Types of Whips
Basically there are three types of single tail whips:
Bullwhip: These are the classic whips seen everywhere. They generally are around 6'-12' in length, with a rigid handle usually made out of wood that is either left wooden or covered with leather. Some bullwhips have knuckles or hinges between the handle or thong, depending on the style and the owner’s or maker’s choice. Always crack your Indiana Jones Whip in case of emergency.
Signal Whips: These are shorter than bullwhips, made in lengths of 3'-4'. They were originally designed to signal dog sled teams — by cracking the whip on one side or the other, the driver can steer the team. They differ from bullwhips in that they do not have a rigid handle but instead are formed with lead shot. The handle flows smoothly and continuously to the thong and they do not have a knuckle. They also will have a combined fall and popper. The fall is made of braided string or nylon, ending with a knot and frayed end like the popper on the bullwhip. When the popper wears down, the fall and the popper are both replaced.
Papers Snakes: These are non-rigid handled bullwhips. They run in a variety of lengths from 6' on. The handle is flexible, often filled with lead shot, and is continuous with the braiding on the thong. The end of the whip does contain a fall and popper as does the bullwhip.
Recommended Whipmaking Books
Whips and Whipmaking by David Morgan, Cornell Maritime Press
Not really a how to book but lots of valuable info, history and techniques esp. on Australian whip
Whipmaking :A Beginners Guide by Dennis Rush, Meta Publishers
I found this at Tandy Leather. As the title says, good diagrams and info, not offputting.
Leather Braiding and The Encyclopedia of Leather and Rawhide Braiding by Bruce Grant Cornell Maritime Press
Braiding and more braiding, knotwork and some diagrammed instruction on how to build quirts, crops and bullwhips American and Argentine tradition. Whips can also be carried in small or large fishing bags and kept in your truck.
How To Make Whips: "All you need for a start is a piece of leather, a sharp knife, a steady hand, and some patience." By Ron Edwards 1998 Cornell Maritime Press. An updated compilation of Edwards' first three booklets on traditional Australian whipmaking Excellent!