Thread fuzz/dust

Whats up guys, I am new to the rod building game and have only built 2 rods to date. I am currently wrapping up my 3rd rod, and need some advice on this "fuzz"/dust or whatever it is showing up on my thread wraps. It's pretty much invisible to the naked eye, but once illuminated with a flash light, it is clearly visible. I have learned from my last two builds that the finish will amplify any imperfection in the thread. Is it the thread? I am using gudebrod thread in size A. Any advice or tips would be great.

Here are some pics
Warp lit up

wrap with not light


  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,185 Officer
    Use a lighter and hold it under the wraps while you turn it. Move it back and forth to burn off the fuzz and the thread ends.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,903 Captain
    Thread fuzz and dust are two different problems - the best solution for each is prevention - but you can deal with them after the fact as well...

    As far as prevention goes your best bet is to carefully clean both your wrapping bench and the blank you're wrapping on before starting the thread. I use a dusting cloth and Pledge over my bench first - then carefully clean off the blank with a paper towel with a sprinkling of rubbing alcohol on it to pick up any fibers. Lastly in the same vein as we move into winter, colder, dryer air temps can also cause a static electricity problem - where your blank attracts airborne fibers. The best prevention for this that I've found are any fabric softener sheets that you'd use in your dryer. Take a new one and wipe your hands with it before you handle thread and you'll greatly reduce static problems (I learned this as a fly tyer....).

    For fuzzy thread problems take a close look at your thread before you start with it - if it's deteriorated or shows the slightest "fuzz" - use a new spool of thread. If the thread is just fine on the spool -look at how you're using it - or how you're tensioning it for any sign that it's fraying your thread - if so, eliminate that before doing any wrapping (I use a power wrapper and long ago learned not to put heavy tension on wrapping thread since it will turn your untreated thread a bit fuzzy..). In short try to prevent thread "fuzz" instead of having to deal with it later... Once I've done a wrap I carefully and lightly burnish the thread (flatten it slightly) with either a smooth table knife (using the flat side not the edges of that knife blade) or with a smooth, small spatula (dental tools work great for this but you should see these kind of tools listed in any rod parts catalog...). The idea is to tighten thread and slightly flatten it so that the surface is the best it can be after you wrap - all of this done without doing the slightest damage to the thread....

    After the fact with dust on your wraps - the first thing to do is take a new piece of masking tape (I use 3/4" for this) and lightly press it to your untreated thread wraps - when you pull the tape away most of any dust will disappear, attached to the tape... For fuzzy thread, you can use flame ( a candle or a gas cigarette lighter...) but you have to be careful not to burn the thread - too much heat will damage nylon wrapping thread every time.. I keep the flame away from the wraps and carefully and quickly rotate the rod by hand as I'm "candling" it down with the flame under the wrap but at least one inch away. Done properly you'll see the "fuzz" disappear and no discoloration of the thread during the process...

    Lastly, any fuzz or dust remaining can be dealt with using two coats of something like FlexCoat. The first coat goes on thin (don't try to coat the thread completely in every place... A day later after that first coat is cured (remember it's a two part finish - it doesn't "dry" - it cures out).. then do a slightly heavier second coat to cover every bit of the wrap and extend slightly onto the blank at each end of every wrap for a good, covering finish. Done properly any remaining fuzz or dust on your wraps will be completely concealed...

    Hope this helps -what I've described are some of the techniques I've used over the last forty years of rod building and repairing... For some really good basic info on rodcrafting - look for books by Dale Clemens -those books were my bible all those years ago....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 547 Officer
    Very awesome stuff. Thank you both. I am hoping to finish up the underwraps and lay down the first coat of finish tonight. Let’s see how it goes.
  • RedRichRedRich Posts: 243 Deckhand
    Some good tricks of the trade there. Thanks for info!!!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,903 Captain
    Years and years ago -most of the rodcrafters that I knew built their own benches and rod-wrapping setups so you just had to learn various ways of making things work... Nowadays when you can buy a perfectly clean, well set up rod wrapping machine it's much easier to have it in a dust free environment... My old bench is still in my garage and doubles as a reel cleaning station, a line loading station (and every other use you can imagine) -as well as the place to build or repair a rod...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
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