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I spray.  As I am doing primarily refinish/rebuild work and don’t have a lot of room, spraying works and makes sense for me.  I spray horizontal and hang-dry vertical.  While spraying, I use a nail driven through a block of wood to support the tiptop.  A cork collet made from an old grip is used on the grip/ferrule end to give support and a handle for turning as I spray.  I use Helmsman Spar Urethane Clear Gloss and rub out each coat except the final.  For color matched finishes, I blow using an Iwata finish gun on a compressor.  So far, so good.  (Ken Cole)


I have an airbrush and use it a lot for other hobby work. I was wondering if anyone has any experience in applying spar varnish using an airbrush? The one drawback I foresee is having to spray in a large open area since my spray booth is too small for a flyrod. This might result in a greater chance of getting dust and lint in the finish and in the long run it might be time to go ahead and build a dip tube.  (Larry Puckett)

    I've been spraying my rods for years, with an air brush. Had good results. Have very little problems with dust getting into the finish. Just don't spray a rod right after you've just finished doing a lot of work in the shop. Let the dust settle for a day. Then just go in the shop, spray the sections and hang them to dry in a cabinet  (Dave LeClair)


In the search for a flawless finish I've come to the conclusion that though my dipping arrangement does a good job, it's not flawless.  And truly flawless finish is that holy grail for which I'm searching.  I don't think "flawless" can come from a dip/drip tube.  There are simply too many variables.  In my search, I've decided to give spray finishing a serious try.  I bought an airbrush today and plan to learn to use it.  I know there will be a learning curve but wonder if any of you might be able to flatten that curve a little bit.  Might any of you who spray your rods be willing to share some basic information?  (Harry Boyd)

    I worked as a sprayer in my teens. The most important item is to keep the gun moving at all times. You will need some sort of booth and vapor management system, however crude.  (Gary Misch)

    I don't remember who it was but I recall someone in the know (professional body painter?) on the list saying that if trying for a spray finish that one should think of the application like flicking specks of finish at the rod, rather than what most consider spraying. This grabbed my attention and changed the way I viewed spray finishing (of anything) for, I think, the better.  (Carl DiNardo)

    In talking with other makers and in my own experience, I'm thinking more and more that the only way to get a flawless finish is with polishing and buffing.  One wouldn't think so, but it seems even the word "flawless" is in the eye of the beholder.  Anyhow, I'm doubtful that any of us can get a flawless finish through application techniques alone.  (Bill Harms)


This month, we have airbrush sprayed 2 rods.  I use a Badger air brush, in front of an open window with a strong fan.  I used a DuPont Automotive Gloss top coat (UV resistant, water proof).  This is a 2 part acrylic urethane (resin and activator), 3 parts after you add solvent to this it down to a sprayable viscosity.  The results have been mixed. One rod has one heavy coat, and one has 3 this coats.  They look the same.  The finish is clean, bubble free, very shiny, and does not need any sanding or polishing, but with magnifying glasses, you can see that it is very slight bumpy from the spray, and not as smooth as a good dipped varnish coat.  Next, I will try airbrush spraying Helmsmen's spar varnish.  Since it uses a slower drying solvent, it may level out better and give a smoother coat.  But it is thicker to start with, so may need more solvent added, and may require more sprayed coats.  I will let you know how that turns out.  (Jan Richards)

    I have been looking into spraying and done the research by talking to Tom Morgan, Jeff Walker at Winston, Dave LeClair, Bret Reiter, and several other spray gun users. Bill Abrahm on Clark's Board also has published a lot of good info.

    I have sprayed halfheartedly a few blanks around here, and I think that the technique has merit. My concern is for the danger of doing it. For instance, Tom Morgan told me he would tell me any secret he had but only after I promised to make a safe spray booth. I will compile all the info I gathered and post it to the List, but here are some things I would try to follow from the get go.

    -Wear a mask that is appropriate for your varnish.

    -Water based varnishes will be safer.

    -If you use oil based varnish, use a fan that is fire safe.

    Read a few things online about spray booths and you will see how dangerous just openly spraying can be. Atomizing those VOC’s and then breathing them in or exposing them to potential sparks is a serious risk. Some people who are having luck with spraying just have not had something bad happen to them yet. And I hope it never does.  (Bob Maulucci)

      I've tried the Tru-Oil spray and don't care for it. It is wasteful, messy, smelly, dangerous, and after one use the spray jet on top of the can clogged up. Anybody know where to buy NEW spray can jets by the dozen?  (Don Greife)

        At the Fine Woodworking web site there are several videos on spraying and spraying from cans. They recommend turning the can upside down and clearing the nozzle that way. I have a gravity gun, so I never tried this, but I think the propellant in the can would clear the nozzle.  (Bob Maulucci)

          Most (if not all) spray cans of finish say to turn upside down and spray to clear the nozzle.  I sometimes take the nozzle off the can afterward and put it in the correct solvent for the particular finish.

