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Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Ronald Atchley (96.125.236.---)
Date: September 05, 2022 02:43PM

I have searched numerous times in the archives here but can't find information concerning the pros and cons of using carbon grips rather than cork grips . I know it has to have been discussed but I simply can't find those discussions . If someone would suggest what search terms I should use , I would appreciate it .
Thanks .

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 05, 2022 03:37PM

As one of the two innovators of the foam-core, carbon-skinned grips I will offer these insights...

Pros - Made per the original instructions, they are lighter than cork (the foam-core is the magic). They are more durable than cork. They allow you to relax and use less energy to obtain similar or better casting performance than cork (this would be mostly on fly rods where your hand is actually using the grip during the cast. And no, they're not "slippery." Don't confuse smooth with slippery. The shape has more to do with hanging onto something than the surface smoothness.

Cons - If you make your own they can be labor intensive. Because they are more rigid than cork (yes, cork "gives") upon the first few uses you will find that your hand tends to cramp because you are holding the grip too tightly. This can be very uncomfortable until you learn to relax your grip a bit. Casting becomes easier and less tiring because more of your input goes directly into the cast and less is wasted on overcoming the natural "give" in cork. Again, this is only something you'll notice if you are casting from the grip itself as you would be in fly fishing.

Equals - Against really good cork, the cost of the foam-core, carbon-skin grips is roughly similar.

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

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: September 05, 2022 04:28PM

When comparing the mechanical properties of carbon fiber and cork the carbon fiber will be superior in all categories. CF is harder, stronger, more durable than cork. So it is seems unfair to compare cork to CF based on mechanical properties only.

The major con for cork is that it is abetter insulator and gives a warmer feeling than CF. So it may find favor for those fishing in areas of extreme cold or heat.

Again the choice comes down to user preference and can be as simple as eye appeal.

Have fun

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: September 05, 2022 05:05PM

I don't know what search terms would help you find more posts on the subject, but I can offer my feelings on the two.

As Tom said, carbon skinned grips are more durable than cork. I would say by a wide margin. I have carbon skinned grips on several of my rods, and even on one that sees extensive use, it looks the same as the day that I made it. And despite what one might think that they are more difficult to clean because of their texture, they are very easy to clean. And as Tom said, they are no more and perhaps a bit less slick than a cork grip would be when wet, or when your hands have fish slime on them. I even coated one of the grips with lay up epoxy, sanded it smooth, and then top coated it with Perma Gloss to where it is glass smooth, and I don't find it to be slick at all when it's simply wet. Now it's a different story if I have fish slime on my fingers. Then that particular grip is quite slippery

I don't know what made per the original instructions means, but the one carbon skinned grip I've made, is lighter than a cork grip that I built of the exact same dimensions. The difference in weight was between 2 and 3 grams. Not at all substantial, but the carbon skinned grip was lighter. I don't know if building grips is something you'd be interested in, but as far as building a carbon sleeved or cork grip goes, I would consider a cork grip to be more easy to build. And that is simply because there is less work involved in building a cork grip to a specific finished diameter.

When building a cork grip, that process is simple. You just turn it down to a certain size and then sand it with various grit papers to its' finished size.

With a carbon sleeved grip, you have to take the thickness of the carbon sleeve into consideration when turning the foam core. And if you're going to top coat the foam core with epoxy and let it dry before putting on the carbon sleeve, you have to take the thickness of that epoxy into consideration as well. The latter process I just mentioned may not be part of the original building instructions, but for me being the first one I ever built, it made straightening the sleeve a much easier process. Even though the foam core and carbon sleeve are both saturated with epoxy, the bare foam core and be pretty grippy.

When it comes to installing the grips, the foam core grips ream substantially easier. And while that may seem to be a major selling point, especially if you've ever reamed a cork grip of 7" or longer, it can actually make foam core grips more difficult to ream. Not more difficult physically, but mentally. When you're reaming a foam core grip you have to be careful of over reaming them. Even slipping them on and off a blank a few times can cause them to fit more loosely than the first time you slid it into its' final position. When reaming foam cored grip you definitely need to check and check often when it comes to fitting them. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Anyhow ......if you're thinking of building grips, they're both quite fun and rewarding to build. I am equally as proud of the carbon sleeved grip I built, as I am of the cork grips I've built. Below are links to pictures of the grips I've built thus far.

[www.rodbuilding.org]

[www.rodbuilding.org]

[www.rodbuilding.org]

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Ronald Atchley (96.125.236.---)
Date: September 05, 2022 06:05PM

Tom, John, and David ,
Thank you for helping me with this . It seems the consensus is that carbon is superior to cork on all fronts . The possible exception to this is if your hands are slippery from fish slime but , hey , that's what your jeans are for :) Thanks again ..

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 05, 2022 08:28PM

Cork will also be hard to hold if your hands have fish slime on them. Again, remember that the shape of the grip plays the major role in how hard or how easy it is to hang on to it. The taper and which way that taper is oriented, swells or cuts, etc., make a huge difference no matter what material the grip or handle is made from.

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

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: September 05, 2022 11:43PM

If you could compare the look of my carbon grips to my cork grips after they were slathered in salmon egg goo than cleaned, you would know which is best for salmon/steelhead rods.

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: September 06, 2022 11:36AM

When I am fishing and my hands and grip get slippery or gooey to the point where it's hard to hold the rod, I take 30 seconds or less and wipe my hands and grip and continue fishing.

The very few times my hands may get that slippery is at lest for me not a reason to avoid cork.

Have fun

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: September 06, 2022 03:35PM

I love cork and use it on every build except for offshore rods. I haven't mustered up the nerve to go with carbon fiber yet.

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Ronald Atchley (96.125.236.---)
Date: September 06, 2022 10:03PM

Thanks again for all the input . I'm afraid I'm not capable enough yet to jump into building my own grips . Just a novice researching components for my next build . If handling characteristics are equal to or only slightly better than cork and weight is less but by so slight an amount , it seems that durability would be the only practical reason to choose carbon over cork . But then again like Mr. DeMartini suggested eye appeal might also be considered a practical reason . Interesting . Much appreciated .

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: September 07, 2022 05:21PM

Ronald, handling characteristics as far as gripping a cork grip versus a carbon sleeved grip, are basically the same. But from a feel in your hand standpoint, they're not. Carbon sleeved grips are comfortable, but they're hard to the touch. Cork is softer and I guess you could consider it a more welcoming feeling in your hand, If that kind of comparison makes sense to you.

One thing that is definitely for sure though, is that the carbon fiber sleeved grips transmit vibrations in the blank, to your hand, MUCH better than cork. So while their durability is a definite plus, the real plus is the added sensitivity they afford.

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Re: Carbon grip versus cork grip
Posted by: Ronald Atchley (96.125.236.---)
Date: September 07, 2022 05:43PM

Thank you David . It is exactly these qualities that caused me to start researching carbon grips . I hesitated to ask about any differences in sensitivity because the subject seems to be a little controversial here . Thanks again .

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