The rope is a moving object. So when I hold the rope, I place my thumb in line with the strand of rope that has the hondo on it. I keep that strand between my thumb and middle finger, and I move with it. When I'm just holding the rope, I'm just holding it. The major pressure with the thumb or the pinky doesn't happen until I turn the rope over and bring it back.
When I break the rope over, I have to squeeze my pinky on that strand of rope and my thumb to turn my entire arm (shoulder, elbow, forearm, everything). Everything should turn all as one. I want the rope in the crease of my fingers—I do not want the rope in the palm of my hand. I need to cross the rope over so the piece that goes through the hondo is on the inside of my hand, and the hondo is controlled by my fingertips. Keeping my thumb in line will allow the rope to stay where it needs to be, making it easier to turn the rope over and pull your hand back.
If I'm not pushing with my thumb and squeezing with my pinky, I can't hold the rope in my fingertips when I need to turn the rope over and pull the rope back. If you don't have a good hold on it, you won't have control of the rope.