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Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 13, 2021 09:32PM

I'm a self admitted weight weenie when it comes to rods. I happen to really like beautiful near flawless cork so I've been making short cork Tennessee type handles with no fillers. They are sure light. I can get a 5" handle assembled and installed at sub 10 grams or .35 oz.

Question - does anyone have any other 5" handle material that can beat 10 grams once you factor in arbor and handle material? There are no reel seats involved.

Love to hear any reasonable alternatives to my cork handles with the goal of dropping weight below that of cork without giving up sensitivity. I find cork to be quite sensitive.

Thanks.

ps: And yes, to those who have replied tongue in cheek in the past that the lightest handle is no handle and one should just tape the reel to a bare blank, I've heard that joke before....:)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2021 12:49AM by Mo Yang.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 13, 2021 10:09PM

Mo,
Put on a wrap of tape and call it good. It will come in at about 1 gram. Not very comfortable but it will be light.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 13, 2021 10:21PM

Hi Mo, i have made these type of grips in the past but have relocated and everything is in storage so i can,t weigh anything..i used 6" tapered eva from Mudhole and flocked it but think it was just over 11 grams..if it was 5" it may be under 10 grams..i made several from urethane cores, also 6" and flocked which i think were under 10 grams..i also got the urethane from Mudhole..if using eva you don,t need to flock and should be under 10 grams easily for 5"..Sorry, i should have recorded these weights and not trusted my poor memory..

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: January 13, 2021 10:35PM

Ask Batson to weight one of their 6 " graphite foregrips. Should give you an idea.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 13, 2021 10:39PM

Mo, I like the way you think. The ones I've done are either carbon tubes or carbon fiber sleeved urethane foam. The carbon tube ones came from Batson and I used their EVA caps at each end and have a couple of pieces of urethane foam arbor under the ends of the reel feet. The sleeved ones are carbon fiber over a solid urethane arbor with 1/8" EVA trim rings for a soft edge to drape my fingers over for blank contact. I usually pair the short carbon fiber grip with a 3"-4" EVA butt grip (enough to fill most of my hand for two-handed casting). I could save a smidgeon of weight with cork or sleeved butt grips. I then wrap the reel on with thread and finish Steve Gardner style. I usually wrap each foot with a wrap about an inch long or so, and encapsulate the foot with a couple coats of finish. It makes for an incredibly nice grip in my opinion.

It's been too long since I've pulled out the lie detector to check my weights, but I seem to recall the entire build including guide trains (usually 27x Y-frame steel guides with aluminum oxide rings with 3 or 4mm running guides), grips, thread and finish adding less than one ounce to the bare blank and reel weight. Whether or not the TN section of grip comes in under 10g or not, I'm not entirely sure, but it won't be far off. The foam core I used was what Mike Pedersen sold at Riley Rods for a while. It wasn't the lighted weight urethane, but still lighter than EVA, and cork. The only question was whether my finishing technique tipped it over the edge.

I should have some pics of the way I do my grips over on the photo page.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Steve Gardner (---.inf.spectrum.com)
Date: January 14, 2021 08:29AM

" Question - does anyone have any other 5" handle material that can beat 10 grams once you factor in arbor and handle material? There are no reel seats involved."
Yes

Carbon tubing no arbors

covered in Rod Maker Mag. Volume 11 #2

Until they come out with a new space age material, you'll not get a lighter handle then that

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 14, 2021 12:14PM

Thanks everyone for the replies. Keep them coming.

Ben, Data point for a vendor's 5" EVA grip with sub .2" bore is 19 grams. So EVA does not seem light compared to cork.

Joe, Thanks for the detailed rundown. Will try to find your pics.

Spencer, will ask as you suggested.

Steve - intriguing. If no arbor for the carbon fiber tubing, something still has to be between the tubing and the blank, and that 'something' functions like an arbor right?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2021 12:21PM by Mo Yang.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 14, 2021 12:18PM

Steve bonds his carbon handles directly to the blank without arbors.

Regardless, a properly made foam core carbon skinned grip is going to weigh less than the same size and length grip in cork.

..........

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 14, 2021 09:55PM

Thanks Tom.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Dan Ertz (---)
Date: January 15, 2021 09:44AM

I have made a couple of grips from urethane arbors for ice rods - no skin or flocking. The Forecast FC-06 arbor is 6" long 1.25 dia. with a .250 hole. It's harder and weighs less than cork though likely not as durable as some alternatives, but with careful use it seems to be fine. I give mine one coat of Rustoleum 2X clear coat to strengthen and stabilize the foam, and prevent it from absorbing fish slime slime, etc. Painting before clear coating is optional.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 15, 2021 04:22PM

Dan, ice rod handles just have to be flocked no matter what material..lol.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 16, 2021 01:16AM

Mo,
If you are a “weight weenie” alone, go with Steve’s recommendation; if you are a “weight weenie” with a bun, stick to cork.

