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Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Capt. Craig Freeman (---.nianet.org)
Date: November 19, 2015 08:39AM

Normally use foam core on the carbon fiber grips I make. Was looking at the cork and eva foam grips I had and got to thinking, why couldn't I just put carbon fiber over them It would save a lot of time. Anybody ever try putting carbon fiber over cork or regular foam grips?

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 19, 2015 09:12AM

That was how we made the first ones - over cork. So sure, you can do that but you'll lose some of the advantages of the grip. The carbon skin isn't adding anything other than a bit of surface protection (no, it doesn't make the rod more sensitive) and perhaps when used on top of cork or EVA, a bit more rigidity. If the underlying material is softer than the carbon skin, then you could possibly crack the carbon skin it you put enough concentrated pressure on it. Of course, you could always use two layers of skin, or a heavier guage skin, but that also adds more weight.

The key element of the foam core, carbon skin grips is the foam core. That's the item that provides 95% of the benefits. Less weight and more rigidity. The carbon skin is just there to protect the surface of the foam.

................

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: James Newsome (---.244.204.207.client.dyn.strong-sf33.as22781.net)
Date: November 19, 2015 09:46AM

The better question might be to ask what exactly are you trying to achieve with the carbon skin? Are you after the look or something else?

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Bill Falconer (---.dhcp.unas.al.charter.com)
Date: November 19, 2015 01:15PM

Captain Craig -

Like Tom I have made them the way you are describing. Most specifically, I have made several over EVA when using Fuji IPS and VSS seats and integrating the seat and grip into one carbon skinned unit. They are heavier and less sensitive with an EVA or cork core than they are with the foam core. At least to my hands...which I acknowledge is not terribly scientific but is very real to me.

The other thing to watch out for is contamination and bubbles. I would highly recommend you seal the cork or EVA with one thin coat of epoxy (a Captain Mike Pedersen trick) before you execute your wet layup. With cork especially it will save you lots of headaches.

If you have lots of old cork and EVA grips, try some of the new X-flock shrink tubing on them. To me that is a better fit and can turn out some spectacularly comfortable grips which are also much more durable than plain cork or EVA. Just a thought...hope this helps.

Bill

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Chad N Wilson (---.eugn.qwest.net)
Date: November 19, 2015 01:40PM

All good comments.

I believe the carbon fiber adds to the sensitivity of the grip and rod. Common polyurethane pour foam while more rigid and dense than cork is not really any more sensitive than cork on its own as its an insulating material. You can test this by taking a shaped foam core, cover it in epoxy (so it is protected) and put it on a blank and see how it feels in your hand. Do the same with the exact same foam core grip but covered in carbon fiber and the difference in feel is not even close. I believe that the reason behind this is the fact that the carbon fiber wraps around the foam core and makes contact with the blank. Not so sure that the foam is transmitting a whole lot of vibration to the carbon fiber.

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 19, 2015 03:43PM

If it adds weight over the bare cork or foam grip, it's highly unlikely to add sensitivity - it can only reduce it. There is nothing magic about carbon fiber that adds sensitivity to anything just by its addition.

................

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Chad N Wilson (---.eugn.qwest.net)
Date: November 19, 2015 04:12PM

True, there is nothing magical about carbon fiber, its just a conductive material. A conductive material (graphite) will better transmit vibration or energy than an insulating material (cork, EVA, fiberglass, polyurethane). If we could make a cork tube the same diameter, weight and wall thickness as a graphite tube the graphite tube would transfer more energy than the cork tube. A lot of the advantages of carbon fiber are its light weight, but just as important is that its conductive. I agree that adding the least amount of weight to a rod blank is the best way to end up with a very sensitive rod.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2015 04:18PM by Chad N Wilson.

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Michael Danek (192.183.51.---)
Date: November 19, 2015 04:59PM

Do a carbon fiber grip over foam (which I believe is non-conductive) but leave the ends uncoated so the carbon fiber will not contact the blank and compare it to other grips. I expect it will have the same sensitivity as it would if the ends contacted the blank. Or very very close. Because the foam is rigid and very light, so it transmits force/vibration very well. I don't have data, but I would be interested in data that indicate that conductivity has anything to do with sensitivity. Foam ramps off the ends of reel seats, with no carbon fiber, just epoxy over the foam, are very sensitive and as far as I know are not conductive. I'm not trying to cause trouble, but I would very much like to know the basis for the conductivity/sensitivity link.

