In case you missed my previous article, I recently did a review of the Winn Grip Reel Handle Sleeves I picked up at the Fred Hall Show this year. While there, I also picked up a couple rolls of Winn Grip Overwrap to cover the beat up EVA handles on some of my rods. I was telling my buddy Jimmy Decker about the handle wrap, as we were heading out fishing one morning, and opined that wasn’t sure how it would hold up in the saltwater environment.
To my surprise, Jimmy pointed to a black wrap around the grab rail on his center console and said, “That’s Winn Grip Overwrap right there. I put it on there over a year ago and it still looks like new.” Scrolling back through the photos on my phone, I found this one from June of last year and considering that it looked exactly the same as does now, after at least 100 days on the water, I guess durability isn’t an issue.
After applying the overwrap to a couple rods and fishing them for a while I was satisfied enough to order a few more rolls to wrap different rods and some other things that I will likely cover in a different article. When I received the wrap, Winn Grips had also included a sample of their split grips. The grip they sent looked familiar enough that I went to my rod rack and found that I was already using them on two custom Rainshadow spinning rods that had been built for me. It’s funny, I really liked the grips but never gave any thought to who made them.
According to their website, Winn uses patented multiple polymer compounds to create a grip that’s tackier, more shock absorbent, and more comfortable than traditional cork and EVA foam. I couldn’t agree more.
Wet or dry, the handles are a lot tackier than any other handle I’ve used.
Winn uses the same Weather Resistant Polymer technology on their Overwrap, which features a polymer outer layer with a light adhesive backing. The overwrap come in three styles. Slim 66 is about 3/4-inch wide by 66-inches long and is suited for split grip baitcast rods and light spinning rods. The Standard wrap is just over an inch wide and offered in 96-inch and 44-inch rolls. The 96” roll is long enough to cover just about any handle application, including deckhand style grips. The third style is the Contour Wrap and it is the same dimensions as the 96” Standard Overwrap, except that it features a comfort bead in the center of the wrap to provide an enhanced finger grip.
Product Specialist Joe Dunkle at Winn Inc., advised me that “While our Overwrap is most commonly applied over existing EVA or cork; For a grip that is extremely light weight and less bulky than other grip mediums, a lot of anglers have been applying our polymer Overwrap directly to the blanks of their rods. The difference in weight is substantial, especially for a jig stick where surprisingly heavy cork tape is most often utilized. This weight reduction, as well as the tackier grip, translates into less hand and arm fatigue and overall more comfortable fishing. If your cork tape is looking a little cracked, I would recommend replacing it with Winn Overwrap”
As you can see in the video, the handle wrap is easy to apply and comes in a variety of colors and styles. The 96-inch roll will cost you about twenty bucks, which is an inexpensive way to upgrade a beat up rod handle or improve a brand new one.
But be forewarned, once you wrap one of your rods, there’s a good chance you’ll be wanting to wrap the rest.