A couple of weeks ago there was a thread on
the Bulletin Board about the Fly Tiers
Benchside Reference. On that thread
James Castwell put down that Frank Amato Publishing
had it on sale along with a magazine subscription for 5
years. Since I wanted the book and the magazine
was an added bonus I sent for it.
The book came in last Friday, but I did not get
a chance to look at it until Wednesday. I read
the first part hat talked about how the book was
put together and looked at a few places, but was
always going back to look at another page in their
reference system. I finally decided to start at the
front and go to the back. This is where my trouble
I have been tying flies for over 10 years to the
best of my memory. I really did think that I had
a few of the basics down. I thought I could get
thread on the hook. Tie in tail, body, thorax,
abdomen, wing and other materials on the hook. The
one thing I never did get to work very well was
the whip finishing tool.
In fact it was so bad that I learned to do it by
hand so I could do it that way and forget the
tool. I seemed to do a better job that way anyhow.
Now I am so comfortable with it that I just do it
that way all of the time. I even thought my heads
we coming out halfway decently.
Here comes the problem. I am at the start and reading
about whip finishing. That is great, I have been doing
it that way. I even had the thread on the whip finisher
right and had it aligned with the hook correctly. The
one thing that I never did, or even read that I can
remember, was to put the loop on the whip finisher
on the shank and twist the thread that way. My
wife tells me that I am not supposed to pay attention
to the pictures(to keep me away from 'those' magazines
Now my problem with the whip finisher makes sense.
I immediately put a hook in the vise, attach the
thread and then spend 10 minutes hunting down the
whip finisher so I can try it. I set it up like
the picture and it puts the thread on so nicely.
Next time the Scouts are in for a class I will show
them this and see if it helps them do it, correctly.
I have been working with a few Scouts toward their
I am not sure if my not picking up on this was
stupidity, a good chance as I taught myself to
tie. It might be that I never paid attention as
people used the whip finisher. But now I understand
how it was supposed to be used. One of those first
tools that you are advised to get. (If you are still
having a problem with the whip finisher, there is
a movie of it here:
My guess is that a few other folks have done something
like this. If you have please let me know. I don't
want to be the only idiot on the board.
It does scare me to think of how many other
things I may find out that I did not know as
I go through the rest of the book.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick