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What do you people make your ferrule plugs out of?

And if, like me, you make them out of waste bits of rod section, does anyone bother to fit a cork insert to the actual plug bit?

It seems to be a real bugger to turn down without  ruining the cork, as you are working here with pretty thin cork.

I  have some that a friend made for me out of Delrin, and while they are not nearly as cool as the bamboo/cork items, they seem more practical.  (Peter McKean)

    I also use "waste" bits of rod section and at first tried making cork inserts (a bit of a pain).  I strengthened the cork with a wire core.  I now just bore the bamboo piece and insert a hardwood dowel or piece of nylon turned to the proper diameter.   They work.  (David Van Burgel)

    I turn down a cut off piece of the rod blank drill it out and glue in a piece of 3/32" brass rod. Glue a piece of cork on the brass rod and then turn the cork down to fit the ferrule.  (Dave Norling)

      Thanks, Dave, but now that you have jogged the old memory, I believe that there is a drawing in an old Planing Form.

      What I have been trying to do is to turn down  the male section out of bamboo to about 200 -250 thou diameter, glue some cork onto that and turn the cork down to within about 15-20 thou of that. Makes a nice plug, very firm, very solid, but a real bastard to turn  the cork, obviously.  (Peter McKean)

      I've done it this way, and done them out of brass, as well as NS.  (Martin-Darrell)


All the ferrule plugs I see or hear about seem to be something with cork over it. Wouldn't a turned-down piece of cane blank work just as well?  (Henry Mitchell)

    A turned-down piece of cane blank would work fine for a ferrule plug, until it got wet and swelled; then you may not be able remove it. Also, it's even possible to swell enough to expand and deform the female ferrule.

    Did you ever have a problem getting a rod apart at the end of a fishing trip? That would be because the cane inside the male ferrule has become slightly larger due to an upwards increase in moisture, resulting in a slightly enlarged ferrule. Even changes of relative humidity inside a home can alter the size of ferrules enough to cause sticking.  (Ron Grantham)

      Ahh, and yet another reason to impregnate cane.  (Larry Puckett)

      I don't often make ferrule plugs because I don't think they are particularly useful.  When I do, I usually make them out of brass or aluminum rod.  They work great.  (Harry Boyd)

      I always thought the problem resulted from the omission of having James Payne run his fingers over the male ferrule and carefully file down all the high spots.  (David Zincavage)

      I make my plugs from the cutoffs of the butt section. Turned on the lathe to a precision fit, they look great.  (Chad Wigham)

      I've turned quite a few from cane sections. They work out well and look great.  (Dave LeClair)


How do you guys go about making a ferrule plug with a cork plug?

What is the take on cork Vs other materials?  (Stephen Dugmore)

    What works best for me is to glue a cork cylinder onto a nice looking wood ferrule plug. The cork works well because of it's compressibility and thus fits snugly into the female ferrule. I've also tried making whole ferrule plugs out of nylon, polyethylene, bamboo, wood and aluminum  but prefer the cork on wood as best.  (Ray Gould)

      Do you make up the cork cylinder and if so how do you go about it?. I have been considering turning an aluminum (or hardwood) plug with a smaller than required diameter spigot, gluing this into a wine cork with a hole drilled to the same diameter and then rechucking the plug and turning the cork down to size.  (Stephen Dugmore)


How do you guys prevent loss of ferrule plugs. I have some nice ferrule plugs I got from Golden Witch but I do not want to loose them the first time out.  (Doug Easton)

    The most common method is to drill a hole thru the top of the plug and tie a string through it and the loop on the bag, which also insures that you put the butt in the bag the right way up.  (John Channer)

    It's easy. In order to prevent rod breakage from car doors, driving away with the rod on top of the car, etc, my lifelong habit is to suit up first when going fishing, assembling the rod last. When returning to the car, take the rod apart first, and stick it in the tube in the car. That means my street shoes are in the car before I assemble the rod, and I toss the ferrule plug into one of the shoes. When putting the rod away, I always know exactly where the plug is. If I forget to put it in the rod, I am soon reminded. Never lost one yet.  (Tom Smithwick)

      Kinda like the princess and the pea...   ;-)   (Mark Wendt)

      A clever idea. However it is a bit problematic when you are making a rod for someone else.

      The little 4 wt Sir D that I made for my wife now has a scarf at the tip of the butt section. It was the first time she fished the rod and I gave her strict instructions that the rod gets into the tube before the waders come off. She quit early. Down came the back door of the Outback and I don't think that Marie Antoinette's head came off any cleaner. I am not sure she would remember to put the ferrule plug in her shoe. Thanks for the tip though.  (Doug Easton)

    I have a short elastic sleeve sewn into the rod bag – ferrule plug goes in there whilst the rod is out.  (Steve Dugmore)

    Drill a 1/16" hole thru the plug, side-to-side, and run an attractive cord (scrap of old silk fly line, e.g.) thru the hole, and square knot the ends to make a ring of cord.  Put a safety pin on your rod bag and pin the loop(s) to the bag upon removal.  Fancier method is to use a snap instead of the safey pin.  You can also use one long loop (6 or 7 inches) and pass it thru a grommet at the top of the bag as well as the one or two ferrule plug finials.  Obviously, you pull the plugs out of the sections before removing the sections from the rod bag (don't ask).  (Steve Yasgur)

      How about this train of thought - if the rod sections are taken out of their protective case - aluminum, wood, ABS, etc. - then removed from the nice clean cloth sack and immediately assembled, and the reverse is done when your days adventure is complete why are ferrule plug even needed, other than being fancy accoutrements?  (In 30 years of building and fishing plastic rods, before I got the calling and converted to bamboo, I never heard of ferrule plugs.)  The way I see it the biggest advantage of not using them is they never get lost.

      Am I missing something here?  Please enlighten this ignorant "newbie."  (Tom Key)

      I make salmon/steelhead rods that require a ferrule plug to be installed anytime the rod is in the tube. The butts have a mushroom butt cap and the ferrule plug makes the but section longer than the tips so the tips ride under the butt cap and not beside it.  (Jerry Drake)

    The obvious way to avoid losing your ferrule plugs is to do what I do -  avoid the temptation to get nice ones in the first place!

    I turn up cheap and nasty ones out of white Delrin, literally takes about 5 minutes. Murphy's Law practically guarantees that you will have them for life. But tart 'em up with a Huon Pine dolls head or some such and they're gone in a minute or two. If I followed somebody's advice and put them in my shoe, chances are I'd lose the shoe as well.

    It has absolutely no class, but Delrin does make a really good, practical plug.  (Peter McKean)


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