7: Finish

 Finish-tools   The Finishing step for first rod, 6 wt Traveler, is complete. It started with the materials and a means of slowly turning the rod. I used High-Build Flex Coat, which is available at Elkhorn. It comes with the syringes that allow you to mix precise amounts. High-Build allows you to completely finish the rod in one coat, but I have always used several. When I do the 4 wt rod I will try Lite Flex Coat. It is formulated for lite coats of finish. I have a rod turning motor that runs at about 6 RPM. These can be purchased online, and there is a system at the shop that might be available for use.

Finish-woFinish material placed directly on the thread will darken the color. If placed on white thread, the thread becomes transparent. This is often done on bamboo rods. The color can be maintained by first applying a color preserver, also available from Flex Coat. See the dramatic difference in the two photos featuring the Elkhorn logo. It is a matter of taste, and I chose the more subdued look.


I have to admit to having wraps come loose, especially when they are the first wraps on the rod tip, and that section has been moved around my work area. Before re-wrapping these I placed a coat of finish on all other wraps to lock them in place.Finish-wrap

Remember having very short thread stubs remaining after completing a guide or ferrule wrap. This is how we fix that problem. Clip them off after the first coat, and they disappear under the next. Thelast problem to address is bubbles in the finish. Mixing with the plastic end of a brush helps prevent them in the first place. If they still appear, an alcohol flame or hair drier will heat the finish while the rod turns, and these bubbles will disappear as well.Finish-clip

Two remaining posts are planned. One will cover the completion of all three rods with a summary of techniques I have found either valuable or to be avoided. The other post will cover repairing a rod. In this case a recently acquired Shakespeare bamboo that needs a guide replaces along with a ferrule re-glued.

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