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Old 08-03-2011, 02:33 PM
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Default Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

I want to fish a 50 year old southbend for the first time. I wanted to know what if anything i could treat the rod with to stop the original coating from being so brittle. One of the guilds already came off fairly easily. I repaired it with a good nylon and some custom tinted epoxy that i brewed up. What do y'all think
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

The original finish is spar-varnish,
If you wipe it down with turpentine, it will smooth out any "alligatoring" and clean off dirt.
If the varnish is flaking off, you'll need to strip it and reapply.
Any varnish that's missing including where the guide was replaced, needs to be taken care of before the rod gets wet. If the finish isn't sealed, the bamboo can rot.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

Can I,or should I use a super fine emory paper? There are no flakes per say.I am worried that the thread used to affix the guides may be weak/dry rotted.I have a can of spar varnish, so that is good.Maybe I should just work on the guides with a sponge tipped applicator,stripping the old varnish off and going back over it with the epoxy mix.The rod is just so darn nice for it's age, I do not want to jack it up. Thanks Rip
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

The Spar Varnish used on the Old Cane Rods were a pain as they had a habit of flaking,Alligatoring or going blottchy so the Varnish had to be lightly sanded then re-applied,some people liked that look.
I wouldn't use Emery paper I'd use Glass or SandPaper.
I can remember my father completely stripping Rods lightly sanding them,Re-wrapping them,adding new Guides,cleaning the Cork,then a re-coat of Varnish was added.
Another thing to be careful of is to always have a coating on the cane,as mentioned,not only when it's unprotected the cane can rot,because the early glues holding the cane pieces together would virtually fall out.
I know of people who sent Fly Rods back to Hardys in England to have the Rods repaired,reglued.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

If the varnish isn't flaking off, you won't need to sand it at all.
Just wipe it down with a rag and the turpentine.
That will smooth out and clean up any imperfections.
Then wipe on a few new coats of the varnish where needed
If you do find that the finish needs to be sanded, be sure and take off only the varnish
The "power fibers" of the bamboo are located on the outside
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

I fished boo for years and never heard the turpentine suggestion..not saying it won't work but personally I wouldn't try it. I typically try to minimize chemicals on my bamboo.

If you don't want to strip it down and revarnish...I would use Butchers Bowling Alley wax...It's a nice perservative and gives old boo a really nice look. A trick I learned from a long time boo expert. just take a soft rag, rub the wax on ...let it set a bit and then use a soft cloth to buff it...looks great.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wtex50 View Post
I fished boo for years and never heard the turpentine suggestion..not saying it won't work but personally I wouldn't try it. I typically try to minimize chemicals on my bamboo.
.
My buddy buys a lot of ebay rods and reconditions them for resale.
Much of the time that's all they need
Plus I've done it on my own rods
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Old bamboo rod,Any conditioner suggestion?

The technique Riptide describes is very similar to that used on cracked/crazed guitars finished with a nitrocellulose lacquer. It works well on guitars. The one bamboo rod I re-finished needed some serious help, and I stripped the varnish off with a razor. Just drag the razor toward you, with the edge faces away from you. That will scrap the varnish off, but keep the razor's edge from digging into the bamboo. It went quickly, and was followed with a few coats of hand rubbed varnish. 35 years later, it still looks 100%.
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