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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody done this before ? I have an older Loomis, ( a cannon ), w/ a cork handle that is too large for comfort. I am concerned about simply free hand sanding on this for fear of the potential uneven results. Any recommendations on how to sand this handle down w/o buying some kind of a bench lathe system ? Also interested in sand paper grit size recommendations as well.
 

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.............hisgarness,I have a GL3 that also had a handle that was too large. I took it to a local rodbuilder and had it shaped like a Loop. It is really comfortable to fish now. It is best too have someone with the right equipment perform the work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank You Gents

Aaron / Spey Bum / Riverside Anglers is so close that I amazingly overlook him from time to time. One of, if not the, best sources for all things Spey is near my back yard.

Regards,

Garry
 

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Favorite Cast: Inverted K
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You could also do it yourself in about 20-30 minutes...

1.) Find an old sturdy cardboard box which is about 8" shorter than the section of rod you want to work with.

2.) Cut two V shaped notches in the box and rest the rod in them so that the reelseat is in one of the notches and the end of the rod (male ferrule end) is in another.

3.) Wrap a couple of turns of masking tape around the end of the rod section (male ferrule end). This will protect it when you chuck it up in your drill.

4.) Position a hand drill with various props (not sure how high a box you'll have so can't give much suggestion here) so that the taped male ferrule end can rest in the drill chuck and in the box V notches without putting any stress on the blank from the weight of the drill.

5.) Place the male ferrule end in the drill chuck and tighten SLOWLY and NOT TOO TIGHT. This is the only place you could really screw up and damage your rod by crushing the ferrule. Better to be safe and have to rechuck it a couple of times during the process than to break your ferrule into tiny bits.

6.) Cut several strips (1.5" * 8") of sandpaper-- one each in 60, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, and 600 grit.

7.) Turn the drill on and make sure your rod section spins evenly in the notches...any notable wobble will get you a funny looking grip.

8.) As the handle is spinning, use the strips of sandpaper to slowly take off cork. Note that you'll want to start with 60 grit for general shaping, and then move to 100, and so on down the line. Remember that you can always take more off...but it's really hard to add back on if you're too liberal with the 60 grit shaping! Do a good bit of work with the final grades (400, 600) to get an exceptionally smooth handle.

9.) Optional-- get some Tru-Oil gunstock conditioner and apply it to the grip with your finger. Wet-sand as it turns with 600 grit sandpaper. Do so for about 30 seconds. Wipe off excess with a paper towel and buff out. Repeat as many times as desired to get a dark-stained grip that will never discolor or dirty up.
 

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Rod Handle

Thelongestcast,

Thanks, I had the same question as I need to turn down a couple of rod handles myself. I was thinking along the same lines, but couldn't figure out exactly how to support the rod while in the drill chuck. Simple solution using the cardboard box.

Henry
 

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Perfecting the bad cast
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One more, minor safety tip

A few turns of masking tape on the areas of the reel seat and rod blank where they rest in the "vee-ed" areas of cardboard box will prevent accidental chafing of those contact regions as the rod turns while sanding.

Just make sure the masking tape is wound on counter to the direction of rotation so that it does not catch and peel off during sanding. You'll know almost instantly if you got it wrong. If that happens you can easily reverse the tape and get on with it.
 

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loco alto!
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you can flip over the 400 or 600 grit and use the smooth side to finish it off
 

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Favorite Cast: Inverted K
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Good points, nextcast, on the tape to protect the rod. I use matte gray blanks with a pretty sturdy finish but you might not be so lucky with less resilient finishes (St. Croix finishes come to mind here...).

The final wet sand that I mentioned actually helps fill in small imperfections of the cork with an oil/cork dust slurry...not sure if you'd get that benefit if you used a smooth sheet, SSpey...
 
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