Hi Loren, I know exactly what you mean.
With the varing side to side and widening or shortening of the hackle size as you use the feather, I find that saddle hackle is really suited for parachutes, also the "stubby" looking barbles seem more suited to the parachute as well. IMNSHO . LOL
To me neck hackle has a longer taper than saddle hackle, in each barble. So neck hackle looks better, to my eye, on standard tied dry flies. Plus neck hackle rarely has that side to side issue.
[This message has been edited by Jim Slattery (edited 21 March 2005).]