Help re-building a Winston

I have a Winston LT-5 5 piece 5 weight which I built up from a kit years ago. It came out OK at the time, but now that my building skills are improved I'd like to re-do the rod. I'm trying to strip it down to the blank, but the green coating peels off. Any ideas on how to remove the wraps without damaging the blank finish?

Once I get the blank prepped I'm going to go full on custom with the reel seat, etc. I'll post a photo when I'm done.