Fly Tying

Whip-Finishing: Final Steps in Tying a Fly


Finishing a fly can be done a number of ways. I’d like to share two of the most popular ways to finish a fly and demonstrate one of them with video. Before reaching the point of finishing a fly, make any additional thread wraps to shape the head of the fly. Shaping is key – many flies need to be shaped to better match the intended bait. For example, use a longer and consistent set of threads to simulate the nose of a squid, a longer and narrower angle for Clousers, and so on.

At this point, it’s time to tie off your thread. One popular way to snug up the tail end of your thread is to make a series of half-hitches. If half hitches are preferred, make at least three (3) of them and finish with a good amount of head cement. If you prefer whip-finishing (as most of us do), whip-finish twice, using five (5) wraps each time.

Keep in mind, whip-finishing by hand is easy enough. You may find a whip-finishing tool is not necessary. Above is a video demonstrating how whip finishing technically secures your thread. I’ve used larger format materials to help show what is actually taking place during the process. After following along with the mechanics of whip-finishing, the whole process becomes much easier to understand and practice.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to comment/ reply to this post below – We will be glad to offer any additional advice.

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