Restoring a custom rod

I would like to restore a custom inshore spinning rod that my dad had built for me as a Christmas present when I was 12 years old in 1977. It was made by a place in Fort Myers called P&P tackle. I think it is a Fenwick blank, but I'm not sure, it's mustard yellow. It's fiberglass.

I've read about rod restorations, but they all seem to entail stripping and replacing the eyes/wraps. I don't want to do that to this rod. The wraps are all in really good shape. None of the eyes are broken or loose. The wraps are really beautiful, with a long diamond butt wrap, so I'd like to keep them.

The varnish (?) on the blank is yellowed and cracked, and the epoxy (?) over the wraps is in similar shape.

There is an inscription on the blank near the butt, with my name and the date of manufacture that I would like to keep. It appears to be written directly on the blank, not a decal.

Can I just carefully sand down the blank and then refinish? Can I do the same to the wraps without damaging the thread? The epoxy on the wraps is really thick.

The guides are wire guides, the chrome has worn off of them, is it possible to polish them in some way?

Thanks in advance.


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,903 Captain
    Yep, those old rods from years ago have a strong sentimental bond for all of us... the problem is that you won't be able to remove the finish without damaging the thread wraps (just not possible...). You also won't be able to remove the finish and preserve the inscription either... You also won't be able to "clean up the guides since the thin chrome finish is most likely - just gone.

    Probably not what you want to hear at all... Here's your options 1) make that old rod a wall hanger just as is to remember the time and place of its origin and the memories it holds... 2) Take that old rod to a rodcrafter (individual or shop) that can do it properly and completely restore it with new guides, wraps and all (keeping the original color scheme - but with new thread...).

    Hope this helps (even if it's probably not what you want to hear...).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • fly4megalopsfly4megalops Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Thank you for your reply, Bob.

    Yeah, that's not what I wanted to hear. I've seen a lot of stuff on rod restoration on the interwebs, but it is usually bamboo fly rods.

    I think I could make it look better without re wrapping, but it probably wouldn't look great. On the other hand, it would still be the original rod, not a complete rebuild.

    Or I could get a total rebuild. But then it wouldn't be the same rod, really. I guess I could have "vintage" hardware put on it, duplicate the guides as much as possible. And have them match the wraps.

    I'd like to fish with it occasionally. I am thinking of putting a period correct reel on it. I know I had a BG15 on it for a long time, but I can't remember if it was the original reel.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,903 Captain
    I actually started building (and repairing) rods way back in 1971 -and it wasn't until later that decade that we had the first "graphite" blanks available to build with so I feel your pain. Hope it works out for you....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,249 Captain
    A competent rod builder could match the threadwork. Obtaining the components used for a 77' build would be next to impossible.
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