Float rod handle upgrade

adriang

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Thought I'd share my little venture into upgrading a float rod handle..

I had paid somebody to upgrade the handle of one of my microlites to an updated reel fitting. When I eventually got it back, I was really pleased with it, and decided it was a well worth upgrade, if I was to do it myself.

I recently re-ringed a mates spinning rod, that went reasonably well, and as part of it, made up some wooden supports for working on a rod.

Last week, I decided to just get on and do one of my float rods and see how it goes.

The rod in question is a Shimano XMS float rod, that is my go-to rod for waggler fishing.

I did not want to strip off the entire handle, so the approach was to remove the rings, and then trim back the length of the handle where the fuji fitting would replace it.

IMG_6176.jpeg


under the handle, there was a wrap of braid to pack it out to internal diameter of the original cork handle.

IMG_6177.jpeg

Fuji KDPS reel seat
IMG_6178.jpeg

Whipping the ring back on, sealing it and then epoxy finishing it. Two coats, and then turning the rod to keep an even coverage and limit any sagging.
IMG_6188.jpeg

Finished. Note I also whipped on a hook keeper.
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I cleaned up the original handle with some baby wipes (idea from YouTube). I'm not worried about the differences in colour between the new and old cork, as I'm going to use the rod over the weekend, so it will soon get discoloured. But I'm sure 5 mins with some sand paper would clean up the original cork even more.

Overall cost was around £15-£20 depending on how accurate to want to divide up the whipping thread, various finishes and so on.

I damaged the new cork slightly when opening up the diameter to fit the rod diameter (not noticeable, but I know its there) and should have cleaned up the blank a little better after removing the original whipping at the top of the handle, where the hook keeper currently is. It made the new whipping difficult and to me, it shows.
 
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RMNDIL

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Blanks with carbon tape/thread wraps are always a pain to clean up without damaging the wrap. Well done
 

Nicky Dodds

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Most cork handles can be cleaned up just by using the dish washing scourer and soapy water. Doesn't take long to dry out afterwards either.
 

Sam Vimes

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If you want to clean a cork handle really well, without resorting to abrasives, give a magic sponge/eraser a try. Baby wipes and soap and water is fine for keeping relatively new/little used cork clean. However, over many years of use, cork develops a certain patina that I previously believed only an abrasive would deal with. That was until I tried a magic sponge.
 

ravey

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Good effort, and good to see it’s not just me who likes to fettle! I have modified a few in the past, and it is quick to get to a decent standard. The hook keeper is a nice touch, and one that I add to each of my upgrades. I can’t get on with the epoxy, finding I get a better and more consistent finish using several coats of rod varnish ( Rod Dancer varnish from Guides’n’Blanks).
 

adriang

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Good effort, and good to see it’s not just me who likes to fettle! I have modified a few in the past, and it is quick to get to a decent standard. The hook keeper is a nice touch, and one that I add to each of my upgrades. I can’t get on with the epoxy, finding I get a better and more consistent finish using several coats of rod varnish ( Rod Dancer varnish from Guides’n’Blanks).
I used the Seymo 'kit' from Guides and Blanks.. Its a little painful to work with without a rod dryer, but I found some good tips on YouTube about applying and then manually turning the rod 180 degrees. The finish is better when its slathered on, but there is fine line to avoid any sags.
 

PearTree

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Nice work (y)

I put a couple of new Fuji reel seats on a 13’ Tricast Aristocrat and a 11’ 4” Tricast Trophy when I was back in the summer. Reasonably straightforward to do and nice not having to worry about the reel falling off any more :)

The epoxy on the whippings was the most painful job, using the cardboard box / turning by hand method !
 

MarkW

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I'd be interested to know what reel seats you're all using plus the internal diameters?
 

PearTree

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This was the one I used on the Tricast Aristocrat waggler rod.

Very neat, the EVA at the front just squeezed tightly around the blank.
 

adriang

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I'd be interested to know what reel seats you're all using plus the internal diameters?
I used the Fuji KDPS: Fuji KDPS Match Reel seat with Duplon or Cork Hood - Reel Seats - Reel Seats

This is one of the fittings where you twist the cork section to tighten/loosen the reel.

IMG_6213.jpeg

It's 3 pieces, and I did need to ream the diameter of the cork to fit the diameter of the rod.
The actual reel fitting is 16mm diameter. With the braid 'wrap' on my Shimano rod, it was a tight fit. On my Mach 2 Boron, with a fibreglass insert being 13mm, it will need some packing. I think I will take the masking tape option to pack it out, a decent amount of epoxy glue should keep the water from getting to it.

IMG_6214.jpeg
 
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