Category Archives: Snakewhips

4 foot Whips Available Again

4ft whip in the rain.

4ft nylon bullwhip in the rain.

I haven’t offered bullwhips or snakewhips shorter than 5 feet for a number of years now. Yesterday I decided to begin offering bullwhips and snakewhips 4 feet in length because I’ve had special requests from stage performers saying that the shorter length be better for staged where space was limited. I updated my website, to reflect this change of direction.


To see all the current kinds of whips I offer at this time, please visit my online store.

Guided Tour of the New has a new look, new products, and a new way to order!

The first new tab you’ll notice on the navigation tab is the new online store. There you will find all of the nylon whips and other products that are available. Under the store tab you will find a FAQ page where I have attempted to post most of the common questions people ask me as well as a few hypothetical questions I think may arise from time to time.

As far as products, we have a few new additions to the site:

  1. The FCE stockwhip.
  2. 12 plait nylon bullwhips.
  3. Nylon Indiana Jones bullwhips.
  4. Paracord Survival Bracelets.
  5. Whip Basics DVDs.
  6. Whipmaking Kits.
  7. Rhett Kelley Whips t-shirts.
  8. Coreless Nylon Paracord
  9. How to Make Whips, by Ron Edwards


The 2nd tab is all “About,” there you will find a drop down that contains lots of information about myself and the business.

The 3rd tab is the Gallery. There you can find lots if pictures of whips I’ve made. I intend to keep this updated with new pictures on a regular basis.
The 4th is the Contact page. Please note the new business hours and email address.

The final tab is a link back to this blog.

And that’s about it for the tour. I hope it helps.
Rhett Kelley

Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC Relaunch

Stop by and see the newly remodeled!
New look, new products, and new lower prices on standard 16 plait bullwhips!



Self Defense Project: The Bull Bat

The first time I ever made a bullwhip, I was intrigued with how the handle, more specifically the heel knot, was very dense and probably would not feel very good if it was applied to the side of someone’s cranium.

In How to Make Whips, Ron Edwards wrote about how blackjacks were illegal to carry in Australia, so instead they would carry small snakewhips. Snakewhips were legal to carry, and when equipped with a weighted heel knot,  the snakewhip served as a discreet, legal-to-carry blackjack (or a “life preserver” in Edwards’ Aussie vernacular).

While I’m not one to promote violence, I do believe that the ability to defend oneself is a basic human right. So for years I have been interested in developing a plaited device that would be good for self defense. All I needed was the impetus and time to develop it. Recently that impetus came in the form of an email entitled “special request” from an expert martial artist from Texas. The gentleman described the device he wanted and it matched up very well with the ideas I already had floating around in my head.

And thus the Bull Bat was born: The construction started out just like any of my regular bullwhips. An 8″ steel handle, a shot loaded core, 2 plaited bellies wrapped with artificial sinew for support, and all covered with a 16 plait overlay. Pretty much your average bullwhip handle and construction until you get around 21″ down the thong. There you encounter the thong beginning to thicken ever so slightly, then finished with a turkshead knot. The knot on the end conceals the payload: steel, lead tape, and nylon cord that is wrapped super tight and secured with glue and staples to be sure it doesn’t come off.

Overall, it’s 23″ long and weighs 13.5 ounces. From one end it looks like a bullwhip, from the other, a snakewhip. It functions much like the Aussie snakewhip “life preserver” but with the added benefit of a rigid handle for better control and leverage. The wrist loop keeps the Bull Bat from being taken away from the user. It can deliver a crushing blow. Even a light tap to the side of the leg hurts like the dickens.

I’ve decided to call it the “Bull Bat” because it’s partially a bullwhip, but intended for hitting instead of making an audible crack. At this point I am not sure if I will offer these as a regular product. I’m sure there are lots of places where owning such an item is prohibited by law, so that is a major concern -especially if one fell into the hands of someone who is not very responsible for their actions. In the mean time, I plan to work on the design a bit more and see what kind of variations I can make to improve on this initial design. I’ll post some photos if I do.


Whip Basics DVD Sale!

Do you want to learn to crack whips like a pro?

Buy the Whip Basics DVD series and let whip coach Robby Amper show you how!

I have just lowered the price of the Whip Basics 3 disc compilation to $45.00 with shipping included to U.S. addresses!

For more information or to order your set, please email me at Rhettswhips @ Yahoo . com.

Click here to see video clips from the series!

An Explanation of New Price Structure

Before I begin accepting orders again, I want to post a brief explanation of my new price schedule.

For years I have tried to be somewhat of a “low price leader” among nylon whipmakers. (I guess working for Walmart Logistics for 14+ years has had an effect on my business philosophy.) While my prices have crept up some over the past 9 years, a survey of other whipmaker’s websites recently showed me that have been charging far less than some of my competitors on comparable whips. Things have even gotten to the point where some of my customers have suggested that I am not charging enough for my whips.

Keeping my whips affordable for my cowboy clientele is still very important to me. I have always tried to keep my cow whip prices within an acceptable range for them. This concern has been the main thing that kept me from raising my prices already. While the price of my whips in the “sport cracking” category are a good bit higher, my new prices are relatively the same for the whips most commonly ordered by cowboys from Florida (12ft and 14ft cow whips).

