Average Customer Rating: (4 Reviews) Write a Review
I'm new to fly tying, about a month or so into it and I've only recently came to understand the difference between true dry fly hackle and what I've heard called grab bag hackle. I didn't want to make a huge investment into dry fly hackle, but i was tired of seeing my "dry flies" sink on contact with water, and I may not need to tie a ton of them, but the High and Dry 1/2 cape was perfect for me. A single half cape lets me tie in a variety of sizes and from how many feathers a single 1/2 cape has I don't picture myself needing to restock the colors I purchased in the near future. All very good quality feathers from a beginners perspective anyway. From everything I've heard of Whiting's dry fly hackle, i'd say it all holds true.
Pluses and minuses with Whiting hackle. On the plus side the feather quality is good. Cape density is high, stems and windability are good, and barb length is consistent across numerous inches of feather length.
On the minus side, two out of two orders I have made of Whiting capes have resulted in disappointment with color. I bought a grizzly cape and what arrived, while clearly marked "grizzly" by Whiting, was effectively black with just the hint of faint whitish barring. Calls to Whiting were maddening; first they defended their right to define the color "grizzly" to whatever range their company chose, and they also blamed it on me, claiming that "this is why we don't recommend buying online...our solution is clear plastic packaging so you can choose what you want in a fly shop." I took strong exception to the fact that they claimed they "discourage" on-line sales, given that they eagerly supply to J.Stockard and others, and later a manager called me to take back that comment but to still suggest that my ending up with a nearly black cape after ordering grizzly was a result that was on me, not them.
I never returned it (after all it was not the retailer's fault). Still have the thing--to get what I wanted I had to buy a Keough grizzly cape that was truly what it was marked--grizzly. A year later I ordered a couple more of Whiting's cape products, convincing myself it must have been an isolated thing. Sure enough, instead of "dark barred ginger" (which every tyer knows is a rich ginger with light/whitish bars), what I got was a grizzly variant that's pretty much cree. The bars are black, the between-bar color is a dirty white, the underneath feathers have a brownish (still not ginger at all) tinge. I'm not even going to complain to Whiting, as I don't want to hear that it's my fault for buying from my favorite online retailer, and I don't want to incur more shipping costs to get what I wanted.
It's clear to me that Whiting chooses to "redefine" popular tying colors so that they can ship capes that are far less popular. Why they don't seem to realize that yes, they'll ship those capes, but this practice will also anger and permanently drive away customers, is beyond me. This cree variant I now have in hand should never have been tagged "dark barred ginger." It's nothing like ginger and it's nothing like a barred ginger. Not even close. It's a dirty-looking grizzlyy-ish barred cree variant with good feather quality but of minimal color use to me.
I believe other hackle suppliers produce an excellent product too, and my limited experience indicates they tag a cape the color it actually is. I've learned my lesson. I give the Whiting capes three merciful stars because the stems and barbs are good.
I do love J.Stockard.
I just received my High & Dry half cape. Perfect hackle, lots of 14's, and very long. Many of the individual hackles have 3 inches of useable length. And a great packing job by the team at J. Stockard. Thanks!
Great feather count and length. Not quite as many or as long as the dry fly capes, but still a great cape. This is probably one of the best values in whiting dry fly hackle and they come in some awesome natural and dyed colors.
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