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Greenhear rod restoration


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#1 Roger Fielden

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 11:17 PM

everyone
I have just nought two spliced greenheart rods on ebay, one a 16 foot Castleconnell rod from Enright and the other a 13 ft 6 inch Farlow. They are at Charles de Gaulle in Paris with Fedex and due to arrive down in Australia under soon.

I plan to fish them in Australia as well as take the 16 footer back to the River Shannon next year to reintroduce it to their salmon!

The rods need refurbishment and I seek advice as below together with the collected wisdom of the forum!

1 The rods are varnished and need recoating. What varnish should I use, or should I perhaps sand back gently and use oil such as linseed or similar.
2. The guides need replacing. Is there a source of older style guides partcularly the tip guide and the first guide which I am guessing may be agate or similar. As far as I can see from the photos of the rods the snake guides are very similar to those of today so I am hoping this is not an issue
3 The (red?) button at the base of the handle of the Enright is missing. I can turn a wooden one from hardwood easily enough but any other suggestions received with open arms!!!

Being spliced I am (slightly) less fearful of the greenheart drying out and breaking which they are known to do on male/female ferruled rods. However I am thinking of storing them in a humidor made from PVC pipe, sealed and with a moisture supply and of aging the rods in it for 3 months before use to maintain moisture levels in the greenheart.

Does anyone know if this is a stupid idea, if it has been tried before or whether there is an alternative approach?

Chucking the rods under a bush and letting the damp UK atmosphere do the job is not an option in sunny Australia.

Look forward to any suggestions on the above

Cheers

Roger

#2 splinters

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:07 PM

If it's a red screw in button you're talking about then Hopkins and Holloway in England still stock them.
http://www.hopkinsho...roduct_list/217
Scroll down to the bottom, they're 2.07.
I don't know about the humidifier idea, but I would have thought a rub with linseed oil would restore some moisture and oils to the wood anyway.
Then a few coats of good spar varnish to finish. I did a greenheart and hickory Hardy "the Guinea" with just spar varnish ten years ago. As far as I know the owner is still fishing it.
Good luck whatever you decide.

Regards,
S.
No sense in being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway.

#3 mdraft1

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:43 PM

Personally, I would not place the rod in a humidifier. The wood will acclimate to the surrounding humidity once removed. If the wood looks dry then perhaps a nice oil treatment would help. The easies way to refinish the rod would be to use Tru-oil. Once you strip the old varnish off simply put some oil on a cloth and wipe the blank, let dry for 20 min. and repeat 3-4 times. No need for old snake guides. New guides, generally larger, will make the rod fish better with modern fly lines. The only source for good agate stripping guides is Struble, but i'm not sure if they are still in business.

Sounds like a great project. If you can, be sure and post some pictures.

www.proofflyfishing.com

 

Your source for fair priced, high quality rod building supplies.  Snake Brand guides, cork, thread, blanks, rod finish, tools, etc...  


#4 fishbum

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 04:41 PM

Good agate guides do come from Golden Witch but great agate guides come from Joe Arguella in Colorado. I won't use any other but Joe's.

Jerry



#5 Roger Fielden

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE (splinters @ Oct 12 2013, 03:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it's a red screw in button you're talking about then Hopkins and Holloway in England still stock them.
http://www.hopkinsho...roduct_list/217
Scroll down to the bottom, they're 2.07.
I don't know about the humidifier idea, but I would have thought a rub with linseed oil would restore some moisture and oils to the wood anyway.
Then a few coats of good spar varnish to finish. I did a greenheart and hickory Hardy "the Guinea" with just spar varnish ten years ago. As far as I know the owner is still fishing it.
Good luck whatever you decide.

Regards,
S.


Thanks splinters. I tracked down the red button in the UK and have ordered. I chanced upon a gentleman in the US who has been giving me (much needed) advice step by step! It tallies very closely with your thoughts! There is little or no renovation of greenheart rods in Australia and only a handful of split cane builders. The US/Canada and the UK is where all the knowledge is!

Anyway the upshot is that I have abandoned the humidifier approach and used teak oil rather than linseed as it is far more penetrative having stripped the rod. The wood looks very attractive.

I will silk bind the snakes with spar varnish as you suggest and dress the finished with rubbing varnish.

I have recorked the handle and it is all starting to look good!

I dated the rod as being at its youngest being of 1894 vintage based on the address of Farlow changing from 121 The Strand (which is engraved on the butt button collar) in 1894. perhaps it is even earlier...who knows?

So the 16 ft Enright will be next when I finish the Farlow.

I will post photos in due course

Again many thanks

Roger



#6 blueline_junkie

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:20 PM

QUOTE (fishbum @ Oct 12 2013, 04:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good agate guides do come from Golden Witch but great agate guides come from Joe Arguella in Colorado. I won't use any other but Joe's.

Jerry



I second Jerry on this one. Joe's agate guides are all made by Joe and the quality is unmatched and the price is great too.
"There is no bigger fan of the fly fisherman, than the worm!"

#7 aracane

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:26 PM

You might want to check the snakes as they are probably British twist which is opposite what we use on modern rods. Hopkins and Holloway also carry both English twist and American patterns. The old guides may be tool steel and not stainless. You may use the black chrome instead. And they will not rust. Good luck and have fun refinishing and using them

Cheers!

Arne



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