"Whip Finish"

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Intro: In order to give a clearer description of the whip finish a bare hook has been used in the diagrams. The whip finish is used to finish a fly and is a stumbling block for experienced and beginners alike. Some tyers use a half hitch, some have their own version and some have even given up tying because they could not finish a fly. It may seem strange that the last thing we do on a fly, apart from varnishing, is covered in lesson two. The explanation is if you spend an hour tying a fly and cannot finish it off your hour has been wasted, the thread will simply unravel. This page tries to show what is happening to the thread with during my version of the whip finish. If you can understand what you are trying to do then it becomes an easy process, study and follow the steps below then try it out.
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Diagram 1
This shows the starting position with a loop of thread for inserting your right hand index and middle finger. The bobbin is held by the left hand and hardly moves from the position shown. You must keep a constant tension on the thread gently pulling with your left hand and your right fingers. This stops the previously tied fly unraveling.
 
Diagram 2
As previously stated I have omitted the actual fly and also spaced out the thread to make it easier to view. Part (A) is lifted to the top of the hook by your two fingers keeping your left hand taught and in position. You now have to reposition your spread out fingers and at the same time keep everything taught.
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Diagram 3
The thread is swung round the back of the hook trapping itself against the hook, at the bobbin end of the loop, and returning back to the same position as drawing 1. This procedure is carried out at least 5 or 6 times before you pull the loop through. The hard part is switching position of your two fingers whilst keeping a tension on the loop and the bobbin end. 
Diagram 4
This shows 6 turns round the hook and the loop ready for pulling through. With a dubbing needle, or something similar, inserted in the loop to stop it twisting gently pull on the bobbin end until the loop disappears. Keep the thread tight at all times by either trapping with a finger, part of your hand or by constant pulling. It is a bit awkward finding the right position for your two fingers but with practice on a bare hook it will come. Do not make too many turns as the loop will not pull through.
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| Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 | Download eBook |


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