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Do You Apply Cork Sealant To Your Rods?

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I've never really liked the feel of a U-40 sealed rod handle, but I know of some that believe in using sealant. I'd like to know what you think.

Any reasoning behind your choice or recommendations that you may feel like adding would be appreciated.

Thanks

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i imagine that people should , stained cork looks hideous !! that's why i use eva split grip handles !!! i say that the positive effects of the sealer out weigh the things you don't like about it .....

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i disagree.

i think that stained cork looks pretty cool. means the rod has been around the block. its like a badge. besides, you can clean it right up with the ol Magic Eraser.

...now if its starting to degrade.... now thats the time... or right before then... to think about shoring up your cork.

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I use baby wipes to clean stained corks, although I still don't like how cork gets pitted.  But to answer your question, no, I don't apply anything to protect the cork.  Now I just buy Cumaras because I like the foam handle a lot.

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I voted No because I haven't yet.  However, U-40 should be arriving at my doorstep in the next few days.  I'm ready to give it a try ;)

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One coat of U-40 doesn't seem to drastically change the feel.  That works for me.

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I like the look of a dirty cork....it gives it character. ;)

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Thanks for voting people. I ask because I had restored the handles on all of my rods and I was thinking of sealing them.

I found this on the Rodbuildingforum.com and gave it a try to get some of the hand-oil gloss off of the cork handles of my older rods. I was very gentle and careful not to remove anymore cork then I had to. I did the sanding it a bucket of water to note exactly how much cork was being removed, which was surprisingly little.  I tried it on St. Croix, G. Loomis, Shimano, and Dobyns rods with no ill effect.  Not a bad little trick for those who may be selling used rods online.

Here's the quote on how to restore you rod handles to like-new condition:

"I have been building, refinishing and restoring (Bamboo) fly rods for almost 20 years. I learned this craft from a notable bamboo rod historian and restorer in Sisters, Oregon. Our technique is to use Super Fine-400 Grit wet-or-dry automotive sandpaper...wet. 1st: protect all other rod surfaces (reel seats, hook keepers, bamboo ,glass or graphite) from errant abrasion with regular masking tape, leaving only the cork you wish to clean exposed. Next soak a small 4" x 6" pc of 400 grit sand paper under running water. I prefer warm water at the kitchen sink. Then place the cork under the warm running water while avoiding wetting the the masked areas as much as possible. Begin to sand lightly "long-ways", parallel to the rod while simultaneously rotating the grip. Rinse often to re-wet and check progress. Do not sand around the the grip(perpendicular to the shaft) as it may dislodge cork pith. I do not use any type of soap or detergent as I believe it can leave undesirable residue. This technique scarcely removes any cork material and can smooth out unwanted ridges from improperly cared for grips. Pat dry with a towel and let air dry. If done properly, when dry, your result will be silky-smooth grip. Better than original. Repeat if necessary then carefully remove masking tape ASAP. I do this to all the grips on all my rods, even after a season's use. Patina is nice, but over-rated, except on unfishable rods, like antiques or collectibles too valuable to fish anymore, anyway.

LAST and MOST IMPORTANTLY. NEVER use any kind of a scrub brush as it will remove the softer cork material and cause unsightly ridges that can de-valuate your rod. If this has has already occurred, the above technique can help reverse that process.

I believe you will be pleasantly surprised by the results. Good luck."

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Using a very little amount of mild dish soap in your water helps when wet sanding most things. It helps the paper slide, and lessens the "gumming up" of the paper.

I tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser based on advice in another thread, and it worked great. I am not kidding when I say my corks look new. Not "like new" or "as new." They look new.

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