          On the other hand, I don't usually get a real good finish with spray cans...  (Neil Savage)

    I'd like to chime in on this.   I started custom painting motorcycles when I was a teenager and went on to owning body shops and custom painting vans, motorcycles, boats, etc with all the graphics, flames, and artwork "airbrushed" on gas tanks and helmets etc, etc.  A couple of things I'd just like to mention.  Breathing paint airborne fumes is definitely "Not" a good idea.  Most of the Automotive paints have isocyanide "sp" in them.  Think of it, closing yourself into a spray booth and then filling up that room with fumes and spray with a chemical they use in the "Gas chamber" - well not my idea of living well.  Spraying a rod is quite a different story though - less volume of paint and you're talking about "minutes" in spraying time of spraying a rod compared to "hours" spraying a car for example.  Use a good charcoal replacement mask or you can get those charcoal disposable masks as well.  A spray booth for "rods" is in MHO not really necessary - your garage would work since the amount of actual spraying is very nil - but I'd spray close to a ventilating door for sure that had a fan directing air out the door and don't spray by your "gas heater -  water heater" or open flame of course. You could have your drying cabinet close by and when done spraying pop the rod in.  I've actually done quite a bit of spraying in the garage when I was living home with my parents as a teen in the 70's.  An idea for a spray booth would be to get a stand up metal shed from orchard supply or somewhere like that - put your drying cabinet in there and all you'd basically need would be standing room in the shed, something about the size of a good sized outhouse for example would be ideal.  After spraying in the garage for a time at home my dad actually made me a shed out back cause the smell of spray painting (the amount I was doing) was actually creeping and finding it's way into the house.

    My feeling about airbrushes is they put out a pitifully small amount of fluid for my taste when painting a rod - I'd much prefer what's called a "small touch up" gun that's used in the automotive paint industry.  They atomize the paint real well, adjust for both spray width and amount of volume out the nozzle and would be "perfect" for spraying, they have about a "pint cup" attached to the bottom of the gun for paint.  I've used airbrushes extensively for painting skull heads on motorcycle gas tanks and Murals on vans and they work well but i think they're just slightly "undergunned" for actually spraying rods.  i'm sure they'll get the job done, I'm just saying if you got the "touch up gun" you wouldn't be sorry, Devilbis makes an awesome touch up gun and you definitely wouldn't need the new High volume low pressure spray guns for just spraying a rod.  The beauty of the "touch up guns" is that you can make one complete pass down the length of the rod while spraying and spray a rod one coat in probably "one minute" time complete before putting it in the drying cabinet.  (John Silveira)


Has anyone tried an airbrush or paint gun to apply finish?  That idea just hit me and I was curious if  anybody  had tried it.  (Lee Orr)

    If I am not mistaken Winston uses such a method and some other commercial makers have also.  (David Ray)

    Last fall (October) I visited Glenn at the Winston shop, and they do spray all their rods.  I have sprayed a few with and HVLP gun on low pressure. You have to know how to use a spray gun effectively in order to do a good job.  If I remember correctly Ahrend's also sprayed finish on rods.

    I am fortunate that I have a good friend who is world renowned as a restorer of antique Thunderbirds, and is going to help me complete my spray booth setup.  He is also going to give me good and wholesome instructions for my labors.

    My situation (low head clearance in my shop) prevents me from having a dip tube assembly.  With 7 feet of headroom a drip tube will probably even be inconvenient.  (Joe Byrd)

      I had the same problem here with a low ceiling. What I did is I measured the floor plan in the ceiling of my basement and made an opening that correspond to the inside of the wall on the top floor. The wife has never noticed this!!! Thank God she would have had my b***s.  It was either that or make a hole in the basement floor. Not much of a choice here! At the end of the board that enters the wall I installed a dead switch so that it cuts off automatically when it reaches the end.  (Michel Lajoie)

        When my SWMBO and I purchased new home to accommodate a relative there was a room in lower level that was to be a bedroom, which I confiscated for my new shed (shop). Had them put in 3' of 8" plastic pipe below concrete floor level to accept dipping apparatus, which is 10' high. New is good! Don't forget.  (Lee Koeser)

          My problem was that the water would have came through if I dug a hole in the cement.  (Michel Lajoie)

          Be careful if drilling a hole in your basement floor. In some houses there are pipes running under there. It wouldn't be good to break a water or sewer line. No, that is not from experience.  (Rich Jezioro)

    I have used helmsman urethane  in their spray can to do two rods. They came out just fine. One was too long for my dip tank and the other was an experiment so I just gave them two coats and went fishing.

