I don't know if many of you are as anal as I about taking care of your fly rods, but if you are here is a tip.
The plastic lens on my watch was quite scratched and when I saw this product in the local Carquest store I bought some. It is called "3M Plastic Polish" and the label says "cleans, polishes and restores optical clarity".
Well, it worked wonders on my watch. It took some rubbing, but the scratches were removed and the optical clarity was restored!
Hmmm. Epoxy is plastic. My next thought was, how about fly rods?
Yup. You have probably guessed by now that it works really well on rods. It not only removes the scratches, but the original shine comes back as well!
How many other uses can you think of for this product?
Thanks for the heads up, I've always wondered if there was a product out there for restoring the finish on my watch face. I'm kind of hard on my fly rods due to putting them in the rod storage areas of drift boats, not the best of places to keep the finish in pristine shape......now I have a good method to restore the finish. Thanks!
ummm.... I've used a similar product on my car headlights. What it's actually marketed for. It made a significant difference but not 100%.
I then tried it on some badly scratched eye glasses... didn't help one bit
How many other uses can you think of for this product?
I have to ask, were the headlights and glasses plastic or glass?
On the fly rod, there were some deep scratches. I rubbed these out first with a green pot scrubber pad. Just enough to get out the scratches- check after every 10 strokes or so. Once those were gone I had a dull finish where I had rubbed. Then I used the plastic polish which brought out the shine to match the rest of the rod. I think the abrasive in the stuff is white rouge and if so, red rouge (jewelers rouge) is even finer.
If there is a thin finish coat on your rod, don't use the green pot scrubber!! If you go through that thin finish you won't be able to get it to match as there will be an edge where the thin finish coat leaves off.
On my watch I just used the 3M Plastic Polish and it is crystal clear! It took about 15 minutes of rubbing while I watched TV.
What you're doing with this sort of procedure, is removing the surrounding material to match the scratches. If you're only concerned with cosmetics (or trying to sell a well-used rod), this might be alright. However, removing or thinning the rod's protective layer will only increase the number of scratches, and get them closer to the graphite. If you have an area with many scratches, that might be due to were it rests against boat gunwales, etc. It's those areas on the rod that need the most protection from further scratches, and removing the protective coating will only lead to further problems...unless you never use the rod in ways that made the scratches.
You are correct to a degree. This stuff is too fine to do any damge to graphite, and is only meant to polish plastic (i.e. epoxy). The green scrubber pad is quite another thing which is why I advised caution. It's use is only advisable where there is a thick layer of epoxy, such as on rod windings, etc.
Any deep scratches in the graphite have probably already compromised the strength of the rod.
Many rod makers, including Gary Loomis, do not believe in adding a protective layer to a rod as it adds nothing to the strength and adds unnecessary weight. Thinning this protective layer should, then, have no affect on the rods performance or strength.
As Ard said in another "broken rod" thread, keeping your rod in its hard case is the only way to keep it from being damaged or broken. Whenever mine is not in my hands, it is in a PVC tube. Whenever I have violated this rule it has sooner or later resulted in a broken rod.
It's a fly rod...use it, keep the scratches as badges of honor.
Or...put your rod in a glass case so that you can stare it in it's pristine condition...
You should see my Orvis Helios and reel...
I've come to the conclusion that if it's going to be used, it's going to get nicks and scratches.
My wife has never had a brand new car. I decided that I would get one for her. A beautiful brand new black 2010 Subaru Forester. She vowed to keep it clean and spot free. But even with her parking the car in the garage every night, or parking at the far end of a parking lot to avoid door dings, it still picked up rock chips, scratches, etc...all very common with daily use.
Yes, it was an expensive car to pay cash for, and just like my Helios, very nice and pretty...but if you're going to take it out and use it, it will pick up a scratch or two. She learned quickly that every day life happens, and she now enjoys her car much more without fussing about every little scratch or ding.
No need to polish...as another member said, you are removing material. In the long run, you could do more damage if you got overzealous with your polishing...I could even see it being an issue if you ever needed to return the rod for warranty work.
I know lots of folks that agree with you. Their feeling is that a fly rod is a tool and is to be used. Having made (as in put on handles and reelseats and wrapped the guides and ferrules) a number of rods made from finely designed graphite blanks, I tend to think of them as fine works of art (sorry, its just me) rather than just a $600 or $700 dollar tool.
Kind of like thinking of a violin as eihter a fiddle or a Strad, although not nearly that extreme.
On the other hand, an SUV is just transportation to and from fishing spots to me and I buy used waders on Ebay and tear 'em up on beaver stobs faster than you can say "fish on" while fishin' little cutthroat cricks!
A wise old saying; "Take care of your tools and they'll take care of you."
While I agree that over time your equipment will get nicks, dings, and scratches("character" if you will), I'm still going to perform routine maintenance and upkeep on it. I'm not a man of great wealth, I cannot afford to buy new equipment because of neglect and bad judgement whether that be from being carelessly laid in the gravel and sand or left to ride unprotected in the bed of a truck.
I like the look of a well maintained older rod and reel. I also love the look of a well used grip with all of that good fish karma, so after each fish I touch I rub that left over good stuff into the cork.
I think the old Loomis finish left the blank unsanded. That meant that it would still have an epoxy coating. I take care of my rods: transport in tube; wait until all gear is on, and then remove and assemble rod and reel; disassemble and store rod and reel before removing waders etc. I wipe down my rods with a damp cloth once I get home, followed by a dry cloth. Even with all of that, I've managed to scratch a few rods while slipping on rocky banks.