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I was wondering what kind of glue everyone uses to glue blanks and why, I'm trying to decide what to get and keep changing my mind.  (Tim Stoltz)

    Epon, no pressure, you got all night to get it bound and straightened.  It's messy, but what isn't that's any good  or fun. It also has pretty much an indefinite shelf life, Bill Fink reports using Epon that was 10 years old without  any problems.  (John Channer)

      Epon here, too, though not a common mixture. John is correct that the resin has an indefinite shelf life. Some of the curing agents require more care, such as keeping them tightly sealed, but most stand up to time quite well, also. Epoxies are amazing adhesives, and I've used them quite a lot in my life, for various things, not just as adhesives but FRP's, coatings, etc. The Epon residue isn't difficult to remove while uncured, use white vinegar, and I scrape it off after 24 hr. without much problem. It must be thermo-cured to achieve maximum lap shear strength. I also use urea formaldehyde for the production rods. It is simpler to mix, remove the residue when uncured with water and the rest scrapes off easily when cured, doesn't require the thermo-cure, cheaper, and is damn strong.  (Martin-Darrell)

    Hide glue or URAC, or Weldwood sometimes.  Hide is the easiest stuff to work with, especially if you are gluing a lot of sticks at a time.  I use the hide glue you mix, not the stuff in the bottle.  It is stronger than necessary and is easy to straighten with heat that will not scorch cane.  Look at the stresses hide glue withstands in the bridge of a 75 year old steel string guitar.  (Chris Lucker)

      I'd like to add that it is not toxic, I have had enough skin irritation from URAC in my life, and that hide works well in situations where you use two glues.  For example, URAC for splices or laminating Port Orford Cedar to bamboo and hide for gluing the blank.  When you use heat to straighten, the hide glue will soften before the URAC, thus preserving your splices or lamination.  I build  EC Powell-style rods, so ease of lamination is important.  (Chris Lucker)

      I was thinking that the stresses on a guitar bridge would be strictly downward, in column (IE: compression, due to the tension of tuned strings).  But, perhaps these strings, when PLAYED by the musician, would indeed cause sheer stresses on the bridge.  Anyhow, you main point would seem to be that hide glue holds up in a fly rod, and that's what matters to me.

      As to the "debunking" business, I was alluding to our common assumption (whether correct or not) that, for purposes of creating a strong bond in BAMBOO, nearly all our modern products are superior to the hide glues.   That assumption contends (again, whether correctly or not) that, because of the material itself,  it is more difficult to obtain a good glue joint in bamboo than in any of the common wood products.  And, further, that with the small glue surfaces and high stresses placed upon them (in a fly rod), nothing works as well as our modern synthetic products.

      Now, if these assumptions just aren't true, I think it would be of great value to this list (for example) if we were all given a little primer on "the truth."  This matters to me, because all the modern glues have some drawbacks, either in ease of use or toxicity.  Hide glue, as you describe your experience with it, however, seems only to be limited by its inability to withstand severe conditions of heat and/or humidity.  I, for one, could live with that.

      By the way, those makers who are still binding with hide glue surely are a silent bunch!   Apart from you, I haven't heard about even one of them.  I wish they would speak out.  (Bill Harms)

        The strings on a guitar are constantly trying to rip the bridge off the top of the guitar that's why we luthiers have been using hide glue for hundreds  of years, nothing works as good or is reversible. It's strength is pretty impressive, takes 300 pounds per square inch to pull apart. It's the only reversible glue there is.  (Patrick Coffey)

    They will all work satisfactorily. If you are just starting, I recommend a glue with a long open time, like Epon. When you get proficient, a faster setting glue will be OK. I like resorcinol, but it doesn't give you much leeway if  something doesn't work well, like binding cord problems. You can remember all the words that are not polite in public when your binder is having problems, the glue is sticking your fingers together, and the binding cord is glued to your fingers and to the wheels of the binder, and the telephone is ringing.  (Steve Weiss)

      Resorcinol is dark in color, an effect some people like. It will show you if you have to make improvements on planing though, i.e glue lines.  I use URAC from Nelson. I learned from Garrison's book, its what I always have used, never thought about changing. I have not found a reason to.  Its easy to work with, clean up is no hassle, its cheap.  Only downfall is relatively short shelf life.  Some builders will tell you they've used URAC that's 5 years old.  I won't use any that's over 1 year.  I store it in the beer fridge in the basement.  I get a quart in the fall and throw out the rest in the spring. (I don't build in the summer).   (Tom Ausfeld)

        Although I do keep URAC in a refrigerator, I agree with Tom Ausfeld, URAC is cheap enough to buy a new quart every six months and trash anything older than 6 months.  I'd rather not run the risk of any problems.  (Bob Williams)

          Keep in mind however that the Formaldehyde in the glue is a powerful carcinogen. I  would only keep it in a fridge that had nothing else but maybe some beer.  (Marty DeSapio)

            I read in possibly Wooden Boat that formaldehyde has been taken down a few pegs in the carcinogen scheme of things and it's now only considered dangerous if not handled properly like don't eat it or eat while using it and don't sniff it kind of thing.  (Tony Young)

          There is an easy way to test glue and it should be done if you haven't used it for a couple of months once it's a bit long in the tooth and that's to test it to destruction using two pieces of wood about 1" x 1/2" and 6" long. Glue them end for end for about 1-2 inches at either end, wait for the glue to cure fully, stick one piece in a vise then hit the other with a hammer and do a post mortem on the results. If you have something like 50% wood failure on both bits of wood the glue is fine. If it failed along the glue line drop the rest of the glue in the rubbish bin.  (Tony Young)

        I'm a relatively new builder and am experimenting with Titebond II. I have used it in limited experiments at full strength and 50/50 mixture of tap water and glue, building nodeless. I have had scarf failures with the 50/50 mixture and none with the straight mixture. I have a noded blank glued up with the 50/50 mixture but it is not finished.

        I would say if the rods last 20 years I am successful (I'll be 81 at that point). So Tom, if you come across one of my rods then you can have your ferrules back and know what the gluing agent was.  (Jim Tefft)

          I started using Titebond II  about the time it first hit the market. I was a little dubious about its suitability, so I called the Technical Department and had a long talk with the chemist who formulated the product. One thing he told me is that Titebond II cannot be thinned more than 5% without losing adhesion. He suggested that even the 5% thinning was not really good practice.. 

          I have glued dozens of rods with this and never had a delamination failure. I find that I can straighten rods using Titebond II if I don't get in a hurry. High temperature, quick heating = glue failure, scorching, and delaminations later. Low temperature and slow heating = an excellent result.   (Ralph Moon)

          P.S. It is kind of like the analogy I made a month or so ago. Think of it as steak. You can eat one that is charred on the outside and still kicking inside. Or you can have an evenly well cooked steak. You call it.

            The thing I like about Epon is that I can keep tinkering with it till it is straight before it sets up. I rarely need to do any heat straightening.   (Dave Norling)

              Can Epon be used without the heat-curing step, or does the heat only speed up the process?  (Bill Harms)

                The heat-curing not only speeds up the process of curing, from 7 days to 4 hr., but dramatically improves the  lap shear strength of the bond. Does this matter? Who knows?  (Martin-Darrell)

                  Does this apply to 828 as well as 826 using 3140 catalyst? Discussion from a year or two ago indicated that 828 didn’t' require heat treating, and I haven't done so. No problems, but it's early days yet.

                  I've tried to analyze the data on the epon web site, but I'm a chemical illiterate (except for the various compounds that floated around in the early 70s. :)   (Bill Hoy)

                  It's not so much that it requires it, but it doesn't hurt. It seems to me that virtually any of the adhesives in prevalent use are sufficiently strong enough to provide the bonding required for our needs. Having said that, the PVA types of glues are the last thing I would ever consider for rodmaking, yet there are a number of people using them without bad results.  (Martin-Darrell)

          Diluting glue seems to me to be a very dangerous practice.  Diluted glue gives you, perhaps, a more workable viscosity, but this is obtained only at a terrible price.  I don't know what actual mechanical tests might show about reduced strength, but I think that ANY sort of reduction in the strength of a glue bond would be unacceptable.

          I have no chemistry, but common sense tells me that introducing molecules of water must, inevitably, have the effect of separating the molecules of glue from one another -- thus, greatly reducing the amount of actual glue that remains in a joint.  When this diluted solution dries, the evaporated water molecules will leave behind only (now) sparsely populated molecules of glue to do all the work -- and, given their distance from one another, these will be far, far less able to  crosslink.   Hence, I  believe that  the sheer-strength of such a bond will have been enormously compromised.  (Bill Harms)

    I used to use URAC but recently switched to Titebond II Extend water based (white glue) wood glue (not poly). URAC had a shelf life of only 8 months or so and even then I noticed some glue failure when trimming tips. Also I wasn't nuts about the toxicity of the stuff. With Titebond II extend I could dive right into the stuff and the joints (so far) are extremely strong. Only drawback is it is not as heat proof as URAC although it is heat resistant. I heat straighten using less heat then  with URAC.   (Marty DeSapio)

      Interesting.   I went the other way -- from the Titebond to the URAC.   But only  because  of  the  straightening  process  after glue-up.  I had a few rods show small areas of delamination when I  wasn't hyper-vigilant about the heat. The extremely narrow margin of error just seemed to be too critical for me to be confident that all my joints were good.

      But I think that Titebond itself is great in all other respects.  Have you been able to work out any special safeguards in straightening?  (Bill Harms)

        Yea, I get it as straight as possible while wet. If need be (and there always is) I heat very slowly and work slowly bare handed. I probably heat to only 150 degrees at most.   (Marty DeSapio)

        You didn't ask me, but....I've found that I can straighten sections glued with Titebond II Extend  using a hair dryer instead of a heat gun. Heat guns of course get much hotter and could easily break down the glue, but I've never had a problem with that using the blow drier. Just a standard 1300 or 1500 watt unit, usually set on hi, sometimes medium for tips.  (Barry Kling)

      URAC has a shelf life of at least two years if you keep it in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F.   Then its good until you get "lumps" forming.  (Ted Knott)

        More info about the URAC shelf life.  I use Casco Resin which I'm told is the same thing as URAC.  A company technician told me that UF resin is "working" from the day it is made and has a shelf life of about 3 months at 70 degrees.  The shelf life doubles for every 10 degree drop, so shelf life is 6 months at 60 degrees, 1 year at 50 degrees, and 2 years at 40 degrees.  Even then the tech said that only if it was getting  lumpy should I worry about it.  I just glued up a rod with resin that I got last fall.  I have never had a glue failure with Casco resin (over 50 rods).  (Ted Knott)

    I use Epon epoxy. It has a long open time, a long shelf life, is very strong, shear resistant, water proof, etc. It is also easily available. The only issue I am looking at now is the difficulty straightening after the glue is set.  (Steve Trauthwein)

    With URAC, if the working time is a problem, then you can always mix a batch for the tips, and later a second batch for the butt.  I can't think of why all sections must be glued up on a per batch basis. 

    My intentions are to glue up all sections with a batch and that is what I do, but if a belt breaks, or I need a lot of time to straighten a section for some reason, and I think the glue in the cup is getting a little stiff, I'll just throw it  out and mix up a fresh batch for the remaining sections. 

    My binder is not very refined and I like to spend a little extra time making sure everything goes smoothly and I get the sections as straight as possible before it sets up. The last group of six tips and four butts that I glued took no less than three batches of URAC. No panic or hurry.  I keep it in a refrigerator now and use it for about six months  after purchase, and by then I'm getting low anyway.

    I like the fact that this glue burns up a little more moisture in it's curing process, at least that is my understanding of URAC.

    By the way, can someone expand on the toxicity of this stuff?  I haven’t requested a spec. sheet on URAC so I don't honestly know what specific dangers I am subjecting myself to other then I know I shouldn't use it as a steak sauce. 

    The idea of wearing latex gloves while trying to tie knots at the ends of a section as glue starts getting tacky is intriguing, but I'd like to take a pass on that unless someone who is a doctor or chemist tells me I'm going to get cancer of the hands.  Any advice?   (Chris McDowell)

      Can't answer your question about toxicity, but I have used URAC a couple of times and it seemed to begin to dissolve my  latex gloves, making them unworkably sticky.  (Barry Kling)

        I don't have any trouble with the gloves.  What I use don't come from a medical supply house, rather they come from an auto parts store.  They are Spontex Vinyl gloves, Low Powder, are relatively thin, although not as thin as surgical latex gloves.  They are made for Food prep, Health and beauty industry (ever smell those beauty shop chemicals... if they won't melt these gloves, a little Formaldehyde isn't going to), arts and crafts.    If you can't find them locally, Spontex is in Columbia TN... don't have a phone number for them, but it shouldn't be hard to get off the net or from Directory Assistance.  (Bob Nunley)

        Latex gloves are virtually worthless when using any solvating organic chemicals, as most will either degrade them, or permeate them. 4 mil. Nitrile gloves are the only thing I would recommend, and even then you may get some degradation with extended use of the same pair.  I read the MSDS on the UF, and the same precautions apply to it as with epoxies: don't wear it, don't eat it, and don't breath it. Simple enough. Prolonged, willful violation of any of the three will eventually result in a systemic sensitization.  (Martin-Darrell)

        When I was epoxying on a daily basis I used to put barrier cream on my hands and use gloves as well. The idea being a tear in the glove wasn't as bad as if there was no barrier cream which made the glue a lot easier to remove in exactly the same way you use soapy water that is allowed to dry on a camp fire pot so when you wash the pot the smoky residue from the fire comes of easily.  (Tony Young)

      My trick with latex gloves is to put on two or three pairs at a time.  When they get too bad I just peel them off as needed.  This can get you out of a sticky situation fast.  (Jim Harris)

    Nyatex. You can take all the time in the world to glue and straighten, let it sit for 24 hours, then heat set.  If you take off the binding string before heat setting it, you don't have to sand it off.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    Guess I am the odd man out here! I used to use URAC, but switched to Titebond PU a year ago and have had no problems so far. I do wish they would come out with a longer open time version though.  Comes in small enough batches that I always have fresh glue and it's readily available 15 minutes away unlike URAC which is very hard to come by here in Nova Scotia (or Canada for that matter!)   PU is way easier to remove afterwards as well, just my 2 cents worth.  (Shawn Pineo)

    Epon.  I don't have to hurry.  I use Titebond II for splicing when I build nodeless.  (Onis Cogburn)

    I have used Epon and with all the usual qualifications, have found it good.


    I have been using one of two PU glues now for several rods, and I can't fault the stuff; good working time, sticks like shit to a blanket, easy enough to clean up, responds in a predictable way to application of heat, easy to strip off the string, sands well.

    It may be in a hundred years,  or twenty, that it isn't doing its job, but there is no reason at this point to assume that will be the case.

    It's very, very good glue to use,  and produces blanks that are stiff  and true.  (Peter McKean)

    My gluing experience has been primarily with URAC and PU.  I used URAC for a long time and may go back to it.  I just recently however, used up my first  bottle of PU/Gorilla glue.  I really like many things about PU but I plan to try something else next   Here's why.  When I get a glue line, PU, with it's foaming action will fill this gap with micro bubbles.  I have to use magnification to see them, but they are there.   I'm very concerned about this 'foam' down inside my rods filling the micro spaces between splines.  I've had no PU failures yet.  I just don't trust it for the long haul and that's enough reason for me to move on.  I plan on trying Titebond II Extend next.  The simplicity of a strong, one part glue with a shelf life appeals to me.

    My .02  (Jim Harris)

    Used URAC 185. Kept in fridge well over a year. No problems. Glued 2 pieces of wood together with same batch as rod, both wood and rod stayed together.  (James Bailey)

    I use Epon. I like the long working time. It allows me to glue several blanks at one time and still have plenty of  time for straightening.  (Harry Boyd)

    I started out using URAC 185. Works great, particularly if you sift the walnut flour catalyst through a nylon stocking to get rid of big particles that can create gaps.  URAC is easy to mix and apply, cures in 4 days at room temperature, and you can clean everything up with water. You can order pints from Nelson Paint in Michigan. One disadvantage is a short shelf life - about 6 months.

    I learned rodmaking from Wayne Cattanach, who uses Nyatex epoxy. The main reason I don't use it is the minimum order size is 5 gallons. Way too much for an amateur like me.

    On my last 3 rods I've use Probond polyurethane. You can buy it anywhere, it lasts forever, doesn't require mixing, and cures quickly. It's very difficult to clean up. If you get some on your hands, it's almost impossible to wash out - you have to wait a week for your skin to peel!  One thing you need to do is moisten the strips before you glue them, since the PU is activated by water.

    Overall, I think PU is the best choice. The one "unknown" is how it will hold up after 20+ years of use. For that reason, I used URAC for a rod I recently made for a friend. For my own rods, I'll use PU until I see a problem with it.  (Tom Bowden)


I was wondering what kind of glue everyone uses to glue blanks and why, I'm trying to decide what to get and keep changing my mind.  (Tim Stoltz)


I'm looking at being able to glue up my first rod in a couple of weeks so I have started thinking about glue.

What are your glue recommendations and why? 

I've read some on the tips section about URAC and EPON.  I like the sounds of EPON, but since I've never used any type of rod glue I'm open to any suggestions.

Also, where do I order glue from.  I'm assuming its not something I'll be able to get locally.  (Aaron Gaffney)

    I like Epon - long shelf life and good, 2 hour pot time.  Epon 828 and 3140 Hardener (as well as many other formulations) can be ordered from Miller-Stephenson in Danbury Ct.  To save you a nickel here is the toll free #: 1-800-992-2424.  Ask for Lynne, she's nice.  One caveat, since they are an industrial wholesaler you'll have to make up some kind of Co. name (I like Fubar Rod Co.) :^) to get it.  Don't worry Lynne will walk you through it.  The stuff used to be ~$25 qt. for each but I think a few months ago somebody said they are now selling it in pints.  Also, they used to give 4 oz. free samples for $5 postage - you might inquire this of Lynne if you only want to  sample it.   (Darrol Groth)

    A lot of us use polyurethane glue - specifically Elmer’s "Ultimate Glue" which used to be called "Pro Bond." It's readily available in small quantities from home centers and hardware stores, requires no mixing, takes a long time to set up so you have plenty of time for straightening, and I've never had a rod delaminate.  (Tom Bowden)

    I'd recommend Gorilla Glue for a reasonable set up time, local purchase and great strength.  (Ed Berg)

    Here is where I pick up URAC from.

    I also use resorcinol and this is where I buy that.  (Dewey Hildebrand)

      Whoops, forgot the why answer.

      I just prefer the UF glues. I have used them since I started and like working with them and the results. No earthshaking info there, though.   (Dewey Hildebrand)

    My $0.02:  I like resorcinol on a flamed rod, but my planing is somewhat less than perfect, so it leaves visible glue lines on a blonde rod.  URAC is a) a lot less expensive; b) less likely to cause skin sensitization; c) doesn't seem to show on either a flamed or a blonde rod.  I've only used Urac once, under John Long's tutelage, but it seems to me to be a better choice.  Both clean up with water until they set, then neither cleans up with anything I know of.  If you go with Resorcinol, I'd suggest Nitrile gloves.    (Neil Savage)

    I use Elmer's Ultimate Glue.  It is a PU.  It has a long working time and you can buy it at Home Depot.  Gorilla Glue  works too, but the Elmer’s costs half as much.  I used Titebond's PU and almost glued a blank to my binder it set up so quick.  (Lee Orr)

      I use Titebond II extend and have had no problems.  Open time is about 15 minutes.  I have tried Titebond III and it works well but with a short (8 minute) open time it is hard to straighten the blank.  I happen to like the nontoxic ease of use with the Titebond glues.

      The question I have is about the PU glues.  I am a long time woodworker and have only been building rods for a couple  of years.  However my experience with PU glues and woodworking is the foaming issue.  It seems that for woodworking purposes you really have to clamp the joints tight or the foaming action seems to push the seam apart ad gives a visible glue line. So when you use PU glues with a string binder (I have a Garrison type) do you have to bind tighter than with other glues and is there a way to keep the foaming to a minimum?  Thanks in advance.  (Tom Mohr)

        I thought the foaming, pushing apart the strips, would be a problem. But in practice it doesn't seem to be.  I use a 4-string binder and "normal" pressure on cotton upholstery thread.  With a 4-string binder you get a lot of wraps, and even though each one doesn't have a lot of tension, together they bind  really tight.  Also, although I've never really compared them closely, I've got the impression that Gorilla glue foams more than Elmer’s. (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

          I have compared the Gorilla glue to the Elmer’s and the Gorilla glue definitely foams more and as a result I've only been using the Elmer's PU Glue for everything I use PU glue for.  (Bill Walters)

        PU seems to foam more if there's more moisture in the pieces to be glued.  I try to dampen my projects only minimally in the winter and in the summer may not dampen at all.  Southern Michigan has quite a bit of humidity in the summer, seems to be enough.  (Neil Savage)

          I have used Gorilla glue, for me it works well, I hand bind with the help of a small jig to hold the rod as I roll it up. Like the color for blonde rods, doesn't show glue lines. As far as the foaming goes. I just let it go, but... The trick I found is to remove from the string and scrape the blank after the glue sets up but is still soft (indents with a finger nail) about three hours. If not it can be a real PITA to get off.   (Pete Van Schaack)

            The other thing about PU is (for other woodworking applications) it won't chip carbide blades the way Titebond I & II do.  I have a couple of nicks in my planer blades and one or 2 router bits due to Titebond II.  (Neil Savage)

        I use a Garrison binder and 18 ounces or less for butts and 12 ounces for tips.  Haven't had any issues with glue lines due to foaming.  (Lee Orr)

          I think the Ultimate Glue foams less than Gorilla. You do not even need to dampen the strips very much before glue up which reduces the foam. In the summer I don't dampen at all. One thing I’ve noticed is that the sections stiffen up over a weeks time post glue up.  (Doug Easton)

        The Titebond I used wasn't I, II, or III.  It was just called Titebond PU.  I have only seen it in a couple of stores.  Clear round container with a black cap.  Sets up way too fast.   (Lee Orr)

    I use URAC. I like it because it cleans up easily with water. Glue does have a shelf life (typically 4 to 6 months), but if you keep it in the refrigerator it will last up to 2 years. Highland Hardware in Atlanta sells URAC 185 and Golden Witch in PA sells a similar Borden product that I have used. I have read somewhere that URAC makes a rod stiffer than  other adhesives.   (Frank Paul)


I would appreciate some feedback on the pros and cons for both Titebond and epoxy so that I might make some sort of a decision as to which way to go when the time comes. Right now I'm thinking Epoxy but I'd like to know more about my options.  (Ren Monllor)

    Epoxy is more waterproof than Titebond, although that hasn't been a problem that I've seen. 

    Epoxy has to be mixed in the correct amounts to cure properly.  Again usually not a problem.

    Titebond cleanse up a lot easier than epoxy,  especially my hands.  

    Both have different types that have different working times.   No matter which type you use, check to make sure you've got more than 15 minutes to work with.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    Another difference between epoxies like Epon and Nyatex and woodworking glues like Titebond is you will rarely hear folks on the Rodmakers list talking about disasters with the epoxies.  Can't say the same for woodworking glues.  (Harry Boyd)

      When I say that I haven't had problems with Titebond II Extend, I'm only speaking for me.

      I have used and sometimes do use an epoxy that I got from Woodcrafters,  It's slow curing and says it can be used for structural work. 

      That's the most important with any glue.  I'd be very hesitant to use ANY glue that says specifically, don't use if the work might be put under stress.   Some glues (both woodworking and epoxy) are strictly for things like molding and trim. 

      Harry, I wonder how many of them have lead to the failures???   (Terry Kirkpatrick)

        I can't remember who it was (CRS) but it was reported on list a while back that a maker he knew had produced, I believe,  more than a hundred rods with Titebond glue without a failure. I guess it'll work for my first rod. I expect I'll go with Nyatex down the line but I can get Titebond locally. :>)  (Wayne Kifer)

          Ya'll, I think the big worry when people think epoxy vs Titebond is delamination from moisture. I have built around 20 rods with Titebond products both conventional and nodeless and feel they are going to out live the maker. We seldom soak our rods in water for long periods of time and there are still 4 to 5 coats of some sort of varnish on top of them to seal out moisture.

          Harry, I don't think the good Lord is going to return you to make a repair if something should happen to one of your rods. I know my wife Pat isn't going to ask for your recall. Come to think of it we probably won't need a recall cause we  will already  be there...:-((((  Just have to bring it to the Gathering.  (Jim Tefft)

            I, too, doubt eternal salvation depends on the utility of my fishing rods.  <g>  What concerns me has little to do with the weather resistance of the woodworking glues.  I don't want a glue that rushes the heck outta me while I'm trying to get it straight.  I often glue 6-8 sections at a time with Epon, then straighten them all, then bind.  Plenty of time.  Neither do I want a glue that is known to be less heat tolerant when straightening, in case I don't get 'em straight the first time around, or in the back seat of a car in Louisiana in the summer.  Nor do I want a glue which is known to delaminate in otherwise sound nodeless scarfs.

