nternet gathering place for custom rod builders
  • Custom Rod Builders - This message board is provided for your use by the sponsors listed on the left side of the page. Feel free to post any question, answers or topics related in any way to custom building. When purchasing products please remember those who sponsor this board.

  • Manufacturers and Vendors - Only board sponsors are permitted and encouraged to promote and advertise products on the board. You may become a sponsor for a nominal fee. It is the sponsor fees that pay for this message board.

  • Rules - Rod building is a decent and rewarding craft. Those who participate in it are assumed to be civilized individuals who are kind and considerate in their dealings with others. Please respond to others in the same fashion in which you would like to be responded to. Registration IS NOW required in order to post. You must include your actual First and Last name and a correct email address when registering or posting. Posts which are inflammatory, insulting, or that fail to include a proper name and email address will be removed and the persons responsible will be barred from further participation.

    Registration is now required in order to post. You must include your actual First and Last name and a correct email address when registering or posting.

CCS Database
Custom Rod Symbol
Common Cents Info
American Grips Piscari
American Tackle
Anglers Rsrc - Fuji
BackCreek Custom Rods
HNL Rod Blanks–CTS
Custom Fly Grips LLC
Decal Connection
Flex Coat Co.
Get Bit Outdoors
HFF Custom Rods
Janns Netcraft
Mudhole Custom Tackle
MHX Rod Blanks
North Fork Composites
Palmarius Rods
REC Components
RodBuilders Warehouse
RodHouse France
RodMaker Magazine
Schneiders Rod Shop
SeaGuide Corp.
Stryker Rods & Blanks
The Rod Room
The FlySpoke Shop
Utmost Enterprises
VooDoo Rods

Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Robert Horner (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: May 31, 2024 10:29PM

Started building my first rod tonight and managed to screw up the very first step in the process. I watched all the videos I could find and read all prior threads on how to ream a grip to fit onto my blank. I purchased the extreme reamer set from CRB. Upon inspecting the reamer it appeared that the taper was far too extreme for the blank I am building on. I decided to go ahead and attempt to ream the grip anyway. Because of the incompatible taper by the time I reamed the grip enough to fit the blank all the way the lower portion of the grip was reamed too wide while the upper portion has a very tight fit. Looks like I was slightly off center with my ream job as well. Whenever seating the blank into the grip I have to apply a moderate amount of pressure to clear the narrower portion of the grip. That results in what appears to be the blank bending somewhere inside the grip. Did I ruin my grip? Should I order a new one and start fresh or can this still be salvaged? Here is a picture of what I am talking about:


Should I continue and ream the grip out more so it isnt getting pressure in the upper half at the narrow part? Should I attempt to use tape arbors to take up the space? Should I just leave it as is and fill the gaps with epoxy? In future builds what can I do to insure a proper taper and a concentric centered bore? I know some people mention using round files to shape the bore of the grip.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Dennis Danku (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 12:16AM

Bobby, The most accurate way to ream a cork grip is to get 1" wide #60 grit sandpaper and wrap it around the blank where your grip will sit.Tape it in place coarse side up(naturally) , slide your grip down to begin reaming until it fits the location it needs to be. Now you can't do this with 1/4" ID rings or stick cork unless you pre ream it to fit where the taped sandpaper begins. When you have the fit remove the sandpaper and glue in place. I have a complete blank spiral wrapped like this and can ream rings or stick cork just by matching the OD of the grip location and marking it with a rubber band or blue painters tape on the reamer. Apply some contact cement to the back side of the sandpaper and spiral wrap it around the blank. Tape the ends down and give it time to dry, If for some reason you want to change the grit, it can be peeled off and new grit can be reapplied in the same way. Try not to breathe while doing this, THE FUMES WILL KILL YOU.

Dennis J. Danku

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (185.243.57.---)
Date: June 01, 2024 12:25AM

You don't want voides under the grip.
You could save it by bushing the blank with masking tape - but that would be heavy.
Best to get a new grip.
Mud Hole used to sell a set of grit reamers with gentle tapers. I don't see it on their site any longer, however.