    The spray helmsman is great on wooden reel seats. Two coats and they are beautiful. (Gordon Koppin)

    I have been spraying my rods with an air brush for years with good luck.  To me, it's a lot easier than a dip tube.  (Dave LeClair)

      Do you put the rod on a turner to do this?  (Doug Easton)

    I'd like to see what folks who use an airbrush are doing. I do a lot of airbrush painting and have a spray booth made just for that purpose, however it is not big enough to hold a rod section. Do those who are spraying just blast away outside somewhere and then rush the rod into the shop before it gets covered with dust and insects? The cost of a fan big enough to properly exhaust a room or even a large enough spray booth would seem prohibitive.  (Larry Puckett)

      At the Winston Shop they have a room that is about 8 x 12 with a horizontal alcove that serves as the spray booth where they lay the rod section for spraying.  The room is very well ventilated, and there are no open electrical connections of any kind.  They have a special device that the rod sections are attached to turn the sections after spraying.  (Joe Byrd)


I conducted a little experiment last week using a can of spray on Helmsman Spar Urethane,  clear satin. I would like to share the results with those who might be interested.  I sanded a rod blank to the enamel cleaned it up well and sprayed it with urethane, turning the blank I sprayed each flat twice and hung it to dry.  After twenty four hours I sanded the blank lightly with 500 grit paper, cleaned it up well with soap and water and let it dry. Next I lightly wiped the blank with mineral spirits and gave it a second spray with urethane. After 24 hours I checked the blank, no runs and no dust, no problems. After 24 hours I marked three flats and rubbed them down with Rottenstone and oil. The other three flats were sanded with 2000 grit paper with water.  After cleaning the blanks I gave all flats and good rub with 3M Finesse-it.  Results were better then I thought they would be with a spray on finish. The Rottenstone finish was very good but the 2000 grit paper finish was outstanding.  I recommended you get a can of spray, use it on an old blank and give it a try. You'll be pleased with the results and the little effort needed to achieve it. No dripping or dipping and no dust problems. No storage problems with varnish. No mess, just a good finish.  (Mark Dyba)

    I know,  I've been there.  I come from a  background of custom painting cars, boats, motorcycles, etc. - even airbrushing.  I've sprayed blanks and don't mind doing so. But spraying from a "spray can" produces a lot of buildup in my humble opinion. The next step up would be to invest in a small compressor. You could probably get a used one for 25 bucks and a small "touch up" spray gun, the kind with the index finger depressor on the top of the gun and a small pint cup for the paint. They spray a nice fine light finish much more consistent than a spray can and much less build up as you can thin the material down as you like.  Now I'm doing the rub on Tung Oil/shellac method for the least build up of material I've been able to come up with and like the nice crisp feel of the rod with the least amount of buildup.  I think this cuts down the weight of the rod a bit. (John Silveira)


The first rod I build I have brushed the second was dipped and now at the third rod somebody suggested to air brush the rod in a closed area. Has anyone experience with air brush and dipping and what do you prefer than. I ask this because I am pleased about the result of dipping and I am not sure  about air brushing.

I think that I have to apply much more layers with air brush then when I dip the rod because the thickness of the layers and I waste a lot of paint.

Hopefully somebody can advice me about final results if one way is nicer than the other.  (Jaco Pronk)

    You're right, you'll use more, but depending on the type of airbrush, not that much more. An expensive double action brush can spray down to about 1/16” or less.  A general brush like the Badger 350 usually won't get that fine so you'll have overspray. 

    DON'T spray in a confined area.  Have some kind of an 7 exhaust system.  The particles that get atomized and float around in the air can be harmful to your health.  A good mask isn't a bad idea either. 

    You can get amazing surfaces with an airbrush, but you've got to know how to use it and follow the safety procedures. (Terry Kirkpatrick)

      Airbrushing a rod sounds a great idea I have tried this over the years but always get diffused edges what size needle and head did you use and how much did you thin the varnish.

