Some time ago, Steve Koliski of 21st Century Whips introduced his Apex whips to the whipcracking community. Steve’s Apex whips are constructed with a material called Dacron, which is a brand name for polyester cord. The thickness of this poly cord is comparable to the paracord which most nylon whipmakers use, but is a bit narrower in width. This requires more strands in order to cover the same diameter over which the nylon is plaited. For a 12 plait nylon whip, 16 strands of polyester cord are needed; for a 16 plait whip, 20 strands of polyester & so on. The higher plait count in a whip allows for a more fluid action, smoother rollout & better responsiveness. I’ve heard really good things about Steve’s Apex whips, creating an interest in experimenting with this material myself.
Oftentimes customers ask me about making the Baby Bulls & Baby Snakes in 16 plait. This option wasn’t available until now, as these whips are normally 12 plait, but by using the polyester cord, the Baby Bulls & Snakes can be built with a 16 strand overlay. The dimensions of the whips are pretty much the same. The pic to the right is a 16 plait black Baby Bull in poly cord. The knots are tied in nylon, & the fall is also nylon. I’m happy with the results of the poly cord so far, & plan on using it in larger whips soon.
The polyester cord does come in several colors, over a dozen I’m told by a certain manufacturer. At this time, I’m only carrying the black. Polyester is touted as being more abrasive resistant than nylon, meaning that it can take a little more abuse. It’s said to have better moisture resistance than nylon, that it doesn’t soak up as much moisture that nylon does. It also has a higher melting point, so a higher tolerance for heat. One thing I’ve noticed while plaiting the poly cord is how much less it stretches than nylon. There’s virtually no stretch to the strands when pulling them tight.
Overall, I’m pleased with this size of polyester cord for plaiting whips. I recently tried some poly cord that was very close in width to the nylon I normally work with, yet was disappointed in how it performed. Some other plaiters are using that cord in their whipmaking with good results. I just felt it didn’t suit my needs. If you’re interested in getting a whip with this material, you can check out the 16 plait Baby Bulls & Baby Snakes on the Noreast Whips site, or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.