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Rusty

My Rod Restoration Project

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Over the next few weeks I’ll be trying my hand at a bit of rod restoration, the subject being my first ever acquisition, a fibreglass Daiwa 10’ ledger rod dating from the early seventies.

 

Over the years this rod has coped with being strapped to my pushbike crossbar, being used as javelin during a particular boring session and perhaps more respectfully landing my PB Carp of 25lb 13oz…….I’d grown up a bit by then.

 

It’s usable as it is but deserves a bit of TLC and before anyone points out that the rod isn’t worth it I know that but it’ll give me something to do while I’m trying not to fish.

 

Pictures will be added to this post later but for the moment there are some issues which I’m not really sure how to deal with.

 

1. The cork handle is grubby but intact and doesn’t really need replacing. I would, however, like to improve its appearance but sanding won’t get into all the small nooks, crannies and battle scars accrued over the years unless I sand a lot of it away. Is there a solution to this or is the only option to replace it with new? Is replacement easy?

 

2. The fibreglass blank is finished in a dark purple colour with a sort of dimpled texture to the surface, not like today’s smooth carbon rods. At some point I’ll need to sand off previous attempts at varnishing and it’s bound to damage the fibreglass gel coat (which I think determines the blank colour). Is my only option to re-paint or will varnish application restore the original colour?

 

3. Should I be aiming for a finished varnished blank before whipping the rings (which then get varnished afterwards) or should the final varnishing be left until all rings are attached and then masked up?

 

4. Ring spacing. I intend to re-use the existing rings and retain the spacing but can’t remember whether I changed the original number during previous teenage re-ringing exercises. Is there a rule of thumb for spacing that I should be referring to?

 

5. The tip ring is glued not whipped, it’s in good condition and seems secure. Is there any point in trying to remove it?

 

6. Finally I assume the materials I’ll need will be available at my local tackle shop, do I need to look for any particular brands? I’m thinking of the whipping material and varnish mainly.

 

Any input will be gratefully received; this has potential to be a very messy disaster but if it works my first reel will be next in line, an Intrepid Prince Regent.


It's never a 'six', let's put it back

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There must be people on here that still have the same original rods or perhaps a picture showing the spacing for the rings.

 

I don't know of any formula for ring spacing, I have always tied a piece of line to the end of the rod fixed to something very solid, then levered the rod up to make a good curve (depending on the type of rod as to the type of curve), I lock the handle in a workmate when doing this and having achieved the correct curvature. A job which is much easier with the helping hands of a friend or family member, I then mark the rod where I thing the rings should go. If you do this while the old rings are still on look out for straight lines in the line the less you have the more the rod will be doing its job properly, there is however a balancing act between a great curve and the ability to smoothly cast without too much resistance.

 

Seymo make a PRO-ROD cleaner which may help generally and especially so with the handle.

 

Personally as its a project for your personal benefit and pleasure and not just being done to tart up a rod to sell, I would put new rings on the rod and if you really liked the rod use the best there is.

 

However if you are planning to restore the rod to its original glory and to its exact original condition you must go down a different path. Try contacting the manufacturers they may have the original spacing and a few spare rings lying around perhaps even a touch of old varnish or paint.

 

You will have to hunt on the bay for whipping silk or cotton as most of it available today in synthetic and it might not have been when your rod was made.

 

Many old rods where varnished with dope (the sort they still use on some model aircraft and model boats) I have no idea which was used on your rod sadly.

 

You will need to make a jig to hold the rod in for varnishing if you want a smooth finish.

 

I think you can still get ones with a small electric motor which slowly turns the rod, thereby preventing runs and thick patches of varnish/dope.

 

Rings too can benefit when whipping them by having the rod in a jig as you get to see the underside as well.

 

Some dopes and varnishes take many coats and they are not very quick to dry.

 

So much will depend on just how far you want to go and if you go for a full original restoration or simply a facelight and update.


From a spark a fire will flare up

English by birth, Cockney by the Grace of God

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So much will depend on just how far you want to go and if you go for a full original restoration or simply a facelight and update.

