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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Here's a bit of a preamble about this rod but I have a couple of questions for more knowledgeable members which I'll put in a second post if you want to bye-pass the ramble below.

    I know I need practice, more practice, before spending good money on quality blanks so decided to strip down 'Mr. Whippy', an old 2 pc., 10 ft #6/7 carbon rod I picked up god knows where or when. It has no decals but ''10 ft #6/7'' were visible on the butt after the handle was removed. From its action I suspect it is mid-80s, possibly pre-IM6. Tip recovery is about ten minutes.

    It was missing a screw-in fighting butt, heavily varnished on the blank and the whippings were tired to say the least. It has one stripper then single leg Fuji ceramics (I think?), the top three of which are missing the green hoops either side of the eye. I don't know if they were purposefully removed or not.

    I'm not fond of this style of ring, preferring snakes or, if not, Recoils which have a significantly wider aperture. I've seen these (to my eye) tiny rings on other rods from this period but never felt the line flew through as well. If there's a classic article on fly rod rings anyone could point me to I'd be grateful to learn more.

    Anyway, Practice is the point, so I stripped the blank, leaving only the cork and winding check. On a previous rod, I snapped the very tip having stripped everything else, within a few strokes of finishing the job! So, this time I started at the top and worked down. I struggled with a persistent 2 mm spot of varnish right on the lip of the ferrule, applied a mite too much pressure .... and heard a crack!

    So, I applied tape, got out a wee multi-tool and sliced 2 cm off the ferrule. ''Will it still fit?" I tried. Yes. Fine.
    Stupidly, I raised the rod to the ceiling to see the curve.
    Crack!

    I should at least have reinforced the joint with some tape. And I should have inserted a 'false spigot' before applying pressure, too, to add hoop strength. Live and learn. First time I've cut a blank, though, and it went fine so happy to have tried that now. Twice ....

    I applied tape, got out the wee multi-tool again and lost a good 20 cm more. Of course, the top no longer fitted the bottom section so I sanded down the spigot to accommodate (another first) and now have a 9' 9'' (ish) #6/7. Whether the re-fashioned joint will take a cast remains to be seen - and really doesn't matter. Where I feel I'm letting myself down is in the epoxy application to the whippings - using too much to date - and that was my main focus with this trial.

    The rod as I found it:

    Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030089-jpg

    Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030090-jpg

    Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030091-jpg

    The stripped-down blank looks much better, I think. Though it isn't perfect and carries a few blemishes - again, not important to my purpose.

    I'd not tried whipping single legs before but found that, by using as little hot-glue as feasible to keep the foot flat, they were much less bother than snakes. I could see where these old rings had been filed previously at the tip of the foot and most 'stepped up' from the blank smoothly which no doubt helped. They were easy! Using less masking tape than with snakes probably speeds things up too with less cleaning of residue after, as well.
    Shame I don't like this style .... but maybe Recoils one day?

    I felt the epoxying went well and I kept things pretty minimal. Some pics and a few questions to follow ....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Isle of Lewis
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    1,242

    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Here are three pics of the results so far - one coat of Flexcoat Lite on PacBay size A Garnet nylon thread:

    ..................Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030116-jpg

    ..................Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030118-jpg

    ..................Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030119-jpg

    I feel I'm getting closer to what I'm after but need a little advice on a few things.

    1) Does/Can/Should one sand down the first coat with wet & dry? If so, what grade, please.
    I did flash a flame over the burnished wraps to burn off fibres but still have little bumps showing through this thin-ish first coat. I don't know if sanding/polishing will ruin the transparency but think I've read of it being done prior to the second coat being applied. Any advice welcome.

    2) How much acetone should one add to, say, 2 mls of mixed epoxy for a thinned but usable coating?

    3) I noticed a slight greyish discolouration to the PacBay Garnet thread once whipped, before coating, and this has resulted in the lighter banding visible in the wraps. It was completely unintentional and I've no idea how it happened. I'm almost at the end of this spool and haven't noticed this happening on previous builds. Any thoughts from the Membership?

    As ever, your advice is greatly appreciated.
    James.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Co. Armagh.
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    1,486

    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Understand that this is from memory James I only use varnish now and haven't built a carbon fibre rod for a few years.
    That said, if memory serves me:-
    1) Yes 400 to 600 wet and dry. You can also sometimes razor fuzzies off. Any roughness to the surface of the resin should be fixed by the next coat as long as you don't leave any grit stuck to it.
    2) None, if you want to thin it, warm it up a little. Chemical thinners like acetone slow the cure rate but give no advantage in pot life. They can leave the resin sticky.
    3) Looks like either some fading or perhaps some contamination preventing the resin from penetrating.

    BTW try it with a #5 line, you might like it.

    Simon.
    Dear Santa, I've been bad...It was totally worth it, stick your present.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Isle of Lewis
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    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Thanks, as ever, Simon.
    I think I read that thinning was useful on the first coat, to assist full soaking, hence my asking, but I'll follow your advice and keep it fluid with heat. I'm using a 'lite' epoxy anyway and, as you say, warming loosens it up nicely. I'm probably getting a bit faster, too. Fewer errors = less fannying around!
    I bought a wee bottle of acetone in Stornoway today but never mind, I'll find another use - can you drink it?
    Re: Warming; I'm making a small saucer out of aluminium foil for the epoxy and it's much easier to heat than the plastic cups I had before. I mixed up 2 ml total for 9 rings + tip on this one and just needed one flash with the lighter before the touching up started.

    I also picked up some 800 and 1200 w&d so will give that a go and clean well afterwards. Cheers.

    The banding is odd but doesn't matter on this rod. I'll take a look at the little that's left on the spool and see if the problem lies there.

