Cork Grip Filler question


resident lurker
Hey all,

I'm building my third fly rod now, and I've just got done turning my own cork grip for the first time. (Much fun, by the way. I highly recommend it.) The cork wasn't of the highest quality, so there's a considerable amount of pitting on the handle. This doesn't bother me in the least cosmetically, but I wanted to see if filling grips provides some kind of additional structural integrity to the handle. I'm pretty happy with the feel of it, so I'd prefer to leave it as is and move on with the project unless I'm making a disastrous mistake.

I'll post pics when I finish the rod, I'm looking forward to getting this one done in time for the March opener.

Thanks dudes




Idiot Savant
Darik, the voids don't affect the "structural integrity" much since each alternating ring doesn't have the same void in the same place. You probably won't notice it when fishing either. That leaves aesthetics, and only you can answer that one...:thumb:
A lesson to be learned for next time is that the "voids" were most likely due to poor cork quality. You might upgradwe your cork selection to better quality cork. Also you might have a finished handle from a rod to use as a model when you turn you next handle. If need be, check out the different styles available in a rod building supply catalog.

If you like the handle that you have created, fine. If you see "room for improvement" follow the above suggestion.



Help! I'm trapped in a landlocked state.
I think your grip looks pretty good - turning your own is the way to go. Pits in cork varies wildly - the best I've found is from Golden Witch. I like their 1/4" inch rings. As for your grip, it looks fine to me. Filler tends to fall out over time and in a little while, that thing will look sooooo good with mud and blood and fish slime all over it, you won't care about pits. Good job.


resident lurker
Excellent, that's the answer I was hoping for. I don't mind the rougher look, I'm more of a "mud and blood" fisherman anyway, as CO so elegantly put it. This particular handle design feels great in the hand, by the way. I'm looking forward to getting on the water and throwing it around.

Thanks all,
I have built handles using cork with filler, without, and very expensive Flor grade cork. Personally I think filler makes a grip look like you are trying to hide bad cork.
I like a fair amount of pits and voids, it looks more natural to me. Flor grade is very nice but unless I am building a bamboo rod for display rather than fishing it seems like a waste to me. After some use they all look the same.
I have had best results buying a larger quantity or rings and pick out the ones I like, structurally they are all pretty good unless the voids go completely through the ring.
I have 60 year old bamboo rods that have huge voids in the cork and they are still very solid. Cork is amazing stuff.