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  1. #1

    Default Cock or hen hackle?

    Hi All,

    Quick question: I'm planning to tie some cascades, ally's, Irish shrimps and I was wondering if I should be tying with cock or hen hackles. I don't like the 'spiky' nature of cock hackles on wet flies (for trout) and I was wondering if I should get a couple of hen necks, in orange and yellow, possibly badger for salmon flies so that I add the most movement possible.
    Is there even an argument for a hen in front and a cock behind?

  2. #2

    Default

    If you go to flytying topics you'll find plenty info there

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    west is best
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    21

    Default

    The hen wont argue and the cock wont mind

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    2,510

    Default Feathers

    Cock hackles every time really depends what brand your using

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow owl View Post
    Cock hackles every time really depends what brand your using
    Interesting, I imagine that you are saying that if you're using some high quality e.g. Metz cape you still get great movement and it doesn't totally collapse in the water. I could maybe get a quality white and dye it various colours.

  6. #6

    Default

    Cock hackles. All the patterns youve listed should be tied with cock hackles.

    The hen collapses far, far easier than any cock will. And no, you dont need high quality capes. Its not the same as dry flies, and quite frankly a lot of the cheap Indian and Chinese hackles are much better for tying salmon flies (and much, much cheaper) than a Whiting Premium Grade whateveritis.
    Heero just pawn in game of life.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2008
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    Swansea
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    244

    Default

    Chinese cock is all you need, have been down the road of spending a small fortune on expensive genetic capes but have gone back to good old Chinese

    hen - too soft and heavy
    genetic - can be to stiff and heavy
    Chinese - just perfect

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Morpeth, Northumberland
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by uskgrub View Post
    Chinese cock is all you need,
    I think you'd find my wife, TingtongPingpong would have other ideas. Is this a case of being quoted out of context?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Cill Chainnigh
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Heero View Post
    Cock hackles. All the patterns youve listed should be tied with cock hackles.

    The hen collapses far, far easier than any cock will. And no, you dont need high quality capes. Its not the same as dry flies, and quite frankly a lot of the cheap Indian and Chinese hackles are much better for tying salmon flies (and much, much cheaper) than a Whiting Premium Grade whateveritis.
    Quote Originally Posted by uskgrub View Post
    Chinese cock is all you need, have been down the road of spending a small fortune on expensive genetic capes but have gone back to good old Chinese

    hen - too soft and heavy
    genetic - can be to stiff and heavy
    Chinese - just perfect
    Indian cock capes have a much better taper than Chinese cock capes for those who like a palmered body hackle. Some Chinese capes have too many large long fiber feathers which are not that useful for most salmon flies.

    Indian capes tend also to be the cheapest available although you'll usually only get one fly out of a single feather. Useable Chinese cock feather will often be large enough for 2 or 3 flies.

    I've found that Indian capes take dye much more consistently/uniformly as there is less of the downy fluff at the base of the feathers.
    To one who has roved on the mountains afar
    Oh! For the crags that are wild and magestic
    The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgm View Post
    Indian cock capes have a much better taper than Chinese cock capes for those who like a palmered body hackle. Some Chinese capes have too many large long fiber feathers which are not that useful for most salmon flies.

    Indian capes tend also to be the cheapest available although you'll usually only get one fly out of a single feather. Useable Chinese cock feather will often be large enough for 2 or 3 flies.


    I've found that Indian capes take dye much more consistently/uniformly as there is less of the downy fluff at the base of the feathers.
    Can't comment on dyeing , but the other stuff is very good advice.
    Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

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