How do i restore a 60 yr old fishing rod?
I have a wooden 12 ft sea fishing rod i would like to restore.( a project for my 14yr old man cub and myself) It is in 3 sections of the same length. made of a very close grain dark red wood, (not a split cane). It weighs 35 oz`s including the remaining brass Ferrell’s and existing eyes/line guides.There is no reel keep/seat but signs that the reel seat sat approx 26 inch from butt end with a hand grip at the butt end. The brass feralls are fubar and the line eye`s/guides/runners are silver/chrome but showing signs of age, eg like green verdigris on copper.Non of these are with ceramic inserts.The top section has 7 runners,mid section has only 2 runners, 23mm & 30mm(apologies for metric! man cubs metric,i`m old school imperial ) The rod had been expertly brush painted in a bronze/copper colour. What type of paint and best way to apply to this rod?The original whipping is black. Can`t think of any more info i can give, besides the fact we`re both learning how to whip rods!
Wow…..You’ve got a job and a half on your hands.
You can get some very good but expensive lacquers and varnishes for rods and more affordable types..
If the wood looks good after sanding, a clear varnish will make it look even better, done right. If it’s not so eye-candy-ish, well, a colored lacquer or varnish may be best.
Whichever way you want to go it’s a long job , and of course if a real nice varnish pops into your sight on the shelves and stands out, well, maybe it’s telling you something….daft thinking but I’m not 14 any more…..logic doesn’t have to be logical for everything we do.
Sand off the old varnish or lacquer, inspect every inch of the wood ….Oooops!….every 12.27mm… for cracks or other damage. Fix up any damage however slight. Stitch in time.
That’s the first week of spare hours gone. Slow and steady, no point rushing this sort of job.
Recycled ones., some hopes…it just means something else not done….always plenty of that anyway.
A very fine sandpaper followed by fine grade steel wool, good brush off everywhere with a stiff brush, wipe off with a spirit-dampened cloth to remove any oil or grease traces, and re-lacquer or varnish with 3-4 coats minimum leaving a day at least between each coat and sanding down real smooth with fine sandpaper before the next coat goes on.
Builds up a treat and gives a classy superior finish that way.
Furniture is best replaced with modern stuff. It’s an awful long job getting bits properly cleaned and with rings especially it’s better to have bright shiny new ones than fixed-up old ones. You’ll have matching rings all the way up then, and you’ll be able to trust them. There are lots of types so just choose as takes your fancy, but big enough for the job and positioned so you get the line running smooth and straight all the way through the lot of them on the way out and with the rod flexing the way it’s designed too on the way in with a 12-pound bass (OK,we can dream) which is almost impossible if you’ve never had it in use before.
The flexing that is, not the bass…beginners luck might just just work a treat first time out.
New rings won’t always have the same depth…stand-off from the rod—as the old ones had so you might need to choose new positions for one or two of them if you can’t find rings that closely match the originals for dimensions.
Whipping thread can be got in all sorts of grades. You can get thread varnishes and glues or use superglue very sparingly and varnish over it, maybe in a contrasting color….might look good, depends what you can find. A small jar of proper varnish made for the job will be handy for other rods too.
Where there’s one….just takes time and then there’s two.
Ferrules can be tough decision time. Leave them on if they only need a slight clean and it’s a smooth fit with it’s mate and in real good condition after a clean with wire wool or cut gently through them, carefully prise them off and get new ones. They’ve normally got a cement under them, so it’s a slow careful job. Brain surgeon time.
Copper cleans fairly easily but if the verdigris is deep or the metal is wearing thin or is too distorted for a simple fix, well, it’s cutting off time. More time gone, but nothing beats a proper job. With bare wood all the way you can do a nice neat job of the sanding and varnishing.
Have a look for any sign of an identification on the rod. The more info you can get the better you can fix it up as it was.
That rod seat for example. You can get a few types to fix on to suit different reels. Get the best you can find. With time and money invested in the rest of the rod, no point cutting corners.
Some are pricey for what they are. Some you can make yourself with a couple of rings.Consider the balance, appearance, and what type of reel you are going to use, and of course the line of rings you intend to fit.
The whole course of the line from the reel spindle to escaping from the rod into fresh air and adventure and coming home again should be as smooth and efficient as possible, so a large drawing and some notes would be very helpful to work from. Wallpaper comes in more than rod-length sizes and a very cheap roll of it is very handy for drawings for rod building furniture making, hobbies, craftwork etc. 50c or $1 from a thrift shop if you’re lucky.
At 14 he’ll want it done in a day I suppose. Bet on a couple of weeks at least till it’s done and another week after that till you’re fishing with it with hardened enough lacquer or varnish. Don’t test for hardness on the rod. Varnish something else the same as you did the rod, for a test piece. Just an inch or or whatever on some scrap wood, end of a broom handle, whatever.
When your fingernail doesn’t make an impression on that bit the rod is ready.
Have a great time.
There are loads of forums to read and get tips….even roller tips for rod ends,haha…and sites for rod building and repairs.
http://www.latestcatch.com/?q=node/265 . . . . . .
http://rodbuilding.org/read.php?2,221931 . . . .
http://www.ukfisherman.com/for-sale/tackle-and-bait/822-rod-bits-fishing-rod-building-components.html . . . . .
http://www.rodbuildingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=23193&mode=threaded . . . .
Check list for building a fly rod but useful to read…PDF
http://www.rsff.org/uploads/info/Fly_Rod_Building_Instructions.pdf . . . . ..
Switch Rod Overview