Help On Replacing Cork Grip

Hello, I am new to this message board and am looking for a little help. I have a 9' 7wt Powell rod that I built as my first project quite a few years ago. At the time I installed a small half wells grip. I have always found it too small for the rod ,and as such, don't use the rod as much as I would like. How do I go about changing the grip? Do the quides and reel seat have to come off? If so what is the best way to accomplish that. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Sean.

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
At the very least you'll have to remove the bottom guide on the rod, then sand down the grip. After that, you should be able to just put on new cork and have at it.
Thanks for the reply. What is the best way to clean up the thread epoxy on the guides? Can it be scraped or cut off with a razor knife? I have two guides on the bottom section of the rod to remove and clean up. Also, what about the reel seat, I am going to change it at the same time. Does it have to be cut off or is it possible to dissolve the glue somehow? Thanks.

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
The guides need to be removed carefully. Use a very sharp razor and cut a little from the tip of the guide foot to the ring. You want to make sure that the razor is *ONLY* cutting along the metal guide foot and not into the blank. After that, use a hair dryer to heat the epoxy a bit, and scrape with a plastic or wood implement to remove it. You can expect that the surface of the blank will have some residue left on it, but in general the thread and new epoxy will cover it up nicely.

As for the reel seat, you'll need to cut it off. Anything that can dissolve the glue will dissolve the binder in a graphite rod. Cutting it off is easy and only requires 2 longitutal cuts with a dremel and something to spread the cut with.

Finally, more info can also be found at if you're looking for more detailed info
I converted the western grip on my 7-weight steelhead rod into a full-wells grip years ago. I just cut through the front third of the grip with a fine-tooth hobby saw, at a glue line, being careful not to cut into the blank. Then I whittled the front of the grip away with a knife, sanded the cut area smooth and tangental to the blank, added the needed new cork rings and, after the glue dried, shaped a full-wells front end.

For removing old wraps, it helps to use paint stripper on the thread coat. Be careful to avoid getting stripper on the nearby blank, or you'll discolor it.