Jump to content


 Welcome to FlyTyingForum.com


FlyTyingForum.com is the largest fly tying community in the world and we hope you take a moment to register for a free account and join this amazingly friendly and helpful group of anglers. FTF has over 12,000 registered members that have made over 300,000 posts and have uploaded over 6,000 patterns to our exclusive fly pattern database!

If you are an experienced fly tier or just starting out FTF is the perfect place to call home. Click Here To Register for a Free Account

Fly Pattern Database / Browse by Topics / Browse by Material / Fly Tying Bench Database / Fly Fishing & Tying Videos / FTFCurrent(NEW!)
Featured Products: Fly Tying Hooks / Fly Tying Scissors / Waterproof Fly Boxes
Photo

Rod refinishing


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Poopdeck

Poopdeck

    You damn kids, get off my lawn!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,406 posts

Posted 27 August 2018 - 11:57 PM

So I guy wanted to sell me an old fenwick rod. I can't remember the model number but he wanted 35 bucks for it. I looked at it and it was fully intact. I passed on it because the clear coat on the rod was peeling and the cork grip was painted with some kind of varnish or polyurethane making the cork hard and shiny. The guy now wants 25 bucks for it.

So my question is, can the clear coat be sanded off and reapplied without effecting the color of the blank? If so, should the guides be removed and then put back on or can the same clear coat go over the existing epoxy covering the thread wraps? Will rewrapping the guides effect its value? I won't be reselling it but I would not want to do anything to a vintage rod that would reduce any desirability it may have.

#2 Rocco

Rocco

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,030 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 01:34 AM

IMO you won't degrade a $25.00 rod that has already seen better days and is way down the road to 'beater' status. ( A beater is  an old,. obviously hard used, but reliable and much liked rifle I grab for a day of really bad weather hunting over rough ground. It is also my spare that stays in the trunk.) .

 

And we all need a midwinter project ...But then you would want to know first if the rod "sings" in your hands and is worth the effort. W/o that, why bother? 

 

Your satisfaction with it is the only real issue now. 

 

IF the blank is painted under the peeling clear coat, even judicious sanding could well make for uneven color splotches in areas where the old coating is already gone or thin. (The wear on those exposed places may already have made for such faded areas.) Sanding off the finish on the cork is also likely to alter its dimensions and knock down sharp edges if any. 

 

The right finish remover that would not attack the rod's structure -- and god knows what that might be -- could be be a better fix but then you almost certainly are into re-wrapping --restoring or  upgrading? --the guides and ornamentation. Modern clear coats will not yellow over the life left in the rod.

 

Good luck,

 

Rocco



#3 mikechell

mikechell

    Cold weather afficando- Give me Snow or give me death!

  • Super Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,159 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 06:24 AM

It's $25.00.  Even if you completely strip it and start with a bare blank, (Fenwick marks intact) I don't think you can lose.  Assuming, of course, that you're into fiberglass rods.  Or, if it's bamboo ... then definitely buy it.  Even if you don't touch it again, bamboo rods are just ... neat.

I don't fish with bamboo rods ... but they're pretty.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#4 Capt Bob LeMay

Capt Bob LeMay

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,368 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 07:06 AM

If it's a honey colored (mildly yellow to amber) or brown colored and fiberglass - you're actually looking at the color of the blank.  If it's graphite (called carbon fiber these days - with an increase in price, of course...) and any other color than gray... it's been painted or colored... We'll deal with the natural fiberglass blank first... You must remove all the guides (use a single edge razor blade to carefully slice through the thread without hitting the blank underneath - right where the foot of each guide is... then remove any remaining thread with just your fingernail (it should actually un-wrap without much trouble... Of course you're going to measure where each guide is (before removing them) after you also remove the tiptop (that's usually a simple heat glue that you soften by using a candle on the metal only -be careful not to heat the blank any more than absolutely necessary since the blank will actually de-laminate if heated too much.... 

 

We'll pass on what to do with graphite blanks - that's another deal entirely...

 

Back to the glass - once you removed all the guides you're going to scrape the blank lightly with the side of that razor blade (held at right angles so all you're scraping is the blank to remove that old, flaky finish.  Don't push too hard and clear off each section (say about six inches at a time) until the blank is cleared of finish.  Resist the impulse to use any paint stripper or heat during this phase since you might weaken the blank.  Once you've scraped all the old finish off (it usually takes me about  an hour or so...) then water sand the blank lightly starting with 220grit then work up to 600 grit with wet/dry paper dunking it frequently in small water bath.  When that's done clean up the blank with water - then alcohol on a clean rag and allow to dry thoroughly (I usually just set it aside for a day...) before going to the next phase...

 

Now that you've removed all the old finish and prepped the surface for the next step, you have two choices - the first (and better choice ) is to re-finish the blank before re-wrapping with the thread you choose - the quicker route is simply to skip the re-finish and wrap new guides in place then re-finish the entire rod as you apply finish to the thread wraps... 

