I recently got an email from someone asking about nylon whips. Now if they are a reader of this blog they know I’m not a nylon whip maker, however I have made a few nylon whips. Here’s what they asked:
“what do you use for your bolster material in the paracord whips? I hear that using tape is not the correct method?”
The few nylon whips that I have made I didn’t use tape. There are a couple reasons for that. First over time the tape can loose its stickiness so it don’t actually hold tight. I think a lot of people use tape because it temporarily will hold a whip tight, however once you years get down the road I don’t know how effective it will be. Second is that tape doesn’t add much bulk or weight to the whip. If you were to use tape to add taper or weight you’ll be adding an insane amount of tape.
Keep in mind I’m now a nylon whip maker, so there may be ways to overcome both of these problems with tape (using tape).
The few nylon whips that I’ve made were made with bolsters, however they were vinyl bolsters that were cut like a traditional leather bolster to add taper to the whip. They turned out just fine with this method. I’m trying to figure out why more nylon makers don’t use this technique, it’s way faster than taping a whip and gives you some control of the taper. My best guess is that it’s either that a sheet of vinyl can be expensive, so it’s a cost thing. Or many nylon whip makers aren’t that well versed in whip making techniques and are scared to make a traditional bolster.
However in my opinion at the end of the day there is no one right way to make a whip. If it makes a whip that cracks like the maker intends it to and it lasts for what the maker intends to be the life expectancy of the whip, then that way is correct for that person.