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To Tape Or Not Tape

3277 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Nooksack Mac
I am curious as to how many people still tape their rods.
When I started to cast speyrods it was with double taper lines and metal ferrules.
I did not start with the weight forwards until Jim Vincent sent me one of his Accelerators and a while Later Bruce Richards sent me a couple of Mastery Spey lines.
I can say that I have never cast a speyrod apart but that does mean I will not.
So here is the question do tape, do you wax or do you tape and wax.
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I wax and tape. When I began speycasting, I didn't tape. While learning the snake roll, my rod came apart (tip flew off) breaking off a small piece (1/4") of the second section. Rod was repaired and I've taped ever since. I even sometimes tape my single handers (8 wt and above).
.02 cents worth here only.

Gave up on waxing as I've not seen any difference in either my traditional or Euro's. But as to taping .... with the lighter rods, infrequently but I do check the sections connections frequently. They will loosen up on occation, but I can usually feel the difference in how the rod is casting. Good, now sloppy.

Heavier rods, in particular with lots of line out and hi-twist casts such as the snake ... TAPE!!! AND CHECK often. Amazing how the combination will twist your rod connections.

There is a superb ferrule wax available named "ferrule waxit." I am told it is a mixture of beeswax and paraffin. I use it plus tape. My spey partner and I notice that all rod section twisting has ceased and he has quit taping, and never has to tighten his ferrule fit.

Our sponsor shops probably have this product. If not I know it is available at the Trinity Fly Shop, Lewiston, CA. Tel 1.530.623.6757.

p.s. Juro-I forwarded a note to the Trinity Fly Shop to consider sponsorhip.
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I always tape my rods, both single and 2-handed - including my light line 4 weight trout rods. Have been taping for about 20 years now after I cast the tip section of a new graphite rod about 30 feet out into the Missouri River in Montana, it was a 6 weight single hander. Prior to that I never taped and relied on checking my ferrules for tightness or twisting. After that experience, I tape the ferrules on all my rods. I have even taught my boys (ages 11 and 15 now) to tape their rods.

I have never had a section come apart since taping. I will check the alignment and tightness of my 2-handers in warm weather though because in temps above 65 degrees the tape stretches ans the sections can twist.

Keep in mind that I use long belly lines on my 2-handers and only make 1 or at most 2 false cast to make 60 to 80 foot casts with my single handers. These put a lot of twisting stress on the ferrules.

I used to tape my rods all the time and still do when I know that I can keep the rods rigged for several days. In Russia where one does a good deal of daily hopping around in choppers, taping seems to take too much time - guess one is too hot to dig into the pools...

The best way to tape, at least from my experience, is the "surgeon's wrap", a method reputedly used by doctor's when fixing a broken finger:

Take two strips of tape (~2" long) and put them PARALLELL TO THE BLANK so that equal parts cover the male and female sections. Then do the normal spiral wrap over these two pieces. This way the two sections never cna come apart and twisting is blocked even better than just with the normal spiral wrap. (I use 3M electrical tape).

For wax I never have tried it in earnest. From what Bob says maybe that is the way to go, now when the taping process has detoriated.


PS. I have broken at least on TAPED rod where the ferrules came apart under the tape during night fishing. Another was broken when untaped. Since I check evertyhing rather frequent - it is like bike helmets, it takes a crash before one starts to use them...DS
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begs question

Most seem to tape. I myself wax. What type of tape do people tend to use?
Never tape nor wax. Check my rod ferrules about twice each day (I fish normally very long days). My casting is mostly single spey to left or right side of me depending on which side of the river I'm on, and this does make for mostly pretty straight casts with not much sideway pressure on the rod, compared to double spey and snake. Many companions have used to tape, but as we move on and try without, it works mostly fine without, especially on newer rods with tight ferrules. I think here in Norway, you see less and less taped ferrules now compared to five - ten years ago.
I have been waxing but not taping. Not noticed any loosening yet but it is a new rod. What kind of tape, electical, adhesive, etc. is every one using ?
I quit taping and now wax occasionally as needed. I found that when putting any of my rod sections together if I use a quarter twist while aligning the section I have no problem with flying tips or misaligned sections. I also always check when moving between pools.
I do not tape i wax once in a while. I think regardless of what you do the most important thing is to 1. seat the ferrules properly (hard) 2. check them often!! Taping and waxing are great but they are NOT, NOT, NOT!!!!!! substitutes for properly seating the rod and checking it often!
Thats why I do now wax, a quarter inch twist, and check the connections every so often, never had one come apart yet. Single hander or spey. I do carry tape with me but for other potential exigenic situations on the river.
Taping: our way and the old way

I tape, using standard black elect. tape and spiral wraps. I park the tape between uses on the blank, just below the ferrules. Each piece lasts for 6-8 uses. It only takes about ten seconds per joint to retape, so I'd be crazy not to.
I've just refinished an old English 15-foot, 3-piece greenheart spey rod. It has brass screw-locking ferrules: There's a prominent raised thread at the top of the female section and a matching "hook" at the bottom of the male section; it takes about 1.5 turns to tighten. Easy and ingenious. (I'll report on this rod when I've fished with it.)
3M electrical seems to be good stuff. The cheaper stuff leaves adhiesive residue.

I don't always tape even though I know I should. It is a must though for long bellied lines. For shorter bellied lines, I often will get lazy and just wax.
I always tape my rods now - even single handers if I'm leaving them up for a few days at a time. Seems to me that there is no downside to doing so apart from a small loss of time, but a big potential upside. Per, I can understand your eagerness to get out of the chopper and onto the river, but how much better to spend a couple of minutes at the beginning of the day than finding yourself in the middle of the tundra with a rod in more sections than the manufacturer intended? It's like, for example, retying your fly after catching a fish - 95% of the time it doesn't matter, but that extra 5% could make all the difference.

Nooksack Mac, your ferrules sound very much like the 'Lockfast' (I think) design used by Hardy on their cane rods - The 'Wye' range in particular had this sort of joint. I think Hardy had a patent on the design at one point. Do you know who made your rod? I have seen another similar device where a small metal collar, captive but free to rotate independently of the rod, slips over and screws onto a thread on the outside of the opposing section - again making for a totally secure joint. Another neat solution. Be gentle with your rod - old greenhearts tend to be fragile these days, and rods with metal ferrules are even more prone to break than spliced ones.
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The greenheart rod was made by J. Forrest of W. London (and who, I'm guessing, was also John Forrest & Sons of Kelso, Scotland). The male ferrules have a smaller round cylindrical step at the bottom, about 1" long. I've lawn-cast the rod with trepidation; nothing broke. I'm going for chinook salmon in a few hours, but not with that old timer. When I fish it, it'll be under less strenuous circumstances.
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