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1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Alex purvis (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 05, 2022 11:28PM

Sorry if this is a repeat question, I tried to search if it has been asked before on here but don’t really know what I’m doing.

I was wondering if there is a benefit to making cork grips using only 1/4” thick rings instead of 1/2” rings? I’ve always used 1/2” rings but noticed a lot of “higher end” rods are built up using 1/4” rings and was wondering why that would be.

Thanks guys for your insight.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: May 05, 2022 11:35PM

IMO no benefit, perhaps a detriment as it means more joints with glue or epoxy. I have been fly fishing and building fly rods for many years, and do not know of any U.S. maker using 1/4" rings.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2022 01:14AM by Phil Erickson.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: May 06, 2022 01:08AM

Alex,
I totally agree with Phil; 1/4in vs 1/2in rings = more work, more epoxy = more weight. Are you certain that the “higher end” rods you mentioned are actually “higher end”? ~½ in wide cork rings are pretty-much the industry standard; what is to be gained from thinner 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: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Alex purvis (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 06, 2022 01:20AM

I should have clarified that the few “higher end” rods I own have them. When I say higher end I am really only talking orvis rods BUT I have used other rods before from other companies that use 1/4” rings. I thought the same as you guys. Just more work right?

But why would they do that? I was just curious.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 06, 2022 01:25AM

I agree with Phil, you wind up with more bond lines and depending on the adhesive used, and if not careful sanding and shaping you may end up with a grip that feels like a wash board.

My cynical guess for using 1/4 inch thick rings exclusively is that thousands of them were purchased at a ridiculously low price.

My practical guess for using 1/4 inch thick rings exclusively is that with smaller thickness more perfect rings (fewer imperfections) can be produced.
.

Have fun

John

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 06, 2022 07:32AM

Alex,
Contrary to other comments, there is a very very good reason to use 1/4 inch rings.

Simply put the answer is QUALITY

When cork is sliced to be 1/4 inch thick, any defects in the cork will more readily show up and can be eliminated in the sort.

In today's world of so so cork, one can end up with a higher quality grip by using 1/4 inch cork rather than using 1/2 inch thick cork.

Yes, there are twice as many glue joints. Yes, it takes more work. However, if one uses titebond III rather than epoxy, the resultant work is minimized.

At the end of the day, if you do a good sort on the quality of the cork - you will end up with a potentially, significantly better cork grip.

Even years ago, when I wanted the very best of the best grip - I would always use 1/4 inch thick cork that was very vigorously inspected and any defects were eliminated from the build.

Simply put, if you want the best of the best, you have twice the opportunity to sort out defects with 1/4 inch thick compared to using 1/2 inch cork.

Best wishes.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 06, 2022 07:43AM

I strongly perfer 1/2 inch rings. Since there are rods that use 1/4 it's hard to argue that they won't work. However, I doubt if anyone has had a failure related to the thickness of the rings. I doubt if the (appearance) quality argument holds water. There is twice the opportunity to reject the rings, but there is also twice the opportunity to accept them. A defect which would be on one 1/2 inch ring would be on two 1/4 inch rings.

But regardless of what adhesive is used, the time it will take me to do a griip with thinner rings is significant since I drill my rings to 5/16 to fit them onto 5/16 mandrels for subsequent processing.

I use 1/4 and 1/8 inch rings for contrasting shades/colors of cork to add an interesting look to some grips. But only for decorative purposes, not functional.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Alex purvis (---)
Date: May 06, 2022 12:52PM

Very interesting thoughts here. One thing I will say, I think I like the way 1/4” rings age more than 1/2” rings over time. They have more character.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 06, 2022 03:41PM

Michael,
Really.

When the cork is 1/4 of an inch thick, one can see virtually any defect that will be exposed when the cork is glued up and then shaped.

That is not the case with 1/2 inch cork. It is not unusual to have 1/2 inch cork that looks really nice on the surface and is glued up. But, then when it is turned defects turn up.
The thickness of the 1/4 inch is that one can almost see through the cork and easily identify defects and if wished - sort the cork so those detected defects are not in the build.

For a very picky builder it is easy to sort out 1/2 of the cork on a very high end build.

Take care

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 06, 2022 04:29PM

I just started building a few cork grips, and I never considered using 1/4" rings for building an entire grip. What Roger says about being able to identify flaws in a ring being easier with 1/4" than it is with 1/2" certainly makes sense to me.

A 1/4" ring is functional in that it can allow you to build certain sections of a multi colored grip to specific dimensions, or in just getting a grip to a certain length. I've even sliced an 1/8" of a 1/2" ring so I could have certain aspects of the grip and a certain location on the grip. So they are definitely functional in that aspect as well.

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: ben belote (---.hsd1.md.comcast.net)
Date: May 06, 2022 04:51PM

Cork looks like a natural.on bamboo and unnatural on graphite and does not seem to be worth the cost or trouble..jmo

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Re: 1/4” vs 1/2” cork
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 06, 2022 05:53PM

Since most pits I've seen in rings are longer than 1/4 inch they should be visible in both 1/2 and 1/4 rings. But since I've not dealt with 1/4 natural rings, I'll back out. And use my 1/2's and decorative thinner ones in burl.

Actually I'm using almost all burl now on my spin rods, and with my design I only use about .6 ounce on a rod, and rods come in at about blank weight + 2 oz, full size 17 DPSSD seat. Natural cork might save .25 oz.

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