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Cork tape, Heat shrink tubing, and a reel seat
Posted by: John Esler (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: January 10, 2020 03:17PM

Greetigns fellow rod builders,

I am looking for suggestions on a rod building project. I am starting to build a new medium weight ocean casting rod and am trying something different. Instead of hypalon or EVA foam rod grips, I have wrapped the lower 20 inches of the rod blank with cork tape (once going up, once going down the blank). The tape is being held to the blank with the adhesive on the tape except at the very top and bottom where I added a thin layer of epoxy. My plan was to take my size #24 saltwater aluminum reel seat and epoxy it over the cork tape at an appropriate location thus creating a "fore grip" and a "rear grip" for the rod. Eventually I will place pieces of heat shrink tubing over the cork tape above and below the reel seat.

So here is my question: If I epoxy the reel seat onto the cork tape am I going to get a solid connection between the reel seast and the rod blank? Normally I would build up the rod blank and place the epoxy under the reel seat and it is @#$%&-bent-for-stout. I have never had one come loose. Am I expecting too much from the cork tape?

One idea I had was to cut out about 3 or 4 inches of the cork tape under where I am planning the reel seat so I can put the epoxy directly on the rod blank. Kind of strange but would give the reel seat a more solid connection to the blank. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance,
John Esler

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Re: Cork tape, Heat shrink tubing, and a reel seat
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 10, 2020 04:14PM

The weak link in that chain would be the adhesive on the cork tape. It is possible that it could give or shift under adverse conditions or due to water, heat, etc. What I'd do there, is to cut some small sections out, perhaps 1/4 inches wide at maybe 4 or 5 places along the cork underneath where you intend to mount the seat and epoxy it up that way. A sharp single edge razor blade will easily make such cuts and if you have been careful to "set" the tape adhesive by rolling the tape down on the blank with a rolling pin, etc., the remaining sections shouldn't come loose while you adhere the seat.

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

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Re: Cork tape, Heat shrink tubing, and a reel seat
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 10, 2020 04:29PM

John,
First of all “medium weight ocean casting rod” is only subjective; 15lb may be medium to one person while 50lb is medium for another. Anyway, I do not understand what you are attempting to accomplish with your new idea. When thinking of the pros and cons of mounting the seat on top of the cork tape, I do not see any pros, only cons, with the lack of a solid connection between the blank and seat being on the top of the list, even for the 15lb rod. I would personally not do it.
Cork tape covered with X-flocked shrink tubing produces a very effective, grippy, comfortable, durable and easy-to-clean saltwater grip; most of my salt rods employ such. If the rod will be primarily used in rod holder, consider using a Slick-Butt to facilitate getting it out of the holder easier with a good fish on. Attempt to put the end of the shrink tube under the reel seat to secure it better than simply butting up to the seat. Due to the nature of the cork tape and the way it is applied to the blank, the first side of the seat is easy but the second side is difficult to tuck the shrink tubing under the seat. Radius or 45* this end of the cork tape so that the shrink tubing shrinks below the OD of the seat and fill the void with epoxy. I usually build the grips and seat in reverse so that I can step-down the rear part of the fore-grip enough so the shrink tubing will end up under and secured by the seat. The fore-grip will experience a lot more forces applied to it, especially twisting = a very good reason to spiral-wrap the guides.
I am curious to what others with more experience may have to say.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Cork tape, Heat shrink tubing, and a reel seat
Posted by: John Esler (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: January 10, 2020 05:51PM

Thanks Tom, I think cutting a couple gaps in the cork tape (and removing them) to allow the epoxy direct contact between the reel seat and the rod blank is the best bet.

Mark, my appology. I know I didn't describe the rod sufficently as I was hoping my question was clear without the information. But my blank is a 7'6" United Composite and will be used as a 30-40 pound rod to cast jigs to wahoo and football YFT. I am sure I'll have a problem with maintaining the integrity of the reel seat to the cork tape. As to why I decided to do it this way, I'm guilty! I just wanted to see how it worked and I'm not ready to give up on it (though I may never do another quite like this)..

Thanks again,


John Esler



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2020 06:05PM by John Esler.

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Re: Cork tape, Heat shrink tubing, and a reel seat
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 10, 2020 09:58PM

John,
I totally understand. Also, nothing ventured = nothing gained. Good for you trying something outside the box. It may not be what I would attempt but, in the grand scheme of things, that really does not matter. Seriously consider spiral-wrapping the guides to eliminate the twisting torque on the seat and fore-grip; it may be just the ticket to actually make your concept work.
One way or the other, keep us (at least me) posted with the outcome. Good luck and happy building.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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