Finishing Knot Large Hooks

NJ Catch and Release

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I used to tie a lot of flies for trout and other warm water species but haven't done it for a while. I have been getting into more saltwater fishing this year both using conventional gear and fly rod. I would like to get back into tying and would like to start by creating some saltwater teasers and replacing some of the hooks on my AVAs with both hackle and bucktail dressed hooks. I started last night on adding bucktail to a VMC Siwash open eye hook but ran into an issue at the end. When I tried to whip finish using a whip finish tool, I ran into trouble getting around the large open eye. How do you guys usually finish off your larger saltwater files?
 
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trev

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Search the the web for "whip finish by hand" or "whip finish with fingers"- I'm sure there are videos. But, with practice you can hold the whip finish tool a few away from the hook and make the wraps that way, easier with Matarelli style tool, perhaps. You can also use a ballpoint pen tube as a half hitch tool.
 

bocianka1

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I use a whip finisher tool for most of my ties, especially the smaller flies. I did find it useful to learn to hand whip finish to help get around parachute posts or other obstacles on certain patterns like poppers or large bass bugs. Hand whip finishing should allow you to get around any size part of the fly or hook.

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NJ Catch and Release

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I use a whip finisher tool for most of my ties, especially the smaller flies. I did find it useful to learn to hand whip finish to help get around parachute posts or other obstacles on certain patterns like poppers or large bass bugs. Hand whip finishing should allow you to get around any size part of the fly or hook.

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That's the route I was planning on heading, I was just curious if maybe there was a different whip finish tool I should look at or maybe a different knot such as just using half hitches.
 

osseous

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There are extended reach whip finish tools available

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Rip Tide

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Another thing that I do in a really tight space is coat the last inch or so of the thread with superglue, wrap it on and trim.
No knot at all and it's never been a problem
 

bigjim5589

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I never did get the hang of using a whip finish tool, so I do it by hand on all flies. Most of what I tie is on large hooks, and I tie teasers and dressed trebles. Don't really see a need for a tool now.

I also tie the skirts on bass jigs, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, and that's always fun working around the wire forms. I don't know if a tool is made that would handle that. :rolleyes:
 

trev

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Back when I started tying my fingers were so rough that they'd fray thread on contact, so I got a Thompson whip finisher and got pretty good using it on the #24-18s that I used a lot in those days and then a year or two later got the Matarelli tools, with that I can hold the tool 3-4" off the fly and wrap the whip onto any part of the hook by keeping control of the bobbin in the other hand so tension stays even. after I was about 55 my hands got smooth enough that I could use my fingers on thread and did for a while but I go for the tool as often as not. Now both those manufacturers are gone and I've not used the "style" copies and have no idea how they perform, but give it a couple tries holding the bobbin for tension and keeping the WF tool 3" or so away from the knot.
 

GloveMan

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Use super glue like Rip Tide said. I add a coat of Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails over that which works great and can be purchased at any grocery store in the nail polish section. If you tie a lot of big salty flies I recommend making squeeze bottle of 80% Sally Hansen's and 20% Acetone (you can buy that in the same section of the grocery) or whatever thickness you prefer. Soak your finished head warps with it and it is better than any head finish you will pay 5X more for. Great on Clousers and Deceivers too.
 

LOC

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That's the route I was planning on heading, I was just curious if maybe there was a different whip finish tool I should look at or maybe a different knot such as just using half hitches.
I use the standard Matarelli.
The trick is to hold the tool away from the eye or body while keeping tension.
You take a oblong path around the shank.

I can put a new tail on a Crease fly and I'm able to whip finish over the body with that method.

CA glue works too but you should put knot sense over the wraps if it's a saltwater fly that's going to take a beating.
 

silver creek

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clsmith131

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Try pulling more slack off your bobbin and starting the whip farther away from the fly. I always use a whip finish tool, and I tend to throw a lot of whips in throughout the process of tying any of the larger flies. This creates a more durable fly, if the thread breaks, it won't completely unravel. My flies generally last through many fish. Actually, I almost always lose them before they lose their material.

Here's a video illustrating a whip finish with a common tool:
 

Acheron

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Man, do I LOVE tying bigger flies. That thick thread is so easy to handle!

Whip finsihing with my fingers feels like it give me the best control down to size 24. You can make the loop as big as needed using your fingers.
 

thomasw

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Another thing that I do in a really tight space is coat the last inch or so of the thread with superglue, wrap it on and trim.
No knot at all and it's never been a problem
Indeed I remember Dave Whitlock exposing the idea. Does anyone else recall this episode of Angler's Art? Such a fine show...

 
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