Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Anything fly tying...
Post Reply
ibookje
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:10 am

Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by ibookje »

Due to the situation one gets to fool around :)

What are the similarities and differences between hackle (from cape or saddle) from Charlie Collins and Whiting?

Here's what I have been seeing that caught my attention. The Collins hackle seems to be straighter and more shiny than Whiting hackle. Didn't notice the curved fibers on Whiting until more recently.

Collins (my own):
Image


Whiting (from Whiting's FB page):
Image

Image

narcodog
Posts: 1475
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:29 am

Re: Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by narcodog »

First question which Whiting cape was used, red label, high and dry, ect. Washed or unwashed, dyed or natural, there are many variables when comparing the two. I'm a Collins guy and I just have a few Whiting dry fly necks and fewer saddles remaining in my stash.

ibookje
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by ibookje »

I have no idea what line of Whiting hackles the examples above are.
I noticed the curved fibers just recently. Or maybe they were like this a long time but I didn't notice it before.

Here are some some other pictures, most without comment about what hackle line. One pictures does mention it being a Hebert line. It looks like this particular hackle has less curved fibers. But maybe it's a coincidence.

Image

Image

Here the curved fibers are very noticeable
Image

Same here
Image

User avatar
Caneghost
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:09 am
Location: Hancock, NY
Contact:

Re: Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by Caneghost »

I love Charlie's natural colors and the range of them as I like to tie a fly that looks bit different. The barred hackles to my eye give more of an impression of movement and life. Hands down his natural duns are so far above Whiting's die job hackle it isn't worth comparing them. His stems are very thin and wrap easily too. I am not head over heels about Whiting. I do have a Cree in their Hebert Miner line that is gorgeous though the stems are a bit heavy.

I noticed the curved fibers over the years as well, thinking it might be on account of the die process. I have a natural brown Super saddle from back when they were Hoffman. I just pulled it out and looked at it and the barbs curve on that one too. I assume they still curve when wrapped.
...a glint of sunlight on polished cane...

http://brightwatercatskill.art.blog

ibookje
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by ibookje »

Collins' various dun shades are died too. I agree that the stems on the Collins feathers are a bit more flexible.
I do see more broken fiber tips the Collins than Whiting. Anyone notice this too?

What really amazes me is the barb count on the Whiting feathers, which is insane. Great for tying dense hackles on Western type dry flies. Collins are less dense, but for Catskill dries that's fine.

The improvements along time of Whiting hackle is pretty amazing too. Cape I bought about 10 years ago and now, the length of the sweet spot on the feathers as well as hackle size are astounding. I do see dense feathers in the smaller sizes (14 and smaller) but on the larger sizes (12 and up) he improvements seems to have less 'incorporated'.

I don't have Collins capes (and saddles) older than three years.
I am curious how his hackles developed over a longer period of time, say 20 years.

User avatar
Caneghost
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:09 am
Location: Hancock, NY
Contact:

Re: Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by Caneghost »

I bought my first Collins cape around thirty years ago and probably have 40 of them. The sweet spot has become longer over the years. I often tie two flies with a feather, and I have a lot of Grade 3's and Commercial grade capes. The saddle feathers are better dry fly quality too, with less web, thin stems. The only cape I have that shows any evidence of being dyed is a Golden grizzly.

I agree that Whiting has a lot of barbs for western style flies but I don't tie those hackle brushes for my fishing so to me that is not a plus. The saddle feathers are OK for parachutes, two turns is sufficient.

I find a few broken tips on the Collins 3's and commercial grades at times, though I still get a fly or two out of those feathers. When you consider the huge price difference with a Collins #3 at $30 and a Whiting Bronze at what, $80 to $90 now I don't see a broken feather tip as an issue.

When I need a feather to tie a Green Drake I can find them on a Collins cape and generally I cannot even on an older Hoffman from Whiting Farms.
...a glint of sunlight on polished cane...

http://brightwatercatskill.art.blog

ibookje
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Collins vs Whiting - similarities and differences

Post by ibookje »

Do we know which line Collins's birds come from?

I only have one grade 1. But from what I can see the quality difference from that #1 and the #3's I got, is pretty negligible.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests