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Vintage thread finish
Posted by: jonathan utz (---.biz6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 03, 2024 08:43AM

A friend asked me to refurbish an old rod. I cant make out the brand, it appears to be from the 70s or 80s. It's fiberglass with wood handles. 6'6"and it must weigh 10 lbs or more. Anyway it has olive green thread that appears to be size D. Double foot guides and the wraps extend around 3" onto the blank. My question is about an appropriate finish. There is currently only a very subtle finish on the threads . What did they finish thread with 40 years ago. When removing old thread, there is no residue left on the blank. Love your thoughts on matching old finishes. I will be reusing the existing guides in the same location. All thread wraps will be replaced so I'm not fighting matching anything. I'm really curious how these older rods maintained thread integrity with minimal to no finish

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Re: Vintage thread finish
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: June 03, 2024 09:20AM

Essentially they used varnish type products prior to the advent of epoxy wrap finish in the mid 1970's. There were specialty varnish types such as that by Gudebrod and a very few others. To get the same look today you could use any good exterior polyurethane. Even better, PermaGloss, which will give a similar look but with much greater durability.


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Re: Vintage thread finish
Posted by: jonathan utz (---.biz6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 03, 2024 10:38AM

You suggesting u-40 permagloss? Anything I should know about applying this type of finish? I will obviously do some test samples but never hurts to have some idea of what I'm doing before I start. Thanks for the quick response Mr. Kirkman. Tell me more about the type of thread used in this time period. Was it rod building specific or not? I'm guessing rodbuilding and the associated materials and distributors of this era were quite different, to say the least.

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Re: Vintage thread finish
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 03, 2024 11:26AM

My experience with U-40 is it goes on very thin so you may need multiple coats if you plan to use "D" size thread.

You may also consider Flex Coat, it was introduced in 1977 and may be in range of the rod you have.

Have fun

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Re: Vintage thread finish
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: June 03, 2024 12:28PM

40 years ago was only 1980, so the rod almost certainly used a common nylon rod wrapping thread, not at all different than what is used today.

Flex Coat is an epoxy finish, Permagloss is a moisture curing urethane. It was developed to mimic the thinner, varnish finishes used at that time but offer better clarity while lasting decades longer than the varnish types in use at that time.


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Re: Vintage thread finish
Posted by: Joe Ledbetter (---.biz6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 04, 2024 03:51AM

I started building rods back in the middle 80's. My teacher started me on a pile of well used headboat rods. My job was to salvage as many of them as possible using as much of the blanks butts and guides as possible. They all had worn out old metal seats that had to be cut off with a dremel, then we cleaned off all the old reel seat epoxy and guides, then replaced any worn out foregrips, and sanded the blanks smooth. Once we got them all smoothed and the reel seat/butt mounted back up, the remaining exposed blank got a single coat of white tinted FlexCoat lite. Once cured we wrapped the cleaned and buffed guides (I believe they were old Mildrums), with size D Gudebrod variegated thread, followed by a coat or two of FlexCoat high build on the wraps.
we scraped off the old wraps which had some kind of flexi epoxy on them, any field repair however, was coated with an amberish clear coat of something not flexible enough to resist cracking when the rod was bent. If it cracked too much a second (or third, fourth, etc) coat of the same stuff was applied. IIFC, it was some sort of varnish. Hope this helps.

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