Jump to content

New Tyer With Questions

Recommended Posts

Was wondering how to measure hackles with the hook size? Another question there is so many different feathers and hackles used for certain things. Is there any good websites to learn the difference. I got alot of hackle and feathers but when i receipe calls for a certain one I go to my stash and then im lost cause not sure what im looking for? Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can get an inexpensive hackle gauge. But absent of that, I just fold the hackle to where the fibers measure the size of the hook gap and use that as my standard. I assume what you are confused about is whether you are using a dry fly hackle or something appropriate for wet flys and or soft hackle flys. A good rule of thumb is that dry fly hackles will be stiffer, and just the opposite for a wet fly (soft hackle), they are soft and subtle.


Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I don't have any websites to offer, but the basic differences in hackles are the length and stiffness of the fibers along the stem. Like Danoinark said, the stiffer ones are used to float dry flies, and the softer, webbier ones are used on wet flies. You can get some of both on a good neck, with the highest grade/most expensive having a broad range of dry fly hackles from very tiny to mid-sized. Saddles come from farther back on the rooster and don't have the short stiff hackles for dry flies but have lots of the softer ones for wets such as wooly buggers, etc. If you're looking to tie something specific let us know and we can help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the Wapsi catalog. It has pics and names, and it help me over the winter while I was learning.


Here are a couple more of my favorites from when I started:



Welcome to the club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as hackle goes, assuming they are American, a saddle is more webby and soft and the choice for wets. Neck hackles should be stiffer and best used for drys. There are exceptions, but don't worry about them. If it is called a hen neck or saddle, the feathers will be wider and more rounded and suitable for wets, at best.

I'm talking chicken feathers above, there are other feathers, but they are generally used specific to a particular pattern.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For dry flies you want to use rooster neck or saddle hackles.

Hen hackles are usually too webby for dry flies.

Basic rule of thumb-

Dry Fly: rooster hackle.

Wet Fly: hen hackle.

There's a fine line between fishing and sitting there looking stupid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.