Grip and Reel Seat: 1 glue step or two


Active Member
Its been a few years since I built a rod.

Curious about other preferences with regard to glueing on the grip and reel seat.

Pretty sure I recollect doing them both at once. But I could imagine doing one at a time too, albeit with care about where the epoxy is.

also wonder which epoxies folks prefer. I recall using a thinner, long set epoxy so I would have plenty of time got get everything just so, without feeling rushed.

building up a 3 wt graphite.

It depends on how long of set epoxy I'm using, but typically I do them all at the same time.

I use Rod Bond, Quick Bond, and Flex Coat 20 min epoxy most of the time. I go back and forth depending on how complicated the pieces I'm putting together are.
Be careful as to what epoxy you use. At least 2 popular bamboo rod making books from the late 90's / early 2000's recommended Devcon 2-ton epoxy for gluing on ferrules and reel seats. Several years ago, a highly respected east coast rodmaker, who attends the Corbett Rod-Makers gatherings, called the company that makes Devcon and was told that the glue was not compatible with brass, which is the primary metal in nickel-silver used for ferrules. The glue acted as a lubricant, but not an adhesive, so it worked OK as long as the fit was very tight, but would eventually fail. It works OK for cork, and also for aluminum and other metals.

I use a product called Dow-Corning Urethane bond, which was discontinued many years ago. When I run out, I'll likely buy some epoxy specifically designed for rod making, such as Flex Coat or U40 rod bond, or maybe a polyurethane glue.

For cork, I use Elmer's waterproof glue, which I like because it's more flexible than epoxy. This works well for bamboo rods, but I'm not sure about graphite and fiberglass.



Active Member
Two thoughts - 1) keep a paper towel and some acetone handy when glueing up the seat, it helps for quickly cleaning if any epoxy squeezes out, 2) epoxies come in varying levels of heat the one with the LOWEST resistance you can find. If you need to remove the seat at a later date it may make all the difference.

Big Rob

Active Member
RodBond for the seat and cork.
Reel seat first, then cork
I shim my reel seats with strips of fiberglass drywall tape.
It wont dry and crumble like masking tape will, and its grid allows the epoxy to get to the blank.
Acetone will certainly remove any overage, but may also remove a blanks clear coat.
Denatured alcohol is a safer choice.
Big Rob, I was helping a friend put a epoxy coating on a kayak last weekend. When it was time to clean the tools we used vinegar. I have been working with fiberglass for a long time and the was the first time to use epoxy this way. I was amazed at how well the vinegar worked. By the way I can't stand the smell of the vinegar.


Active Member
I used U40 10 minute epoxy

I wound up doing it in three steps.

first I glued on the shims.
(I have used the dry wall tape in the past when I do not have the hard foam shims to fit)

Then the reel seat, including the cap at the bottom.

then the grip.

I use rubbing alcohol for clean up.


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