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Help!!! Need to restore a Shimano Expride 7'2 MH Casting Rod
Posted by: Alex Wood (---)
Date: November 06, 2023 09:05AM

I had a friend "find" an older Shimano Expride A rod that he said he snagged while fishing lake Lanier, and he came to me asking if I could restore it. It looks like it had been underwater for quite some time and while the EVA butt grip looks alright, the cork handle and the cork on the reel seat hood is pretty bad.

I removed all of the guides and need to get the reel seat off and am hoping to get some suggestions as how to remove the reel seat, and grip without damaging the blank. I've got a heat gun and my plan is to hold the rod while slowly heating the reel seat in hope of loosening the glue and getting it to come loose and slide off. Or am I better of cutting it in several pieces with a dremel and prying the reel seat off along with some heat to soften the glue? Do I cut or scrape off all the old cork and then try to remove the reel seat with heat alone or by cutting it up in pieces? I'm going to replace the reel seat and cork handle with a Fuji casting seat and hidden thread hood.

I've build a ton of rods, but never really dabbled in the repairs, especially on a shimano rod with a Ci4 Reel seat. I told my friend that for just around the same amount of money, I could build him a nice brand new rod, but he wants to try to get this rod restored (not sure why). I've not had a great experience with Shimano Exprides or Zodias in my time, and last spring broke that same rod on a 3lb spotted bass. With only a 1 year warranty they are not rods that I would purchase again, but thats why I choose to build custom my rods anyways.

Any suggestions or ideas in getting the reel seat cleanly off without damaging the blank would be very helpful!

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Help!!! Need to restore a Shimano Expride 7'2 MH Casting Rod
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: November 06, 2023 11:05AM

You can try heat, might work, but often it doesn't since epoxy doesn't have a melting point-heat softens it and deteriorates it in time at temp, but might not work. I would not use any more heat than steam in order to not risk heat damaging the blank.

Many builders remove seats by carefully cutting a longitudinal cut with a Dremel type tool, as you suggest, being careful not to penetrate to the blank. You probably won't need any heat doing it this way. Then pry the seat open and remove it when the bond breaks.

The cork and Eva can be cut/scraped off then cleaned up and new components loaded from the tip as with a new build. Once the guides, seat, and grips are off, it's a "new build."

If you haven't yet purchased guides, I suggest the Fuji RV6 first guide, then 5.5 KB's and KT's to the end. That will give a very light, responsive, rod.

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Re: Help!!! Need to restore a Shimano Expride 7'2 MH Casting Rod
Posted by: Norman Miller (Moderator)
Date: November 06, 2023 11:17AM

There are several different ways to go. If the reel seat is in good shape, still glued tightly in place, and he likes it, it might be easier to clean it up and leave it on the blank. You would then only need to replace the rear cork grip and fighting butt, both of which are easy to replace from the rear. A new cork or carbon fiber sleeve for the hidden thread hood can be used to replace the old sleeve. If you want to remove the reel seat, there are a couple of ways to go. First, the epoxy bond may be weakened by applying some heat from a heat gun or boiling water and seeing if moves a little with some gentle twisting. If it moves, it will come off intact. If you remove the fighting butt and rear grip, it becomes possible to slide a 12” to 18” piece of 3/4” PVC pipe over the butt end up to the bottom of the reel seat. You can tap the bottom of the PVC pipe with a hammer, and this may be enough to break the epoxy bond and move the seat forward so it can be removed intact. A little heat also helps in this process If the reel seat refuses to move, then the last choice is to careful cut the seat off. This can be done using a Dremel tool, hacksaw blade and/or utility knife. Just be very careful doing this so you don’t cut the blank. Hope this helps.

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Re: Help!!! Need to restore a Shimano Expride 7'2 MH Casting Rod
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: November 06, 2023 01:42PM

I use a hack saw to remove reel seats, not as fast, but much easier to gauge when to quit without hitting the blank. Much easier to cut at an angle. Put a screwdriver in your cut and twist, I have yet to see a reel seat that won't give way doing this.

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