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replacing spinning rod handle

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is there a way to replace a handle on a spinning rod

Yes.  Clean up the blank (light sanding), apply epoxy to rod (I like U-40 Rod Bond because it is goopy and can fill voids), then put handle on and align.  If you buy a new handle, you will have to ream out the cork to fit right on the rod.  Quite often spinning reel handles are in multiple pieces (fore-grip, reel seat, and rear grip...sometimes a rod butt too).  Multiple pieces are attached in the same way, although it can make alignment trickier.  The most important thing though, is that you align the reel seat correctly (it will help to put a reel on it).

It is long and time consuming, but it can be done.

I read on the rodbuilding forum that soaking the handle and reel seat in hot/boiling water will soften the epoxy on a handle.  So a few years ago I did a bamboo rebuild for a buddy that I used that method for and simply soaked the handle in water brought to a boil, use a towel for your hand and slowly try to turn and pull  the reel seat and cork handle off the blank.  for the old bamboo fly rod it worked remarkably well.  then 3 years ago I had a handle set up on a factory spinning rod that my Shelty pup chewed up one night.  I tried the same method and after scalding my hands for over an hour, i realiezed that this method was nto going to work on my jigging rod.   I have done 1 more since then and this is how I went about it.

Usually start with a dremel grinder do a shallow split on the cork on both sides.  REMEMBER YOU ARE WORKING WITH A GRINDER NEAR A GRAPHITE BLANK!!!
If you don't have a dremel or don't trust the girnder hand, the first time I used a box cutter with the blade only out a little bit, scored the line then lingthened the blade going deeper till I touched the blank at the butt end, then just break the cork off, I use dull knife for removing larger chunks of cork.  Use the dremel or a hack saw to split the reel seat if that is being removed too, pry it apart and break it off the blank.  After the rough work you should be left with a nasty epoxy and cork covered blank. 

Where the original handle epoxy didn't cover all the graphite you get some bare graphite areas with coarse edges to the epoxy.  In these areas you need a sturdy sharp knife, put it on edge near the coarse epoxy break, you want to try to pry or chip the epoxy up with a knife twist.  Tedious and time consuming.... but take your time and remove everything that didn't bond well on the first handle.

Now you start the sanding, if you have a good eye and controlled hand you can use a coarser paper to start.  If not or once the larger sections of cork and epoxy are closer to the blank go to a very fine paper.  I keep a pitcher of water close at hand and dip the blank and wipe it down to get a clear view of your progress.  You don't need to take everything off but you are looking for a nice clean smooth look when you are done.  Remember that the epoxy is bonded to blank already and epoxy will bond to itself in areas where some are left.   

Easiest way to tell if you reaching the end of the epoxy and reaching into graphite is the color change where you area sanding but when you see some graphite (dull gray) start to show under the epoxy you have gone far enough.   DO NOT remove too much into the graphite or you start getting into the blank's wall and reduce the strength.  At the same time, do not leave thick built up areas of epoxy that will cause you to have to ream your cork/reel seat or arbors out to allow it to slip up the blank.  Remember you are starting the handle over the blank backwards already so you need to reduce anything that is larger in diameter that the very butt end of the blank.

When you are done , you should have NO cork, graphite blank showing through in alot of areas and the remaining epoxy should be a very thin layer that has smooth transitions from blank to epoxy.

From there it is a normal handle installation.

hope this helps


thanks for the help I will just have to find a handle

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