fisher6280

Fly Rod Grips

Rate this topic

74 posts in this topic

As the availability of Flor grade cork fades away you will start to see more and more synthetic grips coming about. I have been working on a replacement for standard cork grips for about a year now and am making good progress. The main thing to overcome is weight. Most rubberized cork gets heavy. We are working on a different process that keeps the weight spot on with the traditional cork grips. If you close your eyes you wouldn't know the difference by feel except the absence of voids and need for filler.

 

Every rod maker is frustrated with the cork situation. I have about 500 blanks that have been ready to go for over 2 months. Just waiting on good cork! Really frustrating. Ordered 800 grips and kept 12 from the last batch! Sent the rest back.

 

Mike, I have seen the grips that Mick is working on. It is a tweaked EVA grip. The thing that bugged me was that you could press your fingernail into it and the mark would stay. No good.

 

Here is a look at what we have been working on. Some more rustic than others but don't let the look fool you. They are smooth as silk and the darker areas are not voids but just darker cork.

 

525

525

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats some cool looking cork foulhook. It looks like it's glued together like like particle board. If you can get it to hold up over years of use without flaking and coming apart that would be a great replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostThats some cool looking cork foulhook. It looks like it's glued together like like particle board. If you can get it to hold up over years of use without flaking and coming apart that would be a great replacement.

 

 

We set the protocol for accelerated lab testing already. We can run lab testing that can do in a month what would take 10 years in the real world. So far everything looks just perfect as of yesterday. Got another few weeks to go in the lab. We shall see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob,

 

what put me off was the colour. Strangely the Guy helping Mick was claiming the opposite in that the material did return after being dented by say a thumb nail. Now as we know Cork can do this to a degree dependant on just how hard the Fisher depresses into the cork. I have seen more than a few dented and worn cok grips at the point the thumb makes it's presence felt. This is why some of us when making custom handles try and fit a rubberised cork where the thumb does most damage not just at the ends like you see in most factory built rods.

 

Bob don't hate for this but I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to accelerated lab tests. Be interesting to see how the lab can work out how much UV, light. salt and dampness that the average cork handle is going to see plus temp cycling etc, let alone simulating the physical abuse handles get.

The big problem up to now with the Burl type of products coming from Lamar and AW is weight. Far too heavy compared to cork. They bugger up your grit reamers too. LOL. I agree with you 100% that we just have to have an alternative as the current situation is bad enough so the future can only look worse for cork.

We maybe better off not trying to make synthetic look like cork, give it , it's own identity. Make it look nice as that never was a bad thing when trying to generate sales, but if it can perform better on key spec points then a winner is in the offing.

Don't forget the fishing will get hot when I hit the Cape in May so we just have to share a beer and go fishing for a session at least.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting topic! At least on saltwater rods, I wouldn't mind seeing an alternative to cork - even if cork quality was not an issue. Has anyone tried Graphite/Texalium Handle Tubing? The light weight and increased sensitivity sounds really intriguing. Composite skinned foam core grips look quite interesting as well, but I haven't found any details about weight and how well feedback from the blank is transmitted through the foam core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostBob,

 

what put me off was the colour. Strangely the Guy helping Mick was claiming the opposite in that the material did return after being dented by say a thumb nail. Now as we know Cork can do this to a degree dependant on just how hard the Fisher depresses into the cork. I have seen more than a few dented and worn cok grips at the point the thumb makes it's presence felt. This is why some of us when making custom handles try and fit a rubberised cork where the thumb does most damage not just at the ends like you see in most factory built rods.

 

Bob don't hate for this but I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to accelerated lab tests. Be interesting to see how the lab can work out how much UV, light. salt and dampness that the average cork handle is going to see plus temp cycling etc, let alone simulating the physical abuse handles get.

The big problem up to now with the Burl type of products coming from Lamar and AW is weight. Far too heavy compared to cork. They bugger up your grit reamers too. LOL. I agree with you 100% that we just have to have an alternative as the current situation is bad enough so the future can only look worse for cork.

We maybe better off not trying to make synthetic look like cork, give it , it's own identity. Make it look nice as that never was a bad thing when trying to generate sales, but if it can perform better on key spec points then a winner is in the offing.

Don't forget the fishing will get hot when I hit the Cape in May so we just have to share a beer and go fishing for a session at least.

 

Mike

 

 

Yeah, Mick told me the same thing but I stuck my thumbnail in one a few times and the same marks were still there a week later. Haven't tlak with him about them in probably 6 months. Maybe he got the formula right.

