View Full Version : How do you determine the wt. of a rod???

01-13-2010, 02:25 PM
I am new to the sport and my buddy is looking to start joining me in some trips together. He has an old beat-up fiberglass fly rod that that was his dad's or granddads. He says that he has used it many times fishing for crappie and that it worked fine. The reel looks like it is in okay working order but the fly line looks terrible and needs to be replaced. He wants to use this fly rod for awhile before he invests any $$ into new gear. How do you know what wt. line to purchase if you don't see the wt. of the rod labeled any wear??? If I had to guess I would say its probably a 6wt. Also....

The cork handle is chewed up and my buddy wanted to know if that is replaceable. I know it is but where would I go about doing this?

01-13-2010, 03:10 PM
If you think that the rod is a 6 wt., you can try loading new backing and a 6 wt. line. I was told by an Orvis rep that you can go up or down one wt. in a fly line from what the rod is rated for. For example, I have a 6 wt rod with a med flex tip, and I will switch back & forth between a 5 wt. and a 6 wt. line depending upon the circumstances. I would try it and see how it casts. IMHO.

For a replacement cork handle, I would look for websites from rod building companies. It may involve some trial & error to find one. Have you done a search on this Forum? With all of the knowledge and experience of the members, I'm sure someone can help you out.

Tight lines.

01-13-2010, 06:11 PM
The best way to determine the weight is to cast multiple fly lines on it until you find one that casts the rod the way you want it to at the distance you want it to. That was the easy explanation I would take it to a fly shop and start with say a 4wt. Most likely thiw will be too light to load the rod properly at the distance you will most likely be fishing. Take that off and try a 5wt. Work your way up until you feel like the line is too heavy or over loads the rod at the distance you plan on fishing. Go back down a line weight and that is the line you would want to buy for that rod. I have a 6 ft rod that I use everything from a 3wt to a 7wt line on but most of the time I fish it with a DT4 line.

01-13-2010, 06:16 PM
As far as replacing the handle, take it to a fly shop and ask if they know of a reputable rod builder that does restoration work. They would be experienced in removing the reel seat hardware and the old cork handle without damaging the blank. I live in Birmingham and build rods but I haven't done any restoration work. Their is a difference and even if the rod is a piece, you would still want someone that could do a good job. I would imagine if you wanted a new grip installed on the rod, you would probably pay someone around $75+ for their time and materials so you might ask him if it is worth the investment. If he doesn't want to spend that much money, I could tell you how to do it and you could try it yourself. It isn't very difficult. You just have to take your time.

01-13-2010, 10:15 PM
thanks for all the great info.

Given the fact that the rod is worth about $5 i don't think i would be a wise investment to put too much money in the thing. And I'm sure he will only use it about 6-8 times before he realizes that he wants to pick up some better equipment. But if a replacement cork isn't too much that might be the best idea. Might be fun to give it a shot.

anybody know of any websites where I can find replacement cork handles?

01-14-2010, 09:45 AM
You will still end up paying between $20 and $30 for a new cork grip after you add in the shipping but the installation is easy. The tricky part is getting the reel seat off without damaging it and then removing the old grip. The most common way of removing the reel seat is to put it inside of a plastic bag and sumberge the reel seat in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Pull it out and try to pull it off. Repeat this a few times. If it still won't come off, you can pull it out of the boiling water and dunk it in a pot of ice water. Do this a few times and it should break the epoxy seal and come right off. To remove the cork grip, do whatever you can to remove it without damaging the blank. I would probably start out using a sharp knife to whittle it down fairly close to the blank and then sand the rest off. There is no magic trick to breaking the bond with the cork because it dissipates heat so well that heat won't work. Once the cork is removed, it is just a matter of gluing the the new grip and old seat back on to the rod. You will have to ream the cork grip so it will fit on the blank but that can be done with a round file that you can pick up a big box store or hadware store for pretty cheap. Here are a couple of links for inexpensive preformed grips:



01-16-2010, 11:19 PM
If you can't find anyone local to do the cork handle restoration you might consider shipping the handle senction to Ken Prager ( http://www.whiteclayoutfitters.com/m_17.asp?pa=m_17 ) . Ken is a custom rod builder and does very good restoration work. His pricing for restoration work is very reasonable and less than you might expect.

If you decide to replace the grip yourself you might look at the butt section and consider removing the old handle/installing the new handle without removing the reel seat. You can do this quite easily if there are no line guides between the handle and the butt section's tip--often true on 4 piece rods.

01-17-2010, 05:39 PM
The grip on a fly rod is slipped on over the smaller end. You would have to take the guides off to do this. However.......you can carefully remove the old cork and glue, being careful not to damage the blank. Cork rings are cut in half, each ring sized to its position on the rod and glued in place. Then you sand the bejabbers out of it to whatever shape you want.

01-20-2010, 06:20 PM
Along the lines of what Knothead said. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a sheet of cork ($2). I cut it into rough squares a little bigger than the handle would be. I got a piece of brass tube that I knew was about the size of the blank and sharpened one end of it a little. Any small metal tube will work. I then laid each piece of cork on a piece of wood and punched out the hole in the center with a hammer and piece of pipe. I Carefully cut a slit from the center hole to the edge of each piece. I taped off my blank from where I wanted the handle to end toward the end of the rod a little to keep from getting epoxy on it or scratching it. Then carefully open the slit and slide the pieces over the rod blank and down against where the old handle that you sanded off used to sit. I dabbed a small amount of super glue between each piece before pushing them together. After about every 4th piece I would work some epoxy down along the shaft and into the gap between the shaft and the cork. I worked my way up to the tape I put on earlierand made the very last piece kind of custom fit so it would fit snug agaisnt the blank. Let the epoxy dry completely and sand to shape.

Note: If it's a multi-piece rod and you can take that first eye off you can skip cutting the slits and just slide the pieces on. In that case you can make you a pretty wind check out of a srap piece of pretty wood.

Good luck!

01-20-2010, 06:28 PM
I'm assuming that the old fiberglass rod in question is a two piece and would have a couple of guides intefering with the replacement of the grip. It would be easier, in my opinion, to remove the reel seat hardware, reem the cork grip out enough to slide over the butt end of the blank and then epoxy the reel seat hardware back on. A winding check could be placed in front of the cork grip if the reemed out cork leaves a gap between the blank and the cork.

01-20-2010, 07:51 PM
Another option might be to sand down the existing bad cork till you get to good cork. Then you should be able to add cork tape to build it back up to comfortable diameter.

01-21-2010, 12:50 AM
cork tape?

Where can you find cork tape?