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When using a dip tube, what is the best method for keeping varnish off of stripping guides,  snake guides,  tip tops, and ferrules?  (Bruce Combest)

    Don't bother, it will come off where it needs to all  in good time.  Tape off the ferrules and dip it with the tip top up.  (John Channer)


For those of you who dip your sections at least once after wrapping your guides, is it necessary to protect/cover the guides in anyway so they don’t become covered in poly?  (Taylor Hogan)

    As the rod section is withdrawn from the varnish, pause for a few moments (30-90 seconds) at the lower end of  the uppermost wrap on a guide.  Pause again for a few more moments (60-120 seconds) at the lower edge of the  guide foot.  Here take a good look to see if there is a thin film of varnish.  If so, either gently blow it out with air, or "pop" the film with a thin straw, a dubbing needle, or a long toothpick.  Pause one more time, at the lower end of the lower  guide wrap.

    A very thin film of varnish will adhere to each guide.  Ten minutes of casting will clean that film away as slick as a whistle, and you'll never know it was there.  (Harry Boyd)


After finishing a rod using a dip tube, should the varnish be cleaned off the guides or should it be left on. If you recommend cleaning it, any tips on making it easy.  (Gary Jones)

    I assume that you pop "sheets" of varnish with a needle as the rod comes out of the dip tank, and all that is left is a coating over the individual portions of the guide. Leave it. Most of it will be gone within the first hour of fishing. If it is really building up, your varnish might be too thick or too cold.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    The stripping guide tends to hold varnish in the joint of the ring & uprights. I use some varnish remover/stripper on the end of a Q-tip and dab on the area, let set and remove with a toothpick. Makes it look professional...

    I use a water cleanup  stripper as its not as toxic.  (Chad Wigham)


Does anybody out there who dips their rods with the guides on?  Do you have any tools/techniques for removing the varnish from the eyes?

I've tried the sharpened piece of bamboo, but think there must be a better way  (Luke Bannister)

    In spite of my comments about disliking the whole idea I have actually done it. Swann-Morton no 3 handle, no 10a blade works.  (Robin Haywood)

      The varnish should be gone from the guides after the first time it is fished.  (Tony Spezio)

    Until some responses came in to your thread, I didn't even realize that anyone ever went to the trouble of removing varnish from guides. It will wear off very quickly, and is really not noticeable. Probably will be gone within a few hours of fishing it. (Jeff Schaeffer)

    Contrary to what it may say in some books, there really isn't any need to remove the varnish from the guides, the line will do that to the inside of the guides any way and the rest doesn't much matter. If you use black guides the varnish will just help keep them black.  (John Channer)


For those of you that dip with the guides on, what are some of the techniques used to clean the varnish off the snakes and strippers?  (Mark Wayne)

    As the rod comes out of the dip tube, I just touch a piece of cardboard to the guide.  It seems to draw the varnish off the guide and leave it clean.  Whatever is left on the guide is negligible and will come off with casting soon enough.  (Brian Morrow)

      That will work fine if you are pulling a rod out of the tube but it can't be done with a "Drain Tube"

      With a drain tube, the valve is shut off just below the guide and wait a few minuets for the film to break if there is a film. Then wait a minuet or so for the varnish to settle down to the varnish surface. What is left on the guides you will never see.  (Tony Spezio)

    I do one final dip after the guide wraps are finished. If I need to dip again, because of buggers on the finish. I use a thick paint/varnish remover and a small brush and I try to do this verrrry careful. Some scrape it off with a small piece of bamboo. I could never get this to work.  (David Dziadosz)

    My technique is, well, to do nothing.  The build up is little and if you fish the rod like it's meant to be, the varnish will wear off.  (Scott Bahn)

    Go fishing, take said rod!  (Joe Arguello)

    Don't bother, the fly line will clean off the important part pretty quickly, the rest just helps preserve the guides.  (John Channer)

    A little trick Ed Hartzell taught me was to use a book of paper matches.

    tear off a match and touch the fuzzy torn end to the corners where the guides and blank meet.  the rough ends suck up the excess varnish like a sponge.

    Any varnish over the middle part of the guide gets worn off with the first few casts.  (Chris Obuchowski)


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