fisher6280

Fly Rod Grips

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On 4/6/2010 at 10:17 PM, foulhook said:

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

===========================================================================================

 

All,

So does anyone know if Bob still visits this forum?     From the sound of his post in 2010, (above),  it appeared he was close to a replacement for natural cork.   Do his rods use this ?   If not anyone know what happened ?     I suspect he must have found a great new source for quality natural cork that made doing this not so profitable ?    Would like to know if anyone has any intel.

 

 

In the same vein, and not to hijack the "TH Rods for the Salt" any further than I might have already,   I started my quest to see if composite/granulated cork might suffice.    Became interested when Esa said some of the rod manufacturers were using it and I did find this Loop rod where the grip is made from granulated cork.   I like the look better than Syncork.    Anyone ever use a flyrod with this type of grip that can offer input for feel & durability ?

 

LoopGrip.jpg.5617d88b35f57b4bc8d35c0b3eecee41.jpg

 

 

....so today I decided to start and I cut the first set of samples from my cork "yoga" block.    Cut 15 initially at about 1.200" long with a 3/8" bore.    Will finish them up at about 1" long and plan to epoxy them to a 3/8" dowel to test them for how nicely they will take to shaping and how they finish up with a finish sanding operation for surface texture.    After that I plan to submerge them in a bucket of water for some period of time to see if prolonged moisture has any affect on durability.   Don't have the resources that Bob had for testing but seeing Loop is already doing this I suspect it might not be an issue.

 

When machining I pushed the end mill at a decent clip, faster than I would normally, to see if the shearing forces would cause the granules to tear from the substrate.   For the most part this material held up better than I thought it would with very little tearing.    A slightly rough finish and that was to be expected.   In those areas were I slowed the feed rate down the surface finish improved dramatically.

 

Yoga Block staged for machining

5c32abc8c96cc_Blocktomachine.jpg.6a0e6ff04ba6c19bd73b9fbfa75af2eb.jpg

 

As Machined

5c32abce43781_Blockmachined.jpg.da92f78013ca79ffe637b6426003150d.jpg

 

Ready for Gluing, Sanding, & Testing

 

5c32abd76d86a_BlockPlugs.jpg.ef680d8c463d19e312459a6806702749.jpg

 

HT

Edited by HillTop

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I had a opportunity to fish a Redington Vapen  Red for a with Winn Grip on it.

I was skeptical but after using it, I won’t hesitate to buy a fly rod with one of their grips.

SF

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Just ask Bob.

 

As yet I have never seen anything with same qualities as cork. 

 

EVA just sucks big time.

 

Alternatives I have seen are composites and therefore much heavier than cork.

Not beyond the wit of man but so far no cigar.

 

oly

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Seems to me if you are building your own rods and grips then replacing the grips every few year (if you fish a LOT) is not a big deal.  I still use "extra" grade rings which I buy directly from Portugal for about $1.20/inch.  I use  burl and other cork based rings for accents.  It takes no more than a couple of hours to remove the old grip and reel seat, glue and shape a new grip and install it. I love natural cork.  Lite, durable and feels good in the hand.  Totally different story if you have to pay someone to replace the grip.

 

 

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8 mins ago, qecfly said:

Seems to me if you are building your own rods and grips then replacing the grips every few year (if you fish a LOT) is not a big deal.  I still use "extra" grade rings which I buy directly from Portugal for about $1.20/inch.  I use  burl and other cork based rings for accents.  It takes no more than a couple of hours to remove the old grip and reel seat, glue and shape a new grip and install it. I love natural cork.  Lite, durable and feels good in the hand.  Totally different story if you have to pay someone to replace the grip.

 

 

 

qecfly,

 

Yep makes sense I guess for maybe a SH rod but the TH'rs we're talking about have 14 corks on the lower grip and 33 corks on the upper grip.      I'll bet if you could accomplish this in a couple of hours Mike would be very happy to pay you to do so on his rod builds.

 

Right now I'm mostly exercising my curiosity for trying something different.   Not sure I'll go there but hey it's winter and I need something to keep me occupied and it's too quiet around here lately.  :) 

 

 

HT

 

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HT,

  Most of my build are two handed rods.  Fore grips tend to be about 1" per foot.  Since I mostly fish 11 and 12' rods we are talking about $15 or so dollars for the upper and $5 for the lower.  Still SUPER cheap!  The replacement also gives me an opportunity to tweak the grip diameter and put a new reel seat if I find something else I like.

