Needs to fish more..
Just finished building my 1st rod last night from a Cabela's kit. However, I have 1 question after putting the finish on the wraps how long does it take for it to dry? I did the rotate the rod every 15 minutes a 1/2 turn for 2 hrs (actually i did that for almost 3) and the finish is somewhat bulging on 1 side of one section and a bit tacky to the touch this morning. I think maybe i used too much finish. Since this is my first rod i don't expect perfection but will it dry and harden??? is this OK??? :confused: Thanks for the help


AKA: Gregory Mine
Did you do it in one coat or two? I always have done two thin coats, first for coating the threads pretty well, with not a lot of extra, the second for show. Acutally if the first coat just soaks in, yet the threads are still covered in the hard finish with not a lot of extra, that is what i'm looking for. The second coat just fills in all the missed spaces and gives you the better finish look. Do the first coat one day, and the second one the next.

If it is still tacky, you probably didn't mix it well enough, or you didn't get the portions quite right. Assuming you used two part coating that is. The best and easiest way to harden it up is to put another real thin coat over the guides one more time. I have never had one harden up by just letting time do the work. After your done, keep it warm and let it sit for a day or two after all is hard and cured, then go have a nice fish put it to the test...

I have always kept the extra finish in the cup to let me know how the drying process is going. How long is tough to say, but I turn them for about 4 hours even knowing they have hardened. Temperature is the key to curing. I try to keep the room at 70-72, and the less humidy, the better. The extra finish is better to test on the curing, then to touch the guide and mess it up.


Needs to fish more..
I applied only 1 coat. The finish came in a packet with two equal parts and i assumed i mixed it good enough...but I'm not sure. Anyways I'll try a 2nd coat. Although the 1st layer really wasn't thin.
It looks good but still a bit tacky.


AKA: Gregory Mine
Have at it...Just remember a thin coat is all you need. good luck. no matter what, your learning and once all said and done, you will never look at a factory rod the same. they have just as many blemishes as you will have, and sometimes more... Now go take it out and blow it up on a nice fish!!!

Don't be too hard on yourself. I've built over a dozen rods over the years and have used the two part Cabelas fininsh on several with no problems. The last one I did i had some problems with the finish setting. It stayed tacky. I know how to mix finish and that wasn't the problem. Bad batch or something. I added a thin coat just lightly brushed on and took care of it. Could just be quality control at Cabelas. They have grown about 10X in the last 5 years. Get a rod turner for drying. I used an old rotiserrie from a barbeque for years but now have a cheap cabelas drying motor with stands i made myself for less than 20 bucks althogether. You won't be sorry. If you use enought color preserver you might not even need two coats. The color preserver penetrates better than finish and fills any voids around the guide feet. It does more than just preserve the color. Take a look at the cabelas sli blanks next time around. They are very good quality and are Loomis GL3's in disguise.
Hey that sounds like my first rod building project! If it is really bad you can always razor blade off the wraps and try again. I guarantee the second time around will look much better.

My process has been to do 2 thin coats as others have mentioned. For the first coat I will apply a thin layer and let it soak into the wraps for 5 -10 mintues while turning on a rod turner. I then take a scraping tool and remove all the epoxy I can off the wraps. Just set the scraper level with the wraps while the rod is turning and the excess will come off.

This provides a nice smooth surface for the final coat. Let that dry overnight and then apply another thin coat the next day to get that nice smooth glossy finish. That seems to work best for me.

I have also gone to using LS Supreme for the epoxy. Easy to mix and looks a lot better than anything else I have tried.


Out of curiousity - why did you switch from the rotissierie motor to a cabela's drying motor? I am in the middle of building my first rod and made a stand with a rotissierie motor. It runs at 3 RPM. Is that too slow? A good amount slower than what most people use from what I could search for on If that is too slow IYHO I would appreciate knowing. I have two more blanks in the hopper and would switch to a higher RPM if 3 is asking for problems. Especially when you can get low end (but faster) motors for less than $20.

Jim F.

Scott Behn

Active Member
No Jim that isn't too the shop I work at we use a 4 RPM motor and also the boss man builds and sells a 4RPM heavy duty drying motor.

We too use the LS Supreme at the shop, but one thing I have learned since I have been working there is to make sure your hardener and resin is mixed with equal parts and stir it for about 2 minutes.

I too second the comment on putting 2 thinner coats, that way when your first coat dries you can easily see any blemishes and also be able to easily file off and "burrs" you may acquire.

Good luck...
I only changed because the old motor quit. The motor I got from cabelas is actually slower. As long as the thing is moving at all it will be fine. I just got the rod chuck attachment from cabelas. I have had tape slip after a while. A note on color preserver, you can get some very interested effects by skipping the preserver which yields a translucent quality and a wet color to the thread. Be aware that doing this around guide feet will allow them to show through, expecially where you filed them. A pattern of treated thread and untreated, separated by a trim thread could look swell.

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