If you are serious about the hobby - get a FlexCoat Cork Lathe and epoxy individual cork rings directly on the blank and shape on the lathe.

Sorry if I did not answer your main question. i.e. how to save your grip and how to ream future premade grips .

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Todd Jensen (173.0.23.---)
Date: June 01, 2024 07:45AM

I would use a tape arbor(s) to correct the issue or order a new grip. Your call.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Bruce Tomaselli (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 09:34AM

I never hear of that method. Dennis, taping 60# sandpaper to the blank sounds like a great idea. How well does it stay in place while you are reaming? I guess good enough. I'm going to have to try it sometime. I ruined a few handles when I was learning, too.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 12:13PM

When I over-ream a grip, I use fiberglass drywall tape to make an arbor on the blank to shim the slack. If my reaming is non-concentric in the reel seat, I will do my best to ream it concentric - which over-reams it even more! If I can get a concentric hole in the arbor in the reel seat, I know the drywall tape arbor on the blank will also be concentric....so my seat will be concentric. (I use a little super glue to anchor down the leading and tailing edges of the drywall tape once I get it to the diameter I want.)

Epoxy paste (Rod Bond) liberally applied over the drywall tape arbor when gluing the reel seat closes up any voids. Clean up excess with alcohol on a patch of paper towel.

Having a solid anchor at each end of the reel seat is the most critical issue for durability and fit for me. A 100% contact is ideal, and I am also not sure it is necessary, IMO. I have used both full-length arbors and spaced arbors and cannot tell a difference in durability or weight. Reel seats are very rigid - and even more so with a reel locked into them. Not much flexing going on in this part of the rod most of the time.

Edit: I did not read the OP carefully and made my comments about the reel seat arbor and not the grip itself apologies. However, I follow the same procedures for cork or carbon fiber grips as for reel seats. Works on rod extensions, too.

I will also shim a winding check or reel seat end cap for a snug (not tight) fit. In the more thin and precise situations that do not need much thickness or width, I will use thread for the shimming material. A fly-tying bobbin can be a useful tool for this technique (as well a temporarily attaching your guides for testing or pre-wrapping).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2024 11:24AM by Les Cline.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Dennis Danku (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 01:19PM

Bruce, Cork reams fast and easy so you don't need a lot of force. As you pull , push, or twist the cork crumbles with ease.If you have trouble with the sandpaper coming loose use a stronger tape, like strapping tape ( it has thread fibers in it). I use the strapping tape to tack down the start of the drywall tape for my arbors. A 1/2" piece is all that's needed.

Dennis J. Danku

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Ken Delbridge (192.55.55.---)
Date: June 01, 2024 01:21PM

Great input above, I have done this exact same thing with EVA where I overshot my measurements. I normally do what Les suggests with the drywall tape, or if it's a minor overshoot I'll just use multiple tape arbors, typically spaced <0.25in, in the area needing it. Yes it adds weight but if it's on the butt grip it shouldn't matter a whole lot.

However based on your image, that's pretty over-reamed, I would probably buy a new cork handle and apply your learnings to the next one. Hold on to the over reamed one, you never know when you'll need it or a part of it later on on a different blank. If you don't want to buy another handle, do what Les said and it should come out ok as long as you reamed it concentrically.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Jon Kistler (---.res-cmts.leh2.ptd.net)
Date: June 01, 2024 08:03PM

Well you can order a new grip if you want BUT, I'd consider this an opportunity to make a repair and/or deal with an imperfection. Everyone wants their first build to be perfect but the fact is we spend our whole life learning. I'd use some tape arbors (drywall or masking tape) to center the grip and fill the rest of the void with epoxy. Just make sure you totally encapsulate the arbor in epoxy and try to fill the whole void with epoxy. The tiny bit of added weight on the butt of the rod will be negligible. You can try a different reaming method on your next rod.
A trick that I think I learned from Roger is to gently let the grip slip in your hand while the torque of the reamer is shaping the inside. This method helps to keep the reamer in the center of the grip...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: June 02, 2024 08:00AM

