Re: Cracking the whip
I had the same problem (I'm a newbie, too, so I'm NOT relaying experience!). A friend, with a lot of experience, gave me much the same advice as you're seeing here. I went from losing 6-8 flies in a couple of hours, to none, after only a couple of outings, paying attention to the timing. Of course, I still lose flies to trees, snags, etc.
The "whip-crack" puts an incredible amount of stress on the tippet (so my physicist friend says). Much more than fighting a fish!