      I take it you only apply the last coat like this.  (Gary Nicholson)

        Airbrushes! In my not so humble (I'm honest about it) opinion are just a little bit too small for spraying rods.  Airbrushes as I'm sure you have seen are for painting T-shirts and "artwork" for the most part.  Maybe a plastic model car but even that's stretching it a bit (IMNSHO).  From my perspective I guess I'd use one if that's all I had and it would most likely beat a spray can (too heavy material spray).

        I feel the problem with airbrushes is you have to get too close and it's too accurate a spray pattern for me - what I want to do is hang the rod by the tip at about shoulder height then grab the ferrule end and hold it horizontal in front of me and spray one flat of the rod from one end to the other in one pass then rotate to the other flat and do the same till all flats are covered.  It just seems the airbrush would be a little more difficult to control to get even coverage and consistency - WOULD WORK THOUGH I'll give you that.

        It's gonna take longer to spray cause it's just lighter going in general compared to a "Touch up gun with the air depressor on top."  I can make a full pass on one flat in 2 seconds - rotate to another flat 2 seconds - rotate 2 seconds and I'm done.  Maybe it's like comparing apples to oranges.  (John Silveira)

          Spraying rods! I have sprayed some rods and like anything else, whether you be dipping or wiping on varnish, there are some tricks. Too often the way one learns is by screwing up. We all know this. here are some things that have worked for me.  If you use an airbrush, thin the varnish with the airbrush solvent. It seems to work the best. You have to thin until it does not splatter and clean immediately or throw the air brush away and dip. If you spray the best way to do it I think is with the rod rotating. If you do not rotate the rod I have found that spraying the flats does not work as well as spraying the edges, three edges, in other words, 2 flats at a time. I have found that it is better to spray too little than too much. It is easier to spray another coat than scrape some off.   The biggest problem with spraying is having an appropriate place to spray. Mask up! Unless you are a world champion pearl diver. Getting a lung full can be real serious, uncomfortable too.  (Timothy Troester)

            Mask up! ...unless you are a world champion pearl diver. getting a lung full can be real serious, uncomfortable too.

            Probably the most important thing in this whole discussion...  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

        Actually I've only used airbrush for other applications.  Mostly Acrylics.  I'd like to hear the results of others.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

          I have used everything from a spray can of varnish to a compressor with a Binks lacquer gun to HVLP and they all gave the same results.  Never tried a touch up gun like others have said they used.  HVLP was by far the less messy approach not much overspray.  Bernard Hills used to spray his rods using a small cup gun and a compressor. His rods finishes always looked pretty good.  (Bret Reiter)

            HVLP = High volume low pressure - it's the new wave of guns that are used these days introduced about early 1980's.   Great guns from what I understand.  I haven't used them personally.  What I hear of them is as you say "very low overspray" as a result of low pressure.  I venture to say they atomize the paint better as well.  Some of these auto paint jobs come out pretty glassy.  (John Silveira)

              Yes, we sprayed all our trim and doors when I used to be a contractor.  I have sprayed things at Notre Dame when we worked out there and never had to worry about getting it on other surfaces.  I have also used it in my own garage to spray rods and other items and no problems there.  Crap you don't even have to wear a mask.  I did though just because I have sprayed things, like custom cars and motorcycles since I was a teenager back in the 60's.  (Bret Reiter)


Has anyone ever  sprayed on a varnish instead of soaking in a tube? Just out of curiosity.  (Reuven Segal)

    I used to spray my rods in between the time I used to put the varnish on with my fingers and using a brush.  On occasion I still will spray one today but it wastes a lot of varnish & you don't want to do it close to an ignition source like your furnace or in an enclosed space that could cause any type of explosion.   (Bret Reiter)

    I've sprayed it out of a can.  Can't remember the exact details but I don't do it now, so I must not have found the results as good as I'd hoped. 

    Problems are: 

    Getting an even coat  The can isn't the best for doing that on a rod.  A gun or airbrush might be better.

    Over spray.  You'll get some overspray that can end up god knows where unless you have a good spray booth.   The other solution for this is to spray outdoors, which leads us to no. 3

    Dust and other contamination.  Unless you're in a clean environment the spray will either kick it up or pick it up.

