A SIMPLE WAY TO INSTALL ROD GRIPS
You don't have to struggle when it comes time to install rod grips on your blank. I've been using this Rubber Cement method my entire career, more than 35 years. I started using this process in the early days of Hypalon grips, when they looked more like rubber hose material rather than rod grips. So, I guess what I'm saying here is that not only is this the best method I've ever known, it has also stood the test of time. I know there will be those who question its durability — but I certainly do not.
I've used this method for so many years that I almost laugh to myself at the horror stories I hear in detail about guys struggling to install Hypalon and EVA rod grips. I've never had to experience those nightmares.
What follows is the most simplified and effective way to install foam-style rod grips. I'm confident that for the majority out there, using Rubber Cement, a basic household product, along with my method will surely be a game changer. You'll save an enormous amount of time and money as a result.
On the butt end of your grip, form a beveled edge by removing the sharp 90-degree inside edge with a razor blade.
This will allow the Rubber Cement to form a bead so the grip can ride a wave of cement the entire length of the blank. The sharp edge will form a squeegee if not beveled and remove the cement when the grip is pushed onto the blank.
Find the spot where the grip comes to rest on the blank without any forced stretching and make a reference mark on the blank at the top end of the grip.
Coat the area of the blank where your grip will eventually be located with your favorite epoxy or adhesive.
Move the grip out of the way and begin to dribble rubber cement liberally on the blank from the reference mark, about halfway down the blank.
Slide the grip down into the beginning area of the rubber cement and twist the grip and blank so you completely coat the inside of the grip with the cement.
Once the inside of the grip is well coated, slide the grip into place using one long fluid motion. The grip will slide down with very little effort compared to other methods you may have used in the past.
The Rubber Cement does not affect the adhesion of the epoxy used to secure the grip onto the rod blank. After a few minutes you can roll the excess Rubber Cement off the surface of the blank and toss it.
There will be virtually no residue left to clean up and no need to use harsh chemicals to remove the residue. Since there is no epoxy in the exposed areas, you save a good bit of time.
For more information on rod building, visit the Custom Rod Builder's Guild at www.rodguild.com.
Jim Trelikes was born into the sport fishing industry in 1963. His father ran a sporting goods store with a heavy emphasis on fishing and hunting, and Jim found himself hanging around the shop from a very early age.
“There were always one or two guys working in the back doing rod-and-reel repair and basic custom rod building,” Jim says. “At the age of 12, I was helping my dad around the shop and during the slow times I began puttering around the work benches to fight the boredom. It was then that my pop noticed I was taking to rod wrapping like a duck to water.”
Jim used rod building as a creative outlet and he ended up buying out his father's business partner in 1989. Jim and his father ran the business together until his father passed away in 1992.
“My desire to focus on the rod building outweighed my desire to be a businessman,” Jim says. He sold the business in 1997 and has focused on building custom rods ever since.
Jim says sharing information with other rod builders on the internet, such as the BD Rod Builders Forum, has helped his creativity grow by quantum leaps. “The young rod crafters out there have no idea what sharing online does for your education and growth in this craft,” he says. “It's an amazing tool we all have at our fingertips.”
Jim is a proud member of the Custom Rod Builders Guild and a frequent contributor to the Rod Crafter's Journal.