Installing a Tip Top on a Rod

This is my method for installing tip tops with hot glue on Salty Dawg Rods. I use this method for rods from ultra light class all the way up to heavy tuna sticks, the only times I use epoxy to glue on a top is for very large roller tops.

Installing Tip Tops

rod tip

First you’ll want to lightly sand the area of the blank where the top will be placed, this roughs up the area and gives the glue some tooth to grab, this is very important

rod repair

Next, with your razor blade, shave off slivers of the glue stick and insert them into the tube of tip top until it is full.

tip top

Next, heat the tube with the alcohol burner until the glue melts inside the tube.

rod building

Next, with a twist motion, push on the tip top and spin it a couple rotations.

rod tips

Finally, adjust the top to the position you want and with the spray mister, give a couple squirts of water, this will cool the top enough to harden the glue so it wont slip out of alignment when you let go of it.

repair rods

Let sit for a couple minutes and then you can peel off any excess glue that oozed out anywhere.

I have used this method on heavy tuna rods and rarely had a tip come off, the key is the sanding to give the glue something to bite, but if the top ever needs to be replaced in can be removed with heat without destroying the blank, which can happen if epoxy was used.


  • Properly sized tip top (should fit with very little slop)
  • Hi temp hot glue stick, (Flex Coat brand is OK, I prefer the stuff made for gluing arrow nocks and points)
  • Sharp razor blade
  • Emory board or 150 grit sandpaper
  • Alcohol torch
  • Small spray mister filled with water.

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How the seed was planted: My Step grandfather first taught me how to hand wrap rods in the late 60′s, mostly bamboo rods on a notched cardboard box and a phone book for a thread tensioner. I would do my own repairs and build an occasional rod over the years. Went to work as a sign painter working ...