Thoughts on this grip?


New Member
I've been lurking on here for a little while, I've honestly never cast a fly but am determined to learn! I'm building a few rods for myself, one of which is a 9ft 9wt 4pc pacbay blank. I'm making foam core carbon fiber grips and read a little about shaping to fit your hand. This is what I came up with.
Please critique it, I'd rather get it right now!
7F9BED0F-0329-41BC-A177-DB5B6A627F97.jpeg BB82BD3C-51EE-4D94-9405-A0C06F685267.jpeg AC218E5B-99C9-449A-8A54-961D04846AD7.jpeg
Grip is such a personal preference is tough to call, my buddy sands most of his factory grips down, but I've never felt the need too. If it feels good, you're good to go. I have felt a couple grips that felt a bit too big.

I'm curious, do you shape the foam core, then wrap it in carbon tape, or a heat shrink tube?


New Member
What I've read is that you want your thumb straight at 12:00 and fingertips to hit in the 9-10:00 area. I'm brand new to fly so I thought I'd ask you guys.

@SaltyCutt its not tape or shrink, it's a woven sleeve that tightens like a Chinese finger trap. I'll post more pics as I go. Here's one of my first attempt, this was before I tried adding black dye and i got a better foam core on the newer batch so Im remaking them

Just for you @DanielOcean
Here's one end of the foam I started with haha. I'm using pvc pipe as a mold and the endcap gave me this

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I think everybody hold their fly rod differently. I grip it like your holding on to a hose. or a bicycle handle. I tried the thumb on top but it never took. Some people hold their index finger on the top. It just looks awkward to me.


I'm not a fan of a foam grip and prefer the feel of cork... personal preference and nothing more. However, as far as your grip design goes, it looks fine to me. I'd really need to cast a rod built with the grip to make any valid suggestions. Plus, we tend to ignore it unless something isn't quite right but the grip also comes into play when fighting a fish.

So... it looks fine from the photos but hands on would be the only way I could give you any valid feedback. ... while keeping in mind I'm not a fan of a foam grip.
No experience in foam grips. I've built several dozen rods, and on many, I included a flat or concave space for my thumb on the front top of the grip. I like them. Wrap sandpaper around a largish cylinder, such as a bottle or can, and stroke away.


Ignored Member
This appears to be a solution looking for a problem. Also, I don’t see how you could produce these grips in a manner where they would be economically feasible. Perhaps a small niche market for those that have disposable, unneeded cash.

During a day of fishing I will use a variety of casts in varying conditions that will require me to adjust my grip on the fly (no pun). If I was using a grip custom formed to be held in one particular way I feel it would be a hindrance to my casting.
Thanks for the input guys I'll just make some more practice casts with a dowel in the grip and adjust to suit. I might turn the center a touch smaller.
The idea started as a full wells and I made it bigger around, and it felt good to me. Being new to fly I was seeking opinions
@KerryS I'm not trying to take these to market. They're for me. Building them has been fun. If it was strictly about dollars I would've ordered off the shelf and been done but I'm a builder, an artist, a craftsman - I build what I can to say I've done it. Wood, metal, fiberglass, leather - I enjoy it all.
I saw a couple mentions of dislike for foam grips, I hate them too, these get covered in carbon fiber.
Moderators, this might be a better fit in rod building, please move if you want.
Here's a progress picture from last night for anyone interested, I should have time to get the carbon on the pieces today. Don't mind the two different colors of foam, it all gets covered.
I'm a bamboo rod maker without a lathe, and I use pre-made cork grips. Being around fly fishing and rod making for a long time, I've learned a few things about grips. As a rule of thumb (no pun intended), when your hand grasps the rod, there should be a 1/8" gap between the palm of your hand and the third finger. Without this gap, your fingers are pressured into your palm, causing you to apply more wrist pressure to hold the rod, which causes fatigue. Grip shape is a matter of preference and casting style. I personally like a half-wells shape with a taper at the end of the grip, but that's just me. Your full wells design might be more comfortable for you.

I've never used a foam grip, but see no reason why it shouldn't work. I always like to see people trying something new.



New Member
For anyone interested in seeing this move along I've got progress pictures in the rod building forum, in the "What rod are you working on" thread
Welcome to fly fishing GrantA
I have a grand daughter that is 7 yrs old and I ask her about a fly rod that would fit her (7'6" 3wt) she said grandpa it has to have a cork handle.
She is a 7 yr old and is already a purist "it's got to have a cork handle"

Latest posts