    Just a note for others on the FlexCoat Lite, I've read a fair few times about folk having trouble with air bubbles in the mix and I've not yet had that problem using this stuff. It's always stirred up nice and clear.

    I'll certainly run a #5 through it first to see if I eradicated the split, then risk a #6 and #7.
    If it survives I'm thinking of giving it to a neighbour's lad, with line & reel, as he already enjoys worming and sea fishing with his dad. He's only about 7 or 8 - so the shortened rod might actually be easier for him. I'll crack on with it tomorrow and get a new reel seat ordered, too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Isle of Lewis
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    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    I checked the PacBay Garnet thread and there is a wee splash mark in one spot - I believe this is the 'contaminant' which affected the results. I'm blaming the factory as I've had no wet stuff other than the alcohol for cleaning on the table. Just happy this appeared on the practice rod, not a 'proper' rod.

    The results on the top section second coat are in ..... and I'm delighted. My thanks again to splinters for his invaluable advice and encouragement. I've now got close to what I aspired to when I started this malarkey four rods ago and that progress it largely due to the kind help of the Membership. I tip my hat to all who have helped me this year. Thank you.

    Here are photos of each of the 9 eyes and tip ring, taken through an LED lit magnifying lens:

    Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-5-10-ft-carbon-rod-rebuild-jpg

    Ring No.7.
    Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild-1-p1030128-jpg


    There are minor issues with levelling on one or two spots but overall I'm more than happy and may well now redo the 3rd rod, the Taniwha blank, off the back of this. My friends told me I was being OCD over its 'rugby balls', as I see them, but I'm comfortable with that.

    I was somewhat incredulous that the sanded 1st coat, scratched and misty, would become transparent again with the second epoxy application but it did. It's alchemy!

    I put a second coat on the butt section this morning and that's turning now. I need to sand the spigot to achieve a better fit with the shortened top section before I cast it - there's a bit of wobble there now. If it survives that I'll do a filler/sanding job on the cork and then glue on a reel seat and pass it on to my neighbour's son via Santa.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    No rugby balls there James, those wraps are smashing. Kudos.

    Simon.
    Dear Santa, I've been bad...It was totally worth it, stick your present.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Simon, I'm truly happy with these results having followed your post above. The step up in quality between one application and two is .... well, three-fold!

    I'll confess that when I read 'use a razor on the fuzzies' my mental picture was of shaving the un-epoxied whippings (which would take a hand steadier than mine!) but realise now you mean the 'stalactites', as another calls them, after the first coat - which seems far more achievable!

    I'll look in the cupboard for another 'rod-wreck' to refurbish before buying a new blank. I've really enjoyed this exercise, especially as lessons learned previously bore fruit and several new challenges presented themselves and got resolved - cutting the blank, sanding the spigot, the importance of a well-filed ring foot, using single legs, two minimal coats and sanding, etc., and, for the first time, I got to play with a multi-tool I got for my birthday last summer!

    I wonder if I've been over-burnishing. The Garnet nylon picks up a nice, almost golden sheen when polished up but I realise now that this will flatten the tread and limit the epoxy's saturation. Not sure how true or important that is?
    I wonder, too, if I wrap a little too tightly at times? I can always carefully slide the wrapped feet a few mm with thumbnail pressure but they do take a little persuading (I appreciate this is a tough one to give advice on!).

    I've also wondered whether I could simply sand down the offending rugby balls on the Taniwha rod to eliminate the excess, then add a minimal 2nd coat, rather than take a razor to the whole and start again? It'll be painstaking but might still be quicker, I don't know.

    The spigot is now sanded to give the ferrule a snug fit of over an inch so hopefully I eliminated the top section crack and the whipping will keep things whole. I'd love to put a line on it for a grass cast today but its the Sabbath and that sort of thing just isn't done here on a Sunday. Ach, and it's raining out anyway.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Chessman View Post
    I wonder if I've been over-burnishing. The Garnet nylon picks up a nice, almost golden sheen when polished up but I realise now that this will flatten the tread and limit the epoxy's saturation. Not sure how true or important that is?
    I wonder, too, if I wrap a little too tightly at times? I can always carefully slide the wrapped feet a few mm with thumbnail pressure but they do take a little persuading (I appreciate this is a tough one to give advice on!).
    Sounds like you've got the burnishing right James. The thread should flatten slightly to fill any gaps in the packing and take on that gloss you are describing. The tension should be enough to hold the guide in place until the finish is applied but need to be loose enough to allow a little adjustment. That will allow penetration of the finish as well. Again, it looks like you've got it just right. I think you've improved at a phenomenal rate. Some of my early wraps looked like they had been knitted on. Well done again.

    Simon.
    Dear Santa, I've been bad...It was totally worth it, stick your present.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    Well, I took the rod out this chilly morning, armed with the cheap reel and (I think) a #6 line, an equally cheap thing with a lot of memory to be coaxed out but, hey, the rod didn't snap and cast OK. It's slow but that's fine for a beginner like the lad it's going to.

    I then tried a Barrio #5 (cheers, Simon) which fair sang through the rings and felt much better - but the boy's not getting my Barrio!
    I'm telling myself he'll learn faster with a heavier line.

    So all is good. It's stood now getting an old Varmac d/l seat glued to it. While a bit top-heavy with the light graphite reel it should be fishable for a 7/8 y-o.
    I'll dig out some nylon & a few flies to make a kit - though he'll have to wait until mid-March to test it properly!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Highlands
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    5,079

    Default Re: Practice Rod - a 10 ft #6/7 Old Graphite Rebuild

    nice whips, I have problems with the epoxy due to the temperature in our old house, so I switched to a single pot acrylic from hilevel and it does the trick and it's water based, so much easier to clean up ,
    easker1

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