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What type of glue/cement/epoxy should I use for (1) Ferrules and (2) Cork Rings?

Is it something that I'll be able to buy locally from a hardware store or will I need to order it?  If I will need to order,  where from?  (Aaron Gaffney)

    For the cork glue, I like something that doesn't dry super hard.  I epoxy the anchor ring on the rod and then when dry, I use Pliobond to glue up the rest of the rings.  Soft glue keeps ridges between the rings from showing up.  Plus I would think that during normal wear of the cork handle, it will compress some and I want the glue to follow that compression over time.

    For what it's worth, I also use Pliobond for my ferrules.  I use the method Chris O. showed me (flaming the Pliobond first and it is basically contact cement).   (Scott Turner)

      I think that most people use a carpenter glue like Titebond to glue rings together. I use PU glue to glue grips or rings to the blank. Harry Boyd uses PU for rings and grip to blank glue.

      If you go to Todd's Tips site you will find many long discussions about ferrule glues. Some possibilities are 1. epoxy 2. ferrule cement 3. golf shafting cement 4. Arrow shaft cement 5. PU glue 6. and Pliobond.

      No matter what glue you chose to use there are some very important general considerations. The ferrules must be carefully prepared first. You need to fit them by reducing the diameter of the male slide with fine wet or dry sand paper. Two very important things to consider are: 1. do this slowly so that you do not over do it and have a loose fit. Make sure that material is removed evenly all along the slide, since there is a tendency to over sand the outer end giving a taper to the slide. You need to keep checking for fit. I start with 600 grit paper and final polish with 2000 grit. The ferrules should slide together smoothly and give nice pop sound when separated.  When you trial fit, make sure you do not get any grit or filings into the female. Clean it out with a cue tip or blow it out with compressed air (I use canned air). Sand down the tabs on the ferrules so that they taper in thickness (thick near the body of the ferrule and near paper-thin at the outer end. You can also work the outer ends to points with a fine file and emery paper giving a six pointed crown effect (as far as I am concerned this is optional).

      Be certain to use the appropriate ferrule size. If you are going to hand fit the ferrules all you should need to do is remove the six corners and just a little material from the flats. Try to make the station as on-center as possible and fit tightly into the ferrule. Then you are ready to glue.

      I use the same PU glue (Borden Ultimate) as I use to glue up blanks. You need to use something sharp to scratch up the inside of the ferrule socket and then clean out any oil with acetone or lacquer thinner. Dry them out completely before gluing. Then I dampen the bamboo with water, coat it with glue and push it into the ferrule. Some glue should squeeze out. I wipe off the excess, make certain that the tabs are aligned with the flats and bind them down tightly with binding thread. There will be some foam out but this can be removed after the glue sets. If you do not dampen the bamboo there will not be enough moisture to kick the glue inside the ferrule. Except once when I forgot to moisten, I have never had a ferrule come off.  (Doug Easton)

    This is at least the second (and probably more) occasion  where the flaming procedure with Pliobond for ferrule mounting has been mentioned.  Since no one has elaborated beyond mentioning it, I can only assume it is either a no brainer procedure or simplified brain surgery.  Given the immediate adhesion which occurs with flamed Pliobond, I'm

    inclined to go for the second option.  Can anyone explain the procedure?  (Roland Cote)

      Dave Collyer has a ferrule fitting tutorial on Todd's site that explains the Pliobond process (see Step 6).  (Chris Carlin)

      Here's how Chris O. showed me:

      1. Prepare and dry fit the ferrule like with any glue product/method

      2. Clean the surface of the prepared blank and inside the ferrule with denatured alcohol (squeaky clean)

      3. Apply a small amount of Pliobond on the blank and a bit into the ferrule.

      4. Burn off the Pliobond's (naphtha) on the rod blank and flash the naphtha from inside the ferrule.

      5. Carefully align the ferrule tabs and slide it on.  I press the ferrule against a wall or a counter to make sure it's seated all the way (do this while the Pliobond is still warm from the flashing).

      6. Backout plan:  carefully heat up the ferrule with a heat guy and pull if off.  Clean things up and start again.

      Let the Pliobond cure fully (a couple of days) before fitting the ferrules.  I've had problems when I've generated too much heat sanding down the male ferrule and making a tight fit in the female ferrule that caused me to pull off the ferrule (I tried to make a too tight ferrule fit too far down, too soon after I generated heat from the sanding - the perfect ferrule storm)! (Scott Turner)

        4. Burn off the Pliobond's (naphtha) on the rod blank and flash the naphtha from inside the ferrule.

        Could you elaborate a little more on "burn off" and flash.  Maybe it will be obvious to me when I do it, but I'm not quite sure what you mean.  Do you use a lighter?  (Aaron Gaffney)

          I wrote an article on fitting and setting ferrule by hand with Pliobond that might help some with questions...

          Todd has it up on the tip site here.

          I learned it from Paul Hightower before his passing, Paul was Bill Phillipson's shop foreman...

