Rods, Fishing, Glass-Fibre, angling for the use of.

I don't mind fibre-glass rods. If a rod is inherently well designed then the rod will be a good rod, within the limitations of the material. As with all materials the rod's design matters more than the material. You can make a bad rod out of anything, but changing the material won't make it good. Hollow glass-fibre rods have a slower action than (say) carbon-fibre, having lower 'stiffness'. This manifests as the lower speed with which a bent fibre-glass rod will return to straight and this relative sloth is compounded by the greater mass of the material. From this one might infer that glass is well suited to medium length through-action or middle-action rods and not so well suited to very long tip-action rods or rods designed to cast great distances (e.g. in comparison with carbon-fibre).

The major downside of some hollow glass-fibre rods is, that if too thin-walled, the round cross-section deforms to oval when the rod is bent. This has the effect of making the restoring-force as a function of deflection negatively non-linear. I.e. the restoring force for a deflection '2x' is considerably less than twice the restoring force for a deflection 'x', in comparison to a cross-section that remains circular and assuming the material itself is under its elastic limit. This can makes a rod feel 'spineless'. This came be countered with thicker walls and/or some fibres around the rod as well as along the length, but of course the weight will increase, as will the cost.

Seven-foot solid glass-fibre rods, beloved of the 1970's young angler, seem to me to be a sweet-spot of the material in this form. The length is such the rods are not floppy or excessively slow-actioned, while the relative softness and the solid cross-section of the glass-fibre provides a slow but purposful linear restoring-force as a function of deflection. It's certainly the case that both the solid glass-fibre rods I find very fit for purpose are seven feet long and do a very good job when otherwise suited to the occasion.

Anyhow...if you care how many rods there are or were in this category, you can see the summary at the bottom of the pageGuess where this link takes you?.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodThe Marco Seven-Foot Rod...

...aka the 'poole Cue', aka the 'MK II', aka the 'Other MK III'. This was my first rod, 2½lb t/c solid fibre-glass, although something of a 'through' action. In 1974, I'd never heard of a 'test curve', so for many years cheerfully caught all sorts of fish on 3lb line without anything more sophisticated than a small porcupine quill, a size 14 hook and a worm. Fish were 'hoisted' as I had no landing net. Anyway there was no room for one on my bike. I referred to it as the "pool cue", it truth an injustice and it still has it's usesHonestly, I've caught good fish by fishing from up a tree. Twice.. It's also been used for carping and I've taken pike to 17lb on it. I promised myself, 'one of these days', I'd re-build it and replace the ferrule.

It's easy to underestimate solid fibre-glass, but it's tough and unlike hollow sections does not deform when bent and is consequently better (I think) for playing fish.

The other entries on the my first rod

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod9th July 2017. The 'MKIII' incarnation of the blue 7' rod.  I'd been eyeing up the old glass-fibre 7' rod for some time. I've no idea why it has such a hold, just my first rod, 'tis all. But it looked weary.

To explain; the 'MKI' incarnation was 'as it came' from the shop in 1974. This, at exactly 7' and fitted with 'low Bells', got used for everything until 1979. Then, in an attempt to make the tip section into part of a chimera carp-rod, I cut off the brass counter and ground/wet-and-dry'd the solid fibre-glass into a spigot that fitted the middle section of my 9' fibre-glass float rod. This made a very powerful 9'6" tip-and-middle-action rod, with a t/c in the region of 2½lb which would have stopped most carp - but felt and looked unwieldy. Not completely mad, but it didn't really work.

So, the 'MKII' incarnation was due to restoring the 7' rod c. 1980. This necessitated cutting off the 'spigot' previously created, hence losing 3" or so off the length. The counter then fitted was never quite in-line as a result, not that this stopped it doing a fine job. I fitted a new female ferrule, reinforced it with brass wire...see pictures down the page and fitted ceramic lined Fuji rings. Overkill perhaps but it then accounted for some fine fish, even if only used where space was at a premium.

The 'MKIII' incarnation started off as a rebuild to smarten it up. Honest. My whippings needed to go; these were very tidy, but with less varnish than would prevent dirt runnels between the threads. The ferrule need replacing and the corks, long ago varnished, a score a years perhaps, looked OK but...the reel seat had acquired a slight looseness, which had bugged me for some time.

The Seven Foot rod The 'MKII'. Seven foot (6'9" then), blue, solid glass-fibre, 2½lb t/c. As well as a gazillion perch, it has accounted for many pike including a 17lb fish caught through a hole in the ice, a wrasse in the 8lb range, flounders, plaice, sea-trout, eels, bass and a couple of decent carp, ruffe, eels, bream, chub, roach, rudd...and a few gudgeon. I know, 'I don't get out enough'.

I stripped off the rings and using the hard square edge of a steel ruler, removed flaky varnish. The glass is a really fine blue colour, which is embedded in my psyche. It occured to me, while idly staring out the window, on the sill of which was a cheap 24" 'ice-rod' , to make an extension to the tip-end with some 10½" of the said 'ice-rod' (9). I decided to fit this using a carbon-fibre sleeve (8), an old telescopic rod section cut to fit. My first thought was to make this sleeve into a ferrule, using the blue glass-fibre tip (7) as a spigot, but then decided to epoxy it on. I cut ½" off the tip (7), as there was a suspicious white area at that point - whether this was caused by strain or the heat used to remove the tip ring, I know not.

The join of the 'ice-rod' (9) and the 'sleeve' (8) is shown by the arrow (10) in the first picture.

This 'ice-rod' tip is nigh-on unbreakable and in use I'd expect it to fold out of the way rather, like a quiver tip, so I resolved to cut the carbon-fibre sleeve (8) just long enough to take the strain and whip a lined intermediate ring over the point on this sleeve where the two solid sections meet (11). This provides a de-facto tip ring, onto which any serious strain will be thrown. This will allow the use of lighter lines for gudgeoning. The overall rod length is now up to 7'7".

In the second picture the point where the 'ice-rod' (9) butts against the fibre- glass tip (7) is shown by the arrow (11). Once glued into place, I fitted three rings of reinforcing carbon-fibre at each end of the sleeve and one over the 'join' (10), the latter will nestle between the rod-ring's 'feet'.

The MKIII Pool Cue The 3.5mm diameter fibre-glass tip (7), the carbon-fibre sleeve (8), the 'ice-rod' section (9), and the arrow (10) shows the top end of carbon-fibre sleeve (8). The MKIII Pool Cue Showing fibre-glass tip (7) inserted into the carbon-fibre sleeve (8). The arrow (11) shows the marked point on the carbon-fibre sleeve (8) where the fibre-glass tip (7) butts against the the 'ice-rod' section (9).

The sleeve (8) had the slightest looseness of fit to the fibre-glass tip (7), a mis-match between the tapers of the two parts (an inevitable consequence of this type of fettling), so before gluing them together, I rubbed the thinnest coat of epoxy onto the top 1" of the fibre-glass tip. Once set, this provided exact alignment for the final gluing. When gluing, I found that the air-tight fit of the sleeve (8) to the glass-fibre tip (7) prevented it being fully inserted, despite me applying sustained pressure. In the end, I bored a 0.3mm hole right on the point where the two sections meet in the sleeve (11). This worked fine and any weakness will be supported by the de-facto tip-ring and a small carbon fibre sleeve. I did nudge the middle reinforcing ring a mm or so up the sleeve(11), so had to shave ½mm off the 'tip-ring' foot to seat it properly.

On to the ferrule replacement. The butt-section female ferrule had a neatly whipped black thread coverall, to cover the flashy but careful brass wire whipped-and-soldered reinforcing I put on in 1980. Clearly I'd resolved to make it as stout as possible. You can see the wire, the solder and the epoxy. Actually not a bad job. It came away easily, the soft (lead) solder barely resisting and I discovered it was a '× 2' whipping.

The MKIII Pool Cue The female ferrule, with its neat black thread whipping. The MKIII Pool Cue The female ferrule with its brass wire reinforcing whipping. The epoxy on the fibre-glass bears the imprint of the thread. I porably whipped over it while it was soft. The MKIII Pool Cue The two wooden arbours that supported the reel seat.

