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Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle
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I have only ever tied dries with hackle taken from the "Whiting 100s" packs, which I believe are taken from saddles as opposed to necks. I was wondering whether their are qualitative differences between these and hackles taken from a cape/neck. What are your thoughts and which do you prefer for dry fly tying? Do different types of dry fly applications call for different types of hackle? Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 11:12
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Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle
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I really can't answer this with anything definitive. It seems to me that there is some obvious overlap between the neck and saddle area and feather properties would reflect that overlap. These days, I think there is so much genetic manipulation of roosters that any original difference in the qualitative properties would have been reduced. Neck hackle, of course, has always commanded a higher dollar value so one would assume that breeders have attempted to breed more "neck like" properties into saddle feathers. When I look at some of the saddle hackle that I have now from brands like Whiting (very long feather, short filaments) they seem to have many of the qualities ideal for tying dry flies that only neck hackle seemed to have in the past.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 12:56


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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Those 100 packs do indeed come from saddles. There's no funtional difference between say a #14 cape hackle, and a #14 saddle hackle. Saddle hackles are longer, so you can get more flies per feather. Capes have more varied sizes of feathers. Also, the real tiny (like <22) feathers. So the choice between whether to buy a saddle or a cape comes down to what you'll be tying. If you need a wide variety of sizes and a lot of "micro" hackles, then a cape is best for you. If you tie mostly flies in the 14-18 (and some smaller with the $$$ genetic hackles), then maybe a saddle is the best choice.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 13:11


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle
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Thanks guys. Any counterpoints? So far, no reasons provided for me to think about buying a neck.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 13:24
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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Occasionally you'll come across some saddle feathers that are oddly "cupped" which makes them a little difficult to use. The size thing is the major counter point for me. I mostly buy capes b/c I tie anywhere from #14 up to #24-26. Frankly though, I've been using more cdc and snowshoe and comparaduns than traditionally hackled stuff. I wouldn't spend the money they're getting for the high end necks and saddles when no hackle flies are generally more effective for me anyway

Posted on: 2009/6/11 13:37


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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I can't add to the differences between the two in terms of their genetic source, but I prefer the 100's. Why? Because they're sized to suit the fly I'm tying and I can be more productive. They are expensive, but you can sometimes get deals on them. The capes do have some advantage, such as a variety of sizes, but I have found the smaller feathers to be difficult to tie with. I'm sure with practice I could get better, but it's been frustrating thus far. The 100's, at least for me have been much easier to work with and give me better chances to tye flys that balance properly. Just my 2 cents, I know a lot of guys really like the capes.

Posted on: 2009/6/11 21:18
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Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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2006/9/21 0:02
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I've always bought necks, and still think they're cheaper in the long run. Especially with the dun and ginger hackle - I tie tons of flies with those 2 colors
Also, I tie flies from #8, down to #32, and really need the various size feathers.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 0:39


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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For what it's worth i gotta go with Dryflyguy on this one , for one reason , the range of use you get with a cape , like the man said , size 8-32.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 8:19


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle
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I agree with Dryfly, buy a neck for the variety of sizes. I supplement 100's packs when the commonly used sizes are depleted on the neck. One thing I've found is the size listing on the 100's is a little larger than I use for Catskill style flies, but just about right for parachutes.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 8:37


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle
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Thanks for all the replies. The focus of them seems to have shifted to which I should buy for practical and economic reasons, whereas, my primary concern was whether the characteristics of the hackle differs between the necks and saddles. Hearing only the answer that they do not differ in any way, I will except that as the concensus among the more learned unless some objection be raised.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 9:42
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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I've never bought saddle hackles, so I couldn't give an honest opinion of their quality versus necks.
But, yes, I'm sure they're just as good to use.

When I first started tying, I used to use what my old fly tying instructor called Indian necks. I'm sure that they are of inferior quality. But my flies still floated and worked quite well.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 10:11


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle
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I tie only on an as needed basis and buy about 50% of what I go through in a year. I find the 100s more economical because I have little use for hackles above #12 or below #16. I usually buy light ginger in #14, cream in #14-16, medium dun in 14-16, brown in #12-16 and grizzly in #12-14. These last me a few years, depending. I couldn't see buying necks even at $30-$40 to be worth it, let alone for $90.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 10:25
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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I was under the impression that saddles were softer and webbier than necks, and if buying to tie dries you bought necks, and if you were buying to tie wets you bought hen saddles.

For me, when starting, I bought necks in the colours I needed. As time moves on, I'll probably supplement with 100 packs.

Posted on: 2009/6/12 10:35
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Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

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Quote:

gfen wrote:
I was under the impression that saddles were softer and webbier than necks, and if buying to tie dries you bought necks, and if you were buying to tie wets you bought hen saddles.

For me, when starting, I bought necks in the colours I needed. As time moves on, I'll probably supplement with 100 packs.


better living thru genetic engineering...there's saddle and then there is saddle.

Attach file:



jpg  saddle 4 buggers.jpg (53.97 KB)
49_4a3268fd9a4a0.jpg 1000X561 px

jpg  dry saddle.jpg (5.61 KB)
49_4a3269043cdf6.jpg 150X113 px

Posted on: 2009/6/12 10:41


Re: Saddle Hackle vs. Cape Hackle

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
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Posts: 11291
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:
better living thru genetic engineering...


Come back when they can genetically engineer me up a frying chicken with four legs.. Til then, its not better, its only more convienent. ;)

Posted on: 2009/6/12 10:52



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