View Full Version : hackle

04-15-2007, 09:24 PM
I need to know how to select hackle for tying say size 16 elk hair caddis. i'm just starting to tie some flies and i'm doing ok but to tie these caddis i have to trim my hackle. What do I get to work out the right size?

04-16-2007, 12:24 AM
U can trim the hackle but it tends to make for an ugly fly! and it might over wieght the fly, ultimately causing the fly to sink if you don't keep it dry. The stem of the feather is bigger on loger length hackle and smaller on shorter length hackle! This is where the wieght comes from.....Now on a caddis fly where u r using deer or elk hair it wont really matter just due to the floatability of the hair. but it you want you fly to float high you need to get the right hackle!

LRO sells Whitington 100 hackle packs in sizes 12 thru 18 i think? Correct me if i'm wrong here LRO...Any who they are packs of hackle that will tie up to 100 flys! There pretty nice because i'd say your working with neck were u pluck the feather out yourself! These packs have around 20 or so feathers about 6'' in length making the new fly tiers experiance a little easier! It's good hackle and you pay the price for it too.. I think there around 15 for a pack!

If that doesn't tickle your fancy try picking up a hackle gauge for around 5 bucks....U just wrap the feather around the gauge until you find the right one! Hope this helps!


David Knapp
04-16-2007, 01:40 PM
I'll second the Whiting 100 packs and hackle gauge. I use the gauge to double check the feathers from the 100 packs sometimes when the seem a little large....the gauge will definately be a useful tool at some point.

04-17-2007, 03:46 AM
Hackle guage ....that would be my suggestion as well. I use mine all the time. Makes life easy; especially if you have whole capes or body feathers in a variety of sizes.

Flying Trout
04-17-2007, 08:40 AM
I would agree with the 100 pack. It is not as cheep but it alleviates some frustration with finding the perfect hackle. The hundred packs seem to allow me to tie more flies in a shorter period of time. I also use a gauge and find it is very helpful when tying with out the 100 pack.