I cut off the fore-grip cork, removed the excellent winding check, to be reused, and worked the reel-seat off, pulling it up the rod and twisting it 2mm back-and-forth. A blister later and it was off. It's good quality and is stamped "MODERN ARMS COMPANY LIMITED BROMLEY KENT". The reel-seat was mounted on two turned beech or boxwood arbours, a good solution. However, the reel seat needs turning round - the screw lock at the top has two advantages - firstly the natural action of the right hand on the rod works to tighten the screw NOT loosen it and secondly any strain on the reel pulls the reel-foot into the screw, locking it, as opposed to providing slack for it to come loose.

This means the rear-grip needs to come 4" up the rod in order to keep the reel foot more-or-less where it was before. I pondered keeping one wood arbour, but decided, after discovering the impossiblity of boring carbon arbour without a lathe, to use the tried and tested tape-and-glue, using hot melt and epoxy.

I pondered making a carbon-fibre ferrule - replacing the brass - with the glass-fibre on the butt-section acting as a 'natural' spigot. This would be lighter and possibly stronger. Hm. I spend a few days batting this mental ping-pong ball back-and-forth. In the end, although kind of liking brass as part of the soul of the rod (I know...), I went for the technical superiority of carbon-fibre. This was also free and I'd gain experience and expertise of making spigot joints.

I opted to make and fit a spigot onto the butt-section, not really liking the idea of the bare glass-fibre spigot. To get the best fit, I first made the tip-section 'female' (1) from a piece of the old telescopic rod. I dropped it over the tip section (2) and then carefully cut away ¼" at a time until I had a good working fit and an overlap of the tube (1) with the glass-fibre (2) of 1½". This was the length of the old brass counter. I wanted the spigot to be about 2½", so cut the bottom end off the tube at that mark 'plus a bit'.

The MKIII Pool Cue The carbon-fibre 'sleeve' (1) and the thick end of the fibre-glass tip section (2) The MKIII Pool Cue Showing the 'sleeve' fitted over the tip-section (1). The line on the sleeve shows how far the glass extends into the 'sleeve'. The MKIII Pool Cue The reel-seat, the winding check and the butt-cap.

I used the 'other bit' (4) and slipped it over the butt-section glass-fibre (5) and cut it back a bit at a time until it overlapped with the glass by 1½" as before and cut the other end off 1¾" from the end of the glass. I then cleaned up a piece of an old fly-rod flyTwo butt-sections of 6-7aftm rods found in a rubbish bin at Bishop's Green, along with broken top sections...  to use as the 'spigot' (3), having first cut the thinner end down to ensure a good fit in the tip-section 'female' and then cutting it to length, inserting it through the butt-section 'sleeve' before replacing it. That'll make more sense with the pictures. I epoxy'd a thin section of an old roach-pole top section through the spigot and when it was set, cut if off flush - to add a little strength. I can't make an impression on it with my bare hands, so rationally, it's probably strong enough.

The MKIII Pool Cue (5) The narrow end of the glass-fibre butt-section, (4) the sleeve that will both contain the spigot and mount over the fibre-glass and (3) the spigot. The MKIII Pool Cue Showing the spigot (3) inside the sleeve (4) The MKIII Pool Cue Showing the spigot(3) + sleeve(4) fitted over the fibre-glass (5)

I was going to chamfer off all the various edges before gluing, but why weaken the tube where it's under strain? So I expoxy'd the spigot (3) in the butt-section sleeve (4) and then epoxy'd this assembly over the end of the glass-fibre (5). The female on the tip-section was done when the butt-section had set, as I wanted to double check the spacing before gluing. I wanted about ¼" gap (6) when assembled tight to allow for some wear.

That sounded too easy...What I did was mark with a pencil the point on (3) where the sleeve came down to. I then put a rough spectra braid whipping up to this pencil mark. This stopped me misaligning if the pencil mark is obscured by glue. The whipping also prevents the epoxy running out of the ferrule...inside the spigot/sleeve they'll be quite a bit of epoxy, but this will settle at the bottom and any air bubbles can escape though the middle of the spigot. I wrapped the two places where epoxy might get out with cling film and stuck rubber bands over them. I left it for 24 hours...

