by Hans Weilenmann
as much as possible i’ll always try to use a whip finishing tool because i find they give better control and precision, specially with the smaller flies but the hand finish is sometimes the only option available, for instance, when tying off at the back of the fly or when the materials are all over the place or bulky or when the tool has mysteriously disappeared… anyhow, the hand finish is a must to know and learn and Hans’ video tutorial is the best i’ve seen.
as a side note, the ‘secret’ to a good and strong finishing knot, whether using a tool or by hand is to place the locking wraps side by side, in touching turns (we see this on the video) and not on top of or overlapping each other as this encourages them to roll off during the tightening sequence, reducing the effective locking surface. as Hans demonstrates on almost all his tying videos, a good, three turn whip is more than enough for most flies and a properly executed knot usually never needs any kind of varnish or glue to hold it together in time.
if you’re learning this technique, do yourself the favor of practicing it first with just thread and hook and not while tying an actual fly. done this way most people get it perfectly after two to three tries. enjoy !
post note- i wasn’t aware of the following video at the time of the original post. here’s Hans demonstrates the exact same knot but by using just one finger.
the guy’s impressive, to say the least…