            Most of all, I don't want the hassle of adding repairs or rebuilds to an already busy schedule.  I'm rebuilding a tip now that one of my customers broke while casting too near a tree.  I don't mind doing it, but it takes me away from other, more urgent projects.  Like fishing <g>.

            Epon 826 resin and 3140 hardener is available in small quantities at reasonable prices from Bingham Projects in Oklahoma.  No, that's not as handy as your local Home Depot, but with a little planning you can be ready to glue in a week or so.   And you'll have no real worries with your glue.  (Harry Boyd)

              I couldn't agree more.  I have built rods (not many) with casein glues, some with Purple Peril , a couple with urea-formaldehydes and some with polyurethane fro AV Syntec.

              While there is an undoubted charm about a one-pot glue like PU, I have settled back on Epon 828;  and that is without the spur of a glue failure !

              Epoxy is workable, predictable  and reliable, and removes any element of hurry and rush from the process.  I am not about to knock the evident qualities of glues like Purple Peril ( Resorcinol), and I am sure that in the World Waterproof Championships it is right up there for gold;  but all things considered, the epoxies suit my style and do a very good job.  (Peter McKean)

              Here is something I saw on the internet about TITEBOND as contrasted to white and yellow wood  glues.  I did  make  a PHY-MIDGE with TITEBOND  III, and it has been fine with only one year's use.

                "Some newer glues like Franklin's Titebond II and Borden's Weatherproof Glue cure by both evaporation of solvent and subsequent polymerization of the  molecules. This two part process    give    these    glues    improved water-resistance and are generally more economical than the epoxies and the plastic resin  glues."  (Bob Nunn)

          The Titebond II Extend wood glue that I have says on the label  Weatherproof and that it passes type II water-resistance and that it is ideal for exterior projects.  I haven't been doing this as long or as much as many of you, but I have not had any problems with this glue yet, except when I applied too much heat trying to straighten a tip section.  The glue seemed to expand a bit.  (Hal Manas)


Our discussion of epoxy Vs. Titebond got me thinking.  I have a whole bin full of glues. Actually two bins. 

I use a lot of different glues for a lot of different purposes.

From the tip top.

I use 5 minute epoxy to hold the tip top on.  Never heard of a failure with 5-minute epoxy on a tip top.

I usually use Titebond II weather proof extended for my strips, though I have used long curing epoxy (90 minute or more) to glue up strips.

I use 30 minute epoxy for my ferrules. 

I sometimes use white glue as a color preservative.

I use gorilla glue for my grips.  My grips are usually fairly tight and I use the glue sparsely to fill in any voids between the cork and the bamboo.

On the other end, I go back to quick setting epoxy for my reel seats and butt caps.  Once again I've never heard of problems with reel seats or butt caps using 5-minute epoxy.

So, how many different glues do you use on a regular basis, and why.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    Thinking of using Resorcinol on my next flamed blank.  Have also used  5 minute epoxy on tip tops but it just seems easier to do the ferrules and  tip tops in one operation. (Anonymous)

      I've done that before, but I usually set my male ferrule before I check the spline.  I have problems feeling which side has the jump until I get something round on the bottom of the section.   I've started using the second suggestion in Ray Gould's book  pressing down on the section from a vertical position.  That would probably make my gluing a lot quicker.

      Interesting about the grips.  If I'm turning the grips, I usually use Elmers carpenters glue to hold them together.  Only allowing glue on the inside 1/4 of the cork ring.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

        I use Titebond II for nodeless scarfs and cork rings (rings for grip and seat are glued together and to the blank at one time, then turned on the blank and Garrison style reel seat hardware fitted), resorcinol for the strips, Elmers ProBond polyurethane for ferrules, and Gudebrod hot melt ferrule cement for tip tops and reel seat cap.  (Bill Lamberson)

    I use Ferrule-Tite (or whatever it's called) hot melt cement for tip tops.  I use Shell Epon 826 resin and a combo of 3168 and 3140 hardeners for gluing strips together.  I use PowerBond polyurethane glue from Jeff Wagner for ferrules.... but still pin them.  I use either Gorilla glue or Probond poly for grips made on the rod and turned.  For reel seats, I use 2-ton epoxy... and a pin for butt caps.  If I assemble tubes, I use Loctite CA glue for the metal parts.

    And I've been known to use epoxy wrap finish now and then.  (Harry Boyd)

      Harrytic, please define!

      The last rod I built for myself I glued everything with Gorilla Glue and that sucker ain't coming apart. It's been left in the truck in extreme heat (when it isn't raining), been fished hard so far this season. The grip was a preformed so I don't know about that glue.

      Past rods have been GG for the splines and Pliobond for the rest. I have tried the flame off method, have had failures either way at the ferrules. When they fail, clean them up and GG them back on.  (Pete Van Schaack)

        I use polyurethane glue for my splines, cork handle and reel seat. Epoxy for ferrules, reel cap and tip top. What kind of glue is gorilla glue? It sounds like a brand name to me. I use PU bison kit and recta vit, both brand names.  (Geert Poorteman)

        Gorilla Glue is a brand of polyurethane glue.  I use ProBond Polyurethane myself (now Elmer's Ultimate Glue).

        Harry - you should just use the Probond for ferrules.  I checked the MSDS a couple of years ago for both glues and discovered that it has exactly the same composition as Bohning PowerBond at a fraction of the price.  Also, since they are catalyzed  by moisture, both have a limited shelf life, and it just makes sense to use one container instead of two.  (Robert Kope)

    828 epoxy for the strips, Acraglas green  for  the  ferrules, Ferrule-Tite for the tip top, urethane bond for securing reel seats and corks, PVA for gluing the corks in grips, and often epoxy wrap finish.  (Peter McKean)

      Two questions:

      1. Epoxy wrap finish. What's that, please?

      2. I tried to look this up in the Archives - no such subject up to  Oct 2003. So, do we have any archives since October 2003?

      By the way, referring to color preserver, I noticed in stripping  several Edwards/Edwards Bristol/Bristol rods, that the wraps came off  in pieces that had never adhered to the cane, it seems. I suppose  this is the result of the preserver, which must have been used on the  largely Jasper thread so it would not lose its characteristics.

      Referring to glues, the only piece on a rod (in addition to the cane)  I have ever broken is the tip top guide. So I find it best to use a  heat glue for ease and safety of removal and replacement.  (Sean McSharry)

        It's God's answer for aging and tiring old geezers who are perhaps a little less obsessive than they used once to be about purity, integrity and the Righteous Way.

        It is a two part epoxy product which one mixes up very accurately and thins with acetone as desired.  I paint it VERY carefully over my wraps, and am as careful as I can be not to overrun the edges of the tipping thread, nor to apply too much. I use very high quality sable brushes to apply the epoxy, and I clean them immediately after use by rinsing them in acetone and then washing thoroughly in hot water and detergent; by doing this they last indefinitely, and the good quality sable minimizes bubble formation.

        The section MUST be rotated for at least 12 hours, maybe 24 depending on temperature, after application of the goo.

        If you do apply too much, you get the dreadful disease known as High Build, which looks just fine to me, but which is similar to the wraps one sees on plastic rods.

        In fact, it always amazes me that the very person who thinks epoxy finish looks really fantastic on a plastic rod, and in fact skites about it, is often the same one who is offended and revolted when it is used on bamboo.

        I believe that epoxy is durable, straightforward to apply and cosmetically very good.  It comes off without any real bother when you have to change a guide.

        I also believe that the process of applying multiple layers of spar varnish and dipping over the top of the whole lot merely increases ones chances of introducing errors.  I like to finish and polish my blanks before I fit the guides, but this means that you have to be pretty lucky or preternaturally gifted to get all those layers on without running over onto the polished shaft, which is a bit like a supermodel smearing her lipstick just before going out onto the catwalk!

        I use Erskine's epoxy rod finish, but feel sure that some of our North American brethren  could probably suggest some other, and very possibly better, products.  Erskine's bottles the stuff in 100 ml bottles and charges a maharajah's ransom for it,  whereas they buy it, I am sure, in 44 gallon drums for a few dollars.  But hey - easy come, easy go!  (Peter McKean)

        Epoxy whipping goop is the finest and quickest known way of making a rod you've spent hours on look as if it came out of a far east factory at a gate price of about five bucks. It is an offense against the concept of workmanship.  Also, it is inferior, I have never known single leg rings come adrift from a whipping bonded to the blank with oil based varnish, they all come adrift when gooped on with vile epoxy.

        And pointless, it looks much worse than a proper oil based finish and the time saved is irrelevant in the overall production process of an individual rod.