For example: With the new schedule, my 12ft cow whips are only $12.00 more. 14ft cow whips are only $4.00 more…  However, these prices are now a much better value than in the past because they now include a choice of several exotic and laminate handles! No more paying extra for a fine exotic handle unless it’s one of the very expensive African species.

Another change is that my bullwhip price schedule now groups woody bulls and regular bulls together. As with the cow whips, there is no additional charge for an exotic handle on a bullwhip unless an expensive African species (white and black ebony, blackwood, or gaboon ebony for example).

If it seems I am being greedy or that my price increases are too steep, I would like to recommend the following article by Steve Huntress. I think he makes some great points on why a quality nylon whip doesn’t always have to be dirt cheap:

Quality Isn’t Cheap & Neither Are Nylon Whips.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or post them in the comment box.



Beware of Self-Proclaimed Masters!

Something I have been noticing over the last couple of years is really starting to bother me. I’m seeing novice whipmakers on the web and on eBay trying to peddle whips that look like garbage all while proclaiming themselves to be “master whipmakers.”

I’ve been making nylon whips for the better part of 20 years now and I still won’t assign to myself the title of master whipmaker. Why? Because I am always learning! I haven’t mastered all there is to know about whipmaking, so why give myself that title? If others want to call me an artist or a master, I am okay with that: people are entitled to their opinion of me, good or bad. All I do is make the best whip that I know how to make.

Frankly, I believe it is dishonest for a person to self-assign himself the title of master while turning out a product that looks like it was made by a beginner. I’ve seen some of these self-proclaimed masters turn out whips with horrible tapers, lumpy thongs, jacked-up looking turksheads, and big gaps in the plaiting. These are mistakes of a novice, not the work of a master whipmaker.

Here’s a tip for you, something you can apply to crafts of all kinds: A master won’t have to tell you he’s a master, his work and reputation will speak for itself. Some of the most talented craftsmen I know -true masters- are the most humble people I’ve ever met. They’re awesome at what they do, but their ego is not over-inflated. When you look at their work, you can see it was made by someone who knows well their respective craft; they don’t have to say a word. So when you come across a self-proclaimed master -buyer beware! Online Again!

At long last is back up and running again! The outage lasted much longer than I had anticipated and I hope it will not be too detrimental to my business. The good thing about the outage is that it happened during a time I was not taking on new orders.

I”m running way behind due to a number of unforeseen issues with my job and extended family. Right now I’m working on orders from June.  July was a heavy month for incoming orders, so when I get started on July’s orders,  I expect it will take some time to work through them. For those who already have an order in with me, please rest assured that I am working as hard as I can to get to your order.

I am now going to start taking on new orders, but please note: I cannot guarantee a delivery date at this time. It looks as if the wait time will be around 16 weeks on a new order, but that could vary. Because of the length of the wait, I am not going to require a full prepayment for the order; a deposit of $25.00 will reserve a spot on my waiting list.

When I get some time to do some more writing, I want to share with you all the latest information on my son’s progress as a fledgling whipmaker.

That should get everything up to date for now…



Redesigned Kelley Nylon Snakewhip

Here’s a picture of a new snakewhip I made recently. It is a 4ft x 16 plait and has 5 part, 4 bight turkshed knot with a black pineapple interweave. Please note that tail of this whip is finished with a fall hitch and not a tapering twist. Going forward, this will be standard  unless someone specifies that they want a twisted tail.

Please note also: This is the last 4ft snakewhip I will make. From now on, all the minimum length for my snakewhips will be 5 feet.

The Evolution of Kelley Nylon Bullwhips

This is a sort of follow up article to my earlier posts entitled The Development of the Kelley Nylon Bullwhip and Mo’ Guts = Mo’ Better. I want to highlight that the Kelley line of nylon bullwhips has undergone some changes in 2009; changes that I hope people will find to be an improvement on my design. I highlighted the internal improvements in Mo’ Guts = Mo’ Better, but in this post I want to highlight one of the external changes I have made.

My earlier bullwhips featured the tapering twist that is common to Florida cow whips. This can be seen on some of the remaining bullwhip pics I have at Being a maker of cow whips, when I started making bullwhips I kept this method because it was familiar to me and I didn’t feel the need to change it at the time. (You will notice that Krist King’s bullwhips also have a tapering twist and not a fall hitch.)

When I started making nylon stockwhipsback in February, I wanted to make them as traditional looking as possible so I went with the fall hitch design. After I finished that first stockwhip, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to start doing the fall hitch on the bullwhips and snakewhips as well. Since March, Florida cow whips are the only whips I make that feature the twisted tail. At this time I am slowly replacing the older bullwhip and snakewhip pictures on to reflect this change.

For those who liked the older design, do not despair, I will gladly make bullwhips, snakewhips, or stockwhips with the twist of the customer prefers it. So far the new change has been received well. And while I haven’t done it so far, if someone wanted a cow whip with a fall hitch, I don’t have any problems with doing that.

As a whipmaker, I find that even though I’ve been plaiting over 18 years, I never stop learning. One thing I hope to accomplish with these and future improvements is to add value to my products. I have always made it my goal to provide top quality nylon whips at prices that are hard to beat. Speaking of hard to beat prices, be sure to check out my July Bullwhip Sale if you haven’t done so already!