 

Accelerated lab testing, when done by the right people, can give you an even harsher enviroment than the real world gives. The people I work with on this are on a whole other level than what most would think. This is tinker toys for them and really just a favor to me for my help with marine applications consulting. testing moisture, salt, uv, abrasion, flexhold, etc is peanuts for these guys. These guys can creat the perfect enviroment to grow nastiest barnacles if I need them to.

 

Yeah, Mick told me the same thing but I stuck my thumbnail in one a few times and the same marks were still there a week later. Haven't spoken with him about them in probably 6 months. Maybe he got the formula right. I'll have to ask now.

 

Accelerated lab testing, when done by the right people, can give you an even harsher environment than the real world gives. The people I work with on this are on a whole other level than what most would think. This is tinker toys for them and really just a favor to me for my help with marine applications consulting. Testing moisture, salt, uv, abrasion, flexhold, etc is peanuts for these guys. These guys can create the perfect environment to grow nastiest barnacles if I need them to.

 

See you soon over on our side of the pond!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob,

 

Dents out or not it looks cacky. No one is going to want it on rods costing big bucks in my opinion. But heh he may get it bang on as time passes. I hope so.

Sam Adams Boston Lager straight out of the ice box from front bumper of car after a mornings fishing on the flats. How does that sound.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostBob,

 

Dents out or not it looks cacky. No one is going to want it on rods costing big bucks in my opinion. But heh he may get it bang on as time passes. I hope so.

Sam Adams Boston Lager straight out of the ice box from front bumper of car after a mornings fishing on the flats. How does that sound.

 

Mike

 

 

Sam Adams Boston Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. My two personal favoritesbeers.gif

 

Although we had mexican tonight so I went with Dos Equis with lime wedge and it was gooood. Ahhhh summer is here. I'm thinking wheat beer with an orange slice tomorrow after gardening with the wifewink.gif

 

Looking forward to meeting you face to face this year

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an 8+ year old thread about grips, in particular Syncork and something Bob / Foulhook was working on.   Anyone here how his experimentation worked out ?     Tougher than ever to buy good cork these days.   Wondering if where any closer to a synthetic that meets the challenge.

 

HT

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ordered cork rings for a build I am planning,  I am hoping they come thru acceptable, I am hearing stories, like HT mentioned above that allot of quality cork, really isn't.  I did order aaaa cork. We shall see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first TH fly rod I built with at syncork, and aside from the differences in shaping and finishing (harder than natural cork) I can say it is far superior. MUCH harder and more rigid, exceptionally tough, inexpensive, and of course impervious to nature and the elements because it's synthetic. Gives a better grip wet/dry and gives better feedback as well. It's just not as pretty as natural cork. I'll never use anything else unless maybe something more visually appealing comes along. 

 

HT, if I recall correctly you did get to handle my TH and remarked on the syncork as well. I don't remember what you said but I do recall that it got Mike Oliver's approval so it had to have been good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Red,

Yup,  remember I took a look at it on your new build.   It is light and the density/hardness seem to fit the bill as a good replacement for cork.    I think the tough part of acceptance, being an "old guy" is the psychological aspect of using it as a replacement.     It just seems like fly rods and cork are synonymous with one another and wondering if I put it on my new build if I'll regret it after the fact.    As you know a lot of work goes into a new TH grip build and one doesn't want to have regrets after the fact.    The material that Foulhook appeared to be working on at least has the color of cork and visually looks a little more appealing to the eye and helps from an aesthetic point of view. 

 

Soft cork aside,   I think I have a tendency to hold my rod with an over-tight grip and though the grip on my rod has only seen two seasons I can notice some erosion from my upper hand hold.  Heck,  I've got a fairly new ShortStix that have only been used a very little and already I have major erosion in the thumb area of that grip..... poor cork.      Not that it's an overly big deal as there's years of wear left  on my TH grip (at least I hope so),  but not fond of seeing that just the same.  

 

Other than my hangup of a fly rod = cork I noticed that the finish on your grip seemed to be less homogeneous than I anticipated it would.  ie:  Some areas seemed to have a somewhat course mottled finish and others seemed smoother or more dense.   Is this the nature of the Syncork material or something that happens during the turning/sizing operation ?    Do you notice this or am I being overly critical ?

 

A question for you since you've used it.   In Googling Syncork I found a couple of sites that list this material and they show what appears to be two different colors, one that looks more like the color of natural cork.   By chance did you research this and is it the same material only a different color ?   Possibly purchase some for comparison sake ?    This is the photo listed on the Syncork website.

 

HT

 

syncork.jpg.402ee0dee828e19cecd708911b530015.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...... to add to the above,   Just ordered up 10 rings of the larger "cork colored" Syncork to see what this stuff looks like.   This way I can check it's wear characteristics first hand, check for water absorption, etc.    Even if all looks good not sure I'm ready to take the leap but knowledge is king...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.