        If you intend to mass produce rods of course you can hardly manage without it.  (Robin Haywood)

          I like your posts and advice, but you try so hard to be objective that I am never quite sure how you feel about a particular technique.

          I agree that epoxy wraps don't look the best, but a very thin coat diluted with acetone applied to the wraps really keeps the shimmers away when you finish with varnish. And I have found that it is tough stuff, you can strip a rod with an epoxy first coat on the wraps and they stay in place. I usually have to cut the guide off.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

            I've heard about this epoxy first coat before and I've tried it, but I can find no advantage over going straight in with the oil based, whether spar or polyurethane.

            Mine may not have penetrated as well as thinned stuff as it was not thinned, it was all fairly runny however.  I cannot now remember brand names as it was stuff marketed in the UK at various times over the last 20 years. I don't know what these shimmers are, they may be to do with transparent whippings, of which I have limited experience.

            I've been whipping rods now for 46 years and not exactly at the rate of one a decade, and I find that I get the best finish on nylon and silk by using Humbrol modelmakers varnish and nothing else.  You can thin it with pure turpentine but when it needs that I just throw the rest of the little pot away and open a new one.

            It comes in very handy sized pots of 14 and 120 ml.

            I don't doubt that Epiphanes is at least as good but I have no use for half a liter of the stuff in one pot and I'm far too idle to decant it into smaller quantities.

            I keep trying new finishes that become available as, quite frankly, I'm getting bored with using the same old stuff.  Unfortunately they never offer significant advantages, only significant disadvantages. (Robin Haywood)

          I think you are confusing the current state of graphite guide globs with the technique Harry is using. GGG's are guilty of everything you mention. Thinned epoxy is quite the opposite. The guides are glued to the blank, you can't tell the difference between a guide finished with epoxy and varnish, and there is no time savings. In terms of workmanship, it is being used to improve the looks of the finished wraps. I hardly see how that can be an offense.

          I'd dearly love to bring back the departed masters and introduce them to today’s materials and technology. I suspect Leonard would quickly have a computer on his mill, Payne would still manage his finish, and Garrison would be calling to talk to Harry about those transparent wraps. (Larry Blan)

            I bet they would all disagree fundamentally about glues as well, once some of them had overcome their disbelief that its now difficult to buy a bad one.  Enough to get Pinky Gillum back from the dead and planing feverishly.  They would still moan about cork quality and price.  They'd whine about the unavailability of nickel silver tubing. Until next week when one of them discovered Duronze.

            Modern cane wouldn’t be good enough for them, modern cane has never been good enough for anyone for over 100 years now.  Garrison would accuse Ritz of technical moronocy and Ritz would tell Garrison to get out fishing more.

            They would all use Fugi single legged rings, in black, the ones with the little luminescent spiders eyes off-white plastic shock absorber round the center hard bit.  And I don't doubt that some would put epoxy goop on their whippings, but I'm not going to!  (Robin Haywood)

    I use golf club epoxy for for my tip tops, ferrules and  real seats. In the past I have used either TB II extend or EPON 828/3140 for my strips. When I make a grip I use TB. (Bill Bixler)


Chemistry has evolved a whole series of adhesives that are dry applications which may prove quite useful to the rodmaker and I was  wondering if any of you have tried any of these types of applications:

As I understand it the glue is manufactured to rest between two outer  skins like a sandwich. It is cut into strips and one layer of this  tape is peeled off the sandwich and the adhesive is placed on the  bamboo strip; then after trimming off the excess tape the other layer  is then stripped off and the second bamboo strip is applied; the same  is true of the other strips for the rod blank which is then put in  the binder as necessary.

I have been talking to a manufacturers representative and she is  sending me some samples to experiment with so I was wondering if any  of you have an interest in this and if any of you know anything about  it and/or have tried it.

If this technology can be adapted to our craft it could possibly  revolutionize the way we do things.

Comments anyone?  (Dick Steinbach)

    I have a pretty extensive experience with high tech "Double back  tape" (Essentially, that is what it sounds like you're talking  about.) and I can't imagine it would be practical to use on strips.

    The tapes come in a myriad of strengths and thicknesses, but all  would leave a visible glue line unless trimmed below the enamel  side of the strip. This would cause you to be "trimming" with a  scalpel (X-acto's aren't sharp enough for the detail cutting you  would need.) into the power fiber area of the strip. As well, to  trim it evenly at the bottom (or center) you would have to cut  along the edge of your strip VERY carefully to avoid cutting into  the meat of the strip.

    All this assumes you were able to apply the tape evenly along the  length of the strip... no wrinkles, no gaps, et al. (I cannot  imagine trying to apply and cut tape along the edges of tips that  are in the 20/1000's...)

    Now, you've managed a beautiful, one-sided application to each and  every strip. You peel off the second side of the tape and drop  it... done. It's stuck to whatever you dropped it on. You either  ruin the strip trying to unglue it, or must remove the  painstakingly applied tape and restart.

    Let's pretend you DON'T drop it... you must apply the second strip  PRECISELY along the edge of the first. You only get one shot. If  you have to relocate the strip after applying it, you will reduce  the glue's adherence by at least 50%. The true difficulty of this  procedure will sink in on the application of your last strip! Even  if you did halves... you only get one shot at each application.

    Bulking of tape in the center, wrinkling of tape along the strip,  dust that adheres while applying, difficulty in alignment and no  second chance... all prevent me from any further investigation of  the possibility of its use.

    It's fun to think of new and better ways to do things... your's  was a good idea, just not practical in the long run.  (Mike St. Clair)

      Thanks for your input Mike. You have reinforced my skepticism, for I  wondered about those very issues myself. The whole success of this  approach of course hinges on the ability to realign mismatched strips  which I am assured can be done.

      At the very least I can try the samples and interact with the  manufacturer and see if we can come to a viable conclusion (or we can  try something else, perhaps a spray adhesive).

      What's that old saying?  "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".  "It's  better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all".

      For some of us the destination is their goal; for me it's the journey  that I enjoy. I've just got to stop and play around with these  things; you are most likely right Mike but if you are I will learn  one more way that does not work, at least not this year...  (Dick Steinbach)

        Well, now you've made it so I'm at least curious of the outcome  for SPRAY ADHESIVE... The 3M "99" series, and other, even more  powerful sprays for laminates would be an interesting way to go. I  may even give one of those a try one of these days.

        I'd be glad to hear about your results with the tape. Best of  luck, I didn't mean to diminish your enthusiasm.  (Mike St. Clair)

          Well gee whiz, I guess I should have kept my mouth shut about the  spray! I was saving that one till (or just in case), after this one  goes into the dumpster; I do think the idea has more potential also  and it could be my saving grace in case I needed it.

          BTW this is the site I am currently dealing with.  (Dick Steinbach)

            I somehow envision my cat getting involved with double sided stuff.  You can never predict these things, though...   (cats and award winning antics, that is.)  (Carl DiNardo)

    Comments?!  Sounds like a good setup for another Nunley award!

    This sounds interesting to me. I would have to see the material but seems to me the biggest issue would be getting the right things stuck together. Would this adhesive turn hard after air exposure or would it remain tacky forever on the edges? How thick is this film?  (Timothy Troester)

      We have all seen labels & postage stamps with a peel off cover, and  we have also seen bubble wrap envelopes that work the same way so  those are two applications we know of. Many packaging operations use  this kind of adhesive and apparently there are several different  manufacturers and types of these adhesives. Some are rubber based and  some are plastics.

      Every Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Toyota vehicle made in the US somewhere  uses a double coated pressure sensitive adhesive tape in assembly.  Whether holding foam, sponge rubber, fabric, wires, plastic, name  plates, or what ever material you need to assemble,  most likely  there is a double coated tape product to meet the challenge

      We talked about the issue of a rod being left in a car in the  sunshine etc. and she said that temperature extremes were no  problem.  She said she could provide me with plenty of working time  to trim and line everything up before binding. My understanding is  that the adhesive cures dry. The two basic techniques we talked about  involved the adhesive sandwiched between two skins and the adhesive  on one skin. Both samples come on a roll like tape. I assume the  shelf life is very long. They can make a custom product for us.

      That's the extent of my knowledge at this point. By the way, what's a Nunley award.  (Dick Steinbach)

        Best way to explain it, a little light reading at this link.

        Warning: Do not drink or hold hot coffee or liquid while reading the misgivings of brethren rodmakings at the above noted link, extreme laughter, and total disbelief will lead in either passing liquids through ones' nose or spilling it in your lap.  (Pete Van Schaack)

        PS - I'm in there as well.

