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Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: Guy Daines (---.biz.spectrum.com)
Date: April 03, 2021 09:42AM

Hey guys. So I made my first post a couple days ago asking a lot of questions because I’m brand new to rod building. I just want to say thank you to all those who replied and gave me helpful tips and answers to my questions. Unsurprisingly, I still have plenty of more questions and would like some pointers in the right direction. First one being about epoxy. I obviously didn’t mix my epoxy enough on my first build I tried so it never dried and I ended up scrapping it and I’m gonna try again with a fresh clean start. My question though is, should I do multiple coats or just one? I’m going to again be using ProKote medium build. Is one coat good or is it better to do two? If so, what’s the best way of going about it. I also had an issue on my first build where I had too much epoxy rolling out the top/behind the guides making the build look sloppy. Was this because I applied too much or could it have been something else? My last question for now, is how do I go about spacing guides on rods and even choosing the correct size guides? For now I’m just going off of the guide kits that mudhole sells which also give you pre-written measurements for the guides, but I feel like some of these kits are overkill considering their making me put 10 guides on a 7 foot blank. Plus eventually I want to start using certain guides that don’t come in kits anyway but I have no idea how any of the spacing and sizing works. Any tips on how to learn about that? Thanks guys.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2021 09:47AM by Guy Daines.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 03, 2021 10:12AM

You will get many opinions on the answers to your questions. first check the library on this site for some tutorials. Especially appropriate for your question on epoxy is one of the subjects covered. It is one of the most challenging subjects in rod building. This site, from one of the site sponsors offers good info on locating guides and sizing them: [anglersresource.net]

An old rule of thumb is that you use a number of guides equivalent to the rod length + 1 + the tiptop. I usually use one more than that. For on top casting rods, maybe a couple more.

There are many good tutorials on line, do a search for what you want to investigate. Also, Mudhole.com and Getbitoutdoors.com, two suppliers, have tutorials. I also suggest getting a book or two to study.

You will find it interesting that many builders do things in different ways from each other, and most are successful. Find what works for you and stick to it. For me I use two coats of wrap epoxy, lite build, and I never have so much epoxy applied that I have to go back and blot an excess off. I put in on rather thinly, and use two coats. This gives cylindrical shaped wraps rather than footballs and avoids the waviness that can come from too much epoxy. It also allows me to cut off any thread nibs that stick through the finish before I add the second coat. I use no added heat other than a gentle warming of the epoxy in warm water before mixing it. Most builders will agree that if you don't use syringes to accurately measure epoxy, sooner or later you will get a failure to cure.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: April 03, 2021 12:22PM

Michael has given you good solid advice. but I will add a little from my limited experience over the last few years.

First is the old rule of thumb that Michael mentioned of 1 guide for every foot of rod length and then add another one. I'd really be curious as to how that old rule of thumb came about. It has to be based on the minimum number of guides needed, because I have never used less than 2 more guides than the rod blank is long. And even then I didn't like the line path, so I added another guide. Personally, the only guides I place by using predetermined measurements, are the reduction train guides and the choke guide for spinning rods, all others I place using the two line static load method. I let how closely I want the path of the line to follow the curve of the blank determine how many guides I need, and where they'll be placed. I like the path of the line to follow the curve of the blank very closely, so I most likely use more guides than most builders do. To me 10 guides on a 7' rod seems about right. Here is a link to a picture of the final placement of the guides on a 6'10" drop shot rod I built. It has a total of 11 guides, plus the tip top. [www.rodbuilding.org]

As far as finish goes. I use the number of coats that the manufacturer of the finish suggests using. When I first started building I used regular formula LS Supreme. It called for two coats. I now use the high build formula of the same finish. It calls for one coat. The finish is there just to protect the thread, so if you get good coverage of the wrap, one coat of any finish is probably going to be good enough, but why go against what the people who make the finish, recommend? As to the finish traveling up the foot of the guide, the most likely culprit is too much finish, but in your case the finish not curing is adding to that problem. If you're like me, and probably everyone else that builds rods, as you get more experience applying finish, you'll get a better feel for how much you need to put on. In the mean time, that extra finish gather at the guide is easy to clean up. I use a folded over paper towel soaked (not dripping wet) with isopropyl alcohol. I fold it to a sharp edge and stop the rod turning and wick the excess finish away. I check it several times over the first 10 - 15 minutes of rotation until I no longer see it as a problem.

Like Michael, I use not additional heat. I used to do as he did and warm the two parts of epoxy in warm water before mixing, but I wasn't fast at applying finish and I ran into problems with the finish starting to set up before I was done applying the finish where needed. As I've gained experience I am faster at applying finish, but I haven't found the need to return to warming the parts. Slow and thorough mixing of your finish will keep air bubbles to a minimum, and ever since I started pouring the finish into an aluminum foil dish, I have had few if any problems with air bubbles in the finish prior to applying it.

For me, applying finish was the thing I had the most problem with. It's not difficult, It's just one of those things that you have to get your hands dirty so to speak, before you really become comfortable doing it. At least it was for me.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: April 03, 2021 01:31PM

Hi Guy, I feel your questions and confusion. I was self taught by using google and youtube. When I googled a question, more times than not, I was referred to this site. After many years of looking to roadbuilding.org I joined up. There is so much knowledge here and great, helpful people as well. I watched the flex coat video on mixing and applying epoxy. I have never had it fail by mixing and applying how they say. As mentioned above, you will get different answers and opinions on what way is best. The best way will be the way that works best for you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2021 06:47PM by Todd Andrizzi.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: April 03, 2021 05:21PM

Guy, invest the time to go back about a year or so and read thru all the posts that seem to be of interest to you. Many will not, but you will find most if not all of your questions answered. Well worth the effort.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 03, 2021 06:46PM

Guy, i only build light fresh water rods and use just one coat of epoxy if i,m using epoxy..it,s easy to use one coat thick or thin if the wraps arre sealed and the epoxy isn,t allowed to soak into the wrap..light rods perform better with light wraps..watch Tom Kirkman,s video on utube epoxy application as a great example of using sealed wraps, very efficient. no pounding and slapping the epoxy to force it through the thread. remember less is more..less epoxy is a more efficient rod.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: chris c nash (70.40.87.---)
Date: April 04, 2021 09:23PM

" Its easy to use one coat thick or thin if the wraps are sealed , no pounding and slapping the epoxy to force it through the thread. Remember less is more, less epoxy is a more efficient rod"

Ben , which YouTube video by Tom are you referring to ? I have seen the ones of him applying finish but not sure what you mean by 'If the wraps are sealed " . Are you referring to wraps that have had a coat or two of CP or something else ? As far as your comment about less epoxy makes for a more efficient rod I couldn't agree more.

The most blatantly obvious thing to me that really stood out after spending time looking at all the images of builds in the 'Photos' section is how exceedingly long the wraps are even on light builds . Many times the wraps that aren't even touching the actual guide foot are longer than the entire guide foot length itself which of course is going to require more epoxy . Add that extra length up from each guide and it can amount to 4 to 5 inches of extra thread which has no purpose of securing the guide . It's either an oversight or purposeful for aesthetics but either way it's an efficiency killer.

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Re: Epoxy/Guide Questions
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 05, 2021 06:22AM

The first coat applied thin and fast. Spinning the rod in my wrapper at about medium speed apply the first coat. After setting cut the tag ends if any. Apply second coat just turning the rod by hand. Fill in and shape the epoxy getting it even with the brush. You are not really brushing the epoxy on but just using the brush to even it out. Spin it about 9 to 12 RPMs to set the finish. May need to use heat to get bubbles out.

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