 

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Mike,

  If you want new grips let me know.  Pay for materials and shipping.  My labor is free assuming you can install the grip yourself.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

Just ask Bob.

 

As yet I have never seen anything with same qualities as cork. 

 

EVA just sucks big time.

 

Alternatives I have seen are composites and therefore much heavier than cork.

Not beyond the wit of man but so far no cigar.

 

oly

 

Mike,

 

I did PM Bob to ask him just that.   Haven't heard back yet.   Hopefully he'll respond with a post to this thread.

 

Okay,  so I pulled out my micro scale I use for weighing lines and did a little math this evening while waiting for the Celtics game to start.

 

chart1.jpg.1754ba20f66d1a3da202fa6121866e36.jpg

 

The Yoga block cork I machined samples from, next to Natural Cork,  was the lightest by a significant margin.    Not that far off from natural.     I was surprised that the rubberized was that much more.   Knew it was heavy but it's almost 6 times heavier.

 

Regarding being too heavy,  as you know I pretty much followed your recipe for my TH rod grips.   

 

Lower Grip:  14 x   1/2" Corks,  8-Rubberized & 6-Natural            
Upper Grip:  33 x  1/2"  Corks,  2-Rubberized & 31 Natural    

 

Since I'm anal I made up CAD models before I started so it was really easy to break down each cork segment of the grip sorted by natural cork or rubberized.   

 

handles.jpg.6e58570927b0a052d9ff4e4569aca47e.jpg

 

So the total volume of the Natural Cork in both the upper & lower grips work out to 14.261 cubic inches. 

 

Based on this volume using Natural Cork density above it works out to:  1.427 Oz of weight

Based on this volume using Yoga Block Cork above it works out to:         1.841 Oz of weight

 

The increased weight by using Yoga Cork is 0.414 ounces.  Possibly has some merit.   By comparison, the 10 pieces of Rubberized Cork in my upper and lower grip total 2.275 ounces.

 

So this is everyone's totally useless information for this evening.     Next project I'll work on getting a life.  :)

 

On to the Celtics game,   HT

 

 

 

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HT

 

No. That is incredibly useful information for Rod Builders. The Yoga cork is very interesting. 

 

For single hand rods could be a winner. If we cut say 1 inch thick shives we save on a glue line so save weight .

 

Thanks for posting your findings.

 

Mike

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Thank you HT for posting that, I may even do a rod with it instead of syncork myself! 

 

Must get myself a Jewelers scale and mass a bunch of rings and finally calculate a density. Probably will next time I build a handle. 

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2 hours ago, qecfly said:

Mike,

  If you want new grips let me know.  Pay for materials and shipping.  My labor is free assuming you can install the grip yourself.

 

 

qecfly

 

Thanks for your kind offer. But it is not really practical.

 

I can’t work with handles that are turned off a mandrel. The handles I turn are always  done on the blank. Ok not quite such an issue with a 7 inch long handle but taper reaming a 16.5 inch upper handle to fit the blank exactly and along complete length and keep concentric to the blank is a seriously difficult undertaking.

 

Dont wish to come off as a cork snob but I am looking for hard cork as well as pit and striation free as possible.

 

To get even close I have to pay $4 a shive. Plus I discard some them. This is not even my landed cost as I have to pay around 23% tax in the UK.

 

Hard dense cork for my own rods is way more important than pits etc.

 

Soft cork does  not give good feel and transfer of power.

 

I give my own rods a very hard time. I need them to accept it. I don’t have the will or time to do repeated builds. After ten years my cork is looking a bit sad.

 

I just don’t have the mind set or heart to invest time and skill by using cork which I know is not up to the std I need.

 

Cork is just a nightmare.

 

mike

 

 

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nesportsman,

Not only do you have to worry about the carbon fiber grips being slippery with fish slime - you have to consider that they are slippery when wet with saltwater.

Ironically - they get more "grippy" when wet with tap water which is how I tested them.  After they (3 of them) were installed I discovered that the components in sea water make them slippery.

If you do decide to install the CFG on a fly rod blank - be sure to port the front end of the grip and insert a neoprene "O" ring which will isolate the carbon skin from the blank.  If this is not done, when flexed, the blank will become scored by the skin which will result in the blank breaking in that location.

Regards,

Herb

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