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Whip Finishing


Whip Finishing helps to make a neat and tidy finish to your fly that wont unwind.






The above diagram shows the concept, a loop is made in the thread, that is then wound around the hook shank several times before drawing the loop closed, which traps the thread securing the knot.

Using a Whip Finishing Tool (pictured is a rotary whip finishing tool)

It would be easiest to experiment on a bare hook. Wind some thread on to the shank. Next hold the tool as shown below.

You then lift the thread up to the hook with your left hand and catch it in the notch on the tool.

Lift the tool up to horizontal, while with the left hand bring the thread up to lie along side of the hook. (Sorry, couldn't show the left hand and take the photo at the same time) You then rotate the whip finisher to wind the thread around the hook (and over the thread held in your left hand), trapping the thread against the hook. Several times around then release the thread loop from the notch on the tool, pull up with your left hand to close the loop, controlling the loop with the hook on the end of the tool.

If you want to build up quite a lot of thread, you need to keep the thread fairly slack, otherwise it wont 'pull through' to close the loop, also if it's too tight, you can find you can't release the thread from the tool.

Using your Fingers to Whip Finish;

It's not too hard, from the top picture, imagine you've slipped your 3 large finger of your right hand through the loop, then rotate your fingers to wine the thread around the hook;

To create the loop, holding the thread in your left hand down below your vice, place your 3 fingers against the thread, then with your left hand bring the thread up over your 3 fingers up to the hook. Your left hand would then stay by the hook (my left hand is again not shown)

Next swivel your fingers around, use the tips of your fingers as shown below, and maintain tension on the thread, otherwise it'll slip off your fingers

Rotate your finger around until you have your forefinger at the top, then you are set to proceed in wrapping the thread around the hook by repeating the series of hand rotations, controlling the thread with the bridge on your forefinger as shown below

Once you have enough wraps, pull the loop up tight with your left hand, you'll find that you can't control the loop at this point as well as you can with the hook on the whip finishing tool, so sometimes it may tangle then not pull through.

(It's also possible to do this one handed!!)

I find this very easy and quick to do, well worth learning.

Steve Gerard



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