Welcome to Rod Repair!

The following is reprinted from the January/February 2000 issue of RodMaker Magazine. Author Ralph O'Quinn is a staff writer for RodMaker as well as the formulator for the Trondak Company's line of U-40 rod finishing products, and Ferrule Lube. Our sincere thanks to RodMaker for sharing this information!

Putting It Back Together
Part Five - conclusion

Ralph O'Quinn
Story and Photos by Ralph O'Quinn

Problem #5

Number 5. This cheapie should have been thrown away but sentimentality overruled mentality. Somebody stepped on the ferrule and that sorta put things out of round, and that somebody wants to pay for it - so here we go. Picture of original break got lost, but it showed the ferrule with many pieces separated and damage extending about 1 &1/2 inches inboard from the end. This is a male ferrule so we want to restore the original OD as near as possible. I selected a piece of fiberglass that fit into the ferrule and cut it to extend 2&1/2 inches into the ferrule and rod. I left about 4 inches excess for the rod wrapping chuck. I applied a liberal quantity of RodBond to the reinforcing piece and to the inside of the damage. The piece was inserted in position and the frayed damage of the original carefully positioned around it. The ferrule was now wrapped with 'D' thread very tightly. Wrapping is very slow as the frayed pieces have to be positioned as you go along. There will be lots of squeeze out which should be distributed liberally along the entire damaged area. When the RodBond is fully hardened, remove the thread and clean off the excess adhesive. Install it in your rod wrapper again and work the surface to a smooth finish with fine files and 320 to 400 grit abrasive paper. Wrapping the broken pieces around the insert should insure a good round OD, but final smoothing will be necessary. Now you can test your handiwork by inserting it into its intended place in life - the female part of the joint. When you are close to a final fit, cut off the excess and finish it by hand.


The final act will be to coat the entire ferrule with 1 coat of Permagloss, or an equivalent Urethane. Why Urethane? Because urethanes have the best abrasion resistance of all the possible coatings that are available to you. After the Urethane is cured I always coat ferrules with U-40 Ferrule Lube and they will last much longer as this teflon product eliminates the friction and wear of a fiber to fiber ferrule and the ferrules will fit much tighter. [publishers. note - See the Product Review on U-40 Ferrule Lube.] And all this for a $9.95 Wal Mart special! Don't expect to get rich.


As many of you have concluded by now, repair work is a labor of love. And I have found it a lonesome labor. I can find all sorts of builders with talents far beyond mine, that will readily engage in discussions about finishes, spine, handle shapes, guides, thread art, (I hate it) any subject pertaining to building a better and/or prettier rod. But as soon as I broach the subject of repair I'm looked at like I'm some sort of weirdo that should crawl back under the rock from whence I came. The conversation now changes from enthusiasm to boredom with a faint trace of hostility thrown in for good measure. And not surprisingly, it is from these very same talented artisans that some of the most pitifully inadequate attempts at repair have originated. We as rod builders are usually judged as a group. If one very excellent rod is known to have been constructed by a custom rod builder, the general public sees ALL custom rod builders as producing the same thing. If one botched up repair job is known to have been botched by a custom rod builder, then ALL custom rod builders botch repair jobs. Repair is certainly not the most glamorous aspect of the custom rod builders' art, but it is becoming increasingly more in demand so it behooves us to recognize this fact and learn to do it correctly - or at least acceptably. ~ R. O'Quinn

Previous Rod Repair Articles
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

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