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Metz Feather & Hackle Fly Tying Material Guide

Metz Feathers Hackle

Metz Feather & Hackle Fly Tying Material Guide

A simple guide to which Metz product to buy for your fly tying supplies

Metz Feather & Hackle Fly Tying Material Guide

After nearly three decades as fly-fishing's leading purveyor of the highest quality genetic dry fly hackle, Metz continues to produce premium hackle for all of your fly-tying needs and Troutcatchers are delighted to be a leading Worldwide Metz supplier complimenting its range of over 4,000 quality Fly Tying Materials.

Early pioneers of genetic engineering techniques, Metz selected and raised stock specifically for hackle production. An industry leader, Metz produces its high quality fly-tying hackle in the heart of Pennsylvania USA among the historical roots of fly-fishing, Metz is grounded in fly-tying heritage.

Metz Cock & Hen Hackles, a name synonymous with quality, and a team dedicated to service, Metz is determined to move fly-tying to the next level of excellence, in fact they are so good Turrall use them extensively for their huge range of Award Winning Flies of which you can purchase on the troutcatcher site. 

Picture Credits Julie Ellis

Metz Cock Necks

Metz Cock Neck hackles

Metz Cock Neck hackles are generally used for tying dry flies and if you are looking to tie flies in a range of sizes then you should be buying a cock neck.

Metz cock necks come in 3 grades and the choice of which one is dependant on how many flies you wish to tie and how much you want to spend.

Metz Cock Neck - Grade 1 is the most expensive but provides more feathers than the lower grades offering great value for money for commercial tyers and enthusiastic amateurs who tie a high number of flies each year. The Metz Cock Neck - Grade 2 is less expensive and subsequently has fewer feathers, the Metz Cock Neck - Grade 3 is the choice for many tyers who just want to tie a few dozen flies in different sizes. The Grade 3 is also available in half necks, so if you are not tying too many these give you the opportunity to maybe but 2 different colours for around the same price as one full neck.

Quick Links for Metz Cock Necks

Metz Cock Saddles

Metz Cock Saddles

Metz Cock Saddles have much longer feathers which tend to be in the larger sizes, so if you are tying lots of dries in sizes 10 & 12 then a saddle can offer good value for money.  The main attraction of a saddle feather is that you can tie 4 or 5 flies from one feather.

Recently challenging to source as the market for these feathers went crazy (along with Microbarb Saddles); people saw Steven Tyler (lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith) wearing feathers in his hair on American Idol and everyone had to have them, the market for these Feather Hair Extensions is still red hot, however availability is now returning to normal as supplies have improved which is great news for the Fly Tyer (though some colours are still rare). 

Metz Saddles are available in two grades, Metz Cock Saddles Grade 1 and Metz Cock Saddles Grade 2, with the Grade 1 providing more feathers that are longer in length.

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Metz Microbarb Saddles

Metz Microbarb Saddles

Metz Microbarb Saddles provide long, thin feathers that have very little taper and give you lots of feathers to tie dries in sizes #12, #14 and sometimes even #16. You will also be able to tie up to 10 flies from one feather.

These Metz Microbarb Saddles do offer outstanding value, however because of demand they have gone up in price lately (See above Feather Hair Extensions) and so a grade 2 microbarb is now more expensive than a Metz Cock Neck - Grade 3.

Metz Microbarb Saddles are available in two grades, Metz Microbarb Saddles Grade 1 and Metz Microbarb Saddles Grade 2, with the Grade 1 providing more feathers that are longer in length.

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Metz Magnum Cock Necks and Saddles

Metz Magnum Cock Necks and Saddles

Metz now offer magnum necks and saddles which are still from the cock bird but have much wider, more webby feathers that are perfect for tying larger flies for salmon, pike and saltwater flies.

As with the regular cock hackles the necks have shorter feathers in many different sizes and so are perfect for salmon flies in sizes from 4 to 10.  These are also available is dyed colours that are popular in many salmon patterns.

The saddles are used for large pike and saltwater streamer patterns and for the tails in deceiver type patterns.

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Metz Hen Necks

Metz Hen Necks

Metz Hen Necks are used mainly for tying wet hackled flies such as spiders.  The feathers are wider and softer so lend themselves perfectly for soft swept-back hackles.

Much shorter in length than a cock feather but this is ok as wet hackled flies work better with fewer wraps producing a more sparsely tied pattern.

Quick Link to Metz Hen Necks

Metz Hen Saddles

Metz Hen Saddles

Metz Hen Saddles, as with the cock bird the saddle feathers are wider and are perfect for some of the new age tube flies and soft hackle salmon flies.

The feathers can also be used as the side feathers in lure patterns such as Mrs Simpson.

Quick Link to Metz Hen Saddles

Metz Feather & Hackle Fly Tying Material Summary

Metz Feather and Hackle Fly Tying Size summary
Metz Grizzly


Metz Black


Metz Cree


Metz Ginger


Metz Medium Dun

Metz-Medium Dun

Metz Silver Badger

Metz-Silver Badger

Metz Brown

Metz-Brown / Furnace

Metz Cream