A few LJs have expressed an interest in a few of my fishing rod restorations and I promised to write a blog about the black palm rod in particular, so… here it goes.
Living on the Gulf Coast and having an appetite for both Redfish and goofing off after work I accumulate fishin rods. On a foray to the local flea market I found an old bait rod with a wooden/ rotted handle so abused I felt the need to adopt it, have its teeth fixed, give it a haircut and put it back to its lifes’ purpose.
The reel seat was an old bent, oxidized pot metal relic that was wrenched apart from its wooden scrap handle to join the pitted,cracked foregrip in the trash bin. I then took a razorblade to the string wrappings holding the bent, cracked and partially missing guides. I now had a nice fiberglass stick. The inkling that the handle for this rod was approximately the same size as a certain black palm turning blank (14”x1.5”x1.5”) I had squirreled away for some future project…. came to me. I measured the length of a brand new Pacific Bay 20mm reel seat, 6”.... I put the black palm on the lathe between centers and cut the foregrip end and then the handle end to taste. I measured out 20mm on a pair of calipers and proceeded to cut the center of the blank down to a hair under 20mm x 6”. Once the final polish was done on the blank, I hacked the pieces apart with a hacksaw on a slowly turning lathe in the center of the 6” section so that the ends would meet inside and at the center of the reel seat, then placed the foregrip in the drill press with a 1/4” bit and drilled into the foregrip about 4 inches deep. Using 5 minute epoxy I secured the handle in to the reel seat , sliced a groove along the length of the foregrip where it would seat into the reel seat (to relieve air pressure when pushing it into the reel seat), applied a liberal amount of epoxy and slid the foregrip home. I then applied the same epoxy to the bottom 2” of the rod blank and seated it into the foregrip. Once all of that dried I mounted the rod on a rod lathe to apply underwrapping for the guides (yeah, I know overkill on a bait rod..but hey…most bait rods only cost $10 anyway..this whole project borders on rediculous right?) Once the Flex Coat was dry on the underwraps I took a small roll of two part putty epoxy and kneaded a small snake of it out about 3”x1/4” until it was beginning to tack up. I coiled this epoxy snake around the forward end of the foregrip and smoothed / tapered it down the rod toward the tip as a homegrown ferrule. Once the ferrule was dry, I coated it black with a Sharpie, let it dry and then Flex Coated the whole rod, overwraps, rod and ferrule. When the Flex Coat was nearly tack free, I mangled the finish with fingerprints. I took all oif the shine of the Flex Coat off and made the ferrule look just like plastic! Of course I used water and finger pressure to eradicate all fingerprints from the tacky ferrule. Let it dry for about 12 hours , put a reel on it and go make orphans out of a few minnows!
The only reason I posted these rods is because I know… I just know, that there are folks just like me hunting an excuse to do something fun with a lathe and some beautiful wood with no regard to practicality.