Topic: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

This is the second whip I made (just after the first... so has the same mistake of the previous one): a snakewhip (little less than 4ft)

I used a little less than 1 and a half pack of black paracord... 40 m in total (each pack 100ft = about 30,5 m)

For this whip I was using the info found online... mainly on http://whip-basics.com/images/gallery/N … part_1.pdf and http://whip-basics.com/images/gallery/N … part_2.pdf with some little variations (as my previous whip, I was shy and I wasn't user of this forum yet): I used steel BBs instead ballchain and (as my first whip) there's no e-tape in this whip.

Core: 3 strand of gutted paracord
(as usual, my rulers are in cm, sorry for that... as quick comparison: 1 inch = 2,54 cm ; 1ft = 30,48 cm)
0,5 cm empty + 22 cm 4,5mm BBs and then nothing for about 4,5 cm
0,5 cm empty + 41 cm 4,5mm BBs and then nothing for about ,5 cm
0,5 cm empty + 60 cm 4,5mm BBs and then nothing for about 20 cm

This is a little cheat... 3,5 cm of 5 mm threaded rod... adds some length and is a rigid surface to start easier (will be cover by the heel knot... the behavior of a snakewhip remains)

Putting somer innter strands onto the little cheat and putting the core strands together
tapering dropping the 1st core (I used simple sewing to tie together the core strands)
and the 2nd core
this is the end of the core
Stiffening the transition: tennis tape (white stuff in the photo) and inner strands

I start plaiting the single belly in 8 strands
(strands lenght: 1,80 m 1,80 m 1,80 m 1,40 m 1,30 m 0,90 m 0,80 m)
(using 2x3,6 m + 1x2,7 m + 1x1,7 m paracord pieces)
I dropped the first 2 strands at the transition from 3 to 2 core anche the 2nd set of two at the transition from 2 to 1 core... the last strands reach the transition from filled BB core and the empty core and was cut in different length.

Stiffening again:

Plaiting the overlay in 12 strands
(strands lenght: 2,40 m 2,40 m 2,40 m 2,40 m 2,40 m 2,10 m 1,90 m 1,80 m 1,40 m 1,30 m 0,90 m 0,80 m)
(using 2x4,8 m + 1x4,5 m + 1x3,7 m + 1x2,7 m + 1x1,7 m paracord pieces)
knot fundation
heel knot
fall hitch
^^^ the fall is long 30 cm (about 1 ft)

Finished whip
(1st ruler 80cm long and the 2nd ruler 50cm long)

Jacket (whip in the pocket and outside)
Vest (whip in the pocket and outside):

What I like:
- somehow portable (in a jacket or a vest it stay in the front pocket for the winter or the spring, but not in a jeans in the summer time)
- it cracks... but with way too much effort compared to the 7ft bullwhip
- heel knot (i found really easy tying this type of knot)
that's it sad

What I don't like:
- as said, I wasn't yet a member of this forum, so there are some major mistake
- way too little tension on the plaiting => spongy feeling of the outer layer
- waaay too little tension in the last couple of inches (PS: I really don't like plaiting 4 strands... I feel like there is someting missing)
- different tension from left to right => wobbling pattern
- I was using the inner strand of the paracord... (some week ago, plaiting my 5th whip, I discovered where to buy artificial sinew in Italy and it's fantastic)
- I can tie a pretty organized fall hitch, but I discovered that I prefer the english eye construction

PS: I understand how to design the length of the strands and I've done a little Excel file where I can change the length of the whip and achive the right length of the strands with little effort. One sheet for bullwhip 1 core+2 bellies+outer layer.. One sheet for snakewhip 3 cores+1belly+outer layer... etc...
PS2: I wish I could have some spare time to post the topic of my 3rd and 4th micro snakewhip... they are way better than this whip.


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

That's the way to do it. Learn with every whip.
Good progression.


I heard the other day that Starbucks was going to start selling cocktails along with beer and wine.
They found that it's getting harder and harder to get sober people to pay $12 for a cup of coffee.


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Marco, this looks good for a second whip! Artificial sinew is so much nicer, since it lays flat! ^_^ By the way, are you using 550 paracord or 275 paracord here?

In terms of potential improvements, it looks like your overlay 12 plait isn't enough - it looks like the angle at which your strands lay are smaller than 45 degrees, which means it's harder to plait tightly (since it'd cause gapping).

I suggest you try doing a 14 or even 16 plait for the overlay smile Once you start plaiting tighter, you'll find that that reduces the diameter of your bellies, which allows for you to do lower plait counts on the overlay, but you want to aim for the strands to be ~45 degrees when you plait ^_^

But overall, it looks like it has a nice taper (A few small bumps here or there but easy to fix)~

Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Marco - your knots are spot on.  That's at least one challenge that you don't have to overcome, unlike me.  I used to use paracord guts a lot for different things as well, but now I've gone full on artificial sinew and am very happy with the results.  One of the best things about artificial sinew is it has a better tendency to stay where you put it, unlike the guts.

If I can't run fast, I'll make slow look impressive.
"By the power of ibuprofen!"


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Yes, I know... artificial sinew is way better... but for record pourpose I am posting the whip as it is, just to remember where I started.
I've already done 2 and a half more whip before I found in Italy artificial sinew... the 5th has artificial sinew only on the last belly. (now I'm plaiting my 6th and I'm using all artificial sinew binding).

In this whip I used 550 paracord and I agree: 12 plait isn't enought... as said I was doing some change to the .pdf tutorial but at that time I didn't realize that changing from ballchain to BBs the overall diameter grows and I would have to use more strands for the overlay... this was yet take into count for the 5th whips which is almost the same whip but with the handle and english eye (3rd and 4th are only little thing)


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Marco - understood.  We all experiment with different materials from time to time and what works for some doesn't for others.  I'm one of the people who still swears by hockey tape whilst others will declare its use to be sacrilege.

If I can't run fast, I'll make slow look impressive.
"By the power of ibuprofen!"


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Use what works and what you have available, especially for learning!!  We get better supplies and tools as we can.  You are constantly trying to improve, that is what matters most!!!

Inch by inch.


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Keep at it Marco. You're coming along fine!

One, two, three... "WOOF!"


Re: My second whip: 4ft snakewhip

Awesome knots Marco!
Keep it up!