swallow tail on fish

greetings all

i am shaping a retro fish twinfin. my question is how deep should i make the swallow tail? would the centre cut of the tail come in line with the trailing edge of the fins? is there a rule of thumb with this. i have the other dementions. 5’6 by 21.5 by 2.75. any ideas would be great, cheers tim

I make my crack about 5 1/2" deep. I place my fins between 7/8" and 1" forward of the crack. Here’s one i made earlier.



I don’t think its written in stone. D Henry’s looks nice. I make mine about seven inches deep. I usually line up the rear edge with the end of the crack. Or close. Year edge about 1 1/4 from the rail. Have fun. Take a look in the archives, too. Lots of fish stuff. Photo archives, tambien. Mike

I think original Lis fish swallow tail was about 7.5’’ deep.

Hope this helps.

The traditional method is to split the difference.

For example, 12" width at the tips means go up the stringer 6"

Do whatever tail you like most but think half the disance between the to tips most logical

Good info Rolliges!!


Also it seems to me that some shaper use the nose template (reversed) of the same board to make the cut… maybe they don’t but on Brom’s fishes i saw a similar curve on lots of boards.

this is good info ,thanks a lot to all

Here’s mine… just finised shaping it last night. (Not glassed yet)

Tail is 10 1/2" between pins with butt crack going in 5". I don’t think there is really a hard and fast rule… just needs to be something that you think will work and that it looks good :slight_smile:

hi there T.F.E, thanks for thwe pic. its basically what i did. how doyou get such a clean edge in where the vee meets the stringer? i’m struggling to make mine as neat as yours.

cheers tim

Rattail file, sandpaper wrapped around a pencil, then a coathanger…

Good one Lee, I didn’t thin kof a coat hanger.

Fuzzy, I gave a bit of a rundown on the Vee in my tail on the following thread http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=197618#197618

I started out not happy with my tail (for reasons other than the Vee) and posted for peoples comments… then I fine tuned it and that’s what you see in the image.

Essentially, with the tail give yourself plenty of time… try not to hack away at it, just think about what type of tool you’ll need to get it finer and finer in the butt crack. I found it was really easy to damage the foam as I was working down the stringer in the crack. One stroke on the stringer is nothing but a skip of the tool and one stroke on the foam is disasterous. I masking taped the foam once I knew I was close and was fine tuning. Once I was happy with where the stringer was at, I just worked on blending the tail in the same way that I would blend a rail into the flow of the board.

Lee’s suggestion of coathanger wire swapped in sandpaper is a good one for when you’re getting down to the finer details. I should have asked earlier… I pretty much just found myself making up tools by wrapping smaller and smaller things in sand paper :slight_smile:



that board is loverly!

sorry to be a numbers slut - but any info on the width / length / nose / tail


as ever

keen to learn

Here’s those numbers.

5’11" x 16 1/4" x 22" x 16 1/4". 2 3/4" thick. 11 1/2" point to point. 5 1/2" deep. fins are placed 6 1/2" up and directly inline with the points, which is exactly 1 1/4" from the rail with no toe in and no cant. i beleive the rocker is 3 1/2" in the nose and 7/8" in the tail. the bottom is slight concave to flat to slight vee through the fins. Skip Frye style 60/40 egg rails all the way around turning down slightly in the tail. 6oz glass top and bottom.

i think that should cover it.


hi again

thanks thats more than enough…

as ever

keen to learn…