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ProKote review


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#1 M. Elrod

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:36 PM

As of right now, this review will not be complete. So, this is just installment number 1. I will start from the beginning.

I recieved my first batch of ProKote. It comes bottled with yorker caps on them, and it also comes with 3cc syringes. Both of which are good. If you cut them correctly, you can easily use the syringes with the yorker caps for a no mess mix of a 6cc total or less batch, but the yorker caps make it very nice for larger batches too.

Mixing- The directions do not suggest heating the bottles, so I did not. The mixing took about 4 minutes, and there were a ton of bubbles produced during the mixing process. After pouring it out onto foil and letting it rest for about 3 minutes, the bubbles were gone for the most part. One exhale took care of the rest.

Applying- The viscocity really is a medium as advertised. It went on quite easy with nothing unpredictable occurring. The pot-life seems to be much longer than I am used to. I did not have to rush at all, and that was on a 7ft Mag Bass rod, with two label boxes. The viscocity of the finish hardly changed at all from beginning to end.

Here is my first concern (or dissapointment). I realize that there is a trade-off normally with extended pot-life, and it is the increased drying time. So far, the rod has been turning for 2.5 hours, and by checking my left-over mixture, I can tell it is not even close to ready to stop turing. I normally turn my normal finish for 3 hours to be safe, but by the looks of things right now, this is not going to be enough. Also, in the instructions it says to wait 24 HOURS between coats!!! 24 HOURS!? I read it twice, because I am used to having to apply the 2nd coat BEFORE 24 hours, but the instructions clearly state that you need to wait at least this long. I will make a judgement call in the morning based on my left-over finish.

I will write more when I know more. Hope this will answer any questions some of you may be having.
Matthew Elrod
Elrod Custom Rods
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Elrod Custom Rods

#2 M. Elrod

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:11 AM

Update. It has been 13.5 hours since I applied my first coat. The finish looks very good, BUT it is still a bit soft. I have been doing this a while, and my procedure from mixing, to temp, etc... is the same as I have always used. So the only variable is the ProKote. I think it is going to turn out very nice, but it is going to require a long wait for sure. Not good when working on deadlines, unless you are prepared in advance for 24 hours or curing between coats, and I am guessing at least twice that for a full cure for delivery... maybe 72 hours.

I am not being negative about ProKote, just giving my fair assesment so far.
Matthew Elrod
Elrod Custom Rods
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Elrod Custom Rods

#3 RJH

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:10 AM

It sounds to me like everything is working normally. Different finishes have different curing rates. Aftcote by Aftco is another one that has a long pot life and takes a longer time to set and then cure hard. Nothing wrong with it, Just a different formula. I would guess Prokote is along the same lines. The guys that need more pot life can get it but there will be a longer drying time. There is a trade off to every thing. More pot life, longer dry time. Less pot life, quicker dry time. You have to decide what attributes you value most and go that way.



#4 John T.

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

What is the temperature where the rod is curing? Personally, I try to get the temp to about 75 degrees, using TML. I apply a light coat in the evening while listening to the TV or stereo and by morning, it's ready for the final coat.
I received a catalogue with that as one of the items highlighted. Thanks. Will keep watching for more info.

John T.

You only live life once.  If you live it right, once is enough.- Mae West


#5 M. Elrod

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:38 PM

Almost complete...

I placed my decals about 16 hours after the initial coat had been applied. I let those sit and dry all day and I just finished applying my second coat. The finish did harden to the point where I could not leave a fingernail imprint in under 24 hours. The second coat went on even better than the first. I made a few adjustments. I allowed the finish to set a little longer before applying the second coat. I stated earlier that it went on like a medium build, I would like to retract that, b/c it is closer to going on as a light build if you do not let it set up a little first. Which is a good thing if you like doing 2 coats like I do. So, b/c the pot life is so long, it can behave like a lite build and a medium build. Also, the leveling is superb. My second coat was a heavier coat, and the finish behaved very well. I will know more in the morning. As far as turning time, I think 5 hours will be appropriate in a room around 72 degrees. I checked with Mudhole and they said you can add the second coat before 24 hours as long as the first coat has lost its tackiness. Overall, aside from the time to set-up (but as stated earlier, that is the trade-off for extended pot-life), I am pretty pleased with the product. One note I forgot to mention is that it does give off a bit more fumes than I am used to with TM and FC. Either I grew used to it, or it dissipates shortly after the initial mixing. One other positive. I hardly noticed any bubbles that I had to address. I will complete my review tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Matthew Elrod
Elrod Custom Rods
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Elrod Custom Rods

#6 M. Elrod

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:32 PM

Final Update-

This rod is in the books as is my first experience with ProKote finish. I will be using it again. The rod finish turned out very well. I cannot say that it is leaps and bounds better than TM, but I do personally like it better than FC and AmTak's finish. The leveling and clarity are very good. Unfortunately this is not my rod, so I will not be able to evaluate it long-term. I do have a personal build scheduled/planned in a month or so, so I will be able to evaluate the long-term characterisics better then.

