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Upgrading Old Blanks
Date: June 16, 2020 10:32PM

I found two rods that I had left by a buddy’s house almost 2 years ago when I stopped by to see him today. Both were lower end inexpensive rods that I had bought when I first got into bass fishing. I actually really like the blanks... plus they’d be great as spares, but I figured I’d go ahead and upgrade the components and put my own personal touch on them. One is a 7’ medium/fast Halo StarLite and the other is a 7’ medium heavy/fast Daiwa Laguna. This will also be my first time removing reel seats. I could leave the StarLite as is as far as the handle goes. I just don’t like the yellow EVA. Gets dirty too easy. But the Laguna needs the seat replaced because I had started having some minor issues with blank twisting (or at least what I believe to be blank twisting). Any tips to help me out with getting the old seats off would be greatly appreciated.

BONUS TOPIC... Looking for some ideas to do a cool color scheme with the red Halo blank. Throw some ideas my way if you feel like helping to spark my creativity! LOL

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: June 17, 2020 11:58AM

Christine,
It has been posted before, but a really simple, quick and effective way to remove reel seats.

Take your dremal tool with an abrasive cut off wheel on the end with plenty of extra wheels when yo break a disk.

Then, working carefully, cut a slot from one end of the reel seat to the other end, making sure you cut - ALMOST all of the way through the reel seat on one side: DO NOT LET THE SPINNING WHEEL TOUCH THE BLANK,.!

Then, repeat for the opposite side of the reel seat that is 180 degrees from the first cut.

Then, take a WIDE bladed screwdriver that is just thin enough to fit into the slots in the reel. Insert at one end of the first slot and give it a good twist on the handle of the screwdriver. Then, go to the opposite end of the first cut and repeat the insertion and twisting of the screwdriver.

Go to the other side of the reel seat, and repeat at each end of the reel seat. With the final insertion and twist the reel seat should fall off.

Now, take a sharp scraper, a single edged razor blade or a sharp paint scraper and a heat gun to the glue on the blank where the reel seat had been located. Use heat to warm the remaining epoxy glue from the blank, and use one of the scrapers held at 90 degrees to the blank and scrape off the softened epoxy. In the area of the reel seat, it is the thickets part of the blank, and you have little worry about putting too much heat on the blank. But, in any event, use just enough heat to slightly soften the epoxy to make it easier to complete the scraping of the blank to remove all glue.

If you have an eva grip; just use a razor knife or a single edged razor blade to run a slice from the reel seat to the butt end of the grip. Repeat two or three times around the grip. Then, just use a pair of slip joint pliers to grab a piece of the EVA grip, and rip downward, and repeat until you have torn off all of the Eva grip pieces. Then, repeat the heat and scraping on the rod blank to remove all remaining epoxy from the blank.

Now, since you are going to be rebuilding the rod, you can go the "SLIGHT" heating to first soften the epoxy and then to remove the thread wraps. I always heat the foot side of the guide thread wraps first. Then, I can just use my razor knife in the softened thread wraps on the guide foot - starting at the vertical guide section and then cutting through the threads and epoxy - on the metal part of the guide foot. This will let you remove the thread wrap and epoxy from the metal side of the guide foot thread wraps, without having to worry about slicing into the blank. Run the gentle heat around the blanks thread wrraps on the first guide and then you should be able to grab the first guide, give it a twist and the guide will be removed from the blank. Then, with gentle heat, slightly heat up the thread and epoxy and normally, you can just grab the freshly cut ends of the cut thread, and pull all of the remaining thread off in one pull, because the epoxy has been softened. Then, after removing all guides and the tip top - being very very very careful to avoid too much heat in the upper section of the rod blank, where it gets thin you can clean up the rough spots on the blank where the guides had been located.

But, especially in the upper 1/3rd of the blank where the blank thickness is thin, and the fragility of the blank high - be very very careful to not damage the blank.

Then, get on with the new rod build, using a cleaned up original blank.

