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What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 25, 2021 08:03PM

Years ago , I picked up some rings and sheets of 'burnt cork.' These are some kind of cork product that is dark brown in color. They are useful in adding accents to cork grips and turned out beautifully. However, the ones i got was something like 4X heavier than regular cork so I ended up using them very sparingly.

I'd love to start using something like that again for accent. Does anyone make burnt cork that is lighter? (and how much heavier than regular cork?) Or is there any alternate material that can function similarly and be integrated into cork handles and has at least a hardness similar to cork? (i.e. not a sponge.) My dream would be to find burnt cork looking material that is about the same weight as regular cork.

Thanks in advance for any help. :)

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 25, 2021 08:35PM

If the burnt cork is "burl" cork, a cork mix of cork pieces and a binder, it will be up to twice as dense as regular cork. However, how much do you use on a rod? It most likely, if used as an accent, will amount to almost nothing in weight. With my spin builds I use only 7 1/2 inch cork rings, turned down to about the size of a size 17 seat hood, + one thin butt ring of rubberized cork. Even with burl cork a 7 foot light power rod with a size 17 Fuji seat still weighs only about 3.6 oz.

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 25, 2021 08:40PM

Thanks Michael. When I say accent, it may actually be a fair bit. I don't know how to explain it but I do abstract type designs on sculpted grips so that it is artistic and organic looking. And as to weight, those who have helped answer my questions know that I am quite extreme in my pursuit of weight reduction on ultralight blanks. Adding burnt cork can easily add 20% or more to the weight of the grip.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2021 08:57PM by Mo Yang.

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 25, 2021 08:56PM

I have lightened up the burl cork rings by drilling the center hole to 20mm. I then glue them onto 20 mm polyurethane foam arbors mounted on a mandrel. When the glued has hardened I just turn them to the shape and size I want. This reduces their weight significantly, and they hold up very well.
Norm

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: January 25, 2021 11:16PM

Grip weight seems very relative to me. When I build an ultra-light to medium rated rod on a quality blank, I want every piece to be as light as possible. I want these kind of rods to levitate. They just fish magically this way. Give me CFX carbon grips, titanium guides, and minimum thread work. Once the blank gets heavier than that, a little extra weight behind the reel just doesn’t seem that important. I feel the same about flyrods and lightness, up to about a nine foot, six weight.

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 26, 2021 07:39PM

Kendall Cikanek Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Grip weight seems very relative to me. When I
> build an ultra-light to medium rated rod on a
> quality blank, I want every piece to be as light
> as possible. I want these kind of rods to
> levitate. They just fish magically this way. Give
> me CFX carbon grips, titanium guides, and minimum
> thread work. Once the blank gets heavier than
> that, a little extra weight behind the reel just
> doesn’t seem that important. I feel the same
> about flyrods and lightness, up to about a nine
> foot, six weight.

Are the CFX Carbon grips lighter than natural cork? Do they have a foam core? All of the Carbon grips with foam cores that I have weighed are heavier than natural cork. The grips were the same size that were measured. They do look cool though.

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Robert Flowers (---)
Date: January 26, 2021 10:03PM

Can natural cork rings be placed on a mandrel, then hit lightly with a propane flame, then rubbed, and sealed with cork seal? this might give you the look you want with the natural cork.

Tight Lines and Frisky Fish

RJF

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: January 26, 2021 10:37PM

Thanks all. Helpful posts and some creative approaches such as Norman's technique.

Robert - interesting. Really excellent suggestion and worth a try for anyone building a straight cork grip. In my case however, I glue first, and then shape the grip so I can't selectively hit the specific cork ring. But great suggestion.

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Re: What is 'burnt cork' and any light weight versions?
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: January 27, 2021 01:01AM

The CFX do have a foam core. There is a very large variance in the density of these cores. The CFX person I talked to told me they use a foam with a density of four pounds (I don’t remember the volume part of the ratio), one of their competitors told me theirs was an eleven pound foam. I found them to be about a third lighter on my scale than cork. I tried my best to match profiles, but that isn’t easy to get perfectly correct with a manufactured pieces.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2021 01:01AM by Kendall Cikanek.

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