    I've never tried with an airbrush.  That should work better.   But if you use an airbrush you'll need a propellant.  If you use a compressor, make sure you have moisture traps, or you'll get an occasional GLOB of water.   If you use  compressed gas, I'd suggest a CO2 bottle with regulator.  The little cans you get with a lot of airbrushed will run out just at the most critical time, and they don't usually come with regulators to control the gas flow. (Terry Kirkpatrick)

      I have sprayed and they came out fantastic. I used a little sprayer I got from Harbor Freight and connected it to my air compressor. I actually sprayed it outside and had no problems at all. It would be very easy to set up a spray box for a rod, similar to a drying box. The can spray sprays out to large of particles and can cause problems. I adjust the spray gun down to a small mist and go for it.

      To get an even coat just  rotate the rod as you spray. You can concentrate a little more or a little less depending on what it is doing. I taped the ferrule and guides and sprayed away. Not really any easier then dipping just different. I used Varathane 900 by the way. When all is said and done you can use some wet and dry paper and swirl remover to get the deep rich luster of wanted.   (Adam Vigil)

        All right!!!!!  A guy that knows how to spray!!!!  Yea - it's cool.   I've done a lot of custom painting with candy apple - metallics - metal flake - pearl - flip flop, etc, etc.  Spraying is just too easy in my opinion, I put a tip top on the rod and hand it from the tip. Then I hold the butt end section with my fingers - with a glove on because I'll get paint on my fingers for sure.  Then, I mix my paint real thin so the coats go on ever so slight - spray from tip to butt - rotate one flat - spray tip to butt - and so on - unhang and place in a dust free environment.  I've never really had a dust problem.  The Varathane 900 is good stuff.  If it weren't for cost I'd try some of the automotive paints.  Think about it,  auto finishes are out in the elements year after year some of the new finishes without even any wax and they last years.  

        Anyway, when the paint is thin it dries fast as well, 2 coats one day sand next day, and finish with 2 more coats. Polish if needed. Then I wrap guides.  (John Silveira)

        I have sprayed and they came out fantastic. I used a little sprayer I got from Harbor Freight and connected it to my air compressor.

        I've got the "cheap" Badger,  the kind with the bottle on the bottom.  Single action. (Actually I have more than 1/2 dozen airbrushes.  They just accumulated over the years.) I think that would do the best, once you got it tuned to spray the varnish.   Cleanup would be a snap.  Cleanup is always the most time consuming part of airbrushing or  spraying. "mix, mix, mix.  Spray.  Clean, Clean, Clean, Clean, Clean and Clean some more."

        I actually sprayed it outside and had no problems at all. It would be very easy to set up a spray box for a rod...similar to a drying box.

        I live on a dusty road and every little whisper of wind does me in.

        As to the spry booth, be careful.  an exhaust fan needs to be sealed to work with explosive vapors.  I used a bathroom exhaust fan in my booth but that was for acrylics.

        The can spray sprays out to large of particles and can cause problems. I adjust the spray gun down to a small mist and go for it.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    Yes, I've sprayed rods, it's quite easy.  It does take some equipment that can be had for under $100 probably.

    I've noticed full spray gun sets including hose and fittings at Auto supply stores for about $60.  It has the "Touch up gun " in the set as well, which is in my opinion the perfect gun to use instead of a full size production gun.  With the touch up gun, all you'll need as air pressure would be about 15 pounds pressure.  Probably less would work as well too. I think I remember I've sprayed at 10 lbs pressure with the gun.     

    Good advice about not spraying in a enclosed room too much unless you have a fan exhausting overspray and no sources of ignition (even  a light  switch flipped  on or the heater in a garage).

    I don't feel the waste too problemsome - varnish is relatively cheap.  I do feel I can finish a rod with less build up of varnish spraying opposed to dipping (probably controversial).  One thing i do like about spraying is the material can be thinned down enough that it dries quite fast.   When the material is thinned a lot your gloss won't be as bright, but a quick going over with polish will work great and fast as well.      

    Feel free to spray over wraps.  You can put a couple coats on the rod, possibly sanding in between coats with 1500 grit on the 2nd coat or so.   Then finish the rod, you have a lot of flexibility, I like to get the rod finished sprayed completely, including rubbing it if necessary, and then do the wraps with brush on varnish, that way I'm not spraying guides.  (John Silveira)

      Years ago, a local rodmaker named Rich Roseborough started to spray his rods with a BASF two part auto clearcoat polyurethane.  To this day, you can still smell the organic esters when he brings out the rod.  He has a rod from about 1981 that looks now like a crappy refinish job.  The grip is soiled, the guides are worn, but the varnish looks like day one.  Even hook digs are minimal in this hard varnish.  It is quite flexible though, as BASF first developed this product for the soft bumpers used in the 1973 Porsche Carreras.  The isocyanates in the catalyst made it deadly enough that Rich sprayed outdoors with a full coverage head mask with the appropriate filter cartridges.  Recoat was about 15 minutes, and the finish was fully cured in about 90 minutes.  Sadly, this finish is so hard to come by that I haven't seen it for sale in some time.  I have had some rods done with this and the varnish looks great - just don't get those sharp corners like dipping does.  We sprayed after the guides were wrapped and varnished. We used a Sata Mini Jet gravity feed touch up gun for spraying.  I think the product was RV86/RV87.  (Tom McDonnell)

        Yes I thought auto paint would be great.   

