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I drained a rod for the first time last night with guides on and I have a couple  of questions.   My first  4 rods  were wiped  with Tru-Oil, so this is new to me.

Several weeks ago I drained and sanded two coats of Helmsman Spar on the sections, then wrapped the guides and finished them with 4 coats of Varathane Diamond Spar.  The wraps have been dry for about two weeks.  Last night I drained the final coat of varnish on the sections and hung them to dry.

Tonight they look really nice.  The varnish has dried well on the rods except the wraps.  The wraps are still quite tacky.  Is this normal?  Do the wraps usually take longer to dry than the rest of the rod?  Or am I getting some kind of reaction between the Varathane and the Helmsman?  (Aaron Gaffney)

    Were the wraps really dry and hard before you did the final coat? In the future one way to make sure is make up a  50:50 mixture of Japan Drier and varnish and apply that to the wraps - they'll dry in a few hours.  (Larry Puckett)

      1) if the wraps weren't dry after 2 weeks, they were never going to be.

      2) I have heard of problems  combining  oil-base  and polyurethane base finishes.  It seems to me that one can be used over the other, but not the reverse.  I can't remember which was which though (senior week).  (Neil Savage)

        Poly and oil varnishes both contain oil, and either can be used over (or under) the other. Poly forms a tougher film, however, and, except for building coats on translucent wraps, it doesn't make a lot of sense to apply a hard film over a softer one. Also, oil varnishes can be re-coated even after the film begins to cure, as the overcoat breaks down that surface and forms a chemical bond. Not so, the poly, which needs to be sanded after its surface has cured - making a mechanical bond. The bond is equally strong, but there's very little (if any)chemical reaction.

        You may be thinking about compatibility issues between shellac and varnish.  (Bill Harms)

        I have done polyurethane (Pratt & Lambert R10) over McKloskeys Spar Varnish with no problems.  (Martin Jensen)


Well it's time to fish if the weather would let that happen here in western PA it would make a lot of people happy including myself but not much you can do about the weather.

So I am finishing my last two rods before taking a break for the summer.  I have just finished putting the second coat on the guide wraps.  I used to use the balloon method for finishing my rods so the guide feet would be the last thing I would do and of course I had to apply varnish between the guide feet it just looked more seamless.

So here is my question.  Now I use a drip tube and I am wondering what you guys do.  I have been putting one coat before dip it seems to help fill the air gap under the feet. I know it’s a silly question but was curious. So do you use none, one, two or more?   Any reasons too or not too do it this way.  (Rick Barbato)

    I apply up to five coats of Formby's wiped on the blank and steel wool between coats.

    Wrap, varnish wraps with Helmsmen till wraps are filled and drain one coat with Helmsmen. It works for me. (Tony Spezio)


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