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

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 16, 2021 11:02PM

Dan, What's the weight of the Forecast FC-06 by itself?

Mark, perhaps I'm a bit dense....but can you explain what you mean by the "with a bun" comment? I think you are being humorous but it escapes me....:)

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Dan Ertz (---)
Date: January 17, 2021 10:34AM

Hi Mo - A bare FC-06 weighs .55 oz compared to .70 oz for twelve 1/2 x 1 1/4 x .250 hole cork rings. Obviously the FC -06 would gain a small bit of weight with finish on it, as would the cork rings by being glued together.

I had originally intended to use epoxy to coat the foam grip, but that would add a lot more weight so used Rustoleum 2X paint and clear coat (one coat each.) This strengthens and seals the foam, and it still has a nice texture to it instead of being slick. I can email you a photo if you want.

I have also used part of a Pac Bay FA30-570-100 arbor to make a grip that works well, but it is a denser foam than the FC-06 and therefore it weighs a bit more than cork. No notes for how much more it weighs than cork - I didn't know there would be a test later! : ) I built two identical ice rods this fall - one with cork for a friend and one with the Pac Bay arbor for me. A very noticeable difference in how they feel. Comparing the two by pulling the rod tips across fabric before wrapping on the guides, the arbor grip rod had a pronounced "ZING" feel and sound, and the cork handle rod a dull "hiss" without much feel transmitted. Even on this soft tipped glass "noodle" rod, the foam grip is quite sensitive when fishing.

Something to be aware of when turning a grip like this: there is a manufacturing seam on the arbors that is much harder than the rest of the material so you have to be careful not to end up with an irregular shape.

These are "experimental" grips that I made for my own use and I haven't used them enough to evaluate how durable they will be.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 17, 2021 11:21PM

Dan, this is getting interesting! I'd love a photo.

Where do you purchase the FC-06 foam? I did a search and could not find it easily.

Incidentally, cork vary in weight. I just stacked 12 flor cork rings with identical dimension as yours and they came out to .56 oz on a precision scale. This is similar to the FC-06 in weight but do not require any clear coat. I weight some heavier flor cork and they came out to .67, also for 12 rings. I do have cork a bit heavier than those but not by much so .7 oz would likely be near the top end of my cork weight. All flor and never need filling.

My guess is that Cork will be more durable. The only foam core I encountered seem rather brittle while cork is quite tough.

I m intrigued by your 'Zing' comment on the foam core - worth a try.

Thanks!

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Dan Ertz (---)
Date: January 18, 2021 01:37AM

Mo - Photo sent. Utmost carries the FC-06 arbors. [www.utmostenterprises.com]

If I recall correctly, the painted and clear coated grip weighed the same as the raw arbor - turning the arbor to shape the grip knocks off some weight to make up for the slight addition of the finish. My weights are from an electronic kitchen scale so not super precise, but it gives you a relative idea of the material weights compared to one another.

The raw foam arbor is brittle and flaky, but it absorbs the paint and clear coat which stabilizes it and it seems much stronger after painting.

The foam arbors are much harder than cork and should in theory be more "sensitive." Cork is a "soft material" that is used as a sound and vibration dampener.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 18, 2021 08:07PM

Thanks Dan. Much appreciated.

Your comment about Cork makes sense. They just feel so wonderful - or perhaps it is because I'm used to them. Thanks again.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 19, 2021 11:37AM

Mo, The foam cores from mudhole are listed at 7# density i have made many 6" tennessee style grips from these, mostly flocked..

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: Mo Yang (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 19, 2021 04:28PM

Thanks Ben. Any chance you can measure any piece you have in length, outer diameter, and weight - if you have a scale that measures to tenths of an ounce? Thanks.

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Re: Lightest 5" Tennessee Handle.
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 19, 2021 06:05PM

I just relocated and my stuff is in storage..according to mud hole these foam sticks are 15" long and weigh 0.70 ounces..that,s about 20 grams per stick..something like 7 grams for 5"..but the inner diameter is 3/8" as i recall which is too much for the rods you make..any kind of arbor will add weight..it depends on how much arboring you need...diameter is 1.15", so you can easily reduce this and save weight but the surface will need to be finished somehow which adds weight..i don,t see anything lighter out there..whats balsa wood weigh..lol.

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