        You don't actually receive the award until after you have  tripped over the adhesive dispenser and ended up with the spline stuck to your head  and after cosmetic surgery to fix the hole left when you tried to remove the adhesive lodged spline and picked up some really caustic chemical instead the acetone you thought you were using to remove the new bamboo appendage!  (Timothy Troester)

          RATS! I'm not going through all that trouble.  (Dick Steinbach)

        It's really very simple...

        In the course of making a rod, make yourself bleed real bad, go to the ER, scald or otherwise burn yourself, lose a digit or multiple digits (multiple is better), slice a nerve in some portion of your body, or wipe your eyes while gluing a rod with double sided tape so you can't open them.  The possibilities are endless and limited by only your imagination. Though we have no apparent winner for 2006 there are still 7 months to go in 2007. I'd like to think that the biggest unpaid medical bill plays into who wins, but that's just unrealistic. What medical bill would top 3 or 4 days of trying to wash varnish out of your hair and off your body after your impregnation tube exploded in front of you?

        You get the idea...

        You are encouraged to submit an entry.  (Mike Shay)

        Speaking of the Nunley Award, here are some definitions that may help our understanding:  (Rich Jezioro)


        DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly stained heirloom piece you were drying.

        WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned guitar calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "Yeouw s--t...."

        ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

        SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

        PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.  The most often the tool used by all women.

        BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

        HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

        VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

        WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

        OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

        WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2 socket you've been searching for, over the last 45 minutes.

        TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

        HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

        EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 4X4: Used for levering an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

        TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters and wire wheel wires.

        E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby ending any possible future use.

        RADIAL ARM SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to scare neophytes into choosing another line of work.

        TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

        CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.

        AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.

        TROUBLE LIGHT: The home mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading. The  accessory socket within the base, has been permanently rendered useless, unless requiring a source of 117 vac power  to shock the mechanic senseless.

        PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids, opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads. Women excel at using this tool.

        STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

        AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal- burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts which were last over tightened 30 years ago by someone at Ford, and instantly rounds off their heads. Also used to quickly snap off lug nuts.

        PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

        HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

        HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit. Women primarily use it to make gaping holes in walls when hanging pictures.

        MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use. It is also useful for removing large chunks of human flesh from the user's hands.

        DAMNIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling "DAMNIT" at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.  (Rich Jezioro)

    I for one am interested in the results of your tests.  Please keep me if not the list updated on the progress and results.  Thanks for sharing this with us.  It's been along time since something really new and interesting has come along on this list.  (Ron Elder)

    My worry is about the alignment aspect of securing te strips together. Would the adhesive allow for peeling misaligned strips apart and realigning them? If that took place woild the adhesive still have the maximum holding power? I have used some double sided adhesives in the past and alignment has always been the critical thing.

    Also, if this is so good why is binding needed?  (Dick Fuhrman)

      What if the adhesive was kicked with heat?  What I mean is, the adhesive (it would have to be extremely thin) goes into the assembly dry, you'd bind the section and then kick the adhesive in your oven.  That might work.  You could have the section prestraightened and tuck it in your oven.  Then, bring the oven up to temperature, let the glue kick and leave the section in the oven to cool and set.  Pull your section out and you have an arrow straight blank.

      Has promise, but I'll stick to the conventional glues.  There are plenty of them out there that are proven!  (Todd Talsma)

        Yep, that's what the fellows using hide glue said to that first radical that wanted to try that resorcinol stuff!

        I'm all for someone else testing glues. New ones come out every other day. Some of the acrylic tapes are nothing short of amazing for their intended applications.

        Of course, as always, I think glue is a 4 letter word spelled "Epon", but I'd never vote against someone trying something new. Once a new glue has a proven 20+ year track record, I do reserve the right to change my mind, of course.  (Larry Blan)

          The other day I decided "clean up" all the little medicine cups with remnant cured Epon in them.

          I decided to run a "test" and pounded them with a 5 lb hammer.  I could break the cup away but only managed to chip a bit of the cured Epon  --- tough stuff.  (David Van Burgel)

        In my initial reply, which I haven't seen go on the board... I stressed all the disadvantages of the dry adhesives... omitting one, heat resistance. They don't have any. And in a rod tube, warmed by the afternoon sun or left in a car too long... it would likely delaminate into a goo mixed with razor sharp edges.  (Mike St. Clair)

          I was concerned about the alignment issue as well and she told me  they had tapes that would allow one to move them around prior to  clamping. I guess that the binding would be necessary because  pressure activates the adhesive but I am not really sure as yet and  won't be until I play around with this stuff.

          I am confident that they can make us a tape which would meet all our  criterion if what they say is true.  (Dick Steinbach)

    Thank you, but I will stay with what I know.  Nyatex.  (Jerry Drake)

      Well Jerry that may be the best thing to do for now. We may all have  to do that at least for now but this is the scenario I envision:

      Mr. Rodmaker walks into his shop and sits down at a nice clean table  on which are six perfectly planed strips for the rod section he wants  to assemble. Along with them are an assortment of various width  tapes. He selects the 1/4" tape and carefully applies it to one flat  of the first strip. He then takes out his trusty sharp blade and  trims off the excess tape. When all is just right he peels off the  backing leaving the adhesive in place on the strip. My oh my! This is  easy.

      Then he carefully lines up the second strips adjoining surface and  sticks them together. He then applies the tape to strip number two  and after trimming and removing the backing he adheres strip number  three thus neatly and cleanly gluing up one half of the hex.

      He repeats the procedure with the other half using strips four,  five, and six in the same way. Then using the 3/8" or 1/2" tape he  puts the two halves together and has a glued up blank ready for the  binder as soon as he trims it and gives it a preliminary straightening.

      No masking tape; no scales, no mixing, no newspapers, no dirty  binder string, no hurry up, no acid reflux, no mess; you bind it for  the appropriate time, remove the string, no sanding & scraping of  glue, remove the enamel if you like and do your final straightening.

      The rod will not take a set nor delaminate and it will withstand  blazing heat & arctic cold, and in this perfect world we can also  attach the guides with these 21st century adhesives and skip the  wraps as well!

      At any rate as I said I plan to experiment with this stuff and see  where it takes me and if any of you have any useful input I would  definitely appreciate it.  (Dick Steinbach)

    I think everyone's missed the point of this topic..."what's a Nunley award!"

    There's no money involved.

    You'll need to pay your own medical bills.

    It's an honor that many of us strive for...sometimes unintentionally, sometimes purposefully I think! In either event, hopefully, while everyone is spouting beer out their noses at your misfortune, they'll pat you on the back.

    Mr. Nunley has set the bar. We continue to try and lower the bar. Can you say...'Limbo mahn..."

    I will continue to submit helps...

    What's really amazing is that a guy who hasn't actively contributed here in years still has enough friends he's helped along the way to have a freaking, sought after, hard won award named after him!  (Mike Shay)

      I don't know how you feel about this, BUT my 2 cents worth says beer doesn't taste nearly as good spouting out your nose as it does when sliding across the taste buds and down the hatch LOL. (Will Price)

        That depends on the kind of beer.. . I can think of several mass produced varieties for which through the nose (rather than over the taste buds) might be an improvement.  (Chris Obuchowski)

    Some time ago, I posted some messages regarding the use of tape  based adhesives for rod making and several of you asked to be kept in  the loop regarding my experiments.  CCT tapes sent me four samples  (described below) and as everyone of you assumed, they were a waste  of time. Below is a copy of our recent correspondence in which I have  asked them to go back to the drawing board so to speak and have their  chemists make some adjustments.

    Here are some thoughts I've had for them:

    I checked the four samples you sent me and they definitely will  not do for our application:

    The first major concern we have is can we reposition the tape once  it has been applied? None of the samples you sent me will allow us  to do that. As soon as we touch the glue surface with a strip, the  tack will not allow us to reposition the strip without thick glue  layers building up and throwing off all the rod specs.

    You must understand that we are gluing six triangular  strips  together that are three or four feet long and range from about . 0250 tapering down to .0010 or so each, so they are very delicate  and take a lot of work to produce. All our assembly is by hand.  When we place two of them together can we slide the around a bit?  They must be able to slide because all six have to line up  precisely or we have failed.

    The final glued up section of course has to be perfectly straight  and so this step requires some repositioning as well. We usually do  this by applying heat to soften the adhesive to allow the strips to  adjust to each other. Do you have a product that will allow us to  do this?

    We also have some concerns about cleanup. We cannot trim too close  to these delicate pieces of cane so there will be some bleed onto  the outer surface of the rod blank. How do we solve this? There  were no instructions of any kind with your samples. Currently we  use liquid adhesives and wear protective gloves; will we still need  to do this & what solvent do we use?

