For years we have coached rod builders from all over the world on how to…
Rod Wrapping Finish Tips
Getting Started with Rod Wrapping
Flex Coat Rod Wrapping Finish is easy to use, but it does help to understand the working properties of epoxy finishes. Over the years, rod building experts have developed a number of helpful tips for using Flex Coat, as well as countermeasures for various situations which have occurred. The following tips are from “Start to Finish Fly Rod Building” by Ryan Seiders and Dan Smith.
Heating both A and B resins prior to mixing, aids in measuring, mixing, and application of the epoxy finish. Heating thins the two parts for more accurate measurements and aids in thorough mixing. This heat thinning releases bubbles trapped in the finish during mixing and allows the finish to soak into the wraps more rapidly. Heat the A and B bottles with a lamp, hair dryer, warm tap water or other heat source until the bottles are no longer cool to the touch, but not hot (about 80° to 90°). On warm days this will not be necessary.
Accurate measurements of resin and hardener are very important. Consider using Flex Coat syringes or graduated mixing cups to eliminate any chance of unequal measurement. If using a mixing cup, it is recommended that at least 10 cc of each part be used to assure accurate measurement.
To mix properly, measure the resin and hardener in a small, clear, non-porous cup. To mix the two parts, use rounded, non-porous stirrers, such as a disposable brush handle or plastic swizzle stick. Mix the two equal parts thoroughly until the mixture is completely clear (no cloudiness or streaking). It helps to mix in a well lighted area so that you can observe the mixing process.
To avoid very small milky bubbles, do not mix the epoxy finish rapidly. Avoid the use of paper cups. paper surfaces, and wood sticks, as these items will introduce small bubbles into the epoxy finish mix. Heating both parts of the finish prior to mixing will help to eliminate these bubbles.
If crazing and cracking of the finish around the guide feet becomes a problem, consider avoiding color preserver on the wraps that hold the guides. Also, make sure that you use equal portions of parts A and B in mixing the finish. (The component which makes Flex Coat flexible is located in part B—Hardener).
Bubbles surfacing at the base of guides and trapped under the finish can be popped by using low heat from a propane torch or other heat source. Flash the wraps gently with the heat source, taking care not to overheat the finish.
Avoid contaminating finish with silicone. Any source of silicone such as silicone in medical syringes purchased at a drug store or silicone on monofilament can cause the finish to fisheye or separate from the rod blank and wraps. NOTE: Flex Coat syringes are manufactured to strict guidelines and do not contain any silicone!
Unequal measurement and incomplete or poor mixing of the two part epoxy may result in an uncured, “sticky” finish. To correct, recoat the wraps, taking care to measure and mix thoroughly. A well mixed coat over a slightly sticky finish should cure the problem.
Occasionally a frayed end or stick-up of thread may project from a finish. To correct this, allow the finish to dry and then slice off this projection with your utility knife or razor. Recoat the wrap with Flex Coat Rod Finish.
The useable pot life of the Flex Coat mixture can be extended by pouring it out onto a flat surface of aluminum foil after mixing.
Yellowing of the finish can result from reaction with lacquer base color preservers, incomplete mixing, or unequal portions of resins A and B.
For the rod builder who likes an extra thin coating on rod wraps, there are three ways to get a thin finish. Use a stiff brush which will spread the Flex Coat evenly and thinly over the wrap. Heating will also thin the finish. Thinning with a solvent such as acetone or epoxy thinner also works. Between 1 and 4 drops of solvent per 6cc mix of epoxy is recommended.
Damaged guides are best removed by shaving or planing through the Flex Coat finish and thread down to the rod blank. Use care to avoid damaging the blank finish. If a color preserver has been used, the finish and thread will be easier to remove. If no color preserver was used, completely shave the thread and finish off. Solvents will not work for dried finish removal.
Flex Coat Color Preserver which has been frozen is no longer useable. It will solidify and will not return to a useable state.
Under certain circumstances (when stored in cold areas), epoxy resin part A will crystallize in the same way as honey. To restore the resin to its original state, heat the bottle in hot (not boiling) water. Note: This crystallizing absolutely does not damage Flex Coat Finish.
If you do not have a rod support for finishing, cut small “V’s” into the top of a cardboard box to support the rod while finishing.
