Wingless Wets With Hen

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Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby Rabmax » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:36 am

Hello All.I want to tie a few spiders up over the winter using hen.There is so much out there what should i buy.Should i buy Indian Hen,Herbert Hen,whiting brahma hen,coq de leon hen cape list goes on & on.From the limited hen capes i own Indian hen is soft where the one Herbert hen i have is more like a cock cape.Indian is limited when you want to tie lots of smaller flies.The Brahma & coq de leon hen capes look lovely looking at pictures on the net.Any suggestions would be most welcome.Cheers
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Re: Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby Ruard » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:06 am

If you look at the prize and what you get for that I would go for the Brahma.


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Re: Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby William Anderson » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:47 am

Rabmax, I'm afraid you'll get an answer, like this one, that will not quite satisfy. Ruard's suggestion for Brahma is excellent and I've used quite a bit, especially for sparse soft-hackles like north country spiders or similar, but if you're going to wrap a couple turns through the thorax over dubbing, you'll want a cape. They each have their use and I wouldn't want to do without any of the types. You mentioned smaller flies and you really will need a nice cape for these unless you employ one of the techniques for using large hackles on small flies. I love the Herbert hens, and the other Whiting lines. When using hen, as opposed to game hackles, I like Collins hens if I had to offer a single recommendation. Glad I don't. :D

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Re: Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby letumgo » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:37 am

If I were limited to choosing just one type, I'd recommend the Indian Hen first, simply because it is so inexpensive and there is a nice range of colors available. I bought several indian hen necks from Jim last year and I think I only paid around $6 dollars each for them. They have worked well for me (no complaints). If you are looking for other options, I would also recommend looking at Collins hen sets. Charlie includes both the neck and cape, with each set. The sets range from $15 to $20 dollars (US) each. If you go to one of the big fly tying shows, he often has a booth with hundreds of sets to choose from. I picked up several sets last January at the international tying show in New Jersey. I think I paid $15 dollars per set. The saddles make especially beautiful feathers for flymphs.

Don't forget about hungarian partridge skins, or starling skins too. Excellent value, but fewer colors to play with in the natural skins.
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Re: Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby zen leecher » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:08 pm

I would not buy CdL hen saddle as the ones I bought only go down to about a #8 and are too big for most use. The saddle is easier to find than capes but too big.
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Re: Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby Mataura mayfly » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:18 pm

What Ray said :D .
I am guessing you want size 14 and below? Hard to get a lot of feathers that size off of capes you do not pay a premium for. I would send an email off to Jim, stating your requirements and colour preferences and see what he comes back with. At least with Jim you are ordering from a supplier that understands the type/style and size of fly you are aiming to tie.

Personally I would be looking pretty hard at Starling also. You can get Starling dyed in many colours as well and there are plenty of spider sized feathers per skin.
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Re: Wingless Wets With Hen

Postby Rabmax » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:15 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone.I will order a few genetic hens & a few Indian & see how i get on.I already use starling.Cheers All
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