I
nternet gathering place for custom rod builders
  • Custom Rod Builders - This message board is provided for your use by the sponsors listed on the left side of the page. Feel free to post any question, answers or topics related in any way to custom building. When purchasing products please remember those who sponsor this board.

  • Manufacturers and Vendors - Only board sponsors are permitted and encouraged to promote and advertise products on the board. You may become a sponsor for a nominal fee. It is the sponsor fees that pay for this message board.

  • Rules - Rod building is a decent and rewarding craft. Those who participate in it are assumed to be civilized individuals who are kind and considerate in their dealings with others. Please respond to others in the same fashion in which you would like to be responded to. Registration IS NOW required in order to post. You must include your actual First and Last name and a correct email address when registering or posting. Posts which are inflammatory, insulting, or that fail to include a proper name and email address will be removed and the persons responsible will be barred from further participation.

    Registration is now required in order to post. You must include your actual First and Last name and a correct email address when registering or posting.
SPONSORS

ICRBE 2021
EXPO ON FACEBOOK
CCS Database
Int. Custom Rod Symbol
Common Cents Info
American Tackle
Anglers Rsrc - Fuji
Anglers Workshop
BatsonRainshadowALPS
BRC Rods
Banana River Rods
Cork Specialties LLC
CRB
HNL Rod Blanks–CTS
CTS New Zealand
Custom Fly Grips LLC
Decal Connection
Flex Coat Co.
Get Bit Outdoors
Hitena USA
HYDRA
Janns Netcraft
Mickels Custom Rods
Mudhole Custom Tackle
MHX Rod Blanks
North Fork Composites
ProProducts
REC Components
ReelSeatBlanks.com
Renzetti Inc.
Rod Builders Warehouse
RodHouse France
RodMaker Magazine
RodMaker Blog
Schneiders Rod Shop
SeaGuide Corp.
Struble Mfg.
Tackleworks
The Rod Room
Trondak U-40
Utmost Enterprises
VisualWRAP/VisualWEAVE
ZipCast

Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: January 04, 2021 04:14PM

I was working out in the shop over the Holiday break from work and started to think about the differences of each handle material from both a builders and anglers perspective. All of the following is my personal opinion or observations from personal experience. I have only been building for two years and would like to know your thoughts as well.

Rod building:

I have not turned my own cork handles yet but I have built with cork and it is the choice that requires the most care. The fit has to be just right because it does not stretch as well as the other options. It is easier for me to ensure my reaming is straight because of how slow I ream cork. Call me old fashioned but I think cork is the best looking. I even prefer it over the newer American Tackle Carbon grips. I have not tried the NFC Carbon grips that look to have some padding yet. The Winn grips and EVA are both extremely easy to work with as long as you take care not to ream them oblong or out of center. Which is easy to do being as pliable as they are. Some of the Winn grips have unique patterns when building a color specific rod. Carbon grips filled with the lighter foam ream extremely fast. I bought some of the generic carbon weave grips from Mudhole and they turned out well. They sometimes come in frayed a bit on the ends. A proper winding check usually covers them up without modifications. I also prefer them finished vs leaving them dry. Pre arbored carbon like the American Tackle grips mentioned previously are very easy to work with. Even the split grip and sizeable full length are very user friendly. The engravable end caps as standard are very nice as well.

Angling:

Sensitivity; Cork feels the most "sensitive" to me personally. I thought the Molded carbon grips would be the most "sensitive" but their arbors seem to dampen a little bit. Cork can translate the slightest of "ticks" on the line. The Winn and EVA seem to reduce the ability to detect those "ticks." I prefer those softer grips on moving baits that apply a little more resistance and don't require as much feel. A good example is a deep crank for bass or a vertical jig/Buzz Bomb for salmon.

Comfort; No doubt the Winn grips to me are the most comfortable. I can fish them all day. It is not the softest but my hands are pretty tough. They maintain a lot of grip even when my hands are fishy. EVA foam is usually a bit softer and probably why most of my salmon trolling/downrigger rods have them. Both bought and built. The EVA absorbs a lot of shock which may be preferred when fighting fierce or deep fish. Cork is comfortable enough for most techniques and is middle of the road on the list. The molded carbon grips are hard. Very solid. On a 7'6" flipping rod sometimes a heavy hookset can be uncomfortable. It creates pressure points on your palm when fighting a fish if it is a shorter handle especially.

Durability; A lot of people say that cork is fragile. A lot of people also have decades old rods with heavy use that still have the original cork and only minor damage. I am not rough on my equipment because having built it most often I respect it. Now if you bury your hooks into the fore grip as a hook keeper you will likely find chunks missing very soon. The EVA will deform if stored improperly and over time I have noticed the sun deteriorate them from sitting on the deck over their lifetime. The Winn grips are similar to EVA but the rubber grip coating adds a barrier of protection to the foam. After two years of almost daily use, the rubber has not even started to grain similar to the way a golf club grip or the dash of a late eighties Chevrolet truck will. The molded carbon are tough as nails. Unless they get abused I imagine they will outlive the rod and guides.