 

Thanks Watatoad. It'll be an update using modern materials but retaining the original blank and whipping colours. The original rings were hopeless unlined chromed wire affairs which got replaced many years ago.


It's never a 'six', let's put it back

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Some pics to add to the thread;

 

The whole rod in sections

 

IMG_4053.jpg

IMG_4052.jpg

IMG_4051.jpg

 

Close up of the handle, not sure what to do with this.

 

IMG_4055.jpg

IMG_4056.jpg

 

Existing rings, maybe I will replace them after all.

 

IMG_4062.jpg

IMG_4060.jpg

IMG_4057.jpg

IMG_4061.jpg

 

Whippings I added years ago to prevent a crack developing further. I don’t plan to do any more than replace these as it seemed to solve the problem.

 

IMG_4059.jpg

IMG_4063.jpg

 

The general finish of the rod today with previously applied varnish bubbled and cracked.

 

IMG_4058.jpg

 

Stage one will be to measure the current ring spacing and remove them.


It's never a 'six', let's put it back

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if your going too the trouble of fitting new rings you might as well fit a new cork handle ,you either go the whole hog ,or half-arsed ,and half-arsed is only suitable for a quick sale ,as the old addage goes ," if a job is worth doing ,its worth doing well "


owls22dx.gif

Chavender
I try to be funny... but sometimes I merely look it! hello.gif Steve

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if your going too the trouble of fitting new rings you might as well fit a new cork handle

 

I'd love to do that but I don't have a lathe or any sort of turning equipment, it'll all be done manually. Construction of cork handles used to involve fitting a load of small corks and then sanding them all down to the correct diameter and profile, a difficult job that requires a significant element of skill if done by hand. Is it any easier these days?


It's never a 'six', let's put it back

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I'd love to do that but I don't have a lathe or any sort of turning equipment, it'll all be done manually. Construction of cork handles used to involve fitting a load of small corks and then sanding them all down to the correct diameter and profile, a difficult job that requires a significant element of skill if done by hand. Is it any easier these days?

 

Before you go too far on attacking the handle, try cleaning it with Ajax and a wet cloth. Rinse well. It may take a couple of goes. See how it comes up. You might then try filling in the odd gap with a mixture of cork dust and Araldite.

 

I'm just filling in some much bigger gaps in a newish (2 years old) rod with glued in cork after a poxy mouse nibbled a couple of chunks out of it right back to the carbon.

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sometimes pre-formed full or part full (enabling fuji fittings too be fitted) cork handles come up on e-bay ,so it only takes two or three segments too build a nice handle with or with out fuji reel fitting ,its like a cork jigsaw puzzle you put the parts together too make the whole handle ,you can mix & match with Duplon Grip too get what you want ,you just need too know the dia of your blanks at the butt or build it up too match what you can get.

 

cork Handles

 

rod handles


owls22dx.gif

Chavender
I try to be funny... but sometimes I merely look it! hello.gif Steve

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Rusty i use a product at work called ESP for removing grease and grime you paint it on leave it 10 mins then wipe it and all the muck off on a clean rag ,Removes grease/hand grime brilliantly and would think it would bring the handle up a treat ,Got loads in my lock up if you want to try some on it Steve.


We are not putting it back it is a lump now put that curry down and go and get the scales

have I told you abouit the cruise control on my Volvo ,,,,,,,bla bla bla Barder rod has it come yet?? and don`t even start me on Chris Lythe :bleh::icecream:

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Rusty.For cleaning/degreasing purposes you really need look no further than a nail brush and some washing up liquid! I find it best to do in the bath.

 

Ive nearly finished a proper reply with photos for you that should be finished tonight.I will post it soon as Ive done if you can wait before diving in to your rod!

 

Ive included bits to answer your specific questions and some tips directly relating to what I can see in the photos. There's a lot of good stuff been posted so far but I dont agree with some plus those who have posted may find the tips and "cheats" that Ive learned/been shown over the years!


And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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