 

Hope this helps - anyone is welcome to call me at (954) 435-5666 if you have questions.  I built my first rod in 1971 - and my first fly rod back when fiberglass was the only choice after split bamboo in 1976... 


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#5 David Parker

David Parker

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 106 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 07:10 AM

IMO, if the rod is intact with all hardware and no splits in the rod blank and that $25 is in your wallet for spending, then test the rod yourself before committing.

That $25 is a good deal provided the above is true and you want the rod. From your description, the rod has likely got quite a history, it's just no longer used.

 

Yes, it can be refinished with an acrylic rod lacquer (Seymo Pro Rod Varnish from Mudhole) that should bring back the blank finish. I would not worry about the cork, for many old fellows used varnish or such to paint their cork handles believing that it extends it's life. Somewhat true. The thread windings should only be replaced if needed, but due to the age of the rod, each should be checked. 

 

You can remove some of the old finish using a Scotch Guard scrub pad (not sandpaper!!!) It likely would not remove all of the old finish, but when the new coating of varnish is added, you really shouldn't notice a defect.

 

I have used this product many times on old fibreglass and graphite rod blanks that were made long before companies started painting rod blanks.

The varnish, added by soft brush on a rotating rod blank makes a nice new look to an old favourite. 


David Parker
Guild Certified Professional Rod Builder

Ontario, Canada


#6 rstaight

rstaight

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 856 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 08:32 AM

Another option, give steeldrifter a call.

"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus


#7 Flicted

Flicted

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 09:37 AM

I found two bamboo fly rods, each with an extra tip section in the rafters of the garage at our cabin in Minnesota.  I removed all the guides and tip top and stripped all the old finish with the back of an old butter knife.  It was brittle and flaked away easily.  Then I used the scrub pad to clean the blank completely.  I coated the blank with two very thin coats of old school varnish and when completely dry, I wrapped the guides and trim wraps for the tip top and ferrules and handle (I replaced the cracked winding checks).  Then coated the wraps without color preserver with four very thin coats of varnish so it would soak in, darken the thread to a nice translucent color.  They both look amazing with the original hardware.  One was green and the other was garnet red.  Using varnish instead of epoxy, they still look old school but in very good condition.  I did those about 25 years ago and they still look great. 



#8 Poopdeck

Poopdeck

    You damn kids, get off my lawn!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,406 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 10:22 AM

Great info thanks. This would be more of a winter project then a rod I want to fish but who knows I may actually enjoy old glass and I will fish the life out of it a second time. I was going to build a rod this winter but every time I look at guides and reel seats I paralyze myself with the far to many choices. A rod restoration eliminates these paralyzing choices and may be just the ticket. I will revisit the rod. Thanks for all the great help.

#9 rstaight

rstaight

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 856 posts

Posted 28 August 2018 - 10:51 AM

When fishing dry flies I prefer the action of glass or bamboo over graphite.

When I go on trips to the Driftless I always take along at least 1 bamboo and 1 glass.

"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus


#10 j8000

j8000

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 166 posts

Posted 18 September 2018 - 11:46 AM

I bought a fly rod for a buck last summer at a garage sale.  It was missing a couple guides and one was in bad shape.  All in all, it is still sitting in my closet.  Personally from now on I'll spend a lot more and pay 10 to 25 dollars on used glass rods in much better, turn key condition and pass on the ones that needs work.  That saves more time for tying and such.  But if restoring rods is a hobby, then it may be worth while.

 

J.



#11 Flicted

Flicted

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:39 PM

Definitely.  We have a cabin in Minnesota and there was a rod "corner" that had several spinning and spin-cast outfits of mostly low quality that had been left by family members over the course of a few decades.  I went through the pile and took home 6 nice rods and restored them.  They now sit on a neater rod rack and can be used again.  In the garage was a few long rods, mostly 10' long cane poles but two full bamboo and a fiberglass fly rod referenced above.  Those were the most rewarding rebuilds.  Rod tip sections of even the cheapest crap can be restored into fine ice fishing rods if you have access to hard water.  It's a very addictive hobby.

 

Look into Anglers Warehouse, Janns Netcraft, Hook & Hackle online for parts and materials to restore that $1.00 fly rod into a $100.00 value.



#12 xvigauge

xvigauge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts

Posted 18 September 2018 - 01:19 PM

It's $25.00.  Even if you completely strip it and start with a bare blank, (Fenwick marks intact) I don't think you can lose.  Assuming, of course, that you're into fiberglass rods.  Or, if it's bamboo ... then definitely buy it.  Even if you don't touch it again, bamboo rods are just ... neat.
I don't fish with bamboo rods ... but they're pretty.


Poopdeck said it was a Fenwick rod. To my knowledge Fenwick never made a bamboo rod.
Joe

#13 Poopdeck

Poopdeck

    You damn kids, get off my lawn!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,406 posts

Posted 19 September 2018 - 08:26 PM

I opted not to buy the rod upon closer inspection. Since I updated my welder I'm going to waste winter away on pointless welding projects designed to amuse me.