    We are not totally negative about using tape. We see three major  advantages: Long shelf life, an adhesive that resists temperature  extremes,  and the elimination of mixing ingredients. Of course we  assume retail prices will be competitive.

    To summarize so far your tapes are too tacky. We need something  which is more viscous so it will allow us to move the strips around  a bit and if there is some uneven glue build up between the strips  then we must be able to squeeze the excess out and clean up the  residue. Then we need to be able to "set" the glue either with heat  or time or exposure to air,as we currently do. We would like a half  hour or more working time before the glue sets up.

    I only used a small amount of your samples and have boxed them up  so your carrier can pick them up and return them to CCT tapes if  you like.  (Dick Steinbach)

      I had just joined when you raised this and didn't offer this one piece of advise that I have on these types of product... Wet the surfaces.

      The tapes will allow repositioning then, I how ever believe its a lost cause due to the thickness and the introduction of the carrying medium for the glue, there was one with only glue (no medium in between) at one stage but it was quite thick (.50mm or thereabouts) and that would say to me glue lines.

      This all said I'm yet to make a blank so you may choose to dismiss my opinion. I do build lots of things though and make a profession of providing solutions for people (manufacturing equipment).  (A. Connell)

        You have whetted (or wetted if you like puns) my curiosity. What  exactly are you suggesting? The adhesive will not stick to wet strips?

        That's good if true! I could soak three of the six strips; adhere  the glue to each dry one and marry it to a wet one and then put them  in the binder to position them and straighten the blank and then heat  treat to drive out the moisture and Bob's your uncle.

        I'll experiment some tomorrow & see if a wet strip does not adhere.   One of those four samples has an extremely thin layer of adhesive  which would definitely not show glue lines, I will give it a try.  (Dick Steinbach)

    Some more information for the manufacturer:

    I have been going over the tape procedure in my mind and discussing  it with the 800 or so rodmakers on the internet mailing list:

    1. The first major concern we have is can we reposition the tape  once it has been applied? We are gluing six triangular  strips  together that are three or four feet long and range from about .0250  tapering down to .0010 or so each, so they are very delicate and take  a lot of work to produce. Assembly is by hand. When we place two of  them together can we slide the around a bit? All six have to line up  precisely or we have failed.

    The glued up section of course has to be perfectly straight and this  requires some repositioning as well. We usually do this by applying  heat to soften the adhesive to allow the strips to adjust to each  other. Can we still do this?

    2. We also have some concerns about cleanup. We cannot trim too  close to these delicate pieces of cane so there will be some bleed  onto the outer surface of the rod blank. How do we solve this?  Currently we use liquid adhesives and wear protective gloves; will we  still need to do this & what solvent do we use?

    3. We are not totally negative about using tape. We see three major  advantages: Long shelf life, an adhesive that resists temperature  extremes,  and the elimination of mixing ingredients. Of course we  assume prices will be competitive.  (Dick Steinbach)


I'm just about to order the glue for my first rod, and was just wondering if anyone had suggestions/recommendations as to what type of glue I should buy? (I will be binding by hand : if that makes any difference).  (Nick Nasello)

    If binding by hand, find something that gives a long working time and does not become so tacky that your nitrile gloves will stick to the rod section.  My suggestion is Epon.  (Harry Boyd)

      I'll second Harry's suggestion.  I've been using Epon since rod #1, and have since found no reason to switch to another adhesive.  Long working time, even on the hottest and most humid days here in southern Maryland, easy cleanup with denatured alcohol, or if you can stand the odor - vinegar, easy cleanup of the residue on the rod, and the ability to heat cure to speed up the curing process.  (Mark Wendt)

        Take note of the reference to gloves in Harry's post.  Epon is toxic.  Follow the manufacturers recommendations to protect yourself.  It's going to be difficult to keep Epon off your skin and out of your lungs binding by hand.  I'd recommend making a binding machine if your going to use any of the toxic glues...and, unfortunately, the best glues for making rods are toxic.  Make a simple binder.  You'll be glad you did.  (David Bolin)

          Epon is toxic only if swallowed in large quantities.  According to the MSDS sheets, unless you are allergic to the adhesive, at most you'll get minor skin irritation.  That being said, wearing gloves is the smart thing to do, if for nothing else it keeps you from having to clean your hands up after the glue up and binding.  (Mark Wendt)

            A useful trick especially if you are hand binding is to start wearing several layers of nitrile gloves -- three is about what I found right. As one becomes too sticky to continue, strip it off and you are back at it with minimal delay.  (Mike McGuire)

              Good idea.  Kinda like the race car drivers that wear those strip away shields on their helmet visors.  (Mark Wendt)

              Another way to solve the sticky glove problem, whether hand binding or using a binder, is to wipe the gloves off with a paper towel and then powder the still-sticky outside of the gloves with talcum powder.  The talcum powder does no harm to the blank (as long as you do not touch the inside surfaces of the strips!).  A wiped-on, liberal talc dusting of the bound blank is actually useful.  It helps make the binding thread come off easier and makes the glue on the outside of the blank easier to see for removal.  (Tim Anderson)

                I just keep a rag in a bucket of water next to my binder.  when my gloves get sticky, I dip my gloves in the water, wipe 'em on the rag, and keep rolling.

                No extra gloves to worry about, no worries about stuff on the blanks. You can even use the rag to wipe down the bound blank to remove excess glue.  (Chris Obuchowski)

                  The epoxy I use (Uhu 300 Plus) does not come off with water, but perhaps Epon does.  (Tim Anderson)

                    Wet epoxies are dissolved by many solvents (toluene, lacquer thinner, acetone, etc) alcohol probably being the safest.  (Al Baldauski)

                    The breed of Epon / hardener that I use gives such a long working period that I cannot conceive of anybody's running out of time.

                    When I used use PU glues, I used keep a dish of alcohol on the bench for the same reason, as the PU would stick you to the blank very quickly.  (Peter McKean)

                    I use Resorcinol first choice, URAC second  choice.  (Chris Obuchowski)

                I had a hard time with wearing more than one pair of gloves at a time when I tried it. But then I use rubber latex gloves from a large supply that a got a real deal on many years ago. Are nitrile gloves  easier to use than latex? I know at my  dentist's office they use nothing but nitrile gloves. However, at the prices they charge cost is no object.

                Anyway, when using Epon I have never felt rushed when gluing. Stopping to change gloves a few times when gluing up a rod has not been a problem for me. I change gloves about every other rod section and in between times I wipe off the gloves with paper towels dipped in denatured alcohol. I'd estimate my cost for latex gloves is about the same as that for the one tooth brush out of a pack of six from the Dollar Store when  gluing up  a rod.  (Joe Hudock)

                  Your dentist uses nitrile gloves to protect against latex allergies--both his staff's, and his patients.  As far as cost goes, he would rather use latex--leaves more for his bottom line.   (Walt Hammerick)

                  Nitrile gloves are tougher, they are a moisture barrier. Hospital latex gloves are not a barrier to moisture and I would not use them as if they were. Latex are more apt to tear. Nitrile are more expensive.  (Timothy Troester)

    Working on your first rod, you may not have tumbled to the fact that there is no 'One True Way' in bamboo rod making. There are pluses and minuses to darned near everything, and you will have to develop your own techniques to some extent.

    Every glue commonly used on rods has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as proponents and detractors. I prefer Urac, David likes Titebond, and of course Harry is an epoxy guy. David is concerned with safety, Harry likes the extended working time, and I prefer the superior stiffness of Urac. Our rods are all functional and we each have worked out production techniques that work. David has some interesting glue data in his blog.

    A word about safety, as applies to glues and the rest of rod making. I have spent many years working with a host of chemicals that could maim or kill one, and I am old enough to have seen products that we once thought nothing about become horrid killers -asbestos, lead, and benzine come to mind... and of course some things have gone from safe to killer and back. Nearly everything is known to the state of California to be bad for you, even beach sand! So you are again going to have to do some research and use your brain. Read and understand the can label, MSDS, and technical specs. Every manufacturer provides those things. Our opinion is just that, and worth what you paid for it, RTFM (read the f* manual). As a minimum, wear a dust mask when its dusty and gloves when slopping in stuff. With any luck, the fish will fear you for many years.

    Welcome to rod making where, unlike the composite guys, you can just make another section of you screw up.

