Whip Finish Incapable

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by freestoneangler, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 3,732
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +613 / 1
    I have never been able to master the whip finish, free hand, tools or otherwise....there, I've said it. I keep trying once in awhile only to get frustrated, saying F-it, and going back to multiple half-hitches to finish my ties. Since I always dope with "hard as nails" or zap-it anyway, and rarely have thread start unwinding while in use, I suppose my method is good enough...but for some reason it still pisses me off I cannot master the whip finish.

    Anyone else suffer this disease...misery loves company :D
  2. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,242
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +634 / 0
    I'm with you, but I've only been tying for a couple of months so I still hope to get it down eventually. I'm just glad that someone else finds it tricky.
  3. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,245
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +350 / 0
    The Martinelli tool makes it much easier. Go to u tube and watch Davy McPhail use his. It is as simple as can be. I know, if you don't know how to do it, it isn't simple. But when you master it, you will wonder why it was difficult. Just take it slow. It will work for you.
    I had the same problem with the Uni knot. DUH!
  4. S Fontinalis Active Member

    Posts: 463
    Ratings: +180 / 0
    I think it depends on which too you are using. The free rotation tools with fixed hooks are best for me, i know they have a specific name, but cant recall it. The alternative tool is a spring loaded machine, which i could never master despite have three different sizes of the same tool.

    I suggest switching from the tool you are trying to use, be it spring loaded or free rotation-fixed hook, to the other type of tool. Also, next time you're in a fly shop, ask one of the assistants to give you a demonstration.
  5. Brian Thomas Active Member

    Posts: 776
    Kamloops B.C
    Ratings: +97 / 0
  6. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +533 / 0
    YES! Me too. Who cares, I don't.
  7. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,269
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,235 / 9
    I struggled, but finally figured it out. Then at a tying session a friend said I was doing it backwards...well, I'm still doing it backwards and hundreds, maybe thousands of flies later they all fish well. I second the video watching approach. That worked for me.
  8. Joe Goodfellow Active Member

    Posts: 502
    DES moines wa
    Ratings: +94 / 0
    go on youtube and watch the videos and get a whip finisher that had a rotating head makes it a lot easier
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,286
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,390 / 0
    Never learned how to use a whip finisher, but I find it pretty easy to do it just twirling my fingers. I think a little one-on-one instruction would make it easy enough to learn.
    Blake Harmon likes this.
  10. fisherjon Member

    Posts: 147
    Oak Harbor,Washington
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    hey i see it as long as you finish off a fly in a way that the thread doesnt unwind and you apply some type of glue to it that will keep it together your good unless your tying a permit fly then i think you should make sure you whip finish it good because you cant put glue on it because they can smell it
  11. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,423
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +355 / 0
    When you are ready to tie off, hit the thread with superglue and do a couple more wraps. Dave Whitlock use to do this on some of his ties making the whip finish unneeded.
  12. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 3,732
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +613 / 1
    I've been told I wind my thread backwards as well. I wind counter-clockwise if viewed from the front/eye of the hook. If that's backwards, my question is "according to who"? I started that way and I'll finish that way....it works well for me.
  13. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,269
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,235 / 9
    I agree. I'll teach you how to whip finish bassackwards if you wish. You might catch grief from friends...or you might just catch fish and not care.
  14. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 3,732
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +613 / 1
    That's probably why the instructions to the whip finish tools aren't worth a shit to me... kinda like using left handed scissors or golf clubs... what's with that? Everyone knows the "right hand rule" prevails in the world of science and fly tying :D
  15. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,245
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +350 / 0
    If you wish, tie a granny knot in the thread to finish the tie. It is not a serious life threatening situation, no matter how passionate you are about fly fishing. But, and there is always a but, teaching yourself a skill will give you an edge in the world, no matter what it might be. The half hitch and the whip finish are neither difficult or complicated.

    But if your choice is to not take the time to learn, then tie what ever works for you. I am certain that the fish will not notice nor care what you use to finish the tie.
  16. jessejames Flyslinger

    Posts: 1,826
    Show Low, Arizona
    Ratings: +311 / 3
    I make my students practice on a bare hook untile they master the whip finisher befor they get to tie their first fly. If they don't get it I flog them with a wet rabbit skin. Tere is no giving up because it is too hard. This is not a hobby for whiners.;)
  17. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,245
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +350 / 0
    Not the old wet rabbit skin punishment. Do you lash them to a fly rod and rip the shirt off their back, like in the movies?
    :eek:
  18. dfl Active Member

    Posts: 310
    Sequim WA
    Ratings: +130 / 0
    Whatever works for you is the way to go. It doesn't matter and no one cares.
  19. Marc Stelting Member

    Posts: 61
    NW Wash.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Freestoneangler- I am with you. I have fought it for years and finally decided to hell with it- yes, bad atitude. Maybe one of these days I will head over to jesse's for a class and learn. I do same about the half hitches and some gookumpucky, and good to go. It has worked for 25 years, but no excuses.
  20. jessejames Flyslinger

    Posts: 1,826
    Show Low, Arizona
    Ratings: +311 / 3
    I will fess up now. The whip finish tool for many is hard to learn. I use all three methods as needed; the whip finish tool, whip finishing with my fingers and the half hitch method. I think the tool works best for most tyers if they learn it early. It is hard to learn from watching video. I teach students by having them stand behind me then working with thm until they get it. I really do make them practice on a bare hook until they are comfortable with the tool before we move on to tying. The other thing is the choice of tools there simply are some that are easier to teach than others.