Take care

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: June 17, 2020 08:37PM

it,s surprising how much easier removing and cleaning up guide wraps are if CP was applied to the wraps and the epoxy wasn,t allowed to soak through the wraps to the blank..

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: June 18, 2020 01:39PM

Ben,
You have nailed the argument about whether guides are attached better if one uses CP or doesn't use CP on their threads before applying thread finish.

i.e. you indicated that it is much tough to remove and clean up guides and rod blanks if CP has been used on thread before applying finish. Thus, by definition, this statement indicates that the guides are more firmly attached to the rod blank by not using CP prior to the application of thread finish.

Take care

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: June 18, 2020 05:03PM

Hi Roger, in Rod Maker Vol. 4 issue 2 Tom published the results of a test he made of guide wraps with and without CP..he also looked at using just CP on the wrap..it took 11# to pull out guides with just epoxy(no CP)..and 10# to pull out guides coated with CP and epoxy..in both cases the guides would deform at about 7# before they eventually popped loose..the guides with only CP popped loose at about 5# and never got deformed..i sometimes wondered what the results would be if the Forhan locking wrap were used, probably off the charts..lol..the point is that guides rarely get loads over one pound..even rod guides coated with just CP( at least 2 or 3 coats)will fish like epoxy only guides..

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: June 18, 2020 05:54PM

Upgrading old rods can be quite rewarding and educational. The secret to doing a good job is to take your time and use common sense. For example cut the thread on top of the guide foot so you don’t cut the blank. Be extremely carefully if you try to cut off a reel seat it can easily lead to cutting and damaging the blank. In many cases, the reel seat does not have to be removed in order to replace the old grips. New grips can be installed from the butt. You can use drywall tape to get a snug fit. If you have to remove the reel seat, I have had good luck removing the rear grip and sliding a piece of 1” or 3/4” PV pipe over the blank til it butts up against the reel seat and then tapping the pipe with a hammer until the glue gives way. A little bit of heat will help in softening the epoxy. I don’t think your Laguna blank is twisting, but rather the reel seat is loose. If so it should be easy to remove and reuse. You should realize that when removing guides from a painted blank it is very easy to chip the paint, so be careful. If you replace the guides at the the same spot the paint that may come off can be covered by the new guide wrapping. If you reposition the guides, it becomes harder to cover up a flaws in the finish and you may need to scrape the paint off and refinish with a clear coat (Permagloss) or a new coat of automotive paint.
Norm

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Steve Cox (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: June 19, 2020 06:44PM

Christian, I have posted pics in the photo section of a homemade 'tube boiler tower' I use to remove reel seats. I have removed many with this. Check it out!

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: June 19, 2020 07:38PM

I have stripped several rods down to the bare blank, "upgraded" them, and have been satisfied with the results. It is important to remember the upgrade is in the appearance of the rod.

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: June 19, 2020 07:45PM

The upgrade is not necessarily in appearance only. You can certainly enhance performance by the choice of components used, especially the guide train.
Norm

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 20, 2020 08:42AM

Norm: I wish this were true, but I have never been able to discover any measurable improvement in actual performance in feet, inches, pounds or seconds - that kind of stuff- between the old and the re-built rod, regardless of the brand, placement, or number of guides used in the rebuild. Changing the type of line used with the rod does provide some large and measurable improvement.

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: June 20, 2020 09:39AM

I guess you have never done a good rebuild. I have told this story before but I will repeat it. I use to have an old UL that I build using the old style SV ceramic guides that were available at the time. I did not like that rod at all, felt very sloppy. After the KR concept came out and I discovered how well it worked I began experimenting using the the PacBay Minima4 M and F guides in a KR-like build, and the first rod I tried was that old UL that I stripped down. The transformation was amazing, the rod now had a nice crisp feel and casted over 40’ further than the old rod using the same reel, line and casting weight. The lighter guides and the the use of the KR concept was definitely a performance enhancer. The entire set of the Minima guides I used weighed less than the size 25 stripper on the old rod. Yes you can certainly improve the performance of a rod by using better suited components. The new style Fuji kR Concept guides are also lighter than the older cone of flight and NGC guides, and in my opinion are also performance enhancers. If you don’t believe me try them you might like them.
Norm

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: June 21, 2020 10:27AM

Norm: Thank you. Verifiable data - like "40' further" - is solid, useful information. Do you know how much lighter your new guide train is compared to the old one? BTW: I have, in my opinion, done several exceptional rod rebuilds. I'm not sure how many good ones.

