I agree with Ron. I wouldn't use an alcohol burner near the rod for getting rid of bubbles.
It's better to be as "bubble free" as possible before you apply the epoxy to the blank.
If any bubbles show up while applying the epoxy, use a hollow coffee stirrer to blow on the individual bubbles to get rid of them.
And....if you are getting bubbles in the epoxy while applying it, you should maybe look at your technique. If you use a brush, the ends of the bristles on the brush are a sure way to get bubbles into the epoxy.