Overall Impressions-
Very long pot life, and this viscocity can be altered with a little waiting, and you still have plenty of time to work with the finish even after it has thickenend up. Clarity is equally good, and thread penetration is very good early. I cannot comment how well it would penetrate after waiting, since my first coat was done with only a few minutes of rest given to the finish just to release bubbles after mixing. There was a signigicant reduction in bubble production during application. They were easily taken care of with a breath and heat was not necessary. Another benefit to the extended potlife/added curing time, is it allowed me to make small corrections up to 1.5 hours after application. Which brings us to the cure time... it is long. If you are in a rush, go with your TM hb or something similar, but if you have the time it is a very very good finish. I was a bit skeptical too, but i wanted to give it a shot. I love trying new products. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM or ask here. Thanks for reading. I will post the rod in the showcase section tomorrow.
Matthew Elrod
Elrod Custom Rods
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Elrod Custom Rods

#7 dtw

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:40 PM

Thanks for the review. I might have to try it at some point, no bubbles and very clear I will am curious about long term. Let us know when your personal rod is completed and fished with.

Thanks again
DTW
Thanks, DTW

#8 bugmannj

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 07:43 PM

I too tried the Pro-Kote for the first time and I have to agree with Elrod's evaluation. I also went with two coats and I really like the results. The only drawback is the cure time. Didn't have any problems with bubbles.

Larry
Good things come to those who bait.

#9 mpukas

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:38 AM

I just finished my first build w/ Pro-Kote, and I generally agree with the above comments. I usually use TM Lite. PK seems a little thicker than TML, but has a long and consistent pot life. Sometimes w/ TML, I have found that it will thicken as I get towards the end of the rod, and will mix a new batch to finish it (I keep a task light bent right over the top of the pot to keep the the finish warm and fluid while I'm working with it). I had minimal bubbles, and the clarity is excellent. I did three coats, each applied 24 hours apart, and light sanding of fuzzies in between. I got the best finish on the label area that I have ever gotten.

I don't have a problem with the extended curing time. I usually wait 24 hrs between coats, and at least two days after the final coat before running a line through. I had planned on doing three coats and scheduled the time to do it so I wasn't put out.

However, I had one odd thing happen. Nearly all of the thread wraps at the guides footballed on me. The closer to the rod tip and thinner the blank, the more pronounced the footballing is. For the the first coat I tried to use as little as possible, just enough to cover the wraps. The morning after the first application, I noticed that the ends of the wraps were exposed above the surface of the epoxy. I figured I didn't apply it evenly, so I sanded a little and put on the second coat, trying to level as best I could. The 2nd morning, same thing - the epoxy footballed towards the middle of the wraps and pulled back from the edges. A little sanding and a very careful 3rd coat - making sure that all the exposed thread was covered the the finish was all even and level. Final morning, same thing again - more footballing.

Right off the bat, I'm not gonna blame PK for this. It acts a little different than TML (but it is still just epoxy). Some things that come to mind: I may not be using the right application techniques for this product (or the best techniques in general); I may be getting a slight vibration in my turning set-up causing the epoxy to pool; the natural curve of the rod may be causing the epoxy to pool (I'm using a Pac-Bay turner and single support stand I got f/ Mud Hole). I've had similar problems w/ TM before, and not so much w/ TML. I'm wondering if I got more supports that held the rod more firmly and stably that I may avoid the footballing in the future.

Anyway, very good stuff - can't say that's it's any better or worse than TML. I like it a lot, but may use TML in the future. I ended up with a higher build than I like, but that is prolly more me than the product.

Cheers! mpp

#10 John T.

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:23 AM

Thanks for the evaluations on ProKote.

John T.

You only live life once.  If you live it right, once is enough.- Mae West




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