Custom cork ???

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Panhandle, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    I love the way that ringed/marbled cork looks, but I imagine taking off your exsisting cork to get custom corking would be a bitch. I'd like to custom cork my spey rod and one of my single handers. Does anyine have any insights?
     
  2. Willie Bodger

    Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

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    I thought that you just used boiling water to remove reel seats and cork? Now, that could cause problems a little farther up with the winding check etc. and the fact that most grips are installed from the top down, but if you want to redo the entire butt section of the rod...
     
  3. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    Since the vast majority of handle corks and reel seats are EXPOXYED in place, you be better off leaving your existing parts alone.

    SuperDave
     
  4. Rich McCauley

    Rich McCauley Meiser & Mohlin

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    This probably belongs in the rod building section but ...

    My suggestions in order of preferance are:

    1. Leave it alone and fish what you have.

    2. Take your rod to custom builder / repair facility

    3. Sell it and put the money toward a different rod .. new, used, custom or production, that has the cork you want.

    4. Prepare for a difficult project with a high potential for cosmetic failure.

    Burl cork rings can be reamed out, then cut in two and glued over existing cork that has been "turned down". Doing this without visable glue lines is difficult at best. Composit, AKA rubberised cork, has a better chance of sucess.
    If you want to replace using whole rings, you will still need to turn down the existing cork and glue the new rings over the turned down cork.

    The butt grip will be the easiest. You will have to remove or turn down the butt cap. If you cut through the gel coat into the scrim or the blank itself it is going to blow up down the road. Turning down everything up to the reel seat is your best schoice. Cutting at a cork glue joint and squaring up the existing ring is more challenging. Then you get to ream, glue and shape the new cork. If you have access to a "cork lathe' it will be easier. Doing this by hand with files and sandpaper will be way no fun.

    If you are goin to mess with the fore grip most the above applies, PLUS:

    Using whole rings will require the removal of any Stripper guides on the butt section of the rod. You will need to remove the winding check. There is a high probability that the epoxy coat over the rod labeling will get screwed up. You may be able to do an overcoat of epoxy. Removing the epoxy will not be any fun and again if you cut into the blank ...Rod labeling probably will not survive the process.
    Now you have to replace the guides. Removing the old epoxy will still not be any fun, and again, if you cut into the blank it is almost a given that the rod will blow up. Guide wrapping then epoxy are next.

    Yes, I do have a reasonable amount of rod building experience and yes I have done this. It was on a rod I built so the labeling was not an issue.

    I very strongly suggest you not make this your first rod building project.

    Rich
     
  5. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    A graphite blank is a delicate and fragile structure. Safely removing the existing grip is as demanding as surgery, and removing a reel seat is even more taxing. It's better to pass on the project altogether, or turn it over to an experienced custom rod builder.

    Nevertheless, I've done it successfully. You can whittle the cork away in pieces. Rather than try to get it all with your knife, leave the innermost layer, which you can then carefully round off with a file or coarse sandpaper. I've removed a reel seat by carefully hacksawing through the aluminum with diagonal cuts, then carefully prying the sections away with pliers. One ham-handed misstep and you can cut through the butt section.:beathead:

    Once you've successfully stripped the butt (which includes removing any guides on the butt), compressed wood-fiber rings are not much harder to work with than cork rings. They do take a little more filing with a rattail file through the center hole, and more grinding or filing on the outside diameter.
     
  6. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    That's what I suspected. I'll leave them be.
     
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I've done it to replace cork grips or reelseats that I ended up not liking, but not to add rubberized cork. It's doable. As others mention, it's a lot of work. If it's what you really want, then I think it's worth doing. It shouldn't be your first project.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  8. Rich McCauley

    Rich McCauley Meiser & Mohlin

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    Very wise decision.
     
  9. OhioOutdoorsman

    OhioOutdoorsman New Member

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    I've done this before and I would not attempt it as your first project or for cosmetic reasons alone.

    Here's the easiest procedure I've found if you don't want to remove guides or winding checks.

    Cover the entire section up to and including the reel seat with a plastic bag and put in boiling pot for 5-10 minutes. You should with a couple tries be able to pull off the seat.

    For the foregrip or handle on a single handle rod shave it down with a knife or a rat tail almost to the blank. Leave a small section by the winding check intact.

    Fit the new grip or cork rings going from the rear of the blank and over the thin layer of cork you have left. Extra boring and filing will be necessay to get it to fit well. After you get good fit, epoxy the new grip and reel seat in place. Shape the cork rings as desired with a file and finish with sandpaper starting with coarse 60 grit working your way down to 600 grit.

    This will give you a functional result, but you may be dissatified with the cosmetics.
     
  10. Craig Hardt

    Craig Hardt aka Nagasaurus

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    I found this out the hard way a couple of weeks ago on how fragile blanks can be. I have a 5wt that had a pretty beat up cork grip and the blank finish on the reel seat threads was well worn so I figure it would be good practice to try a replacement job. But I was too aggressive when removing the old cork and heard a nice snap when the blank cracked above the reel seat.

    Not all was lost, however, since I had another cheap blank on hand from another project, cut off the lower 6-8" from the broken rod, and rebuilt the butt section by cannibalizing the other blank. Once the new cork and reel seat were in place it was like it never happened.

    So don't be like me, take your time and all will be well. To cover the larger reamed hole needed to get the cork to fit over the butt end there is the option of a rubber winding check that should stretch over the butt end and then still get a snug fit at the top of the grip to hide the edges of the hole. (or a ramp of thread could be created as well as other option).