Originally posted by Dble Haul
... if anyone has the opportunity to visually inspect the hackle before purchase (not doable via catalog), then do so. Many hackles of a given grade cape can be higher or lower in grade than the overall cape is, so there's potential of being shorted or gaining extra depending on the situation.
Dble Haul is 1000% correct, particularly when it comes to Cabela's own hackles!
I have purchased quite a few of these, and either love them or hate them; twice I had ordered two saddles of the same color and gotten two completely different looking results, one was great, the other just plain sucked (i.e. coloration, in this case of grizzly hackles, was mostly black and very blotchy rather than a "true" grizzly coloration). I now get my saddles from a local FF shop for only $5 or so more than I can get them from Cabela's for, which is essentially what shipping costs me and therefore I come out the same in terms of money spent. When I need a color they don't normally stock, they simply order it for me and I get it within 2 weeks, again for the Cabela's price plus $5. I have always gotten great hackles from them when I've had to custom order, and therefore I trust them implicitly. After all, these are guys that make a living on fly fishing, and know their trade much better than the guy stuffing boxes in the warehouse for Cabela's. I still order a lot of materials from Cabela's, but not hackles.