Epoxy Finish

Steve Call

Active Member
I'm working on my third rod and asking for help before I apply the epoxy finish. How do I get the crisp clean lines of epoxy at each guide? A professional looking application looks to be exactly the same distance/length for each application of epoxy at each guide. Do I measure and use tape and then remove it before the epoxy sets? Or, do I need to just go slow and be very careful?

Slow and careful :)
for my edges I load the thread with a heavy coat of epoxy leaving the last turn of thread with out finish for the first coat and let it sag and then take off the extra and let it turn. The second coat I glob a pile of finish on top of the guide foot and start working it towards the edge using the edge of my brush and Not the tip of the bristles. Once I have a enough finish built up at the edge I roll the brush on top of the last thread and make sure that I don't go past the last thread all while slowly turning the rod with my free hand. This will put the finish line just past the thread and on to the blank. The farther you go past the last thread with your brush the more finish you use and don't really need on your rod. When I'm done with the finish edge I lightly brush the finish length wise to smooth it out for a more level application. This seems to work good using Pro kote rod finish but if your using a high build you may have to rush the process a little more. There are more ways to skin this cat how ever but I was only sharing how I do it and its best to just find what is comfy for you and just roll with it.
I agree.... slow and careful. I do my finish epoxy in 2 steps. Step one is a light coat to only cover the thread and and to fill the thread/guide/blank gaps. Once that coat hardens, I shave of any imperfections with a razorblade and do coat 2 in much the same way Mathew describes. Since the threads have already been coated and gaps filled in step 1, you have more time to create the nice straight edges before your expoxy hardens. Also, I've found the high quality sable brushes to be indispensible in creating good edges. The straight edge helps move the epoxy into place to get the edge you're looking for. You have to clean them with brush cleaner, but they're easier to work with and I think the result is superior.


Not to be confused with Freestone
+1 on Matt and Q's feedback. Definitely do not use tape to try and create an edge. Just go slow and keep the amount of material on the brush light when tapering off the edge of thread onto the blank. I might suggest getting a section of old rod (even from the Goodwill) and make some practice wraps. The guy I learned from had me do a number of practice wraps to get the feel of things -- helped a lot.

While we all are shooting for crisp edges, remember these are custom creations...not vanilla factory rods. Heck even some of my Winston's have some minor imperfections...gives em character!
A good spot to practice is mock up your reel seat and grip on the rod and find where the real seat will set and put as many wraps as you can fit. You use more finish this way but it helps the overall learning curve. It is also a great way to find out what the thread will look like on that particular blank. Finish work is all repetition and the more you do it the better you get.

Rick Sharp

Active Member
I use a small flat tool either metal or plastic to spread the finish instead of a brush, I find it makes for a more uniform finish for me. fwiw