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Old 07-15-2015, 03:47 PM
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Default Varnish "blisters"?

Recently I stumbled over a used Powell Timax graphite fly rod. This rod has proven to have tiny milk-like " blisters" over its shaft length in the varnish. These blisters don't appear to cause any harm, but I would like to know if you folks think this is repairable. What say you? Thanks...
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

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Originally Posted by garyo View Post
Recently I stumbled over a used Powell Timax graphite fly rod. This rod has proven to have tiny milk-like " blisters" over its shaft length in the varnish. These blisters don't appear to cause any harm, but I would like to know if you folks think this is repairable. What say you? Thanks...
Are they just under the wrappings or under the blank finishi?
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

Under the blank finish. Although, they appear to sit right on top.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

It's possible that some kind of oil like hydraulic fluid, lubricant, wd40 or something could have be splattered or sprayed around on the blank after sanding and before dipping.

Large milky blotches sometime come from prolonged exposure to moisture.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

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Originally Posted by wolfglen View Post
It's possible that some kind of oil like hydraulic fluid, lubricant, wd40 or something could have be splattered or sprayed around on the blank after sanding and before dipping.

Large milky blotches sometime come from prolonged exposure to moisture.
Any cure or treatment?
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:01 PM
 
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

Graphite rods need no surface protection.

The blanks are sanded after heat curing to remove the spiral marking from the heat-resistant polypropylene tape and then they are coated. But the sanding and coating is purely cosmetic to give the blank a shiny surface. Rods without sanding and the coating have been sold so even if the entire coating of your rod flaked off, it would NOT affect the fly rod.

The Itinerant Angler

"Once a blank is rolled, it must be tightly bound in a heat-resistant polypropylene tape, to hold it in its rolled form. This tape is wrapped around and around the rod in a spiral pattern, and ultimately gives “natural finish” rods their ridged shape, which I’ve heard compared to a snake belly. Once taped, the blank sections hang vertically in a giant walk-in oven to cure. All the resins are heated and harden, in a process akin to firing pottery. Interestingly, the tape wraps must stay in place during this process, both to hold the form and also “to keep all the resin from liquefying and dripping off the blank onto the floor,” according to Crabtree....

Next, the tape is removed from the outside. For natural-finish rods, like Scott’s current G2 series or Orvis’ older Clearwater, the ridged blanks go straight through to production. Most rods, however, are sanded at this point. Orvis’ Rosenbauer explains that there’s no performance difference one way or another, but most customers now prefer “shiny rods,” so the manufacturers usually oblige."
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

Some of the early graphite rods were varnished, I have 3 Hardy rods that have a Spar finish. When things go bad you can sand with 400 or lighter emery paper and then tack the rod to remove all dust. Wipe with a linen cloth with mineral spirits and then reapply a coat of Spar Varnish to the rod. You should have a proper rod finishing rack and turning motor / chuck before getting started.
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:24 PM
 
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

There is way to remove varnish with a paint stripper. And a way to reapply varnish using a sponge with a small hole cut in it. You would need to protect the rod handle and reel seat during the varnish removal and recoating.

I also think you would need to remove the guides of course to remove and recoat the rod blank before rewrapping the guides.

Are you sure you want to do all this work?

See this post:

Stripping varnish from fiberglass rod - Rod Building Forum - SurfTalk

Refinishing Fiberglass rod
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

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Are you sure you want to do all this work?

I don't think I do...
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Varnish "blisters"?

Hi Guys,

Silver knows I don't like to disagree and in reality I'm not. In extreme cases you may need to strip the windings and redress the rod but for a case of normal blistering you can usually get away with a light sanding and a thin recoat.
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