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 21, 2020 11:47AM

There are a number of variables that control casting performance, weight is just one of many. An entire set of Minima guides weigh about 3 gms the size 25 ceramic SV stripper weighs more. By reducing weight you allow the rod to load and unload more efficiently. In addition, line control by the guides is also an important variable. The rapid choking and control of the line coils coming off a spinning reel by the KR guide concept reduces line chaos and also helps with casting distance. For casting rods the physics of line control is different but still important. In my opinion and experience, a light and appropriately sized and placed guide train is a performance enhancer, not only for objective but also for subjective reasons.
Norm

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 22, 2020 08:51AM

The importance of a rod's "flex" is to eliminate slack during the cast. Too stiff a rod and the bait or lure gets jerked forward, creating slack, and a short cast. Prove it t to yourself. Tie a string to a weight, place the weight behind you, and suddenly (sidearm) jerk the weight forward. Observe result. Then do the same, but this time start pulling slowly and accelerate smoothly through your pull on the string and observe results. More proof? Tie a half-ounce weight to the end of your line dangling from the end of a rod and reel. Hold the rod at a 90 degree to your body with the weight hanging down 10" or so. Have an assistant grip the weight and pull the weight back as far as you dare and release it when you tell him. Remove your finger from the line as you would in a normal cast. You can probably spit farther than the weight moved. That is the distance the rod's "power" adds to your cast. Seeing, not imagining, is believing.

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: June 22, 2020 09:10AM

Let’s get back to helping the OP on upgrading an old rod. We have gotten way off target.
Christian, hopefully the reel seat on the Laguna was just loose, if the blank was in fact twisting you have a serious problem with that rod. Check it out and let us know what’s going on. Hope we didn’t scare you away.
Norm

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: June 22, 2020 11:22AM

Christian: Do you plan to remove the reel seat without removing [and destroying] the grips?

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: June 22, 2020 04:30PM

Phil Ewanicki Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The importance of a rod's "flex" is to eliminate
> slack during the cast. Too stiff a rod and the
> bait or lure gets jerked forward, creating slack,
> and a short cast. Prove it t to yourself. Tie a
> string to a weight, place the weight behind you,
> and suddenly (sidearm) jerk the weight forward.
> Observe result. Then do the same, but this time
> start pulling slowly and accelerate smoothly
> through your pull on the string and observe
> results. More proof? Tie a half-ounce weight to
> the end of your line dangling from the end of a
> rod and reel. Hold the rod at a 90 degree to your
> body with the weight hanging down 10" or so. Have
> an assistant grip the weight and pull the weight
> back as far as you dare and release it when you
> tell him. Remove your finger from the line as you
> would in a normal cast. You can probably spit
> farther than the weight moved. That is the
> distance the rod's "power" adds to your cast.
> Seeing, not imagining, is believing.

Phil, you need to put a little more time practicing the bow and arrow cast..30 to 40' is a very common distance with a 1/4 ounce lure..

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: June 23, 2020 03:39PM

My plug and bait rods, built for 2.5 - 3 oz., will bow-and-arrow cast a 1/4 oz. 15 feet or so. My fly rods, from 3wt. to 12 wt., will not bow-and-arrow cast a fly much of anywhere.

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: June 23, 2020 05:43PM

B&A casting is best done on spinning outfits..i never heard of it done on casting reels or fly rods..

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Re: Upgrading Old Blanks
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 23, 2020 08:16PM

Ben: Me either, my point being rod blanks don't "store" much energy by bending and unbending, but like all type 3 levers their use is to increase the speed of the working end.

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