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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just started tying my own flies and am looking for a bit of advice regarding hackle choice.
i bought a few bags of Veniard cock hackles, but they are quite fine and a bit stiff. Should I be using cock or hen hackles, saddles or necks?
I’m looking for a yellow and an orange cape to start with to tie mainly tube flies (monkey, mini monkey, scandi and flamethrower style), with the intention of adding further colours over the course of the year.
Let me know what to look for, and where best to find them.
Thanks
 

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You can spend a second fortune on cape and hackles , and collecting them can become a hobby in itself.
Trust me , I know. 😉

Plant Wood Liver Grass Trunk



Cookshill , Lathkill , and Lakeland are all trusted suppliers.👍

* I occasionally get my collection of capes out and croon to them.😉
‘ My precious ‘ 😂

Vertebrate Jaw Gesture Art Wood
 

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They are perfect flies, if you want a more dense hackle with less turns look at genetic hen necks for small to medium monkeys or genetic soft patches, look to the source whiting , ewing metz alot of the expensive ones are just those rebranded like future fly 15 to 20 euros more for whiting soft patch.
For larger flies genetic hen saddles are good buy by sight unless you really know who you are buying from.

A few early efforts. The hackles are ok, but I felt I was having to use too many turns to get the desired effect.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you can (not sure if your location) but try to get to the BFFI, you will be able to go through all the capes on sale & choose what you want at a price point that suits.
Unfortunately a bit far away in both distance and time.
I could do with getting them by the end of the week so I can lock myself in the attic for the weekend. I can see this becoming a dangerous addiction.
 

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If you don't want to spend a fortune of soft hackles, you can buy metz soft hackle patches. Each bag is cheap which is the advantage but the drawback is there are many crap feathers therein.

Another option is to buy a complete patch (whiting or keough are the best), cut it in halves and find someone interested in the other half

You can also have a look at ollys hackle on ebay. He has good hen and cock capes and saddles which are good quality and not expensive.
 

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I'm on a slow long upward learning curve of self taught flee tying. If there's a mistake to make I've done it in the past or am doing it right now!.
I prefer chinese cock capes and I like a degree of stiffness in the hackles I tie.
That primarily is for two reasons ( rightly or wrongly, as yet I don't know ). For scandi stylee patterns I think a stiff hackle creates an effect much like a cone and makes the wing move more, also it creates more disturbance, moves the whole flee more and I like to think the fish is aware of that disturbance more.
Now I'm not looking for a solid hackle, but a fine cock hackle with long fibres generally gives me what I want. I often feel I'm hanging a flee off the front of the leader when I fish one of my abominations, I'm not swinging the line with the flee washing along somewhere, but its the water pressure and resistance of the wing to the current that keeps everything tight and the flee looking more alive. I don't like a too soft hackle that collapse's or folds to the tube etc.or allows the wing profile to collapse.
Of the two reference samples at the beginning of the thread I prefer a look much like the second!.
Tight lines, Pedro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm on a slow long upward learning curve of self taught flee tying. If there's a mistake to make I've done it in the past or am doing it right now!.
I prefer chinese cock capes and I like a degree of stiffness in the hackles I tie.
That primarily is for two reasons ( rightly or wrongly, as yet I don't know ). For scandi stylee patterns I think a stiff hackle creates an effect much like a cone and makes the wing move more, also it creates more disturbance, moves the whole flee more and I like to think the fish is aware of that disturbance more.
Now I'm not looking for a solid hackle, but a fine cock hackle with long fibres generally gives me what I want. I often feel I'm hanging a flee off the front of the leader when I fish one of my abominations, I'm not swinging the line with the flee washing along somewhere, but its the water pressure and resistance of the wing to the current that keeps everything tight and the flee looking more alive. I don't like a too soft hackle that collapse's or folds to the tube etc.or allows the wing profile to collapse.
Of the two reference samples at the beginning of the thread I prefer a look much like the second!.
Tight lines, Pedro.
The first fly was done with a single larger hackle, and the second was done with 2 slightly smaller ones doubled up. I’m getting the impression so far that it is a lot easier to hide mistakes/inability on the larger flies. Ultimately I’m looking to tie smaller flies so want to be able to keep everything as neat as possible. The idea of a denser more mobile hackle appeals to me, but I can see the merits of both cock and hen hackles.
 

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Unfortunately no stock at the moment. Will look at the other recommendations. Shame though as thats my kind of price range.
If Steve's out of stock at Cookshill its worth trying Andrey at AM Fly Tying in Ripon (AMflytying) . He's a bit too handy for me so can get expensive but has a good range of dyed capes amongst other things. I use his dyed saddle capes for all my salmon flies cost about £10 each.
 
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