Looking at the picture provided it doesn't appear to me that your reaming is off center too awfully bad, the over reaming is the biggest thing to deal with. I understand that the taper of the reamer may not match the taper of the blank you're using, but IMO, your mistake when reaming is that you didn't ream for the butt of the grip, to fit the butt of the blank. Having the set of reamers from CRB, you can use smaller diameter ones depending on the length of the grip, either inserted through the butt of the grip, or worked from the forward porting of the grip.

While working a reamer from both directions may cause a tight spot in the middle section of the grip. you can use even a smaller diameter reamer, to work just that portion. Ream and check fit, and do it fairly often. Also down the road as you build more rods, don't get complacent about reaming and checking the fit. If you do, you'll have one of those, "oh man I reamed it too much" kind of moments. Like you, I've seen the mention of using round files to ream grips. I would think you'd need some pretty long files to do that. And you'd still be dealing with the taper of the file matching the blank.

Personally, I made my own reamers using an old rod that needed retiring, and another rod that had gotten broken. I did the sand paper wrapped around and glued to the blank thing, like the suggestion offered earlier in this thread about making your own reamers. One nice thing about making your own reamers is that you can make them as long as you want. Two of my reamers are close to 24" long. And use can use any grit sandpaper you want. Personally I used the 1" wide belts used on sanding machines, and split them down the middle. I used 180 grit sanding belt on one of my reamers that I use pretty much just for reaming reel seats. The finer girt works nicely when you need to ream a seat with a blank exposed window in it, as it doesn't damage the edge of the window quite as much. And it's also nice when reaming a polyurethane arbor that you may use in a regular reel seat. The foam reams super easy, and I find that the finer grit on the reamer makes over reaming, less likely.

But as said earlier. Not becoming complacent in checking the fit while reaming, is really what ensures that you don't over ream.

As far as how to deal with what you have currently .... the guys have you dialed in. I would just say not to be concerned with how much weight the fix adds to the over all weight of the rod. Weight on a fishing rod is not necessarily your enemy. What can make weight your enemy, is where the weight is located on the rod. My experience is that weight in the rear grip portion of a rod is a good thing when it comes to having a balanced rod and reel combination. For some types of rods, a balanced rod and reel combination can enhance the rods in use performance. Even weight in the guide train, in the form of an extra guide or two to protect the blank, is not the enemy of rod performance.

Total rod performance is not how the rod performs in a bench test, or lying on the deck of your boat It's how the rod performs while in use. In your hands.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Rick Handrick (165.225.62.---)
Date: June 03, 2024 08:20AM

Agree with the others - arbor it with masking tape or drywall mesh tape - the rod will be fine, and you'll never know the difference. Every rod built is a new lesson learned - that's part of the fun of this craft, so don't beat yourself up about it. After all, it's really just a fishing rod :-)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: John Ricks (---.tukw.qwest.net)
Date: June 03, 2024 01:49PM

Way back in the dark ages, when 1-1/2" and 1-1/4" cork with a 1/2 or 3/4 bore was available, I used a lot of it for mooching rods.

Made up this beast for reaming.

1/2" heavy duty drill motor. Length of hardwood dowel, tapered in the metal lathe to match the blanks, wrapped with 36 or 60 grit Norton belt grinder abrasive strip. A length of 3/8" steel rod glued in the ends of the dowel for chucking in the drill motor.

Worked great and was very fast.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2024 01:52PM by John Ricks.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: John Ricks (---.tukw.qwest.net)
Date: June 03, 2024 02:08PM

Same reamer but this time in the metal lathe, reaming a dense foam grip

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Grip Reaming/Fitting Advice
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: June 03, 2024 10:47PM

Awesome tool set, John!

Options: ReplyQuote

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.