I again decided to add a little more strength where it was most required. If you think about it (or try it), you can crush the end of a tube a lot more easily that the middle of the same tube. So, the ends of the load bearing tube will be reinforced and also the places where the tube meets the internal fibre-glass. I used carbon-fibre tube sections for this pundered from an incomplete JW Avon I got in a junk-shop.

When flexed, there a bit of a flat spot (something one can also say about the brass ferrule), also the rod is now another about 4" longer, making the overall 'restored' length 96" (8 feet).

I wanted to keep the blue theme, so I put a coat of white paint over parts of the carbon-fibre ferrules and (gently) whipped over the paint with D-Grade blue thread - so it looked blue when it was varnished.

There was a ridiculous pleasure to be had from the lack of reaming required to fit the corks to the glass-fibre. So easy...the butt-cap was a kind of white neoprene, still solid enough and attached to the 'ally' cap by what looks like a nylon thread. I decided to just reuse 'as-is' and cleaned it up, inside and out first. I had a small tapered spinning rod fore grip. I reversed this so the taper fitted inside the butt-cap. I then put epoxy inside the butt cap and fitted it over the cork - which was essentially acting as a template to centre the cap. I left it to set overnight, standing on the butt-end. I pulled the cork back up the rod, then mixed more epoxy smeared a little on the glass and put a good dollop inside the butt-cap and then worked the cork back down the rod and slowly pushed it into the butt-cap. The idea was to do this incrementally and wait for trapped air to be forced back out through the cork. So I applied pressure three or four times about 15 minutes apart. Then it was left standing on the butt-cap to set. The next issue was that this re-purposed fore-grip shI'm sure you've noticed that posh folk and virtue-signallers use phrases like 're-purposing' and 'up-cycling' rather than 'second hand' or 'make do and mend'. This is to make absolutely sure we all know they can afford to buy new stuff but they're doing us a favour.  had a slight rounded profile at the thick end, where it will adjoin the main corks.

The MKIII Pool Cue The butt-end before sanding. The MKIII Pool Cue End of a spare piece of cork, with four sandpaper pieces glued on

Top tip; get something round and flat, like a piece of spare cork handle and glue four small pieces of sandpaper on the flat surface with cyanoacrylate. When it's dry, place over the rod and against the surface to be flattened off and sand it back by turning it. It's also handy for flattening off cork sections after you cut them to fit and with care you can even make a tool to recess the end of a reel seat into a piece of cork.

I glued the main cork on with cascemite and then made an arbour from duct-tape about 1" down from the corks. I filled this with epoxy and pushed the reel seat into place. (I'd already done an alignment exercise and mad marked the corks and the reel seat with a black line with an indelible pen). I then ran the rest of that batch of epoxy into the reel seat from the other end and used the 'fore-grip' cork to hold the seat central while the epoxy set. When it had, I ran another batch of epoxy into the tube and repeated the process. When that had set I filled the remaining space in the reel-seat tube with plastic melt glue.

I trimmed the hot melt off flush and glued a few strips on sandpaper on the surface with cyanoacrylate (see 'top-tip' aobove) and sanded a recess into the fore-grip for the reel seat, removed the sandpaper strips then epoxy'd the foregrip on. I epoxy'd the winding check on, ensuring a thin film of the same covered all the forward facing cork.

I covered the reel-seat with cling-film and then put a turn of duct-tape at each end. Using a 6" piece of 1¼" plastic pipe, cut in half length-ways as a sanding block, I chamfered the fore-grip down to almost meet the winding check and chamfered the reel-seat end the same amount. I did the same to the corks at the other end of the reel-seat and also smoothed off the joint at the butt-cap end of the handle.

If you've got this far, it might look as if I've galloped though this re-build, but in truth, most stages were a day apart. The handle, for example, took 20 minutes but spread over four days.

So. I then put a Fuji lined ring on the butt and the 'de-facto' tip and Pacbay Minima's in black for the rest. Black thread (which looked nice) but blue thread on the new tip, which is black in itself...

The MKIII Pool Cue The butt-end sanded down, plus the top-section 'ferrule' The MKIII Pool Cue Tip of the rod, with the 'male' ferrule on the bottom section.
The MKIII Pool Cue The third ring on the joint, a lined 'Fuji' The MKIII Pool Cue The maker's name

The MKIII 'pool-cue' is over a foot longer than the 'MKII' and a foot longer than the 'MKI'. It's lighter due to the carbon 'ferrules' being about 10g lighter overall than the brass/wire and the orginal rings mostly being changed for lighter ones. Now I need to fish with it. Just because...

