Jump to content
Fly Tying
carolinafisherman

Half Hitch vs Whip Finish

Recommended Posts

Is a whip finish really all that much more durable than a half hitch + double half hitch? I always try to improve durability on my flies, and this is one of the big things.

 

Thanks,

CF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not only stronger, but it also looks better most of the time. The exception might be behind a cone or a bead, where it difficult to impossible to tell the difference. Half hitches are generally more useful for intermediate tie-offs in order to keep your thread from slipping or unraveling for some rotary functions, for example. Once you are experienced in both, it is at least as fast to whip finish a fly as to finish it with two or three half hitches, so no reason generally to use any other way of finishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no contest between the two. Whip finish in infinitely superior in durability and everything else.

 

what type of testing have you performed to come up with your conclusion of which is better??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no contest between the two. Whip finish in infinitely superior in durability and everything else.

 

what type of testing have you performed to come up with your conclusion of which is better??

 

 

Tie a couple flies with both, then try to twist and pick apart the heads with your fingers and bodkin. The head of a fly takes quite a bit of abuse from fishes' teeth. Even fish like bass which don't have "teeth" like trout and walleyes etc, have sandpapery areas made up of thousands of micro-teeth which will shred stuff.

 

A whip finish is extremely simple and quick, either done by hand or with a tool, once a person takes a couple minutes to practice and learn it. It's a zero-bulk knot when done correctly. There is simply no reason NOT to use it to finish off a fly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After about 3 years of tying with half hitches, I just sat down one night and learned to whip finish by hand. 12 years later and never went back. The biggest thing that would get me was after tying a few half hitches, I would cut the thread close on the head and too many times the last hitch would release before I put cement on and the whole head would unravel. Not a problem with the whip finish. A good whip finish with waxed thread and no head cement is needed. I agree with RRSS that if your covering it all with cement then it probably doesn't matter for durability, but if your going for looks then again the whip finish is better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no contest between the two. Whip finish in infinitely superior in durability and everything else.

 

what type of testing have you performed to come up with your conclusion of which is better??

 

 

There is a science to knots and knot efficiency. Hitch knots are very useful, but they are not as strong, and often designed to come apart when you want them too.

 

In general, any knot that puts sharp bends in the material is weaker, and knots like the whip finish and blood knot put less sharp angles in the material.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree a whip finish is superior to a Half-Hitch. And I believe it is much superior to a series of Quarter-Hitches, which is probably what most fly tyers are unknowingly tying when they think they're doing a Half-Hitch. Check out this short, very informative fly tying article from FlyAnglersOnline that describes how to properly tie a Half-Hitch instead of a series of Quarter-Hitches:

 

http://flyanglersonline.com/flytying/tyingtips/part154.php

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learn to whip finish well and you don't need head cement (for the fish at least, the gloss sometimes looks nice).

 

 

I just sat down one night and learned to whip finish by hand. 12 years later and never went back.

 

I whip finish my large flys (uni thread or floss by hand. It is much more convenient). When I am tying size 16 or smaller dries, and I want a really nice looking head, I use a Matterelli whip tool. It tightens down and puts on 5-8 wraps in almost no time.

 

I find whip finishing size 8 thread by hand a bit harder. The hand whipping unravels the thread and it gets caught on the tufts of dead skin on my fingers.

FWIW.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a knotologist, but I do play one on TV. So, I have little to zero knowledge to back up my opinion.

 

A 1/2 hitch uses one wrap to hold down the thread.

 

A whip finish uses multiple wraps to hold down the thread. I think this is better explained in person (mostly because i'm too lazy to try to type an explanation.)

 

I tell people that a whip finish tool basically allows you to make 1/2 hitches over and over real quickly....and for what it's worth, I think that's a safe bet.

 

I like to do a whip finish, then another whip finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out using the half hitch for my ties. But often it was necessary to do several of them because at least one would come undone before I could even apply head cement. It was embarrassing to tie flies that looked nice but soon fell apart. So I forced myself to take the time to learn to do a whip finish. It just takes a few minutes practice to get the hang of it once you set your mind to the task.

 

Yes! A whip finish is way better than a half hitch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A 1/2 hitch uses one wrap to hold down the thread.

Actually, that's only a 1/4 hitch, a common misconception. It takes two wraps or 1/4 hitches oriented in opposite directions to properly make a half-hitch. Again, please check out the flyanglersonline link I've referenced above on how to properly execute a half-hitch. There's a big difference between executing two 1/4 hitches vs. a half-hitch and it may be why so many folks are having issues with the security of their "half-hitches." Again, either way, I still think a whip finish is better.

 

-- Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no contest between the two. Whip finish in infinitely superior in durability and everything else.

 

what type of testing have you performed to come up with your conclusion of which is better??

Common sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...