Overall: If I had to choose one to use exclusively I would choose cork. It translates what is happening out of sight the best IMO. It is durable when taken care of and mounted correctly. There is also a reason it has been used to handle rods since the early days of angling and survived through inventions of new materials. But I sure feel blessed to have so many options. No one material will be perfect for everyone, but one of them will be perfect for the rod and angler who's hand it possesses.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: January 04, 2021 04:30PM

Aaron

The obvious missing consideration is $. While I too prefer cork, it seems every year the quality declines and the price increases. At this rate it will not be long before a 7" fly rod grip exceeds the price of a high end reel seat.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: January 04, 2021 04:34PM

I have not been building long. I am on my 5th rod in the past two months. I have used all three and as a fisherman and builder, I am partial to cork also. It is very durable, easy to repair, and very comfortable. It also just looks the best to me because I have fished it all of my life. I do like eva on my offshore bottom rods.

Fishing is not a sport, it is an art.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: January 04, 2021 04:36PM

Donald La Mar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Aaron
>
> The obvious missing consideration is $. While I
> too prefer cork, it seems every year the quality
> declines and the price increases. At this rate it
> will not be long before a 7" fly rod grip exceeds
> the price of a high end reel seat.

I did not think about grade declining because I have not been a consumer of it as long as others here. Thank you for the contribution.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 04, 2021 05:13PM

Natural cork is a limited commodity and as Donald said; it is getting hard to find high grade cork at a reasonable price. I look at it as more of a performance issue, in that cork is the lightest material to use to make a grip and reasonably transmits vibration as well is comfortable in hand. I use it on fly rods and casting rod grips. For spinning, offshore and beach rods I use EVA. I do not like Winn grips because over time the outer surface begins to peel up or off.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 04, 2021 05:18PM

Whatever handle is the most rigid and lightest will be the most sensitive. A carbon tube on rigid foam arbors, or a carbon skinned, urethane core grip, in the same length and style as a cork grip, will be more sensitive than the cork grip.

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

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: January 04, 2021 05:37PM

Cork is to fishing rods as leather is to cowboy boots.

Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies
www.flexcoat.com

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 04, 2021 08:15PM

John, is that the same as...........buggy whips to transportation? LOL



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2021 08:16PM by Phil Erickson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Tony Boschi (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 05, 2021 09:09AM

Just my 2 pennies here ......

I think its all a matter of personal opinion/preference.

When I am making a rod for someone who KIND OF suggests "money is no object", when you pull out a "burled cork" handle, "eyes "light up". Alternating between light and dark cork also makes people kinda take notice.

I made a rod for my brother who lives in Maryland and also fishes in Ohio. He has always been a "cork" kind of guy, but when I made him a rod with Winn grip, he fell in love because he said it "stuck to his gloves and stayed in place and didn't spin when he had a fish on" when he was fishing for Salmon in January in Ohio.

All the guys I make Bass rods for love the Black EVA or Winn grips.

Just about every beach rod I make is wrapped with Paracord!

I've never made, or been asked to make a rod with the Carbon Fiber, so I don't have an opinion on that media.

They all deteriorate over time and they all last as long as you take proper care of them.
Stepping on a handle, closing it in a door, putting it into a rod holder over and over again will take its toll on anything you have.
Also, as Danny Smith said, he is partial to cork because he has been fishing with it all his life and I get that from a lot of people as well.
I believe it has a lot to do with "personal preference" because if you give someone something they just absolutely LOVE, They are going to tell you its the best thing out there.

Tony Boschi
Banana River Rods
Merritt Island, Florida
321~525~0948

* Rapid Prototyping Services
* Custom Beach Rods
* Custom Inshore Rods

[bananariverrods.com]

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Daniel Grundvig (---)
Date: January 05, 2021 11:03AM

Ditto Tony. One other grip material I like the feel of is a hypalon foregrip on a stand-up tuna rod. For lighter jigging rods, particularly slow pitch rods with split grips, I like Winn.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: January 05, 2021 11:08AM

Phil

You tell me, buggy whips are before my time.

...ouch

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Mo Yang (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 12, 2021 04:05PM

I too am a huge fan of cork and use Tennessee handles just long enough for my hand. Never use fillers for the cork or arbors as I ream the cork to exactly the same size and taper of the blank. After factoring the weight of arbor and carbon fiber tubing etc, it seems that all other material will be heavier than cork. I'd love to find out different.

So for comparison, my 5" Tennessee handles are sub 10 grams or sub .34 oz. Any other material fully built at 5" length will be lighter than that after factoring in arbor, glue, and tube? I am genuinely curious and would love to find something lighter.

Appearance wise, I just love the look of really high grade flor cork. I actually feel real emotional pleasure looking at a beautiful cork handle.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Handle Material Differences
Posted by: Mike Lawson (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 14, 2021 10:49PM

Holding a spinning seat with reel stem between my middle and ring finger, palming a casting reel, or even using the trigger grip, there’s so little contact with the grip that comfort and sensitivity play almost no role in material choice.

Options: ReplyQuote


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Webmaster