The Eight Foot rod The 'MKIII' Pool-cue'. Eight feet now, blue, solid glass-fibre, 2½lb t/c, sort of. At least I have a hobby.
...yes, the top section has a slight curve, caused by years of use 'the other way up'...

Lessons learned:
• Cut tapered tubes down a ¼" at a time, or less, until they fit.
• Cut those tubes with a knife-edge needle file. A hacksaw will split and splinter the tubing.
• Keep all the off-cuts.
• Wear a mask, carbon-fibre is horrible stuff.
• Decent carbon-fibre fly-rods provide 100% better quality carbon tubes for this kind of thing, with twice the wall thickness of most rods and easily four times the thickness of pole-sections.
• Carbon-fibre is amazingly strong.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodThe Eight Foot Glass-Fibre Rod.

TBC Sold to the bloke at the back

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodThe Nine Foot Glass-Fibre Float Rod.

Circa 1978, flush with Saturday earnings, I went to the tackle shop in Green Street and bought a 9-foot three-piece float rod. I don't know why I went for nine feet. It probably just seemed like sufficient advancment on seven. It was brown, had chromed stand-off rings, no lined rings at all, a duplon handle and sliding aluminium reel-bands. I thought it was great. For a bit. In sooth it was a terrible rod, with no back-bone at all, the worst sort of glass-fibre rod and was barely long enough to make up for its terrible action. It spent some years known as 'the celery stick' and although it managed a 13lb pikeThe Rye Dyke. Fish From up a Tree No.1 and even, once, a decent carpAugust 1983, Fisher's Pond, it was 'in spite of' rather than 'because of'. I don't miss it and if I'd even known of the B&W MKIVThe Bruce & Walker MKIV 'G' s/u I'd have saved up my money. Not missed, not lamented, got Binned .

This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blankThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hook...(and back to the top of the page)Thymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThis space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blank

Glass-Fibre Fishing RodThe Glass-Fibre Aerial Rod.

Circa 1979, I came by one of those trendy solid glass-fibre car aerials from a mechanic friend who'd taken one off somebody's involuntarily re-configured 'Carlos Fandangomobile'. It was barely five feet long, a reddish-brown colour, had a core of fine wire and the taper of a fly rod. Nevertheless, I decided to make a fishing rod out of it. I made an 8" handle, with bottle-corks, two salvaged reel-bands and two demi-john corks, the latter fitted at each end, narrow-end inwards to make a neat flared effect (and to keep the reel bands on). I fitted five stand-off chromed rings and an 'agatine' (I think that's the right word, essentially 'glass') tip-ring with a quiver-tip thread, although I've no idea why I thought that would be useful. I've no recollection of using it at all, although it is linked in my mind with 'the bridgeWhere's that confounded bridge?', a false memory. A friend, much taken with it, offered to buy it for £20 and I took the money, Sold to the bloke at the back something I regret, but only because I don't have it any more. I often wonder what happened to it. With hindsight, it would have been smarter to make a 16" × ¾" dowel handle and araldite 4" of the glass-fibre into a hole in the middle, then fit corks over the dowel.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodWebley & Scott Super Avon.

This cost me £10 in a junk shop in Leominster in 2007, which was just under £1 a foot. The male ferrule on the lower section was split and still had a mud plug in, which was presumably how it got split. I took the butt-cap off, and dropped a section of old roach pole down the inside and araldited it and added Fuji rings. I kept the yellow and green whipping style and preserved all the markings, include the initials FB and the number '25'. I made a butt-end out of a champagne cork which looks better than the original. It banked several carp to 11lb and a 5lb chub. Not bad for £20.

It was a very nice rod to use and much more flexible that it first appeared, but after it had sat on the rack for two years, I gave it to an afficionado of glass-fibre rods, so not Sold to the bloke at the back as such.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodBruce and Walker S/U MKIV 'G' 10'.

