Those of you who have watched my flytying lessons will know that I favour the double half hitch for finishing off my flies rather than the whip finish. Do not be deterred from learning the whip finish either manually or by one of the various tools available.
I learnt my fly tying over sixty years ago when the whip finish or double half hitch was rarely used. In the early days when eyed hooks became popular many of the commercial flies were finished off with a single half hitch with well waxed thread…..no varnish! This practice was resurrected when it was decided to train young women in Africa and Asia to tie the flies. At that time I was tying for several local tackle shops and was told that I had to abandon my practice of finishing every fly with two double half hitches and varnishing the heads. This was by one of the men who had gone abroad to set up these factories and instruct the local tyers. Not only did I have to tie an inferior fly my price was halved, but not the cost of the materials or hooks. Needless to say I gave up tying for the retail market. But I digress.
The double half hitch is relatively easy if you follow the instruction clip. If you have trouble pulling the thread through the first loop, with your finger, try using a bodkin or the end of a short knitting needle, even a pencil. Always tighten the thread slowly and direct it to where you want it to lie .Cut the thread do not break it off.
Remember practice makes perfect. Just keep tying the knot on a bare hook until it is second nature to you.
Dave Cammiss and the Team