I recently bought the combo shown below for use on fishing on headboats and such, and I got the chance to use it this past weekend. Worked well, boated a nice 30" gag grouper. However, I discovered that the handle is way too long for my shorter, stubby arms. I'd like to remove about 6" of it, and also change out the EVA foam grips, upper and lower, with wood--- maybe white oak, kumaru, or mesquite. Ie, something durable and weather resistant. I have a lathe (I make hardwood fountain pens), but I've never modified a rod like this before and would like some advice before I start hacking and dicing and wind up with a fubr.
Yup, I'm real familiar with cocobolo, and you are right, very hard and very, very pretty. I just didn't have any lying around when I started!
yea, brazilian cherry is the one. have you look at coco bolo ?? I think thats how it's spelled. it's super hard and heavy, real dark red color, I thinks it's pretty nice looking wood. later chuck
I personally would not use cherry unless you are talking about Brazilian Cherry, which is not actually a true cherry but is a very, very nice maroon colored wood. True [American] cherry is pretty, but it's a lot softer than some woods like white oak and a LOT softer than rosewoods. Brazilian cherry is super hard, a lot more suitable for rods. Being a woodturner and cabinet maker, I want to use something weird, water resistant, super hard, and actually, something very heavy. I prolly won't use brazilian cherrry but something different. I think I've decided to do the butt out of lignumvitae (the wood that actually sinks in water it's so heavy) and make the front handle out of Pau Ferro (a type of rosewood). Partly b/c they look very cool. Partly b/c they have the properties I'm looking for. Partly b/c that's the turning squares I have laying around. If this rod comes out nice, I may redo my 7' Ugly Stick with something similar. I got all the EVA foam off yesterday, first time I've ever stripped a rod/reel before. To my delight the fiberglass blank is a consistent size, just a hair under 5/8, so drilling the blanks and gluing them on should be a piece of cake.
you are going to take the reel seat off, right ?? just checking, it's just the way you said your not going to touch the reel seat. this sounds like a fun project, making a rod handle out of some real nice cherry wood would be cool. don't think I would use it to walleye jig fish, that already tears my shoulder up with a super light rod as it is. maybe trolling where I could put it in a holder. what kind of wood are you using ?? later chuck
Yes, that's just what I was planning. I'm leaving the reel seat and such alone and just replacing the two foam pieces, and shortening the butt so it's more manageable. This rod/reel combo already weighs a ton so a bit more weight doesn't worry me, particularly in the butt end so that it counterweights it a bit.
have you thought about making the wood handle just like cork so it will slide down and fit into place then make a separate butt piece ?? I've seen a bunch of custom rods with wood handles and they are very nice looking, but much too heavy for me. I'm always trying to lighten myne up by taking a little off the reel seat and the handle. hope you get it figured out. later chuck
Yes, I had thought of doing that. I make my own sinkers so I have a ton of lead I can melt. Sounds risky to pour molten lead into a fiberglass blank, so I was thinking about pouring the lead into a bunch of tiny pellets and mixing this with bondo and stuffing the mix up inside the blank. The slide on the wooden handle. I have a lathe and all I need to bore them out is a forstner bit with an extension, though if a custom rod company makes something that makes this easier, I'm all ears! I had though about making a wood handle that fits up into the blank, but wasn't sure how hollow the blank was. I can turn the handle with a VERY long tang with a taper that fits up into the handle, but I'm not sure how to reinforce the blank near the butt to keep it from splitting if I did this. So maybe I'll stick to a bored wooden "overlay" and fill the blank with lead.
If you have the equipment to "barrel bore" the wooden handle, you could just cut the EVA foam off the blank and insert it (with epoxy) into the new wooden handle. If the rod was used for lighter purposes, (small fish), I could recommend that you cut off the blank and current handle below the reel, and turn your handle with a insert that would fit inside the blank. Then, rough up the inside of the blank and epoxy it into the blank. Have you given any though to the added weight of the wood handle?
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