I was lucky to nab one via an internet auction site before they got trendy. This needed a repair to the top section 'female' ferrule and a champers cork to repair the bottom of the handle. Plus a new tip ring. Something of a project, not used it for some time, but a very good rod which I like a lot. Then I picked it a few times during 2015 and got somewhat attached to it as a 'first rod to grab'. Hm. It had one of those re-eaaaly long handles lh    In conversation with a well known rod maker, it was strongly suggested to me that really really long handles were 'fashionable' rather than 'any use at all'. Not just me then. , presumably for 'balance'. The reel bands were 'adequate'. I decided it could be improved imp    I once saw a poster in respect of engineers which read "On my deathbed I will build a better deathbed". I cannot handle a rod without thinking, “Wouldn't it be better if...”. I've rebuilt some rods several times, adjusting this and that and while I've made mistakes, I've learnt a terrific amount about rod making for the use of the things. So, for example, I snort at notions of 'balance'. ...

...I stripped off the corks and removed all the rings. I replaced the handle with new corks and added a rounded composite butt-end and mounted a winch reel-seat 15" up from that. With a rod this length that's not going to be 'in the hand' all day, it makes no sense to have any wasted length behind your hand. That done, I replaced the internediate rings with Pacbay Minima's (very very light) and it's a new rod altogether. Love it. Stops a 15lb carp in it's tracks.

The other entries on the Bruce and Walker MKIV.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod5th February 2012. The Bruce and Walker MKIV "G" s/u, Part I. I was fortunate to bag one of these on a well known auction site - I'd always wanted to try one and serendipitously it arrived on my birthday. It wasn't perfect of course, but a good 'user'.

Specifically, there was the tiniest of cracks in the top section ferrule, telegraphed by the cracking of the whipping varnish and the tip ring came apart in my hand when I tried to remove it for re-whipping. I determined to buttress the crack by cutting a 1 inch section off an old whip and dropping it over the top section and aralditing it on. I took all the rings off and having cut the section, on a whim at lunchtime, found a repair kit on the 'net, carbon cloth, resin etc. Hm. I ordered it and it turned up the following day. It was £30, good for three repairs, in fact more than this on inspection. I went for that.

I, of course, first read the 'pdf' instructions for the repair kit and made my custom rod jig as shown below. I then carefully mixed resin and grinding paste in the 3:1 ratio, threw it away and mixed the resin with hardener. You can see the cleaned rod section, and make out the shadow of the two whipped areas and the cracks if you look really closely. I should have phot'd the whipping which shows the crack starting well before it's clearly visible on the fibre glass. Here's one which shows the same thing.

It's a good policy to check the whipping on the female of ferruless rods, as the cracks in the varnish telegraph a crack forming well before it becomes a problem. My plan was to use graphite cloth to replace the whipping at the cracked end. As the whole idea is to use heat shrink wrap to force resin into the cloth, I decided to run an experiment on the site of the second whipping. I'd put the 'tack' layer on, whip over it in Garnet 'D', finishing the whipping just outside the tack area (or you'd never pull through to finish) and then put a resin layer over it and shrink wrap that as well to see how it worked.

The snaps below show:
The tack layer.
Shrink wrapped and shrunk.
And cleaned up ready for whipping over.
And whipped over.

I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule customised precision rod jig... I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule ...showing the way whippings split over a crack - on a split hexagraph I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule The carp
I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule Tacked...(tack layer applied) I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule ...wrapped, shrunk... I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule ...and cleaned up

Impressions; well it's filthy stuff the resin and the cloth. One really must wear the gloves, not a fun job in the main, I can enjoy whipping, but there's little joy in this job. Cut the carbon cloth outside as well. The resin itself seems on the brittle side to me, it's not unlike high build whipping on trashed rods, which I've picked off to salvage rings, not yet convinced this resin is worth the coin, perhaps araldite "precision" would have done just as well. The strength after all is in the carbon and while it's done a good job, once that resin's used up, I'd consider sourcing the cloth and shrink tape elsewhere - heat-shrink tubing might even be better.

The impregnated whipping is 'OK', there was a lot of air bubbles in the thread itself, some which remained when it had set, although thinned varnish filled most of them. I may try using thread for such a repair in the future, but using probably some clear shrink tubing of the right diameter. More to follow later in the week.

