03-10-2004, 11:22 AM
Any body have a recomendation on what constitues the best quality hackle tips for these spey flys. My expereicne has been mostly with strung sadle hackle and I get varying resultsl, but the most disturbing is thin or brittle stems that break off while fishing.
I started using strung saddle and had the same results as you. Just not enough quality feathers to be found.
I have now switched over to whiting american necks (thanks Russ) and I am never going back. By far the best stuff out there. A silver neck will tie up plenty of flies and they come in a ton of different colors. I also have a bunch of bronze necks that have a ton of quality hackle tips on them as well.
03-10-2004, 07:07 PM
started with strung hackle as well, had to do a lot of high grading to find the right shape and durability in the hackle stem. had an old Cabela's "b" grade neck, in black, had the best quality, with natural left and right curves to make great pairs... from here on out, necks as i can aquire. Shewey recommends steelhead saddles for larger flies (3/0's and up), and the purple saddle i have, i'd concur with that as well, as smaller sizes that are the right size for the hook are tougher to come by in the saddles....
also, you might query some of my submissions and the discussions related to the glasso wing style, if you're relatively new to these types of wings. flytyer and others provided me some valuable input on tricks and technique that helped me a lot.... you can see the improvement in the string of flies i've posted over the past few months....
03-10-2004, 08:29 PM
I experienced the same problem with the strung hackles.
I tie 99% of my spey flies with hackle wings, because I like the way they stabilize the fly when under the swing. While attending the Roundtable Tying sessions at River Run Angler in Carnation, I discovered that Jack Cook's spey hackles also work exceptionally well for hackle wings. In using his hackles, you only need 2 tips instead of 4-6 when using the strung hackles. The best tip I got about tying with hackle wings is to make sure you spend the time stoking the hackle fibers in order to marry them together before tying them on the fly.
If you want to try it out before you buy, the roundtables are the third Thursday of each month. If you can't make it Jack can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two cents.
03-10-2004, 11:39 PM
As several other have already noted, I always use and recommend either good quality Chinese rooster necks (which have become hard to find because of the avarian flu the last few years) or Whiting American Hackle rooster necks. Saddle hackle doesn't cut it for Glasso style spey wings, the stem is too fine, the stem is too limp to hold the wing shape, the barbs are too short for a good wing silouette, and the barbs are too fine.
With Whiting American Hackle ($20.00 - #30.00/neck), you only need 2 hackles for each side regardless how large a fly you tie because they have sufficient stem strength and barb length to tie even #3/0 Alec Jackson Spey Hooks. The neck also provides the proper left and right curvature you need for matched paired hackle wings.
Strung saddle is the absolute worse thing you can use for Glasso style wings because they taper too much at the tip, are inconsistent in the taper from hackle to hackle, you need to go through a lot of hackle to find matched lefts and rights, etc.
Schlappen (which is what Jack's spey hackle is) is a wonderful spey feather (i.e. body hackle for spey and dee flies); however, it is a waste of good spey feathers to use them for Glasso style wings. If you use them, you have the problem of going through a lot of feathers to find matching lefts and rights, many of the stem are too thin to support a Glasso wing, many of them taper to a far too fine tip for a good Glasso wing, etc.
Spend the few extra dollars and get the Whiting American rooster necks. Trust me, you will be very glad you did, and one neck will tie more flies than most tyers will tie is many years. I get about 25 dozen Glasso style wings out of a singe Whiting American rooster neck. I doubt if most tyers tie 25 dozen spey flies in 5 or 6 years.
03-11-2004, 09:36 AM
flytyer ,TerryD, Feiger, & sean
Thanks for the tips. Sounds like the Whiting capes are the best. In the interim I bought a bunch of chinese necks in white and died them and they have turned out great. So Ill save the strung saddles for other things.
03-12-2004, 11:16 PM
I use Ewing deceiver patches. Very consistent feathers in good sizes for the #1 and #2 hooks on which Syd tied his flies.
03-13-2004, 10:03 AM
I'm with Stu! Great feathers!