Pardon the phrase, but I learned a "shit-ton".
First and foremost, due to some time constraints and a problem
with one of the reel seats, I had to remove it.
In a nutshell, Ron used a glue that was somewhat heat sensitive
- after hours of slowly cooking the reel seat with my alcohol
lamp I was able to remove it...talk about having to be patient.
Granted, I did NOT want to ruin the rod, so the patience was
well worth it. Unfortunately, the reel seat came apart in
pieces, not one shot. First the butt cap went, then the threaded
barrel, then the insert. The inletted hood still remained
in the cork grip. I thought I had it heated enough, but when
I went to remove it the cork came away too!
So, I had to repair the cork...unfortunately the color of
what I had on hand wasn't a perfect match but otherwise it's
a seamless repair! In turn, I installed a stunning reel seat
I had on hand from Winslow Rods and set to the task of finishing
this beautiful rod!
Wrapping with silk was a dream; it grabbed onto the blank
faster than nylon (it's not as slick as nylon) and in short
order, the wraps were done. There's no real adjusting of the
guides on a Bamboo Rod - they're all resting on the same flat
Finishing was a nightmare at first - I had the gloss marine
spar varnish on hand for reel seat inserts, so that's what
I went with. A "gloss" finish isn't quite traditional,
but Ron felt that since he's seen some really nice rods finished
with gloss, it would still be OK for this rod.
In a nutshell, I lightly sanded the entire blank with 400
grit sandpaper (the blank having already been sealed and waterproofed
with Tung Oil). Next up came the first coat of varnish...I
did it on my rod dryer, resting the ferrule on the support.
Ron suggested the use of Foam Brushes for finish application
as I don't have a dip tank. He was also very adament about
using a dust free environment, and if possible, a heated drying
Well, I can tell you why Ron was so keen on using a dust
free environment...after the rod dried for 24 hours it had
collected a fair amount of dust! I sanded it all down again
(as you're supposed to with a reel seat insert) and applied
a 2nd coat. This time, I tented sections of Tin Foil over
the rod to prevent dust from landing. VIOLA...a beautifully
For the forthcoming inscription, Ron suggested using a 005
Artists Pen in Black. It took a while, but I found them at
an Art Supply Store in Evanston. Soon I'll have the inscription
on this rod!