Tips on Rod Wrapping
from Start to Finish Fly Rod Building
by Ryan Seiders and Dan Smith
To protect your rod wraps, you will need a clear, durable protective finish. The best finishes are two part epoxies such as Flex Coat High Build or Flex Coat Lite Rod Wrapping Finish which remain flexible and protect the wraps throughout the life of the fly rod. Do not confuse "rod wrapping finish" with "rod builders glue", as they perform totally different functions.
NOTE: Flex Coat Lite has lower viscosity than Flex Coat High Build Finish. This formulation was designed for thinner coats. However, a thin coat can be achieved with both finishes (See Helpful Tip #12). More on FLEX COAT'S Rod Wrapping Finish.
It is helpful to rotate the rod on a small (6-200 RPM) gear motor while applying the finish. Most rod builders find it easier to apply finish at higher RPM.
In addition, it is best to dry the rod by continuously rotating it on a small gear motor. However, for a level finish, the gear motor should not exceed 30RPM.
If you do not have a small gear motor, the rod can be rotated 1/2 turns by hand as needed to prevent sagging of the finish. As the finish begins to cure, the rod will require less frequent rotation.
1. Before beginning, sight down the rod to make sure the guides are properly aligned. Minor adjustments can be made prior to applying finish.
2. Before mixing, be certain the Flex Coat A and B resins are at least above 75. If they are not, heat them by methods described in Helpful Tip #1.
3. Measure equal portions of resin (part A) and hardener (part B). Mix at least 2 cc of each part using a syringe or 10 cc of each part if using a measuring cup.
4. Combine the two parts in a mixing cup or similar container.
5. Mix the finish thoroughly with a non-porous stirrer. The mixture will initially appear marbled, then will become cloudy. As you continue mixing, the finish will begin to clear with visible marbled streaks. It is essential that you continue mixing until all marbled streaks have disappeared.
6. While rotating the rod, use a small brush to apply the Flex Coat to the wraps. Extend the finish slightly over the end of the wrap to completely protect it. After applying finish to all the wraps, inspect each wrap individually and apply or remove finish as needed to achieve an even, level finish.
7. Depending on the thickness of the finish and the room temperature, the rod should be rotated from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Flex Coat Finish will dry to the touch in approximately 6 hours. Avoid contact with the finished wraps for 24 hours. You may wish to apply a thin second coat of finish at this time. This coat must cover the entire first coat to ensure a uniform finish.