Re: Cork Fly Rod Grips - Time to Accept Some Change?

[Archive] | [Bulletin Board]

Posted by GES on 2010-09-27 10:27:20 in reply to Cork Fly Rod Grips - Time to Accept Some Change? posted by Dan Blanton on 2010-09-26 15:34:07

Well I never have had a problem with any cork handle I have ever built. But I assemble my rings on the blank, so every single ring is positively glued to the blank and to its neighbors. With premade handles (I absolutely will never buy one of those) you can't be sure that every ring is glued to the blank. I use 30 min epox to het plenty of proper mixing and working time; and it's stronger than 5 min.

Now Rick can precision ream his pre-made handles since he knows what his blank tapers are, and can do it properly; so he couldn't afford to do my laborious process; since I then have to shape the handle after assembling the rings on the blank. I use the standard Table-top rolling hand lathe with a rasp, and file/aluminum oxide sandpaper to shape the handle into a circular hyperboloid of one sheet; which is my preferred handle profile.
I do uncover voids; some big ones; but I gather the lathe droppings, and use that with some 30 min epoxy to make a filler (lots of dust, very little epoxy so you need plenty of time to work it so you get all the particles wet; but still have mostly cork.

As for the factory handles such as what TFO does; I have NEVER had a failure; I love the black pepper rings that they put in the Axiom and similar rods. I'm very happy with whatever they come up as a standard. But I'm with Ralph; the properties of cork; it's low density for its strength and that peculiar slow sponginess; that is very hard to replicate with synthetics.

But don't come at me with a flyrod with hypalon on it (I actually have one).

I don't understand the complaints about the "dirtiness". When my handles get a bit scungy (hey Wash your hands now and then) I scrub the handle in a sink with a good stiff tooth brush and soap or detergent. If push comes to shove; give it a final touch up with some 600 grit wet paper; even carborundum won't take any measurable amount of surface off; but it will bring the thing up shiny new so you can see your face in it well enough to shave.

I'm happy with the choices the industry has made so far. I suppose you could tailor the corks so you have better quality rings at the ends that are going to get the pressure either the thumb location or the butt end; but I think the forward end takes the most beating either casting or fish fighting.

I never liked the look of the "burl" or burnt cork look; but whatever that stuff TFO uses on their Axioms (the black peper stuff); that looks great to me as they use it, and seems indestructible.

I'm more into function than cosmetics; so if the Manufacturers are seeing some need to change for economic or reliability reasons; I'm willing to look at their efforts in that direction. But I can tell you right now; that Hypalon ain't gonna fly. (love it on a big boat rod).


Follow ups: