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Cork rings
Posted by: William Giokas (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net)
Date: January 13, 2022 05:09PM

Sorry for asking this common question but who is selling good cork rings these days? I have been out of rod building for a couple of years . Thanks for your patience? Bill

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: January 13, 2022 05:20PM

The short, jerk, and most unfortunately true answer is no one. The grading schemes are subjective and relative. Thus a cork ring less objectionable than another is too frequently rated AAA or flor. Time was when using filler was unnecessary and unseemly but it is no more.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 13, 2022 06:44PM

The RodMaker cork grading scale is objective, relative and has both a photographic and percent clarity standard behind it. Find a dealer that grades by it.

In the meantime, there are a number of cork dealers in the sponsor list to the left. Most all the component supply dealers offer cork and Custom Fly Grips LLC does as well. Very good cork remains available but you may pay a premium for it.

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

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 13, 2022 07:38PM

Tom,
Granted your cork grading scale is more accurate and offers “photographic and percent clarity standard behind it”. But no matter how good it may be or it’s intentions, it is doomed to failure if not universally accepted and applied. So which cork vendors actually employ your grading scale? I appreciate your scale and would seriously consider using a vendor who employs it.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 13, 2022 07:43PM

If rod builders would insist - then vendors would use it. The consumer is king.

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

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 13, 2022 08:01PM

The vendors would use it if there was a benefit. Again, which vendors are benefitting from employing your scale?

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 13, 2022 09:35PM

If rod builders insisted on buying only from those that use it, then the vendors would see a benefit. The first ones to use it for grading their cork would get more sales. The consumer is king.

There were a couple willing to grade by it but their names escape me. Call Joe at Custom Fly Rod Grips and ask him to grade some rings for you by it. I suspect he'll do it.

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

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: January 14, 2022 10:13AM

Custom Fly Grips LLC, to the left has photos of their different grades of cork they sell, the cork I got from them was completely acceptable. Cork4Us had some nice 1 1/2 inch discs when I needed some.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 14, 2022 10:30AM

Always buy more natural cork than you need because no matter what, you are going to get pieces that you would not use due to quality. It is like already mentioned, it is subjective and relative. I found a really good deal on cork for a $1.00 a ring from St Croix. I got 50 rings and only about half of those were usable in my opinion, but for the price I was really only expecting as much. Even if you pay $3.00 + a ring, they are not going to cherry pick like you would. The other problem I have come across; they will call high grade cork, low grade cork rings that have been filled so even photographs can be deceiving.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 14, 2022 03:40PM

Lance is correct on all counts. I don’t know if cork rings are subject to being pre-filled as are premade grips, but the very nice quality rings that Norman Miller purchased for me at the 2018-19 Expo were not. I tend to be less concerned with the number of long “pits” than the size / diameter of them. With rings, the size, number and location of the “pits” is quite obvious on the ends. I typically prefer unfilled cork but beggars can’t be choosers with pre-made grips. To me, small pits are simply part of cork’s natural charm = why attempt to hide it.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 14, 2022 08:06PM

Mark, I don't believe rings are ever filled as pre formed grips are. But at least you know approximately how many vendors use the grading scale. Lol If the beauty of the wood is in the grain, then, is not the beauty of the ring in the pits?

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 14, 2022 10:16PM

Mark Talmo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lance is correct on all counts. I don’t know if
> cork rings are subject to being pre-filled as are
> premade grips, but the very nice quality rings
> that Norman Miller purchased for me at the 2018-19
> Expo were not. I tend to be less concerned with
> the number of long “pits” than the size /
> diameter of them. With rings, the size, number and
> location of the “pits” is quite obvious on the
> ends. I typically prefer unfilled cork but beggars
> can’t be choosers with pre-made grips. To me,
> small pits are simply part of cork’s natural
> charm = why attempt to hide it.

The rings Norman sourced for you at the Expo were mine. I was able to obtain 1000 of those rings by specifying that the supplier provide me with CG-1 grade rings. No exceptions. Rings are rarely "fill" as the filler would be sanded away during any grip shaping operation. Pre-shaped grips, however, are almost always filled to approve their appearance.

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2022 07:55AM by Tom Kirkman.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 15, 2022 04:18PM

Tom,
While we, including Norman, have talked about these particular rings before, this is the first time hearing they were from you. They were (actually still are because I treasure and still have some only for use on special builds) very nice indeed. Actually, half were CG-1, and the other half CG-2; Even the CG-2 are better than most other available rings.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 15, 2022 09:15PM

Mystery cork. Who has it for sale?

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 15, 2022 10:13PM

I bought them from Mickels Custom Rods at the Expo a few years back. I seems Mickels got it from Tom. I have to admit it was very nice cork and a great price. Mark asked me to pick up the best cork I could find at the expo, which I did. Unfortunately I have not seem the same quality cork since then.
Norm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2022 10:30PM by Norman Miller.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 15, 2022 10:20PM

Mark Talmo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tom,
> While we, including Norman, have talked about
> these particular rings before, this is the first
> time hearing they were from you. They were
> (actually still are because I treasure and still
> have some only for use on special builds) very
> nice indeed. Actually, half were CG-1, and the
> other half CG-2; Even the CG-2 are better than
> most other available rings.

I bagged them independently (CG1 and CG2) so Norm may have bought two bags. The interesting thing is that it took 3 years to sell them, even at what I know was a very reasonable price.

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

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 16, 2022 01:33PM

The unavailability of the fighting butts I wanted for one of the builds I currently have in progress, coupled with this and other recent threads on the subject, have resulted in me dipping my toes into the waters of cork grip building.

The majority of the factory rods I used to own, had cork grips on them, And while I liked the way they felt and looked, until recently I had only put a cork grip (s) on one of the rods I've built. That rod being a rod I built as a gift for good friend. I went the EVA route for a bit and then went heavily in the foam core/ carbon fiber sleeve direction. While they look cool, and are super light weight, they just don't have the same warmth and richness that a nice cork grip has.

I'm excited about it. I really enjoyed building the one foam core/ carbon fiber sleeved grip that I made, but I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy building cork grips even more. So about $200 later, I now have the materials and tools ordered that should allow me to build the two $20 fighting butts that are unavailable at this time. LOL

I guess I shouldn't make it sound as if I only ordered enough stuff to make two 2.625" long fighting butts. I ordered enough cork rings to turn those two fighting butts into a 10" long full rear grip, if I so choose.

Not exactly what you'd call a cost effective investment from a face value point of view, but it's going to be fun !!!

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 16, 2022 02:00PM

In terms of materials vs what you can buy cork grips for, no. But if you make your own the sizes, shapes and additions become nearly unlimited. Now you can put something on your rods that doesn't look like anything on anybody else's rods.

........

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 16, 2022 05:19PM

I feel indebted to Norman and fortunate to have such quality cork at such a relatively good price. Only he would be eligible to receive some of my remaining rings = sorry Lynn.
Without a universally accepted and consistently applied grading system, be it Tom’s or another, purchasing cork today is basically a crap shoot, with “crap” being the opportune word. However, one can get lucky from time-to-time and find fairly nice cork without paying astronomical prices. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of two Forecast half wells grips recently purchased through Utmost. Yes, they were filled but only needing a minimal amount and with a little sanding to remove the “bleached” appearance, and topped with a coat of Cork Preserver, the grips look very good indeed. The moral of the story is, although some trial-and-error may be required, if / when you find good cork at a reasonable price, stick with it!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Cork rings
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 16, 2022 06:47PM

Tom, I completely agree with you. I was just having a little fun . I try not to let initial costs creep into the things I do for enjoyment. If I did, I would have stopped fishing bass tournaments 25 years ago. lol

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