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Old 11-28-2012, 10:58 AM
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Default wood grip

After breaking my 6 wt I am contemplating rebuilding it with a wood grip and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts or comments on using wood vs cork.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

I have used part wood on rods before. My Meiser 15' 8/9 wt has a lot of wood in the grip.
Click the image to open in full size.
The biggest problems with wood is that you can have a hard time with finishes that do OK with water. One that works in sumer may not like cold and wet. My Meiser has a bit of that going on. Then there is the no flex thing. I would never use a long piece of wood on a rod for fish bigger than I can fit in an aquarium. I saw a big Pike rod a had with wood grips, (spinning rod) blow the bottom grip of on a big fish. Busted along the grain from the reel seat all the way to the butt cap. Sent half the grip flying. I did a foregrip on one of my trolling rods and I get big fish on it but I over drilled it and shimmed just the ends on graphite arbors. It can flex inside the grip and not blow it apart.

I would not suggest you not use a one solid piece of wood for a grip. You can see in the following photo where I use wood accents, but that Meiser I made has about as close to an all wood grip I would ever do.

Click the image to open in full size.

You may consider doing something like this with cork if it's just that you want something a bit fancier than plain cork. Also, good cork has become hard to find and very expensive. There are some nice looking cork 'burl' rings you can get that are cheap, look good and if you are creative can make some cool looking stuff.
Click the image to open in full size.

A better look at my Winston. I used stabilized wood for it. It was the most expensive piece of wood I ever bought. Double dyed, stabilized Box Elder Burl.
Click the image to open in full size.

Here's the foregrip I told you about.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

That's the kind of info I was looking for. Thanks Dan you rock! Sweet grips by the way. You do good work.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Total agreement with DD's sentiments, for for 'accents only' due t the lack of flex. The other thing is, over time it will be a minor 'bi tch' to keep looking nice.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
Total agreement with DD's sentiments, for for 'accents only' due t the lack of flex. The other thing is, over time it will be a minor 'bi tch' to keep looking nice.
It is a more like major 'bi otch' to keep my Meiser looking good when the weather gets cold. In the Summer it is no problem. That's why I post pictures of fish with my Meiser in the Summer, but when Fall hits, it's my Albright. I can use my Meiser in the Fall but I need to refinish the dang wood in no time.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

I knew it would be more maintenance but was interested in the extra sensitivity. My climate is usually pretty dry so I would always worry about cracking over time as well. I'll just look at doing some accents or something along those lines.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Could do birch or another type of bark. Great look and I love the feel of it. Use 5 or 6 coats of tru-oil on it to finish.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

I love birch bark grips. Problem is, birch is not easy to find in Utah. Unless I can find some homeowners that are willing to part with some bark.
I did have some sent to me from a guy back east, but it was the not what you would call the pick of the litter. I think it was his throwaway stuff, but hell it was free so I can't complain.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

How do you make the birch grip? Is it wrapped over cork?
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

You can strip off bark and dry it flat. Then take a hole saw in a drill and use it to cut rings. Glue and clamp them the same way you would with cork. Turn it on a 1/4" mandrel. You can do it with a drill if you don't have a lathe, and a drill press is even better. Once you have it turned and sanded down to about 400 paper, do a few coats of tru oil. Pound the mandrel loose and remove it. By the way, wax the mandrel before you glue it up or you may never get it out of the grip. Fit it to the blank the same way you would a factory grip. I would not try and turn it on the rod, in fact I discourage it with any grip material, because if something goes wrong it's wrong on the rod. Better to have the things gone wrong grips on a piece of drill rod. One last thing, I'm not sure how great birch bark is for the ends of the grip. You may want to put a composite cork ring at each end. The cork may be harder to turn than the birch so you may want to turn corks accent rings first and then glue it all up. Sand the Birch down to the composite cork.

One last thing, before you go taking bark from a tree, look at the laws for removing borch bark. We have an invasive beetle here that has made removing, selling or transporting birch bark products a bad no no.
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