        From what I understand -  Isocyanates/isocyanide is what's used in the GAS CHAMBER !!

        Now you got to wonder about the breed of auto painters that close themselves inside a small room then spray the room full of isocyanide with them in it for about an hour!!!! Then they do this repeatedly several times a day.  What people do for money.

        Hey, you realize the 2 part urethane paint called IMRON is used to spray jet airliners.  It's claim is that it reduces air friction.  (John Silveira)

          I've been spraying automotive paint for 27 years, this might explain why I keep walking around in circles in a daze bumping into things. I thought it was from living so close to Maine Yankee nuclear power plant.  (Wayne Caron)


Well, after a lot of angst over whether to dip, drip, baste, or brush varnish on my next rod I decided  to  try  out  a  different  method -- spraying. I have a Badger internal mix, single action air brush and compressor that I have been using for 25 years so wasn't afraid to try something new with it. The tips on the tips site were pretty thin on this subject but Dave LeClair provided some info based on his experience. So armed with that, my own experience, some MOW, and my airbrush I gave it a test.

Instead of starting with a rod section I used a ledger stick that I made last fall using several wraps of various colors of unpreserved and CP'd silk wrapped on a 1/4" diameter cane garden stake. I diluted the MOW with plain old mineral spirits in a 60:40 ratio for the first try. Using a pressure of about 25 PSI I gave the stick a good coating and let it dry 24 hrs then applied another coat.

All the spraying was done behind my house on a calm day while wearing a respirator mask with organic vapor cartridges and goggles to protect my eyes and glasses. I then rushed the stick into the house and hung it to dry in an unused bedroom. It came out beautiful -- no runs, drips, fisheyes, or dust, and as slick as glass.

I then decided to try a different dilution ratio of 70:30 varnish to spirits. This went on fine although I did get one drip off the end but dried to a beautiful glossy finish. I suspect that with the 60:40 mixture the spirits evaporated faster and there was less to drip?

I was interested to see how thick the 2 coats I had applied would be so before doing the second test I had made some pencil marks on the cane as reference points and mic'd the cane. After drying, the increase was 0.002-0.003" or about what you'd expect for a couple coats.

One thing I hope you noted  was that I did not sand between coats. Some varnishes suggest sanding between coats and some say it is only necessary if it is more than 24 hours between the coats. However, that applies to brushing but I've never had to sand between spraying coats of paint or lacquer in the past so gave it a try with the MOW and it seems to have worked. What are the likely consequences of not sanding between coats on a rod -- any guesses? I assumed that when brushed on dipped/dripped on that the varnish would not adhere to the previous coat and leave streaks but this did not happen at all when spraying.

I plan to lay a coat or two on a rod tip this weekend as a first test on the real deal and if that goes OK then do the other tip and butt section. I hope to be able to fish this rod the week of May 10-15 so there will be more to come on the durability of this method of application later.  (Larry Puckett)

    Regarding sanding between coats:  On bamboo rods hat's mainly for Polyurethane varnish. Poly varnish gets VERY hard after 24 hours and succeeding coats don't adhere very well without sanding through the cured surface a little. If you recoat before the allotted time then you are OK. MOW doesn't do that.  Unless there is a new Poly MOW that I don't know about.  (Larry Swearingen)

    I have a friend that has been spraying rods along time and he has 2 recommendations. First is to thin the varnish with the airbrush thinner if you are spraying with an airbrush and second. Spray two sides at a time. Basically, he will spray 3 edges in a sweep not six flats, two sides at a time.   (Timothy Troester)

    Yes I have tried it off and on over the years. If you put the rod straight in your rod turner it will stop any drips forming. Or rig it up so its already in the turner after you have finished spraying just turn it on. Its a good idea to put a box around it to stop the bits in the finish. It's more work than dipping, so I just do touch ups with an air brush now. But good look with it.  (Gary Nicholson)


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