Where to start?

webblade

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I figured I'd start on the rod butt this weekend as it will have no guides on it and I'm still waiting to build my thread wrapping jig. With all that said do I install the grip first or the reel seat first? As you can see from the picture the 3 masking tape wraps on the bottom are to pad out the reel seat. The blue is just a marking for bottom of grip. The next 2 wraps of masking tape further up the blank are padding for the grip. The top most wrap of masking tape is just a marker for top of grip. Please tell me if you see anything wrong. Also do I lightly sand the blank under the grip to provide better grip for the epoxy? Thanks guys.

20210430_192941.jpg
 

unsandedsuperfine

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Some people do reel seat first and some do it after the grip. It might be easier for you if you do the seat first.

I take it the cork has been reamed to be just slightly larger than blank and then the masking tap is there in a few spots to fill spots to make tighter fit. Is this correct?

Specifically, what are you using for epoxy for the grip and reel seat?

For the grip: In the past, I’ve used preformed cork grips, like you are, and I used the Batson
reamer set and use a little tape in spots, if needed.

Is your reel seat a down locking model?

I wipe the blank down with alcohol and do as I described above for the grip with Flex Coat Rod Buidler’s epoxy (liquid two part mix). Warm the bottles with a space heater, use rod building epoxy syringes, and measure correctly. It is a slower cure, which makes it more flexible, stronger, and gives you longer working time (pot life). It will also flow into crevices better. I sometimes hear of factory grips coming loose. It’s not going to if you do it the way I describe. The idea of sanding is to provide a rougher surface for more of an mechanical lock. The way I describe is strong enough for a tuna set-up and doesn’t require sanding the blank.

Make sure you have a rotisserie style rod turner for when you apply the rod finish to the wraps. Also, you want the temp of the room to be about 75-80 degrees. Warm the two bottles a little prior to filling syringes (set them near a space heater) so it flows better (gets less air in syringes & measure more accurately). Measure precisely and mix very well. The purple, smaller Flexcoat application brushes will be better for a fly rod; or you can trim some off the larger yellow ones. “Less is more” when it comes to rod finish. Also, don’t coat all the guides with one batch of finish, as it gets too thick because the pot life of the finish batch is only so long, and it doesn’t saturate thread as well and will make for a gloopy finish job. Three batches for one rod would probably be an ideal pace for a first timer. I’m not talking about three coats. What I mean by three batches is you may only get through four guides before your finish starts to thicken too much. Then a new batch needs to be mixed up. Does that make sense? Good luck!
 
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webblade

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Some people do reel seat first and some do it after the grip. It might be easier for you if you do the seat first.

I take it the cork has been reamed to be just slightly larger than blank and then the masking tap is there in a few spots to fill spots to make tighter fit. Is this correct?

Specifically, what are you using for epoxy for the grip and reel seat?

For the grip: In the past, I’ve used preformed cork grips, like you are, and I used the Batson
reamer set and use a little tape in spots, if needed.

Is your reel seat a down locking model?

I wipe the blank down with alcohol and do as I described above for the grip with Flex Coat Rod Buidler’s epoxy (liquid two part mix). Warm the bottles with a space heater, use rod building epoxy syringes, and measure correctly. It is a slower cure, which makes it more flexible, stronger, and gives you longer working time (pot life). It will also flow into crevices better. I sometimes hear of factory grips coming loose. It’s not going to if you do it the way I describe. The idea of sanding is to provide a rougher surface for more of an mechanical lock. The way I describe is strong enough for a tuna set-up and doesn’t require sanding the blank.

Make sure you have a rotisserie style rod turner for when you apply the rod finish to the wraps. Also, you want the temp of the room to be about 75-80 degrees. Warm the two bottles a little prior to filling syringes (set them near a space heater) so it flows better (gets less air in syringes & measure more accurately). Measure precisely and mix very well. The purple, smaller Flexcoat application brushes will be better for a fly rod; or you can trim some off the larger yellow ones. “Less is more” when it comes to rod finish. Also, don’t coat all the guides with one batch of finish, as it gets too thick because the pot life of the finish batch is only so long, and it doesn’t saturate thread as well and will make for a gloopy finish job. Three batches for one rod would probably be an ideal pace for a first timer. I’m not talking about three coats. What I mean by three batches is you may only get through four guides before your finish starts to thicken too much. Then a new batch needs to be mixed up. Does that make sense? Good luck!
Plenty of info to go on there. Thank you sir.
 

fatbillybob

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I see vids of guys placing grip that looks too tight. Is there a rule of thumb for tightness on the blank? I would think tight cork wipes all the epoxy off as you push it on then you get loose grip especially on 2 hander long grips.

I would think you want a loser grip on blank and use a pur because these expand on setting. The easiest to get anywhere is gorilla glue but gorilla needs some moisture to set or will gorilla set in the air gap of a grip?

