Thanks guys, I'm sure you're right on the money. Over powered, whipping the rod, dropping the tip, getting PO'ed and making matters much worse.
I watched the video by Mel Kreiger (excellent) but I may need to rent it again.
Having flipped spoons with a bait caster and long armed bait rigs from my spinning rod I think the natural instinct is to go back to asserting more force. Then the line starts piling up in a wad 10' feet in front of me.... then even more force... which naturally results in some sort of macrame creation completely encapsulating my little practice bug. This wasn't your run-of-the-mill over hand knot like Mel described... this was more like a double sheep shank with an embedded squart knot.
Thanks again. I'm sure I'll be back with plenty of other questions.