This is a material you have probably never seen in a fly shop. Cocktails are premium feathers that are available in such a limited quantity that they are usually only reserved for fancy hat makers who produce costumes for Las Vegas entertainers.
Averaging 10 – 14″, cocktails are the natural choice for tying large saltwater fly patterns. Unlike other long saddle hackles, they have reasonably stiff stems which help keep their shape without excess twisting of the stem. For flatwing patterns the stiff stem ensures the hackle will not foul and keeps a nice tight movement that is more realistic in the water than a loosely flopping hackle. The stiff stem also ensures that the fly tracks straighter on the retrieve and casts with less wind resistance.