Something a little different...

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #1
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    Something a little different...

    OK, here's the thing....I've become pretty unhappy with cork handles lately. The quality of pre-made handles is going down, the price is going up, the cork rings for making your own handles are ridiculously expensive and the stuff just doesn't hold up,(at least not to the rigors I and my clients put them through). So, I've been working on alternatives.....

    Here's a curly maple handle I turned on my lathe, and put it on a 7'6" 4#... I think it came out pretty OK:

    This particular handle/rod I left on the boat for over a month and paid no special attention to it. Saltwater, fish slime, suntan lotion and boat soap...still looks like I just finished it:

    I also turned a reel seat and fighting butt,(yes,I know...a fighting butt on a 4#? But I thought, what the heck...)

    When I first started on this, I was told that the handle would be slippery and not only am I finding that to not be the case at all,(I actually find it less slippery than cork) but the increase in sensitivity is significant.
    And here's the fun we've been having with it:

    And this was unintentional, but it was hysterical:

    I'll keep posting on the new developments as the project progresses....I have at least a 1/2 dz. rods in need of new handles...
    Capt. Scott
    http://www.flyfishingextremes.com

  2. #2
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    Very nice, the grain is gorgeous.

    but all wood is not made equal. I grew up on a farm where my Dad did a lot of woodwork. You might do even better with a soft wood like alder. It would be easier to work than maple, and softer and even less slippery. Or even balsa, though that might prove too fragile.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunflower View Post


    Very nice, the grain is gorgeous.

    but all wood is not made equal. I grew up on a farm where my Dad did a lot of woodwork. You might do even better with a soft wood like alder. It would be easier to work than maple, and softer and even less slippery. Or even balsa, though that might prove too fragile.

    Sunflower,

    Thank you, yes the grain came out nice.
    A soft wood would defeat the purpose of using a material that is able to withstand hard use. The curly maple was not hard to work with at all and as I said in the original post, isn't slippery in the least.

    Capt. Scott

  4. #4
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    By soft, I mean softer in the hand. An alder or pine handle will still be there long after you or I has succumbed to hard use.


  5. #5
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    Sunflower,
    Have you ever held a wood fly rod handle? I could make wood handles out of every kind of wood you can name, and I challenge you to tell the difference by feel alone. Until you try driving a finger nail into it, it will all feel exactly the same. One will not feel harder or softer than another.

  6. #6
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    That's awesome, wish I had the balls and knowledge to remove the cork grip from my Scott and replace it with that.

  7. #7
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    Absoulutely beautiful. And I'm sure for the weaklings it doesn't add significant weight either.

  8. #8
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    Great job. Looks like cork at a distance and I hope it holds up over the long haul and I suspect it will. I know I have a hard time getting more than two years out of a grip because of the amount of casting and fishing I do. The cork just wears away. Your grip at least maintains a certain aesthetic appeal which is what I really like.
    Last edited by bonefishdick; 01-23-2013 at 11:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Carl Blackledge's Avatar
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    Capt,

    Have you ever tried using a tennis racquet handle wrap on any of your fly rods? after about two years I took the wrap off the rod handel, and the cork was like brand new. Just a thought.

    Carl

  10. #10
    Senior Member acesover's Avatar
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    How does it affect the weight on the 4wt rod?
    If I'm going to hell, I'm gonna go playing the piano
    Jerry Lee Lewis

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