn't cover everything.

Posted on: 2010/3/17 6:49
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Necks and Saddles

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I wish I had stumbled across this first. it would have saved me some typing.

link

Posted on: 2010/3/17 6:54
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Necks and Saddles
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Great info Farmer! I was a little worried about you, I read in another thread you "bought the farm." I guess all is okay.

Notlong,

I always try to give advise on how best to save money when buying FFing and fly tying stuff, especially with beginners. Dry fly hackle is one place where that is difficult to do. Quality hackle makes quality dry flies. You are smart to save your money up and buy a decent neck or saddle.

A Whiting bronze grade 1/2 neck or saddle cape is a great investment. I would buy a neck if I was looking to tie a lot of smaller flies (20's or smaller). A saddle is great if the flies were a little larger. If you are like most tyers, the 14's, 16's and 18's will be used up first. In that case, you can fill in with the Whiting 100's of that size.

Another piece of advise, if you are going to pay good money for a neck or saddle, you should select hackle in person (not on-line).

Whiting or sometimes labeled Whiting/Hoffman is the primo hackle in the business.

Metz hackle is okay, but priced close to Whiting. I would select Whiting first unless I got a really good deal on Metz

At the FFing show in Somerset, Collins hackle has a booth there and offers decent hackle at a decent price. It's worth a look too.

Posted on: 2010/3/17 8:09


Re: Necks and Saddles

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
Great info Farmer! I was a little worried about you, I read in another thread you "bought the farm." I guess all is okay.



And for my next trick. i will kick this bucket.

Posted on: 2010/3/17 8:29
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Necks and Saddles

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Anybody want a chicken?

Time for some of them to get the axe, and frankly I don't feel like messing with them this time.

Posted on: 2010/3/17 8:36
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Necks and Saddles

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
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Good stuff Tom here some links to Collins I own a neck grade 1 from them and its a great deal for the money plus they come with the saddle from the roster . http://collinshacklefarm.com/
http://greatfeathers.com/dryflyneckswsaddle-chd37.aspx

Posted on: 2010/3/17 9:13
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Re: Necks and Saddles

Joined:
2010/2/18 6:47
From Lehighton
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Thanx guys, good stuff. I had pretty much figured out the neck, as the neck, and the saddle as sumwhere mid back towards the butt

Just to straighten things out a lil better, a good neck would be the best range of fly sizes, but a saddle gives you more flies in less sizes?

Posted on: 2010/3/18 22:04
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Re: Necks and Saddles

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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NotLongForPa................aFish gives great advice when he says to buy hackle in person and not mailorder or online , you can be sure you are getting what you want in person and most shop owners will let you take it out and look at it and check it out.

Posted on: 2010/3/20 8:06


Re: Necks and Saddles

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Quote:

NotLong4PA wrote:

Just to straighten things out a lil better, a good neck would be the best range of fly sizes, but a saddle gives you more flies in less sizes?


That's about the size of it.

If you want to tie a bunch of 14s or 16s for cheap, saddle will give you a bunch.

If you are doing smaller, you will need the neck.

Keep in mind that the quil on saddle hackle is not as stiff which makes them easier to work with IMO, but they also might not hold up as well. No problem. tie more of them.

The hackles on saddle are softer as well. they sometimes gt flattened out in the fly box from my experience.

P.S. I figured you knew which part of the chicken they came from, but it is the beginner forrum. Plus I needed a place to start and due to coloration that picture really showed the entire area of what is referred to as the neck.

Posted on: 2010/3/22 8:14
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--






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