Home Fly Fishing

Whip finishing deer hair flies with the hook eye engulfed

ole_florida_mikeole_florida_mike Posts: 28 Greenhorn
Here is an awesome little trick Pat Cohen learned from an old legend (Chris Helm I believe), that will make your life exponentially easier when trying to finish a fly with a giant mass of deer hair covering the eye of the hook.

Video: How to Whip Finish Deer Hair/Bulky Flies
Salt-centric fly shop with the knowledge & gear to outfit anglers worldwide


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,631 Captain
    Great video... what I used to teach my students was something a bit different using a tool anyone can make in just moment ... The tool is nothing but the body of a standard Bic pen (or any other "straight stick" ballpoint pen. Remove the top cap and the ball point and ink tube - what's left is your tool. The large end not only works to pack hair or similar materials (which you grab and pull away from the hook eye to allow a half hitch or whip finish...) but the tapered end allows you to quickly do a series of half hitches to secure the hair - then a whip finish if you wish. Do the half hitch onto your tool (the small end) then move the tool to the hook eye and slide it off the tool then onto the hook exactly where you want it.... With a bit of practice it looks like magic since it's fast and smooth (when you're tying 100 of the same pattern fast and smooth works....).

    I long ago got away from using any kind of head cement (the stuff isn't really "cement" at all - and there's a better adhesive...). After I finish any fly (or bucktail jig) I use a standard tube of Krazy Glue (the original thin version...) to seal and lock in place any thread head... Just a tiny drop will do - and only on the thread.... That thread will soak up the thin cyanoacrylate glue like a sponge and dry very quickly... After it dries you can fish it -as is... or apply a finish coat to make it look shiny and well finished. Using nothing but superglue is what I do all the time for my "guide flies" . The only way to remove that treated thread after it dries is with a razor - and not even a mackeral can cut through that thread head once it's been super-glued....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 244 Deckhand
    I thought super glue broke down in water. Am I thinking of just the gel-type SG? I remember ceramic repairs coming apart in the dishwasher.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,631 Captain
    The thin stuff is absorbed into the thread (and what the thread is touching ) so well that I still need a new razor blade to cut through it -after it’s been fished all day...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • ole_florida_mikeole_florida_mike Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Great tips Capt. Bob!
    Salt-centric fly shop with the knowledge & gear to outfit anglers worldwide
  • TaylorGilbertTaylorGilbert Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    if you do happen to clog the eye of the hook with thread of material theres a simple way to fix it!

    first coat the thread head in clear nail polish
    then heat up the point of a hook with a lighter or torch till it glows and stick it thru the hook eye...the clear nail polish will prevent the thread from coming undone and you will be left with a perfectly clear eye !!
  • TaylorGilbertTaylorGilbert Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    also the squeeze bottle of loctite superglue is all i use, iv never had an issue with eyes coming off and it doesnt matter if you forget the cap or knock it over since it has to be squeezed to come out
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