Necks for flatwings [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Necks for flatwings

Dble Haul
04-01-2002, 03:12 PM
After seeing all of the flatwings being tied at the MSBA show and hearing of everyone's successes in fishing with them, I'd like to ask what the preferred grade neck is for these flies. I noticed that Metz necks were being used, but what grade does everyone generally use (1, 2, or 3)?

Thanks to Adrian for giving me a basic intro into the flatwing design, especially the "pillow". And thanks to those of you who respond to my inquiry. I hope to be giving some of these a try at the vise soon.

04-01-2002, 04:05 PM
I am far from an expert but I would strongly suggest you either call or visit Smitty at Rod Builders Workshop.

He is carrying some incredible hackles at a fraction of what I've seen them going for.

Good luck.


04-01-2002, 04:35 PM
I must check out Smitty's next time I'm in the area!!!

For flies up to 8 inches, Economy Dyed Saddle patches from Hareline Dubbing are good value. They also do dyed grizzles at $20. These are a good buy but there are only so many feathers which have the right proportions and only basic colors available.

The Kenney Abrames capes which Todd Murphy was using are now up around the $30 mark but they are the only ones I've found with exceptionally long hackles and lot of them and variety of dyed colors.

The Metz saddles I have are not dry fly quality - not sure what grade. The few I have are ones which I picked up when I saw them on the shelf.

04-01-2002, 08:26 PM
The Kenny Abhams necks are terrific, but the come in so many colors...and I still need more! I wish he would cut them in half. Any one want to go in on a Black and a Charteuse? and a Light Blue...and a ...

Dble Haul
04-01-2002, 09:23 PM
Gentlemen- Thanks as always. Could one of you please provide some contact info for Smitty's (location, phone, e-mail, etc.)? I appreciate your input.

04-02-2002, 01:03 PM
Dbl Haul- I generally use sddle hackle for the flatwings I tie if the feathers are tied to the rear of the hook. If I'm ting bay anchovies I'll use a neck hackle and tie it in near the eye of the hook. The neck hackle i sgenerally stiffer and won't wrap around the shank, but the saddles tied in at the rear are less stiff and yield more action and they don't foul if tied correctly. Just my $.02

04-02-2002, 01:27 PM
Mark -


Tell Smitty I said hello.


04-02-2002, 03:19 PM
Mark, Here is a link to Smitty's

He's got the natural black, White, Grizzly, and Blue Dun. I am taking a class with Jim Casper (sp?) at Smitty's tomorrow night and will pose the question of the neck hackle. The way I understand the construction of the fly you are using a neck hackle over the fan of bucktail as a support mechanism. The neck hackles are much stiffer than the saddles.

Looks like Juro beat me to the punch on the link. I'll add that I scheduled the class some time ago and after seeing Todd Murphy tie flatwings for a few hours I think I've picked up a trick or two. My attention was split between helping the kids tie, greeting the many visitors and trying to take in lesson but you couldn't help but learn something. Todd is a great teacher.

From what I've seen at the shows Saltwater edgie is the place to go if you want to pick from all the colors of the rainbow. The Bear's den also has some nice colors of bucktail and some hackles.

Dble Haul
04-02-2002, 03:49 PM
Thank you all for the contact info at Smitty's. Jim, I'd be very interested to hear what the response to your question will be. Please keep me in the loop.

Thanks! :)

04-04-2002, 12:05 PM
Mark, The class at Smitty's was pretty good. After seeing Todd Murphy tie at the show I had a bit of a head start on the basics, but still managed to learn a thing or two.
Here's the scoop on the neck hackle. The chinese and strung hackle works fine no need to use anything fancy for the first feather that is tied in upside down. Your looking for something stiffer than the rooster saddles because the main purpose of the first feather is to support the rest of the feathers yet still allow them to move side to side. I guess the wider feathers from a really good dry neck would work but it may be overkill.

BTW- Jim Casper demonstrated blending bucktail (the non counting method) Very cool.

Dble Haul
04-04-2002, 12:41 PM
Thanks, Jim. It's nice to know that I won't have to buy top of the line stuff to get started on these patterns.

The next time we meet, I'll show you some of my first efforts. They may be worth a chuckle or two. :hehe: