doublegregg

how to care for full length cork handle on ultralight``

31 posts in this topic

No, I have not. I do know it was done to improve poor quality rings years ago.  As a step to finishing the grip, you would apply filler to the cork and sand it back. At that point, I was not building myself, I simply came across the information. 
 

A big rod building catalogue has a cork filler for sale for refurbishing cork handles. It is $5 and available at most hardware stores. A 5 minute Youtube tutorial and you should be good to go. 

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42 mins ago, Sweetwater said:

No, I have not. I do know it was done to improve poor quality rings years ago.  As a step to finishing the grip, you would apply filler to the cork and sand it back. At that point, I was not building myself, I simply came across the information. 
 

A big rod building catalogue has a cork filler for sale for refurbishing cork handles. It is $5 and available at most hardware stores. A 5 minute Youtube tutorial and you should be good to go. 

tysm sweetwater.............. wouldn't have thought of that ---- cork repair kit

Edited by doublegregg

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Sanding the handle is not really recommended.  It will alter the fit of the rings.  Filler is cosmetic and will flake off easily with use.  Offers no structural support or integrity.  Learn to live with the grooves.  Don't seat the rings in the exact same place every time even if varying only by fractions of an inch..

Edited by bass11

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sanding and filling cork was and is normal on bamboo rods, Today most  cork if rings are varying grades. At worst , sand down an add a slide band metal seat. 

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I'd start by cleaning the rod with some alcohol on a rag. I am looking at that and thinking you have a coat of varnish over the cork, also not uncommon. The darker areas are where the varnish has yellowed to a brown color and the lighter sections are the natural cork without varnish on it. 

 

If that is the case, you might get a pretty good result by removing the original varnish and resealing the grip. It may turn out that the cork looks better once it returns to its natural color. This should be an easy job if it turns out that is what you needed. 

Edited by Sweetwater

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You can get the cork nice and clean by using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Just moisten the sponge a little and you'll be surprised at the results. After it dries, fill voids with Elmer's wood filler and then lightly sand smooth. Next give the whole cork grip a coating of U-40 Cork Sealer. It might take a couple coats of the sealer. Just a very light sanding in between coats will produce a nice finish.

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Probably not varnish, hardly used. I have always washed cork with soap(dawn) ,let dry. I prefer to use sandpaper very lightly-400-600 grit for a few times around, not up and down. You can use cork sealer, I used clear linseed oil which keep cork moist, It does seem to prevent in denting. Learned from a friend who worked at the Leonard rod company . He had a restoration bus. for antique bamboo rods. If that does help, youtube fly rod reel seat replacement video. You go do just slide bands or up locking type

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4 hours ago, RAW said:

Probably not varnish, hardly used. I have always washed cork with soap(dawn) ,let dry. I prefer to use sandpaper very lightly-400-600 grit for a few times around, not up and down. You can use cork sealer, I used clear linseed oil which keep cork moist, It does seem to prevent in denting. Learned from a friend who worked at the Leonard rod company . He had a restoration bus. for antique bamboo rods. If that does help, youtube fly rod reel seat replacement video. You go do just slide bands or up locking type

RAW - the linseed oil really works well? i sort of wished i had bought a split bamboo rod back when i was a kid. i used to travel up to the winston rod company in san francisco.... for me, it was quite an exotic place, and the old man behind the counter, doug merrick?,  who built the rods, was always pleasant and patient................. alas, i couldn't quite come up with the $$$ for one of those split bamboo rods.......... 

 

here's a photo of the bottom end of my browning silaflex tennessee? grip (the op had the top end of the grip). i noticed a few of the deeper vertical fissues had already been repaired. i assume at the browning factory. they have a substance in them that seems harder than cork. there are shallow horizontal grooves visible... so, hopefully i can clean this grip, sand it carefully, and reseal it. the horizontal grooeves should become less noticeable, and i can carefully i guess put the rod back in service....

 

thanks guys --- great tips! 

DSC02777.JPG

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4 mins ago, doublegregg said:

RAW - the linseed oil really works well? i sort of wished i had bought a split bamboo rod back when i was a kid. i used to travel up to the winston rod company in san francisco.... for me, it was quite an exotic place, and the old man behind the counter, doug merrick?,  who built the rods, was always pleasant and patient................. alas, i couldn't quite come up with the $$$ for one of those split bamboo rods.......... 

 

here's a photo of the bottom end of my browning silaflex tennessee? grip (the op had the top end of the grip). i noticed a few of the deeper vertical fissues had already been repaired. i assume at the browning factory. they have a substance in them that seems harder than cork. there are shallow horizontal grooves visible... so, hopefully i can clean this grip, sand it carefully, and reseal it. the horizontal grooeves should become less noticeable, and i can carefully i guess put the rod back in service....

 

thanks guys --- great tips! 

DSC02777.JPG

the colors maybe different quality cork rings or the glue ,Try what you can, if the lines are glueI doubt linseed will help or your ability to smooth. 

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1 hour ago, RAW said:

the colors maybe different quality cork rings or the glue ,Try what you can, if the lines are glueI doubt linseed will help or your ability to smooth. 

i'm leaning to taking 'the plunge' and repairing my handle. the glued areas are slightly depressed; they shouldn't be an issue (altho they won't absorb the linseed oil or other finish). i'm just hoping some light sanding and sealing can get the handle back to looking gr8..... maybe i'll experiment wotj finishes on some other cork first...

 

Edited by doublegregg

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4 hours ago, Sweetwater said:

LOL. Someone has already put wood filler in those gashes in the second picture.

i bought it new, way back when. so it was made that way, unless something funny happened to it in the shop i purchased it in. i assume the former.... i actually looked at my fenwick, the rod in this posting is my browning silaflex, and it has similar wear marks. although it's not a full cork handle. the gouges on the fenwick are barely gouges... just some wear marks on the cork from handling it. 

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I would scrub the entire grip with Comet and a dish pad then rinse clean and let dry overnight.  Use synthetic wood filler to fill up the gouges  then sand with 600 grit paper.  Glue on a thin strip of rubber to the reel foot to take up some space.  Cut two thin rings of shrink tubing slightly narrower than each of the sliding rings.  Position the reel where you want it on the grip and mark the outer edges of the reel foot.  Move both metal rings to each end of the grip.  Slide on the two rings of shrink tubing, align the reel foot where you marked it and slide the shrink tubing over the reel foot.  Using a heat gun shrink the first tubing then check the reel alignment again.  Now do the same with the second ring of tubing.  Once the tubing is shrunk carefully slide up the metal rings and tighten them down.  The shrink tubing will not be visible and the reel should be nice and snug without moving.

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To stop my reels from sliding I put a small strip of gorilla duct tape on the underside of the reel seat. It seems to raise the height of the reel stem and stops the slipping. Try it .

Edited by marty fishwish
misspelled duct

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On 3/17/2021 at 9:00 PM, z-man said:

I’ve always used electrical tape on ultralight rods like that. I can’t stand a loose reel. 

This.  Properly position the reel to balance the rod and electric tape it in place.  Stretch the tape while applying for a snug fit and smoother finnish.  This will prevent future/addition gouging of the cork and keep the reel locked in place.  Thought this was standard practice of tenn handles.

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