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Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Edward McGregor (---.141.254.155.colba.net)
Date: June 10, 2021 01:02PM

Hi all -
I've done a lot of reading on this topic, but there isn't too much clarity around what i'm looking for specifically. There are a few schools of thought, but I wondered if personal experiences would help to solve some of the challenges i'm concerned about.

Firstly, I build my grips from individual cork / rubberized rings directly on the blank using a combination of 2 part bonding epoxy and titebond 3. The 2 part epoxy to bind the ring to the blank, and TB3 to bind rings together. At first, I found I was applying too much 2 part to the blank as it was seeping out when clamped. I have continued with this method but with concerns of epoxy still being present when sanding - even after having reduced the amount of epoxy i'm applying.

Second, am I overthinking this? Would TB3 alone suffice for gluing rings to composite blanks?

What are others using as their preferred method?

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: John Ricks (---.tukw.qwest.net)
Date: June 10, 2021 01:20PM

Back in my cork days I used a Urethane glue for the cork work and gluing the cork to the blank. Worked great.

This Salmon Mooching rod was made in about 1979, still in good shape and I use it often. In the photo I was putting on another coat of Lite on the wraps, this was a year ago.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2021 01:20PM by John Ricks.

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 10, 2021 01:22PM

If I’m gluing cork rings directly on a blank I use epoxy. If I’m gluing cork rings on a mandrel I use either epoxy or Titebond III, but not both at the same time.

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: June 10, 2021 01:47PM

Titebond III is a wood glue.

Epoxy will glue many things to many other things.

When I glue cork rings together, I use titebond III

When I take a glued up section of cork rings to glue to the blank I use titebond III.

If I build using rings of any material directly to each other and to the blank I will 100% al of the time use epoxy.

When doing this - Use a god cork clamp of any design and after applying glue to the blank and to each face of the rings, clamp everything very securely in place using the clamp. Tighten the clamps as needed to be sure that there is zero space between the rings.

Now, with the epoxy still wet and uncured, use a rag, brush paper towel or a combination of all of them use a liberal amount of denatured alcohol. Continue applying the alcohol and using the rags, towels or brush until there is no visible epoxy left on the surface of the cork.

Because you have the clamps very tight, you will not be removing any epoxy from the faces of the rings, nor any epoxy from the ring to blank bond. Then, after the epoxy has cured, remove the clamps - turn on your full length rod lathe and go to work with various grades of sandpaper starting with either 80 grit or 100 grit and a backing board to remove any remaining epoxy on the surface of the rings without gouging out ring material because the backing board will prevent the paper from digging into the ring material in between the joints.

Then, as you go down to finer and finer grit paper to at least 400 - continue to use the backing board on the paper to doing any ring material gouging. This is necessary because the cured epoxy will always be harder than the ring material.

Then when finished with the sanding down to about 220 grit paper, I will stop and then go over the handle material with Elmers Golden Oak- Pro wood filler to fill any voids in the cork. The new Elmer's Pro wood filler is an interior/Exterior wood filler and holds up very well for outdoor use in all weather on the voids found in today's cork.

Then, continue sanding down to 400 for a smooth and lovely finished grip.

Best wishes.

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 10, 2021 03:19PM

I use a low viscosity clear 15 minute epoxy for the cork rings and turn all my cork and eva grips on a lathe. A 15 minute epoxy paste is used to attach the finished reamed out grip to the blank. That's what works for me. I believe almost any waterproof adhesive will work for both but I know epoxy works just fine.

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 10, 2021 03:57PM

The most common failure I've found on commercial rods is the grip coming loose from the blank. Therefore I would not recommend going skinny on whatever you choose to use. Yes excess will come out, but using Roger's method of cleaning up works fine, takes it all off, (at least it does epoxy-I don't use Titebond so have no experience). Prepare your blank with the method in the Library. Title: "Surface Preparation"

I build my grips from rings glued together, then glue the grip pieces, reel seat, and any winding checks to the blank all at one time. I think epoxy is the right adhesive to use with this assembly sequence. Not sure of Titebond securing reel seats and winding checks. Note that reel seats should be prepped just like the blank. I scuff the bore of the seat with a shotgun cleaning rod section with a patch holder in a drill driver, holding a piece of Scotchbrite.

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: June 10, 2021 04:45PM

My way of thinking concerns the fact that glue = dries while epoxy = cures. To dry, glues need open air to allow the solvents and/or water to evaporate. Due to the evaporation / loss of solvent/water from the glue, it has a tendency to shrink. If the material being glued does not allow the solvents/water to evaporate properly, the dry time could be greatly extended if not indefinitely; that is why the glue stays liquid in the bottle or can. On the other hand, epoxies cure due to the chemical reaction of the resin and catalyst / hardener and do not rely upon open air and/or evaporation, consequently they basically do not shrink. After mixed, epoxy will cure in the open air or an air-tight container.
The moral of the story is that I believe epoxy is much better suited to rod building than glue; I cannot remember ever using glue on a build. When bonding cork rings or birch bark discs together, the clamping action squeezes the bond-line so thin that it does not affect the sanding process as typically happens with a harder / more resilient material next to the cork.
There are certainly many builders with a lot more experience than me who employ glues and I would be the last to say they are wrong. We all find what works for us and usually stick with it. I simply believe epoxy produces a better overall bond than glue.

Mark Talmo

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 10, 2021 05:10PM

It's hard to argue with the experience Roger has on Titebond III for cork rings. Because I'm glueing different materials all at the same time, I'll stick with epoxy. Never had a failure of any kind. I find the alcohol clean-up easy and effective.

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: June 10, 2021 06:14PM

Typically if when you're gluing cork rings or grips to the rod blank you'll want to use 2-part epoxy.

For gluing up a grip from rings and and then turning on a mandrel, Titebond III is just fine between the rings. But if you're doing both tasks at the same time, just use the 2-part epoxy for both endeavors. Any excess will squeeze out from between the rings, as it should. Clamp it in place, wipe off most of the epoxy that has squeezed out, and let it set. You're going to sand off the outer layer of cork anyway so any epoxy on the outside isn't of any concern.


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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: June 11, 2021 12:49PM

Copy your comment on titebond III drying and epoxy curing.

I use a lathe with the grip on a mandrel to shape the grip.

As a result, I can use titebond III to glue the rings together.

When I glue the rings together, I first ream out each ring to the size required by its spot on the blank --- This easy reaming - reduces the final reaming by many times.

I use threaded rod to work as a cork clamp when gluing rings together.

I use the threaded rod size that is the closest to the smallest hole reamed for any of the rings.

Then, I use masking tape to act as an arbor to be just a bit smaller than the reamed hole in the rings.

Now, I apply a generous amount of titebond III to be sure that there will be no glue voids on any ring to ring joint.

Then, I tighten down the washer and nut on each end of the threaded rod to securely clamp the rings together and slightly compress the ring itself. This will be my assurance that each ring is securely clamped to the next one.

Now, with the rings tightly clamped together, I will take a soaking wet rag to completely wash the outside of the cork rings and remove virtually all of any titebond III that ended up on the outside of the blank.

I now set the drying grip aside for 12 hours. After 12 hours of drying, I will remove the nuts and washers from each end of the threaded rod. Then, insert the threaded rod into a variable speed 1/2 inch drill and unscrew the threaded rod from inside the cork rings.

The inside of the cork rings where the threaded rod went through will still be completely uncured and very wet with gue. Of course this is because the closed interior of the rings did not allow any air inside and thus allowed for no evaporation.

So, now, I will take a wet rag, and still holding the empty threaded rod in the drill - spin the rod and wipe with the rag to remove all glue from the rod and the tape. Then, I will take a smaller threaded rod and run it back and forth up and down the inside of the cork rings to remove any wet and uncured glue from the inside of the cork rings. With the bulk of the glue removed from the surface, I will run the threaded rod with its tape arbor on it to doubly clean out any wet surface glue on the inside of the glued up grip.

Then, I will remove the threaded rod and set the grip aside for 12 hours to complete the cure of the glue - on both the inside and the outside of the cork rings.

A final wash down of the threaded rod with the tape arbor on it to be able to use it again with no glue on the outside of the tape.

After the glue as cured completely I will either use a threaded rod with the tape on it for an arbor or another drill rod arbor - but build up the drill rod as needed with a masking tape arbor to have a nice snug fit for the tapered inside of the grip.

Put the grip on the lathe, turn it to shape, fill any voids or flaws with Elmers Pro golden Oak wood filler and do a final sand and polish with the back side of the sand paper to give a ultra smooth finish on the grips.

When all grips and reel seat have been prepped, use 30 minute epoxy to glue everything together. Checking especially in the first 20 minutes for any signs of epoxy seeping out of any of the joints and use denatured alcohol and a tooth brush to remove any possible epoxy before it sets up. After 30 minutes of checking, set the assembly aside for overnight drying to be ready for guide placement and wrapping.

The typing takes longer to explain the process

With mandrels and or threaded rod on hand, the entire process only takes about 10 minutes plus drying time to assemble, glue, and cure the glue, and clean up residual to be ready for grip shaping on the lathe.

One can do the same thing with epoxy, but then one runs into issues with the grip getting glued to the mandrel, but the overall drying time will be reduced to about 2 hours if you need the grips done more quickly.
However, titebond III is inexpensive - compared to epoxy, and clean up of glue during the assembly process is much easier and can be done with water as opposed to clean up with DNA or other solvent. Another advantage of using titebond III is that the cured glue is softer than epoxy and is easier to sand and will result in a smaller or non existent glue line on the finished grip.

Take care

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 11, 2021 07:30PM

"One can do the same thing with epoxy, but then one runs into issues with the grip getting gl ued to the mandrel," Not if you don't let any epoxy, or don't let much, get to the threaded rod. I put the epoxy on the faces of the rings, but keep it away from the center, which will be reamed out anyway. I have little or no trouble with getting the glued together rings/grips off the mandrel. I drill the 1/4 inch holes in the rings out to 5/16 individually before glueing them , and use 5/16 threaded rods. Different strokes. . .

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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: June 11, 2021 09:21PM

Smear some wax on the mandrel. The epoxy won't stick to that.


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Re: Titebond / Epoxy grip question
Posted by: John Ricks (---.tukw.qwest.net)
Date: June 12, 2021 11:48AM

Tom Kirkman Wrote:
> Smear some wax on the mandrel. The epoxy won't
> stick to that.
> ..........

Yep, or any type of Mold release.

From my gun building days I have left over Brownells AcraGlas mold Release used in bedding fiberglass gunstocks. Works great for the rod building applications when you do not want epoxy to "stick'.

Back to adhesive, Now Days I use EVA and other grips, Rod Bond is King!

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