I'm new to rod building exploring making my 1st travel rod.
 

flav

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I've always started at the butt of the rod and worked towards the tip, so the reel seat (or fighting butt) goes on first. Sanding the blank under the cork to give the epoxy something to adhere to isn't a bad idea either. I usually do it, but I forgot once and that rod has had no issues after several years. I've used several different epoxies to affix the cork, everything from 5 minute epoxy to U-40 rod bond paste. They all work, but I prefer the pastes. Glues like gorilla glue seem like a good idea because the expand to fill gaps. However they can also expand and leak out, leaving dried glue where you can see it. That's why I like the 2 part paste, it stays where you put it.
 

webblade

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I've always started at the butt of the rod and worked towards the tip, so the reel seat (or fighting butt) goes on first. Sanding the blank under the cork to give the epoxy something to adhere to isn't a bad idea either. I usually do it, but I forgot once and that rod has had no issues after several years. I've used several different epoxies to affix the cork, everything from 5 minute epoxy to U-40 rod bond paste. They all work, but I prefer the pastes. Glues like gorilla glue seem like a good idea because the expand to fill gaps. However they can also expand and leak out, leaving dried glue where you can see it. That's why I like the 2 part paste, it stays where you put it.
That's good the U-40 Rod Bond is what I have thanks.
 

philly

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I see vids of guys placing grip that looks too tight. Is there a rule of thumb for tightness on the blank?
A couple of things to keep in mind.
When you ream out a grip, the hole needs to be wide enough to fit snugly around the blank at the reel seat, as the rod tapers, depending on the length of the grip, you may have to make some wraps of tape to insure the front end fits as snugly as the back end.
While a grip may seem too tight on a dry run, epoxy, Gorilla Glue or paste will act as a lubricant and the grip will be easier to slide into it's final position.
If you find that you are pushing whatever adhesive your using to secure the grip in front of it as you're sliding it down the blank, you're using too much of it. Particularly, if you're using Gorilla glue. I've been using it the last few times I made a couple of screw-in fighting butts, and I just used it when I replaced the fore grip on my 6 wgt and the reel seat and fore grip on one of the guys I fish with bait casting rod. There are different types of Gorilla glue. The first fighting butt I built I used their white glue, and that really expands. I had to check the fighting butt every 15 or 20 minutes to wipe off what was oozing out. I ended up using the glue with the blue top it expands a little, enough to fill in the crevices/cracks in the reamed portion of the grip, but not ooze out either end.
Fighting butts have been mentioned. You told us you were building a travel rod but not the rod weight. I wouldn't consider putting a fighting butt on anything smaller than a 6 wgt. If it's a travel rod, I suggest you buy a kit for a screw-in fighting butt. The base replaces the butt cap on the rod, you can just screw-in the fighting butt as you need it
 

el jefe

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I intentionally use enough epoxy for it to leak out when I affix the reel seat and grip. I just tape of the reel seat insert and threaded barrel so that they epoxy does not get on those parts. Doing this ensures that I am filling in all of the spaces and gaps underneath the handle parts, which avoids "clicking" later, when epoxy at the edges of voids can crack and break free. If you've used a hockey stick that was a shaft-and-blade design, you know the issues with clicking and loose epoxy. I always keep some DNA handy to wipe down any areas that might have gotten epoxy on them that weren't supposed to have it.

For guides, when I started learning to do clear wraps, I thinned my finish so that it was one part resin, one part hardener, and one part DNA. Now I do that all the time. It allows enough pot time so you only have to mix one batch on the first coat. And then I only use enough to soak--not coat!!--the thread wraps. And I still thin my finish on the second and--if needed--third coats, but I will use less DNA after the first coat. I just think the slightly thinned finish flows better on the rod turner and leads to smoother wraps. But since I suck at finish work, you might not want to take my advice.:ROFLMAO:
 

KenBrown

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I would start with the reel seat first. This way you can make sure the grip is tight against the reel seat. Once in place, push the grip down towards the reel seat while pushing up on the reel seat. I also dry my rods in a standing position so you dont have a chance of the blank moving inside the grip/reel seat in case you reamed them too much. Also make sure that you tape off the ends of the grip and the reel seat prior to applying glue. Trust me this will help immensely if you put too much clue by making it much simpler clean up.
 

unsandedsuperfine

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Just adding a few thoughts:

Either rod builder two part epoxy paste or rod builder two part liquid epoxy will be strong enough to hold a reel seat on conventional tuna rod for fish up to 1,000 pounds.

Masking tape arbors can be built and sequenced anywhere you like. Start at the lowest point on whatever you’re gluing. Build the first/lowest arbor first. Adjust the amount of tape until you get the tension/friction just right when spinning the reel seat or grip on that one arbor. Then move up and build the next arbor. Repeat this process until you have the perfect tension along the reel seat or grip. That in combination with the strong/flexible two part epoxies marketed for rod building will yield something that will never come loose. Also, avoid the five minute epoxy for this, IMHO. Yes, denatured alcohol should be ready with paper towels to get any extra epoxy off.

When I say this is strong enough for tuna fishing, I’m not kidding. I realize these aren’t tuna rods but a lot of this discussion is surrounding creating the correct friction/tolerances and the overall strength/holding power.
 
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