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Cork sealer alternatives

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I have a rod comming in a few days but I forgot to order u40 and I was wondering if there was an alternative cork sealer readily available at most hardware stores?  Any input would be much appreciated.

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The only other product I use is TruOil

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I'm definitely going to have to go look for some, I want to be fishing by the weekend.

i never seald the cork on any rod. 

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Is it a bad idea to seal it after you've already used it a few times?

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Yeah this is an new rod I should have it in a couple of days so it'll be a new rod I'm sealing the old rods I'm not sealing those peicees of junk.

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I asked because I recently got a cork handled rod (nothing fancy) but I've gone ahead and used it a few times. Is it already too late to seal it is my question.

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I misread your comment sorry bout that ,but that is a good question ? I was reading on some other rod building thread that you can seal a used cork handle but you need to sand it a little bit before you seal it but hey I've never done it so take that as you will.

Edited by Burros

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Simply wash the cork handle in warm water and dawn liquid soap, rinse and dry. No reason to ever seal good quality cork. If the cork get stained with attractants or oils clean with Mr. Clean Magic pads.

Tom

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59 minutes ago, WRB said:

No reason to ever seal good quality cork.

Would the cork on a Fenwick hmx be considered "quality?"

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I seal every cork handled rod I own, top end St.Croix and Loomis rods get the same treatment.   I clean them a little with magic eraser and then apply a coat of  U-40.  I do it to protect the cork, keeps it from ever becoming stained and prevents any filler from coming loose and leaving pits in the handle.     Typically I repeat the process over the winter for the following season.  

If you prefer your handles to be dried out, pitted and dirty I would not mess with it.

 

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Like anything else, if taken care of your cork handles will last a long time without treatment. Cork sealer will prolong its life by sealing out the elements that can lead to dry and pitted cork.  The added benefit is you get a better grip on the rod. 

My suggestion is to use the rod until you can get some U40 cork sealer and then do as WRB suggested. After applying it, if you prefer the feel of untreated cork, you can always wash it off.

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seal it later if you don't want to wait for your U40 to be delivered. If it looks dirty (it shouldn't if only used a few times) clean the cork with warm water and Dawn soap as WRB mentioned. Let it dry overnight before sealing.

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I have cork handle rods that are decades old and never sealed them, they are very condition. All I have ever done is wash them occasionally. If the cork has fillers, then you may need to seal it to prevent the fillers from falling out, don't own any rods with fillers in the cork and that is a problem with today's rods.

Tom

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

I have cork handle rods that are decades old and never sealed them, they are very condition. All I have ever done is wash them occasionally. If the cork has fillers, then you may need to seal it to prevent the fillers from falling out, don't own any rods with fillers in the cork and that is a problem with today's rods.

Tom

Amen to that. Customs and VERY FEW factory rods are the only ones I've seen in a few years with nice cork. It makes it hard when you despise foam, don't like the feel of the Winn grips, and customs or a 400 dollar legend elite are the only place to get a nice cork handle. I use u40 on all my cork rods since most have lots of filler. I have bought several used and just cleaned with dawn and water and magic erasers before sealing

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26 minutes ago, timsford said:

Amen to that. Customs and VERY FEW factory rods are the only ones I've seen in a few years with nice cork. It makes it hard when you despise foam, don't like the feel of the Winn grips, and customs or a 400 dollar legend elite are the only place to get a nice cork handle. I use u40 on all my cork rods since most have lots of filler. I have bought several used and just cleaned with dawn and water and magic erasers before sealing

I have NRX's and 3 different versions of the Legend Elite and Extreme, they all have filler in the cork.   While the cork is better on these rods than some of the others I own there are still small imperfections that have been filled.

Cork with no imperfections is almost impossible to get, the best cork never makes it to the fishing industry or anywhere else.   The wine companies have the best cork purchased before anyone else ever has the opportunity to own it.

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Seal it now or seal it later. It doesn't matter. 

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Almost all cork nowadays has some level of filler. Sealing will help preserve it but isn't mandatory. You can seal it anytime after use. Just clean and dry it. U40 is a polymer so it will deal better than tru oil. Cork doesn't take finishes well. That's one of the qualities that make it great for handles. 

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i've sealed a number of mine after using them for a bit.  i just hit them with a magic clean eraser and then apply the sealer.  

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After sealing with U40 the cork will look and feel almost unchanged from bare cork, but with Tru Oil, it will feel a little "harder."  That's not bad in my opinion, as I think people tend to over-rate how good bare cork feels.  Keep in mind that carbon fiber grips are very hard, but they are not uncomfortable.  Different, but not a bad feel, IMHO.  I have a couple rods I've used Tru Oil on that are many years old, and they just keep going on and on without change, without ever needing to be cleaned up. Noting seems to stick to them.

Your choice.  If in doubt, do an old rod grip in Tru Oil after "renewing" as others have suggested, and see if you like it.  With exotic burl cork it makes the "grain" stand out more, more contrasty, and a better look.

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I have never sealed the cork on any of my rods. I had this crazy theory that they need to "breathe" and sealing them would prevent that. Don't know where I got that idea from.

I wipe down my rods with a wet rag after every trip. I clean any stains with Dawn dishwashing detergent. I also repair any chips in the cork with a cork powder and white wood glue mixture. My rods are fine, even the ones that are a few decades old, without sealing.

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8 hours ago, Finesse Wayfarer said:

I have never sealed the cork on any of my rods. I had this crazy theory that they need to "breathe" and sealing them would prevent that. Don't know where I got that idea from.

I wipe down my rods with a wet rag after every trip. I clean any stains with Dawn dishwashing detergent. I also repair any chips in the cork with a cork powder and white wood glue mixture. My rods are fine, even the ones that are a few decades old, without sealing.

Sounds like a good plan.  And you've proven it works.

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I never knew the cork had to be maintained. I have a st croix premier with a full cork handle. It's beautiful, I want it to stay that way. The little bit of cork on my brothers mojo bass is really dark now, not like when he bought it. I don't want that to happen to my nice full cork on my somewhat pricey rod. This U40 will prevent that? Will the change the color/look upon using it? 

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15 hours ago, RichD913 said:

I never knew the cork had to be maintained. I have a st croix premier with a full cork handle. It's beautiful, I want it to stay that way. The little bit of cork on my brothers mojo bass is really dark now, not like when he bought it. I don't want that to happen to my nice full cork on my somewhat pricey rod. This U40 will prevent that? Will the change the color/look upon using it? 

U40 will not "prevent" the cork from getting dirty, just makes cleaning easier. I seal all mine and it does not change the feel.

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