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Fishing Rod Maintenance
@ :: Fishing News General ::     Sep 25 2004, 05:05 (UTC+0)
bluej writes: Fishing tackle needs care or it will certainly corrode from the salt sea water. If you need help with your fishing tackle, read this article.


On all kinds of rods, periodic varnishing will help preserve the guide wrappings. Graphite rods never require full top-to-bottom varnishing, fiberglass rods need it only for appearance, but cane rods must be periodically revarnished to stop moisture from reaching the cane. Appearance is the signal here: If a rod's finish is thin and worn in several places, it is time for top-to-bottom revarnishing. Whether doing only a touch-up

or a complete job, apply two or three coats of clear (spar) varnish, allowing 24 hours for each coat to dry. Varnish will discolor winding thread. Before varnishing guide wraps, apply two to three coats of color preservative, letting each dry to touch. Before touching up a worn spot, rub the rod briskly with a piece of felt.

The resulting ultrasmooth surface will be ideal for accepting varnish.

Varnish can be applied with a small paint brush, With a lint-free cloth, or with your fingers. The thinner the coat, the better it will look. Hold rod horizontally and rotate it gently back and forth between your thumb and forefinger. This will allow the varnish to seep evenly over the rod. Smooth over the drying varnish with a finger. Some master rodmakers do the full revarnishing of a rod, three coats, using their fingers only.

Repairing a Cork Grip

Almost all cork grips on rods are built up from standard 1/2 inch wide rings. Both through tackle shops and mail order firms, the cork rings are available. In one method of repair, rings are cut in half and reglued around the rod section, thus eliminating the need to strip the rod of guides and wrappings to slide whole rings on.

Using a razor sharp knife, make first cut in damaged cork about 1/8 inch from nearest good cork on butt side. Cutting at glue line might damage sound cork. After cutting away most of old, damaged cork, carefully shave away shreads of old cork clinging at glue line to face of undamaged cork ring.

To remove bits of cork still sticking to rod and ring face, use a medium grade file or fine sandpaper stretched over a wood block. Work for sharp 90 degree angle between rod and cork ring.

Push new ring down rod to check fit, if at all loose, use ring with boring of smaller diameter. If necessary, use rattail file to enlarge bore so that ring barely pushes on.

Apply small amount of resin-based waterproof glue to rod and face of old ring. Do the same to face of new ring and slide it down rod to fit tightly against old ring. Pass a match flame under the cork and heat will expand it lightly. Let any glue set overnight.

Use coarse sandpaper or a file with rounded edge to begin shaping new rings to the contour of the grip. Finish the shaping by going over the whole grip with medium, then fine sandpaper. If there are cracks and very visible glue lines, fill them with a mixture of clear glue and cork dust. Smooth in with a knife.

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