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: November 19, 2015 05:30PM

depending on the type of rod you want to use it on
Saltwater no one worries about weight -- Too much ??
Bass with casts all day lighter is better
Fly -- yes lighter weight is better
If your rod is Tip heavy that little weight may just help to balance it

If it is easier for you and you like the results and the weight - which may even be a split grip - do it

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 19, 2015 05:41PM

Not really how it works. The bare rod blank is the most sensitive form of the rod. Anything you add from there will reduce its sensitivity. So the real question is how to retain the most sensitivity possible. That is generally accomplished by using the lightest components possible and the higher the stiffness to weight ratio of the item the better. If you add a handle/grip made of rigid urethane foam you will reduce sensitivity to some extent. Putting a carbon skin over it will reduce sensitivity yet more.

You will be hard pressed to add anything to a rod blank and increase its sensitivity.

....................

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: November 19, 2015 05:52PM

So would not graphite be a better base It is the most rigid material Is it not

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 19, 2015 06:13PM

No, because a solid carbon handle in that size would be terribly heavy compared to the same thing in foam. The whole carbon skin thing was added only so we could protect the foam. If you wanted the best handle, you'd skip the carbon skin and apply some sort of coating that would do the same job but at less weight. The carbon skin isn't making anything more sensitive - it just does the job of protecting the surface of the foam.

...............

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: November 19, 2015 06:37PM

What size are we talking bass rod trout rod Saltwater ??
And since the # 4 core is the softest not good -- the # 6 should be the ringer -- Cause the #8 is like wood Not good So why buy cork Get the cores - shape - and cover Sounds simple to me

But
I still would think it has to do with the type of rod one is building ?

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Bill Falconer (---.dhcp.unas.al.charter.com)
Date: November 19, 2015 06:57PM

I think the cosmetics matter, as well. A well executed, well formed carbon fiber grip is very appealing to many anglers. This one especially!

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 19, 2015 08:13PM

I had a talk today with a gentleman that is highly regarded in the blank making industry. He is working on mass producing foam core carbon grips (as several are currently) and mentioned that the carbon is what has the sales appeal. He's right - while it's not the thing that really matters in terms of the advantages these grips provide, it is the thing that impresses the consumer.

..............

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Michael Danek (192.183.51.---)
Date: November 19, 2015 08:25PM

"The whole carbon skin thing was added only so we could protect the foam. If you wanted the best handle, you'd skip the carbon skin and apply some sort of coating that would do the same job but at less weight"

For ramps off the ends of reel seats this is possible by just coating the foam with epoxy. The Riley Rods epoxy seems to be harder than wrapping epoxy, so should be better. But even wrap epoxy, because of the size and shape of ramps, is adequate to protect the foam and provide what I think is the most sensitive ramp.

[clients.criticalimpact.com]

I've done a lot of these and had one failure because I didn't apply enough epoxy between the ramp and the blank on one, and it left a void that failed in compression. I have rods that have hundreds of hours on the water and look like new exc for the yellowing of the epoxy with sun exposure.

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 19, 2015 08:29PM

Rodney and I had many brainstorming sessions on things we could coat the foam core with to protect it and simply do away with the carbon skin altogether. But we both agreed that from a sales standpoint, the loss of the carbon skin would result in poor customer acceptance.

...............

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Adam Lancia (---.cable.teksavvy.com)
Date: November 20, 2015 10:14AM

What about a honeycomb-shaped carbonfiber grip with carbonfiber laminated over it? That would likely be the most rigid solution, wouldn't it...?

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 20, 2015 10:48AM

Yes, and again mainly due to the lightweight, rigid core. But that sort of thing is pretty hard to do. It has been tried in a number of ways, even bushing a slightly thicker skin with arbors much in the way that graphite TN handles are done. But the final weight isn't lighter in many cases, and trying to bush or shim a grip with compound tapers is difficult.

No doubt there are more innovations on the horizon. It'll just take some time for people to hit on the right thing through good ideas and lots of experimentation.

.............

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Re: Carbon Fiber grip question
Posted by: Capt. Craig Freeman (---.coxfiber.net)
Date: November 20, 2015 02:28PM

Wow! Great discussion. Thanks for all the comments. I originally asked the question as a time saving issue. If I can carbon fiber over or an already made grip, I wouldn't have to pour the foam and shape it, which is kinda labor intensive. (at least for me) Also, It's more for just a look. black on black with black carbon fiber grips look incredibly, almost gives the rod a mystic. The rod will be a 7'2" bait caster used inshore saltwater for specks, flounder, pups, and rockfish primarily.

After reading all the comments, I've decided not to be lazy and actually pour and shape the foam cores. That's how it's suppose to be done, so that's what I'm going to do. Thanks again for all the replies.

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