I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule mended top section whipped over with one coat of varnish

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod9th February 2012. The Bruce and Walker MKIV "G" s/u, Part II.

The always helpful folk at Bruce and WalkerCourtesy and proper customer service sent me replacement butt and tip rings for my rod. The tip-ring was a 'write off' but the butt was OK, but, well you know. I replaced the top section rings and tip-ring using a medium green Gudebrod thread, which was not the original colour, but the carbon repair wasn't original either...replaced the butt ring and added a tiny bells ring to the butt section an inch or so up from the logo, about 45° offset from the butt ring - this is the 'keeper' a much more accessible keeper than the tiny slivers of wire sold in this guise.

The corks were cleaned off with a plastic kitchen scourer and washing up liquid, when rinsed and dried, then wiped down with white spirit. The butt end of the rod was full cork, but the corks were split and frayed, so the cork was cut off flush with the end of the blank, the impacted cork extracted, then fitted a champagne cork into the hole, paring it down so it met the handle corks, more or less spot on.

The rod was then cleaned off with a damp cloth and rubbed down with white spirit. Both sections got a coat of thinned yacht varnish (60/40), which leaches into cracks and scratches sealing them. Any spot where the varnish had lifted, leaving a kind of bubble, I punctured with a pin and sealed with the same varnish, which sorts it out, more or less. One last full strength coat will go on later today. Photo's follow.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod17th September 2016. The B&W MKIV 'G' S/U. I picked this rod up a few years backThe Bruce & Walker MKIV 'G' S/U and in 2014 decided to ring the changes and put titanium 'Pacbays' on and re-build the handle. The handle was a wrecked anyway and I replaced it completely and added a reel-seat, I respectfully find the original reel-bands 'not that good'.

The original handle was 29" long, possibly driven more by fashion than function, so put the reel-seat 15" from the butt-end. With my hand on the reel-foot there is 2" of handle sticking past my elbow. The 'fighting butt' is convenient at netting-time, for wedging the rod-end into the abdomen without causing injury. T'other end is a bored out champagne cork. Sanded down it looks nice, although there's the slightest concave shape to the fore-grip, which I'll remove presently.

The B&W MKIV 'G' new handle The handle with it's new reel seat The B&W MKIV 'G' new handle The view down the handle

Because the reel-seat ('liberated' from an old telescopic rod) had chromed bands, to remove the flash I whipped over them with garnet thread then varnished - now they're garnet. There's probably someone throwing up their hands somewhere, but with modern rings (removing 1oz from the tip section) and the new handle configuration, it's a better rod - and it was a pretty good rod to start with. It's one of my favourites.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodThe Milbro Tourist'.

A four-piece seven-foot solid glass-fibre spinning rod I bought in Februry 2011 for brook-guesting. I then did nothing with it for literally, years.

Then I decided I had to fix it. At least once.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod14th September 2016. 'The Milbro Tourist' restoration. Bought on fleabay about three years ago for £5, after I failed to buy one seen at Romsey. It's a four-piece solid glass-fibre rod and this one was in a bad way. The ferrule on the first joint was ruined, torn with pliers. I'd bought a replacement and then put the thing to one side...

Recently I picked it up again, took the rust-speckled 'bells' rings off and chucked them. The handle was sound but dry and the butt button was a mess. The orginal reel-bands were binned. I resolved to fit a small reel-seat, a nice one which came via one of two broken fly-rods in a rubbish bin. I cut off three cork rings to make space for the reel-seat. I glued the counter on the second section, left it overnight and then put the female on the first section, pushed them together and put the rod on a flat surface to ensure that any 'set' the rod was in line with the reel seat setting. The alignment marks can be seen on the ferrule, rod and the reel seat.

'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The original cork handle...1
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The original cork handle and the posh reel seat...2
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The bottom end of the old handle...3
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The counter ferrule on the third section. The aradite
was cut off flush when ¾ set. The tissue
and duct-tape stop the glue running out of the join...4
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The handle with corks removed, the female ferrule,
the third section, fore-grip cork and the reel seat...5

I 'super-glued' two small rectangles of fine grit sandpaper on the end of the reel seat and spun it a few times on the cork to flatten it off. Removed said sandpaper and glue, then araldite'd the reel-seat in place. I reamed out the hole in the new fore-grip cork, just enough to slip over the thread of the reel seat and cascemite'd it on, extending the handle by about 2", leaving the original logo and name in place.

