Thanks for the replies! It was definitely easier than I had assumed, but winding the Hackle & the Whip finish is definitely a challenge. If you haven't noticed, I set the vise & wind from the left. Most of the videos on whip finishing show using the tool from the right side. I'll get it...
I definitely notice a difference in the Thread. The 1st fly was tied with UNI, the 2nd with UTC Ultra. I kept breaking the UTC with the Ceramic bobbin until I honed the inside edge of the Ceramic tube, then the UTC stopped breaking. I think UNI is the better choice for me, although I like the translucent look of the UTC. Probably due to the nature of the thread, I bet. Not waxing might have played a part, too.
Thanks for the 411 about the hackle, CB. I have to figure out what's usable re: the Partridge feathers. As flytire said, some of them may not be suitable for hackle.
Practice, practice, practice. Slow & steady wins the race. If I screw up, that's what the X-acto knife is for!