          Later Goodwins, Wright & McGill & Phillipson all used Pliobond on the ferrules... (Dave Collyer)

            The trick is to work quickly, before things cool off and the Pliobond sets up after flashing.  I find that if it feels like it's starting to feel like the ferrule is going to stick when pushing it onto the shaft, a quick warming of the ferrule with a lighter or alcohol lamp loosens things back up enough to get the ferrule home.

            Another thing is to make sure as much of the solvent as possible has been burned off during flashing.  If the flames didn't go out of their own accord, torch it up again and make sure.  If you leave any solvent behind, the joint will need additional curing before it's all solid.  If you do it "right", you can lap soon as the ferrules are room temperature.

            Also, before I forget, you can heat the ferrule again once seated if you need to tweak the tab alignment without destroying the bond.   Warm it enough to allow it to move, then let it cool back down after adjusting.

            Had my doubts about Pliobond, but after fishing a couple of rods with ferrules attached thus pretty darn hard and not having any trouble with them coming loose (didn't have that problem with epoxy either, to be honest, but I'm a stickler on joint prep),  I'm a believer.  (Todd Enders)

            Sounds awfully dangerous to me, a bit like napalm!!!! I remember doing a shot of flaming sambuca once. That was the last time I lit anything that I decide to drink. Of course I might not of spilled it if it wasn't my fourth one, still don't have hair on that part of my arm! I say stick with something you don’t have to light on fire. Or in my case something you don’t drink!!!! (Bill Tagye)

    I use Elmers Ultimate glue (formerly Probond polyurethane) to glue up strips,  glue on ferrules and for cork.  It's readily available, requires no mixing, dries to about the same color as cane, is waterproof, and gives you a couple of hours of working time.  The only down side for ferrules is that it is a delicate operation to remove one.  It takes a temperature of more than 400 degrees to soften the glue enough to remove a ferrule.  While that's hot enough to turn bamboo to charcoal, if you use high heat very briefly, and work quickly, it can be done without any visible discoloration of the bamboo.

    I don't use it for tip tops or for reel seats because I may want to remove them.  I use epoxy for them because epoxy is so easy take apart with a little heat.  (Robert Kope)

    I've gotten Pliobond in bottles and it always appear to have separated, but it is viscous enough that it isn't easy to get back to a homogenous mix. There is also Pliobond in tubes, which you can't see into - does that Pliobond also separate, or are they are different formulation? How critical is it to mix it before gluing?  (Henry Mitchell)

      I get it in a metal tube, it says to shake it before use. It takes a lot of shaking to get a consistent brown goo to come out.  (Pete Van Schaack)


Are there any recommendations on which ferrule cement to use?  (Ren Monllor)

    There are a lot of recommendations, and you will probably get many of them as responses.  The main thing that I keep in mind has less to do with material choice and more to do with process.  I believe Bill Harms put me onto that ideology.

    • Make sure your fit is proper.  Not too tight not too loose.
    • Make sure your mating surfaces have a bit of "tooth" (you can use a small round file to scuff the inside of the ferrule)
    • Make sure your parts (the 'boo and the metal) are spotless, clean and oil-free.
    • Have patience.  The air pocket will push out eventually.  (Carl DiNardo)

I use U-40 Rod Bond and I have not had an issue with it so far.  (Scott Bahn)

    I think that what needs to be mentioned here is that the glue needs to have the right properties. That is it should stay somewhat pliable. When I glue up some ferrules there is always some glue left over, you can kinda mark it with your fingernail after it has dried, this is what I think one should look for as opposed to epoxies that dry glass hard. I also use U-40 Rod Bond, have used it for many years and a bunch of rods and it has served me well.    (Joe Arguello)

Ah, you're in luck. Would you believe that we have a consensus on the best glue and methods? If you do, call me, I have a bridge I'd love to sell.  :)

Carl's advice is sound, although there are two camps in regards to roughing the ferrules.

I'd suggest a bit of reading on Todd's site. You will get the good, the bad, and the rest in one place.

The best glue, of course, is the one I use. Unfortunately, that is what about a dozen other fellows will tell  you, and we each favor a different glue.  (Larry Blan)


I'm ready to mount ferrules on the next rod and got to thinking.  Has anyone ever tried flex coat tip top adhesive, the stick glue that you melt with a flame, for ferrules? It does a great job with tip tops so why wouldn't it work with ferrules?  (Doug Alexander)

    Bohning Ferr-L-Tite is a hot melt  glue that works good on ferrules. I don't know about the Flex Coat product, but Ferr-L-Tite seems to be a lot stronger than Gudebrod ferrule cement, which is commonly used for tip-tops. You can get Ferr-L-Tite in archery supply stores.  (Tom Bowden)

    I use Ferr-L-Tite.  Don't forget to pin the ferrules.  I had my first rod's ferrule pull off the tip section when the adhesive was used with no pin.  Since then I've pinned all my rods, another 9 rods, with no loosening of ferrules.   Admittedly this is not a lot of experience but it's good enough for me.

    I put the pin through where it will be covered by thread when wrapped. That way you don't have to worry about water seepage or visibility.  (Larry Swearingen)


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