Jump to content
gimruis

Cork or foam rod handle?

Recommended Posts

So I've noticed gradually over time there seems to be a gradual shift from full cork handles to partial cork handles or foam handles to partial foam handles.  What is your preference and why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cork. Full or split doesn't matter. Though I would like to try graphite tube. One of the reasons you might see more eva handles is cork; good cork is not cheap. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason rod companies have gone away from full cork handles is that quality cork has gotten more expensive. The rod companies also keep inventing rod blanks that are more advanced in technology. These rod blanks are lighter and more sensitive and they match up really well with the lighter weight split cork and eva foam grips.. Now, the newest trick item comes from a company called Winn. Winn made its mark in golf club grips. Their material is super lightweight and has almost the same tacky feeling that their golf grips have.  I had my friend Tom customize my 2 G Loomis spinning rods with a new style Aero comfort reel seat and these new grips. The weight of the rod decreased and the comfort fishing that rod is amazing. I chose the "natural"  toned grips which are cork colored and have a fancy pattern in them. They also offer a bunch of colored grips (red, green, blue,orange etc.) which means you could match a rod blank color or pick say a black or graphite colored blank and then a red set of handles, red thread and red colored checks (the round rings used at the front or back on a split grip) The list of options to customize a rod with grows quickly.  All of the rods in these pictures were built by my friend Tom. The rods in the second picture all belong to another friend of mine. He likes to get creative with his equipment. He had Tom build rods using some purple, some blue, some green and also some red colored blanks  The third picture shows my finished spinning rod. I really love to fish with this rod now. We changed it because the reel seat was giving me some trouble and before it broke I thought it would be wise to just replace it. Man am I glad I did. That rod originally came with a full cork handle and a typical straight- all plastic reel seat. Now it weighs less and feels terrific in my hand.

All rods.jpeg

3483.jpg

 DSCN0119%201_zps7rzs65fn.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly

 

Taking care of cork is a hassle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like fishnkamp, I also prefer the Winn grips. Super comfortable and lightweight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to think that I didn't care what type of handle was on a rod if the deal was right either was fine.  A few weeks ago I picked up an older St Croix legend for an insanely low price ($10) the minute I touched that full cork grip I feel in love.  That rod is 20 years old and the cork still looks and feels better than any new rod I've ever owned.  The only damage on it is where the previous owner used the for grip as a hook keeper.

EVA or cheap cork is still OK for the price but there is something about quality cork that just feels right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too used to think my preference for cork was just aesthetic until I bought a Daiwa Zillion rod with split EVA grips. I could not get comfortable using the foam grip. It wasn't nearly as firm as cork and I really like that firm grip. I had to sell the rod, it just bugged me every time I used it.

Never used Winn grips but I'm not ruling them out, they look nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer a split grip, but I'm not that picky about material used. If I had a choice, I'd go with cork because I like how it looks even when it gets weathered. Xtreme skin is pretty sweet too.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have rods that have both split and full grips in EVA and cork. While I prefer full cork grips. split grips and/or EVA grips aren't a deal breaker.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1:..cork.

#2:..cork.

#3:..cork. 

Hootie

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a foam or synthetic grip over cork.  The only rods i have that use cork are my fly rods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foam or cork is fine with me as long as it is high quality stuff. Both can pit or chip and show signs of wear. Both materials are used from the cheapest of rods to the most expensive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prefer cork, am ok with foam. I actually really like the Fenwick rubberized cork. I like the look of split grips over full, but honestly don't feel any performance difference.

BUT...I hate, hate, hate, HATE bright colors on rods. So no red/green/purple/blue/orange/whatever eva or Winn grips for me, thanks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like foam, it's more comfortable to me. For some reason, if I fish with cork handles a lot it dries my hands out really bad to the point the start cracking and bleeding. Not very manly feeling when you have to stop fishing to put hand lotion on. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I like foam, it's more comfortable to me. For some reason, if I fish with cork handles a lot it dries my hands out really bad to the point the start cracking and bleeding. Not very manly feeling when you have to stop fishing to put hand lotion on. 

Nothing more manly than a police officer, no matter what he's doing. God bless you and all your fellow officers Bluebasser.

Hootie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to see what Winn grips feel like without a total rebuild just buy their Winn wrap and put it on an existing grip.  You most likely will love it functionally.  If you are in love with cork because it is traditional, that's fine, but functionally, Winn is great.  The Winns will get dirtly, like cork, and their web site has instructions for cleaning it wiithout destroying the tackiness.  One caution, the Winn grips may be damaged by Deet,as will just about anything other than cork.  You also have to be careful when reaming the longer Winn grips, as another poster recently mentioned.  

But don't just write Winn off as a meaningless marketing trend.  The grips have definite advantages that far outweigh their possible shortcomings, in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On July 13, 2016 at 11:00 PM, fishnkamp said:

The main reason rod companies have gone away from full cork handles is that quality cork has gotten more expensive. The rod companies also keep inventing rod blanks that are more advanced in technology. These rod blanks are lighter and more sensitive and they match up really well with the lighter weight split cork and eva foam grips.. Now, the newest trick item comes from a company called Winn. Winn made its mark in golf club grips. Their material is super lightweight and has almost the same tacky feeling that their golf grips have.  I had my friend Tom customize my 2 G Loomis spinning rods with a new style Aero comfort reel seat and these new grips. The weight of the rod decreased and the comfort fishing that rod is amazing. I chose the "natural"  toned grips which are cork colored and have a fancy pattern in them. They also offer a bunch of colored grips (red, green, blue,orange etc.) which means you could match a rod blank color or pick say a black or graphite colored blank and then a red set of handles, red thread and red colored checks (the round rings used at the front or back on a split grip) The list of options to customize a rod with grows quickly.  All of the rods in these pictures were built by my friend Tom. The rods in the second picture all belong to another friend of mine. He likes to get creative with his equipment. He had Tom build rods using some purple, some blue, some green and also some red colored blanks  The third picture shows my finished spinning rod. I really love to fish with this rod now. We changed it because the reel seat was giving me some trouble and before it broke I thought it would be wise to just replace it. Man am I glad I did. That rod originally came with a full cork handle and a typical straight- all plastic reel seat. Now it weighs less and feels terrific in my hand.

All rods.jpeg

3483.jpg

 DSCN0119%201_zps7rzs65fn.jpg

those cork colored ones look great man. I might actually have to try those out since i really dislike holding and looking down at squishy, black, EVA. What would you compare the feel to? I used to have winn grips on a set of gold clubs when I was a child, and even then I remember them feeling much more like a soft rubber tennis racquet grip than the higher density rubber you see on most golf clubs. Although theres much less friction on a grip when you cast a rod versus when you swing a golf club, even as a little kid those things wore down very fast. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To  me they feel like good cork with a slight tackiness but I think too much is made of that. The colored ones are now being installed on Lews rods, Castaway Rods, Kistler Rods and Hammer Rods, so if you can find a dealer near you maybe you can put one in your hand. My friend Bryan must have a  dozen rods with the grips on them and loves them. It does look cool to see a picture of his front deck with all of the colored rods on it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EVA comes varying firmness. Good EVA is not squishy at all. Shape has more to do with comfort than material does IMO. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

EVA comes varying firmness. Good EVA is not squishy at all. Shape has more to do with comfort than material does IMO. 

well, after you finish up that TN handle rod for me I'm never going back to EVA for freshwater again. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing

    fishing poles

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×