HillTop

Saddle Hackles + Color Options without breaking the bank

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Maybe this is a strange or goofy question but at a recent FF Club meeting I took some time to look at some of the flat wing ties presented by Joe Cordeiro and commented on the multitude of colors in his flies and the expense potential to outfit ones inventory if you wanted to tie many varying patterns/colors of flat wings.    He did comment that it's much more expensive to tie flat wings even when you find good show deals since you might need a large number of colors to cover many of the patterns available to tie.   

 

So my question, if you want to tie the occasional flat wing pattern but don't want to invest that much $$ in different colored saddles does anyone just color their white saddle hackles with a permanent marker or an air brush system with the alcohol based inks ?    Thinking something like the Copic Air Brush system, which might be ideal to color individual feathers and the ink is supposedly permanent and comes in close to a hundred different colors.  Also could be used for coloring Crease flies.     Buying a dozen or more pens and the air brush system doesn't cost any more than a few capes and then your creative mind can make up about anything you'd want for color combinations and you would only need to purchase white saddle hackles from that point forward ...no ?

 

HT

   

Edited by HillTop

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I feel your pain (in the wallet) when it comes to purchasing good saddles lately.

They are not cheap any more. Years ago they were much cheaper than a dry fly cock neck.

Lately they are approaching the same cost.

 

I really don't know how the Copic System would work on natural feathers? Perhaps others here might have tried and will respond

Here's another option you could consider. Perhaps you already have a range of basic colors at your disposal. Buying more colors to fill the shades in between can be costly. Think about changing the colors of your flat wing flies by changing the colors of your deer tails. They are much cheaper and I bet you have a lot of them already. You can alter the tails, shoulders, bodies. This might give you more variation with colors.   

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Not sure if this exactly solves your problem, but I’ve had good success dying feathers and deertail with Kool-Aid. Pretty cheap for a pack and you could probably hack a white saddle into quarters and get four colors out of it. Just a thought. 

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2 mins ago, Ftyer said:

Not sure if this exactly solves your problem, but I’ve had good success dying feathers and deertail with Kool-Aid. Pretty cheap for a pack and you could probably hack a white saddle into quarters and get four colors out of it. Just a thought. 

Thanks Ray / Ftyer,

 

I thought about the Kool Aid angle as I've read that else where but what intrigues me about the Copic system is the wide variety of colors available.  Also it's an alcohol based in and supposedly permanent.   Wouldn't advocate buying all that's offered but no reason not to find your favorite flat wing colors and/or favorite fly colors without any difficulty.     

 

I tried coloring a few white feathers with colored Sharpies and the results weren't too bad and thinking the Copic system allows for a nice even coating, better than with Sharpies and additionally their pens can be recharged with refills available at reasonable costs so wondering if this wouldn't do the trick.     Wish I knew someone who had one to give it a try.   If it worked well a good old white saddle would last me a long time...

 

HT

 

About only 60% of the Copic colors

 

copiccolor.png.326e3a61dc0fc881ea75cba5927568cb.png

 

  

 

 

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11 mins ago, ferret said:

do you really think the fish care that much about the colors?

 

I wish I knew how they think and or see things but who knows.   Some folks fish the same fly in different colors on dropper setups and swear that a certain color is the only one fish will hit time and time again,   heard this many times, so you tell me.      I'd like to tie up some Herring flatwings and would like some blues/purples/pink feathers to do so but don't want to spend the money they're asking for those colors so looking for an innovative way to get what I want without breaking the bank.   That's what I do...

 

HT   

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Luckily I purchased a bunch of saddles at the shows 15 plus years ago when they were $20 each or 3 for $50.   Therefore, I use the colors that look good to me, but like you, I too have no idea what the fish see.  

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I don't tie many flat wings, but I have used the Copic markers and similar alcohol based markers to color hackle, marabou, mop pieces.  I'm not sure you need the whole system unless you're going to be tying a couple of dozen flies or planning to use it for poppers and crease flies.  The marker by itself will do the trick if you just need a few hackles to tie the pattern.  Just let the hackle dry a couple of minutes before tying it in or wrapping it.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Happy i bought capes at somerset back when i was into the flatwing tying craze, still have likely 30 capes in various colors

 

as for what the fish see i have no doubt that colors in a flat wings make a difference, A buddy and myself used to fish a certain area with current 4-6 days a week. if it was outgoing tide we were there. This area fished well at night in any conditions other than a Northwest wind. day to day the bass would tell you what colors worked on tuesday it could be black on wed it could be a flatwing i called the creamsicle (Salmon over pink over pale yellow over white) and we could prove this time and time again, difference between fish every 10 swings and fish every swing. Only thing i could equate it too was available light as water quality was consistent from day/day

Edited by Sandflee

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On 4/16/2019 at 1:54 PM, Philly said:

I don't tie many flat wings, but I have used the Copic markers and similar alcohol based markers to color hackle, marabou, mop pieces.  I'm not sure you need the whole system unless you're going to be tying a couple of dozen flies or planning to use it for poppers and crease flies.  The marker by itself will do the trick if you just need a few hackles to tie the pattern.  Just let the hackle dry a couple of minutes before tying it in or wrapping it.  

 

Thanks Philly,    I think I'll purchase a few markers and maybe the spray system and give it a whirl.   Might be a fun way to color up some crease flies as well though I'm sure the bass don't care what color they really are as long as they look edible :)

 

Found this on line as well so not quite an original idea by me.

 

HT

 

 

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Give it a shot.  I tried the scale maker just using the  Copic pen.  Didn't turn out well.  What I ended up doing is buying some Tulle fabric(used for wedding veils and other stuff) in pearl and silver and applying it to sticky back craft foam.  It gives a decent scale pattern.   I think you should be able to see it on this Crease fly.

 

 

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you'll have to sort through a multiple of pkgs at Bears Den to find the one w/ the right feathers but the woolly bugger hackle packs will have some long hackles good for flatwings at $20 a pkg

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