Flex Coat rod finish works best in a room temperature of 65 to 90 degrees F.
Syringes should not be cleaned. Unmixed resin will not harden. Store the syringes with the plungers pulled up to midpoint to prevent sticking. Keep the syringes in small separate containers for further use. Clean brushes and other tools while the epoxy is still liquid using acetone, lacquer thinner, epoxy thinner, etc. Do this outdoors or in a well ventilated area.
Flex Coat products are available through most rod component suppliers. If you are unable to locate what you need, call us for the name of your Flex Coat dealer at Flex coat Co., Inc., (512) 858-7742. If after reading this material, you have rod-building questions or comments, please give us a call. We enjoy calls, questions, and suggestions from rod builders.
This Post Has 21 Comments
Got sloppy putting on the Flex Coat and got some inside the male and female ferrules between two section so now my four piece rod is a three piece. Is there a way to dissolve that epoxy w/o ruining the rod?
I had a guy bring me a rod w/ the same problem. I took my heat gun and heated the ferrule end while turning the rod, it finally popped loose. i then cleaned the ferrule ends w/ denatured alcohol then used some 600 grit wet/dry sand paper to further clean out the female ferrule and it worked just fine. Good Luck!
I’m about to do a two coat finish on a rod, the first coat thinned 5%, here you suggest leave first coat to fully cure 24hrs before next coat. On your ‘how to’ video it’s suggested you can repcoat after just 2.5 hours! Am confused and want to ensure second coat ‘keys’ to first coat. Please enlighten me!!
how do i fix uneven finish?
Howard-You can re-coat in 4 to 6 hours. The finish needs to be rotated for about 2 hours and full cure in 24 hours.
Brandon-You can fix uneven coats by sanding or carving off the high points and recoating or just recoat and it should self level. Don’t mess with the finish too much, just get it on there, get it somewhat smooth and let it self level.
For uneven finish you can carve and shave the high points and then re-coat.
The finish fully cures in 24 hours, however you can re-coat in 6 to 8 hours with no complications.
Heat can help break the hold of the epoxy, but the problem is that you don’t want to damage the other components involved or the blank. You may be stuck with a two piece rod.
Just looking to get an opinion on how should I go about fixing blemished coats and coats with dust at the surface? Will it be ok to sand down?
I was thinking starting with 300-400 grit and working my way up then re-coating. Or should I attempt to strip the coat and wrap and salvage the guide then re-do?
Great question. I would use a series of files because files shave off material and sandpaper scrapes and scratches. Filing will work the best and help take down the high points. Clean off with compressed air and wipe down with a cirtus based clenser. When re-coating, mix the Flex Coat as normal and then let it sit in the cup for about 10 to 15 minutes, then apply the finish to the filed area, don’t over work it. The finish should level better and use a torch to pop bubbles, aid in adhesion, and lock in level. Questions, call 512-858-7742 and ask for John
Can I apply flex coat lite to a bigger section of the butt blank?
Hi I am from Sri Lanka and have used flexocoat for many years for repairing my rod guides. Today when i took out my old bottles which are about 10 years old I found the resin has hardened. Is here any way to soften it to use at least for an emergency application till I get new stock in. Getting new stock to Sri lanka can take weeks or months with the current covid lockdowns.
Part A can crystalize. You can see if the Part A crystals will melt in a hot water bath. Then it should work again.
The best way to do this I need some help Old steel fly rod that it looks very good everything is their. need a little no how .
Can you use the thread export to finid8the whole rod im trying to get that slick smooth finish like you get from the store
Yes, but this will add weight to the rod and dampen the action. If it is a large offshore rod its not a big deal but will be on most other rods. Look at using a spray on clear coat that is meant to coat plastic from you hardware store in the spray paint section. This will give you a good look and no added weight.
Call us 512-858-7742
I finally got around to putting finish on guides again…..I mixed parts longer and and warmed it up…..finished great ..not sticky like before…..thanks fof the help
I just finished second rod guides….followed the same instructions …put new mix over previous sticky finish and it cured great….all hard and non sticky…..one rod to go and I’m finished,,,,thanks for the support !
MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) has worked in the past for removing the epoxy from small mistakes on our projects… available at many hardware stores. – Doc