Hackle Quandary!

February 17, 2017

Fly tying materials are rather pricey over here these days and one needs to dig deep into the black holes we call our pockets, especially if you’re looking for something specific. With just over 7000 supposedly registered fly fisherman in the whole of South Africa it’s understandable that fly fishing material suppliers are reluctant to import loads of unwanted materials into the country especially with the high cost of import duties as well as the paperwork involved in bringing fur and feathers on to our shores

 

So it’s understandable even though I’m reluctant to say it, when I see 20ish Medium & Small Black Dry fly neck hackle retailing for R184, and that’s after everyone’s slapped their own cream on the top. Yes they are top quality feathers but for what I was going to be using them for “Steroid Speed cops” (over sized woolly buggers) I knew I could get something cheaper if I persevered and looked around.

Then I remembered my local craft shop that were selling these strung hackle bands off a big roll for R150 per meter….result! Thanks Ian Cox for the heads up mate in putting me onto this gem of a place. Even looking at this image you can see there are at least 20 or so decent feathers to be had off it, just for the Speed cops alone. During the course of a half hour sorting session I ended up with four piles of feathers all ranging in size and quality.

These were the pick of the bunch with regards to what I would class as dry fly Hackles. I could have dressed them up a little more for the pic but I did manage to salvage 20 hackles that I would rate as (Grade A) dry fly feathers, although in retrospect probably would be graded as a B or even a C by the Trout n yellowfish tying brigade.

                                                                                           70 mm Speedcop Woolly Buggers

 

Still 20 feathers already and I managed to tie up 20 of these with them. Yes not the most attractive Speedcops you’ll see all year, but a hell of a lot better quality than the absolute shit being brought in from Kenya these days that most South Africa fly shops stock. 

 

 This second bunch or 21 hackles which I would call (Grade B) will definitely be used on smaller speed cops when I get some time tie them up.

  

This third batch of 30 feathers (Grade C) are the perfect length for Bass flies like Dahlberg divers and foam frog patterns

                                                                                                           Bass foam frog

And lastly the fourth batch of 21 strung saddle hackle feathers that are of as gooder quality as anything being sold in the shops here and are perfect for predator flies (Pike, saltwater, Tiger deceiver patterns) that’s a total of 92 feathers for R150 rand. Quite the saving if you ask me! I’m sorry, but at the end of the day I just can’t see the justification in spending R184 rand on just 20 or so feathers….but that’s just me!!!

 

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