    Oh, and stay away from the ceiling fan.  (Larry Lohkamp)


I know this probably has been discussed in length but I'm still new to bamboo rod making. Can I use Titebond III for gluing up of the strips? Does URAC 185 have the bad epoxy smell? Any other suggestions for glue with low odor and location where they can be obtained. Many thanks ahead of time.  (Mike Shelton)

    I've had good luck with my first  4 rods with Elmer's Ultimate Glue.  It has a good work time, tan in color, no odor that I have noticed and has not failed this new maker yet.  Available at most hardware supply stores at about $10 for a small bottle, enough for about 6 rods I would guess if you use it up fast enough.  (Mike Monsos)

    I have written this a couple of times before, but will repeat the info again.  Can't let it get lost!

    Very popular with rod builders in Europe is UHU Plus 300 (also called UHU Endfest 300), a two-part epoxy.  One package consists of two small tubes containing enough epoxy for gluing up about 3 rods.  Shelf life seems unlimited.  Working time at room temperature is about 2 hours and the mix is 50-50 with the ratio not being critical.  It sets up hard in 24 hours.  Heat treating increases the bond strength and will also accelerate setup.  For example, the greatest strength is achieved  at a temperature of 356ºF and setup to hard at that temperature is about 5 minutes.  I notice no odor when using UHU 300 and apply it, as usual with epoxy, with a toothbrush.  I think it is a great product and is well-suited for people who build 1-10 rods per year.  (Tim Anderson)

    Yes, you can use Titebond III. URAC doesn't have any discernible odor (to me). Some have had good luck with Gorilla glue both for gluing rods and for repairs. Be sure to wear gloves with Gorilla, it will stain your hands and it won't come off 'till the skin wears off!  (Dennis Higham)

    You'll get lots of opinions on this subject, but the PVA wood glues such as the Titebonds and Elmers Carpenters glue are more subject to creep than URAC, resorcinol and epoxy and have a lower threshold of resistance to heat. If you can put up with purple corners, resorcinol is no doubt the strongest glue for woodwork, I say this because laminated wood structural beams are still glued with it, if there was something better I think they would use it.  (John Channer)

    FWIW...I tested several glues.   You can read about the test here.  URAC was the clear winner in my case.  But I'm still using TBIII because it's nontoxic.  (David Bolin)

      There's also some interesting glue comparisons here.  (Ken Paterson)

        This is very interesting.  Especially since everyone says that Titebond III is so sensitive to heat.  I think it got one of the best ratings from the Lee Valley comparison.   (Hal Manas)

          Also interesting to note is that it gives Titebond III the highest rating for chemical resistance, "very good." Bob Nunley posted not too long ago on Clark's that he stripped a bunch of rods and one was glued up with Titebond. It completely delaminated. I don't know what stripper he was using, but obviously it was good for the URAC he uses, but TB3 melted down. I still think TBIII is a great glue and like anything else it has its pros and cons.  (Scott Bearden)

          But that was the best of a group of hardware store glues.  They didn't compare them to URAC or Resorcinol.  (David Bolin)

            It was also out of our context. Any of these glues might be fine in a static situation such as cabinetry, but how do they hold up to repeated flexing such as in fly rods? I think our use is unique, can anyone think of another use for glue that might be similar to fly rods?  (John Channer)

              The "flexing" aspect is one reason I use Epon.  Long open time is another.

              If it's good enough for people that laminate recurve & longbows, it's should be good enough for bamboo flyrods.  I get the Epon from Bingham Projects. Their catalog states that Epon is "specifically engineered for bow construction,  with the longevity, flexibility, and memory required to construct a fine bow."  (Paul Julius)

                Yeah, bows! How could I forget them, I have a recurve hanging in the shop, handmade in Pagosa Springs, CO, right up the road from me, and no doubt laminated with Epon. If I can read the guys name on it still I'll call him and ask him what he used. I use Epon, too, thanks very much to Bill Fink! And yes, I like the open time, too. I hurry enough at work, I don't want to be in a rush at home, too.  (John Channer)

              Golf clubs, John.  Bad news is that Golfsmith's shafting epoxy, a 24-hour-cure (48 is better) is no longer available in 'colorless,' and now apparently is available only in black.  (Steve Yasgur)

                Who cares what color ferrule glue is? You're supposed tp get all the excess off of where you can see it anyway. I believe either the Chinese or the Japanese or more likely both have been making bows form laminated bamboo since the day after somebody invented glue, bamboo is good stuff and they've known it for ages.  (John Channer)

                  Yup, some  of the rods I have restored I discovered to have ferrules glued with black ferrule cement.  (Doug Easton)

                    I too have found this to be true on restorations I have done over the years.  (Bret Reiter)

              I use Lee Valley's G1 epoxy glue designed for gluing  when maximum fatigue resistance is required (for skis, golf clubs, etc.).   (Ken Paterson)

        I saw that the other day and couldn't understand why it got favorable "heat" reviews. I iron my blanks on occasion and have only ever had one delamination and it was when using TB3.   For nodeless splices it seems to be plenty strong though.   (Don Peet)

          One question I had from the Lee Valley tests was what does it all mean. I saw no descriptions of what the various ratings and tests measured or how they were done. Tests designed for furniture applications may have no meaning at all when applied to cane rods.  (Larry Puckett)


I am thinking about moving on from using Titebond. Trying to decide on Epon or URAC.

They are both good glues. Just give me 3 reasons why you use one Vs the other!  (Lowell Davis)

    I use Epon.

        1   It gives me more time to straighten sections.
        2   It gives me more time to straighten sections.
        3   It gives me more time to straighten sections.

    It also has a longer shelf life I think.  (Larry Tucker)

  • Epon gives me more time to straighten sections.

  • Epon has a years-long shelf life.

  • Epon can be scraped off of the blank, once it has set but not fully cured, with a razor blade in just a couple of passes. Whereas URAC you have to sand off making sure you don't inhale the dust.

  • Those three are pretty good for me.  (Henry Mitchell)

      That sounds like info I'd SURE like to have! I've heard of fellows unbinding, straightening and rebinding after x hours, but I never heard of the scrapeability factor before and was afraid the strips might delaminate if I unbound them and heated them at an inauspicious time.   Inquiring minds want to know  - I want to know!  (Art Port)

        After 12-24 hours, I haven't tested the boundaries, the Epon is still soft to touch but doesn't stick fast to fingers. Remove the string, except for a bit at the butt end of the section. Clamp the butt end to the workbench. Take a single edge razor blade or utility knife blade and scrape from butt to tip. The Epon will come off in a curl. I haven't figured out how to scrape all but .001" off and using that as a finish. After doing all the sides you can rebind and heat set.  (Henry Mitchell)

          One other thing re- the straightening. Two times for straightening - first, right after glue-up and binding, and second, after epoxy has cured, either by heat or whatever Epon decides "room temperature" to be. You really don't want to be fiddlin' too much trying to straighten a section in a semi-cured state. You risk breaking the semi-cured bond, and having a delamination. I found that out the hard way. So, the only times I straighten sections now are right away, or after heat cure. (Mark Wendt)

    I use Epon.

    1.  2 parts, both liquid, easy to measure and mix
    2.  Convenient, long working time
    3.  Very effective glue, compatible with heat straightening adjustments, moisture OK.  (Peter McKean)


    1. Non critical mix.
    2. Water clean up.
    3. Reaches full strength at room temperature, but can be accelerated to as little as a dozen or so minutes of heat.  (Larry Lohkamp)


    1. because it's easier to use...
    2. because it's easier to use...
    3. because it's easier to use...

    Seriously, URAC and Resorcinol are probably the most prevalent glues used in rodmaking over time... time is the key word... they have withstood the test of time.

    I have no problems with Epon or any other epoxy glue of that quality... they work well, but they are a bit softer when cured, and that makes a difference in the rod action. URAC will make a bit stiffer section than Epon... and I've been using URAC for 22 years without any problems.

    You can teach an old dog new tricks, but you won't teach this old dog to use any glue other than URAC.  (Bob Nunley)

    I can get Epon a lot easier. (Tony Spezio)

    Oh, I'm not totally sure yet, but I think I might Nyatex better than Epon.

    T-88 might be the easiest to get and in small quantities. I like it too! It's usually list where ever Resorcinol is sold, (home build aircraft suppliers). Gotta be good!   (David Dziadosz)


Anyone tried gluing a rod with Titebond Melamine glue?  Pros and cons? Better/worse than TB2 or 3?  (Tom Key)

    See this.

    Limitations you will find are that this Titebond melamine is not to be used outdoors or in the presence of water. Also this product is made to bond to synthetic products, which the other Titebonds do not do well. I would not advise its use in rod making.  (Dave Burley)


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