I removed the last two inches of cork from the butt-end and put a champagne cork over the glass, araldite'd it on. I rubbed it down with the 'plastic half-drainpipe' PHDThis is a 5½" piece of 32mm plastic pipe, cut in half lengthways. Wrap sandpaper around this, following the inner diameter. Working with even strokes while rotating a cork handle a little after every few strokes, it's possible to achieve nigh-on perfect handles with a little practise. Use a micrometre to check the diameter regularly as you go along. , to meet the original handle's diameter. The female ferrule was then araldite'd on using the alignment marks.

'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The bottom end of the handle with corks removed
and the champagne cork replacment...1
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The plier marks on the third section...2
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The plier marks on the third section...3
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The reel-seat and foregrip fitted and glued. The green
whipping at the rear of the seat is also visible. A black
whipping has been added to the glass by the fore-grip...4
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The chamfered down champagne cork...5
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
A view of the finished butt (first) section...6

I put black whippings on the ferrule end and in front of the fore-grip - which was rubbed down, but not quite to the diameter of the main handle. At the back of the reel seat was a clear area of metal - this was designed to be under cork on a fly rod - there's little point to that with this rod, so I whipped over that section with green thread and varnished it. Before I put the rod together I considered cutting this piece off flush with the flange, but decided it made no odds. With hindsight it might have looked neater like that, but araldite is a powerful incentive to leave it alone.

Above the counter on the third section were two horrible digs into the fibre-glass. It looks 'just like someone undid the ferrule using pliers'...I didn't much like the look of that, although thought it unlikely to break. I ran waterproof cyanoacrylate into the cracks to bind the fibres and whipped over with black 'D' thread, an extension of the ferrule whipping. The female ferrule on the third section had a slight knock, so I used a modfied pipe-cutter to tighten it up see belowIt's really quite simple for how that works.

Rings. The original pattern was two rings on the fourth (tip) section, one on the third and one on the second. I've changed that to three, two, one using 'Pacbay' titanium, plus a titanium lined tip ring. There was a nick in the glass just south of the tip-ring, so I made sure that was on the 'underside', dabbed it with waterproof cyanoacrylate to lock the fibres , gave the tip section a severe bend test, then whipped over it. The ring spacing used was [T, 4", 9½", 16½", 25½", 36½", 49½]. I lightly scraped down the old varnish, whipped everything with black thread and varnished. It looks very smart, especially with a Cardinal 33 loaded with 4kg braid. Nifty. Fits in a back-pack.

'The Milbro Tourist' The finished rod, all four sections 'The Milbro Tourist' The finished rod, all four sections, with Cardinal 33 fitted. 'The Milbro Tourist' How it looked when I got it (picture swiped from the internet) and this is 100% better looking than the one I bought.

...replacing a ferrule, adding that reel seat and those new rings means the fittings have four times the value of the rod. Still...'up-cycling' is all the rage. upA cynical view is; 'upcycling' is a word used by a type of person to suggest 'Second-hand, but I could afford a new one, I'm doing this because I'm environmentally conscious, not because I'm one of those wretched poor people.' No-one is fooled by this.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing RodThe Hardy Carp Rod Blank.

A Hardy Glass-fibre 11ft s/u carp blank acquired from the nice Mr. Ted Oliver in 2015 . A project...

I like porcupine quill floats...I like porcupine quill floats...(and back to the top of the page) I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats... I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats...

In Summary

The observant and numerate reader can work out that I've owned, for at least a short period, eight glass-fibre rods, although I've sold or parted with four of them.

The ones I liked enough to use and hang onto are:

The Bruce & Walker MKIV 'G' s/uExactly, to my mind, the right length for the rod's action and its material, especially after fitting a reel-seat at the sensible point on the handle and with titanium rings to reduce the weight of the rod..
The Marco Seven-Foot RodPartly sentiment, but it's done a good job, when it was the right rod for it..
The Milbro TouristIt's very handy, nearly unbreakable and just neat..

11:42am on 2018-02-20 JAA