Jump to content
Fly Tying
FlaFly

One and two-finger whip finishing

Recommended Posts

I owned a whip finish (Thompson if I recall correctly) tool in 1981 when I first started tying flies but couldn't get the hang of it so I just started tying half hitches to finish my flies. half hitches haven't failed me yet! smile.png

 

a whip finish tool isn't really necessary when tying on longer hooks when you may want to tie something down at the bend of the hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the need to use a whip finisher if I need to finish a fly behind the wings, etc. on a particular fly. Harder to hand tie behind an obstacle. Guess I'll be forced to learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it really helpful to know how to whip by hand. I often use a Matarelli but other times it is much easier to just whip by hand. I use the method Lefty Kreh does for hand whip finishes by placing my two fingers under rather than over the thread before forming the triangle. I honestly don't think there is any difference but I learned by watching a video of him and I now find it more comfortable. I often have to whip by hand when I tie off at the back of the hook and the whip finisher doesn't reach. I also tie my own buck tail jigs up to 1 oz and for those I have to whip by hand since the whip finisher doesn't reach the collar and is difficult to maneuver around the jig head. I suppose I could get the large whip finisher but don't really see the need at this point. To each his own I guess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AGN54... I think your last statement should be adopted as the motto of this forum: "To each his own, I guess."

Brilliant! I should have thought of that myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You finger pick bare-knuckled? I do too but use my nails, not my nubs. Leo Kottke picked bare-knuckled too.

Leo's work is AWESOME!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do use a whip finisher to tie the head but I use my fingers between stages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No half hitches, no whip finishers. Always just used fingers and scissor to keep loop straight as it gets smaller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a person works with their hands, resulting in rough skin, a whip finisher would be the answer to snagging thread. If your hands are rough I urge you to mix olive oil with dish detergent. Add salt as a pumice if greasy. Even though my hands are usually soft they do get dry on occasions and the olive oil worked great. No need for messy hand creams after washing. Give it a try.

 

I have inspected half hitches very closely under magnification and although they do have overlapping thread, it is barely noticeable. The whip and half hitch both hold up equally well and will not unravel unless someone uses a clamp on them. Cement sometimes helps with that. I have a clamp on my vest but never use it unless my finger or slip over the line removal tool can't get it, and I plan to keep the fish. Chances are the fish will not survive removing a hook like that so it is best just to clip off the tippet and let the fly dissolve if catching and releasing. I prefer the whip finish because it is faster for me and no tool is required. I also like the control and feel of the thread tension. But both are very efficient ways to finish a fly.

 

My fingers are too large to follow the thread to the shank with accuracy. I keep a bodkin needle stuck in my mouse pad by my vise and use it, or scissors (both are tools) in the loop. It keep it from twisting and allows better control for me. I occasionally even have a hard time controlling the thread loop while attaching materials to the shank, especially when my nails need trimming. I sometimes feel like my fingers are cucumbers and wish I had my wife's fingers when I tie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhh Ed Gallop, Harry Darbee and Walt Dette could not hold a candle to Winnie Dette and Elsie Darbee. Hand size? Maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troutguy... You must be long in the tooth, as I am, to mention Darbee and Deete and their tying spouses. There have been many excellent women tiers but I doubt small finger is the big advantage. It is talent and patience and, overall, I believe women have more artistic talent and patience than men.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting you should bring up the topic of women tying flies. I posted some time back a link to the fishing museum site, with a discussion of William Hardy's Alnwick factory in the 1800s, with rows of women tying flies by hand (no vise). Here's a more recent link to early fishing BlogSpot with pictures of ladies appearing to be in the 1950s hand-tying flies. http:/earlyfishingtackle.blogspot.com/p/vintage-fly-making-companies.html

My brother was a supervisor at Texas Instruments back in the 70s, and their entire manufacturing staff were women (doing fine work on creating electronic parts and circuit boards, etc.). Maybe there's something to the idea that ladies are more skillful at certain tasks. Makes me wonder if a woman might make a better brain surgeon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes me wonder if a woman might make a better brain surgeon.

(Wife is looking over shoulder) Women are better at EVERYTHING !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You finger pick bare-knuckled? I do too but use my nails, not my nubs. Leo Kottke picked bare-knuckled too.

 

Yeah. Just the way that works better for me lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL Mikeshell... My wife is sleeping but I still know better than to speak my mind. :-)

 

FlaFly... Nice link. I will return to it when I have more time but, at a glance, I can see they have a hand vise. I had one back in the 50s but I knew someone that even used pliers. The hand vise was cheap and it would fit in the palm snugly with the middle, ring, and small finger. Gave it away when I bought a Thompson. Wish I had saved it.

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...