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The first PU glue I ever used was sent to me by Robert Kope, as it was not available in this country except in industrial quantities; but more recently I have been able to buy 500ml tubes of a German PU which goes only under an alphanumerical identification. It differs from the Probond product in having a much shorter working time,  and it was a nuisance at the time of binding and straightening the glued blank, in that I found the gloves sticking to the job, and the job sticking to everything else.

Also, it was foaming like a pod of whales with rabies.

So what I do now is keep a bowl (I use an old stainless steel yuppie kitchen bowl - JoJo will no doubt be pleased to note that this one does not have a picture of a rabbit on the bottom) about half filled with alcohol. You could use methylated spirit, but I have a good supply of pure ethyl alcohol which is not so offensive in either smell, taste, or connotation, and I keep it on the end of the bench. As soon as I find things starting to gum up, I dip my gloved hands into the alcohol, and then back to the job. I repeat this dipping stage as often as I need to until the job is done.

The end result is that (a) the sticking problem is eliminated (b) there is practically no foamy residue left on the blank and on the string by the time it's ready to hang up,  and (c) the glass slab I use as a removable benchtop for gluing and straightening is a real slurry of foam and vodka, which is dead easy to clean up. I just clean it with a wet (alcohol) rag, and after it's dry I remove any remaining residue by scraping the slab with an old but still sharp plane iron.  (Peter McKean)


I have made 5 or 6  rods for  myself that are glued with Gorilla Glue. I can see no disadvantage to using it except that it is messy. The sticks are very straight after a lot of use. You can straighten with heat. There is no mixing needed. I think the curing process may even suck some of the water from the shaft. My Driggs was glued with it, and I fish the snot out of it. However, I have no idea how long it will stay so good. Will it break down over time? I do not know. I can tell you that I cleaned up the in and outfeed tubes on my 4 string binder yesterday,  and this  glue (have not used in months) is a real pain to chip off. The chunks of it that came off were flexible and tough along their length, BUT they were rather brittle, and I could easily break them in half at any point with a snap. I do not know what that means in practical applications. It is just a fresh observation.

I use the Borden brand URAC equivalent, because I don't mind measuring and need to justify my purchase of the scale. I have also used Epon, Dap Weldwood, and TB II for shafts. The Urac is not as messy as the epoxy, and it can tolerate more heat to straighten than the TB II or the Weldwood. I use the URAC because it is pleasant to use, and Degere and Kusse and several other long time makers have recommended it after they have used it for years with no failures.

I am hoping to try Resorcinol soon when I start some projects for myself. I just have not used it yet because the purple glue line issue scars me, and I have not had the chance to build much for myself lately.  (Bob Maulucci)

    It should be noted that PU glue isn't any better at gap filling than any other glue.  The stuff that foams up has no real strength. Don't be fooled by this hype.  (Dave Kenney)

      Another useless assumption of mine goes down the crapper!  The more of those I can get rid of, the better.

      Now I'm working on the (rather common) assumption that our modern adhesives are superior to hide glue.   So far,  I've learned that, if you use hide glue, you should try not to boil your rod in water afterward.  I think I can live with that advice.  Otherwise, I have heard no arguments against hide glue.

      Help me out on this one, fellows.  Maybe we all have something to learn.  (Bill Harms)


When I use PU glues, I don't bother to wet the strips; there seems to be plenty of ambient moisture to effect curing of the glue, and  I have yet to have a failure - although even as I say that, I know that I am going to wish that I hadn't.

I bind by hand most of the time, using an arrangement where my string is fed through a tension device. One of the reasons I do this is that I don't seem to get any twist this way, and another is that I don't have to worry about getting all this crap off a binder. However,  this PU glue will clean off with alcohol, and even when pretty well set up will still peel off metal fairly easily.

There are PU's and PU's, of course, but the one I use (the two, actually, Elmer’s Probond and AV510) I take both the string and the glue residue off the blank after 12 hours  with no trouble at all. In fact, I   just rip the glue off with the side of an old plane iron,  and it's sort of semi soft at this stage. Compared with epoxy  and urea formaldehyde it's a breeze, and no toxic sanding dust to take out your respiratory mucosae!

I find that the AV510, which is really my preferred preparation, sets up tacky a bit faster than my relaxed pace of hand-binding would prefer, and the way I get past that is to keep a small bowl of alcohol on the bench, and when the glue gets a bit sticky, I dip the old gloves in the alcohol. This not only solves the problem of the sticky gloves, but also pretty well gets rid of most of the PU residue, so when you do have to pull the string off,   there is very little muck mixed up with it.

It's a funny thing,  though - even though the glue gets "glove tacky" you still have stacks of time with the glue in terms of working and straightening time.

I really like the stuff. The last rod I glued, a couple of weeks ago, I did with Epon, largely because I have a lot of it,  and I can tell you, it will be a long time before I use Epon again.  (Peter McKean)

    I have the same experience with PU, I've yet to have any failure. I don't wet my  strips either,  I actually  spoke to some of the lab-guys at the Casco factory, and they told me it was not needed cause the glue will use the "ambient" moister from the air. It is plenty of time to work with the straightening after binding and it takes heat very well.  (Danny Twang)


Last night I tried the less expensive Polyurethane Glue commonly found at Home Depot and many other stores.  It's called "PL- Polyurethane" and about half the price of Gorilla glue.  I made the following observations.

  • There was very little foaming.  Actually no foaming was observed until this morning and that was in some of the thicker glue left on the string.  I did not dampen the strips before applying the glue but I did spray the left over glue on the newspaper with water and did not observe any foaming there either.  This is in stark contrast to my experience with Gorilla Glue, which foams up so fast that I can barely get the strips through the binder.  I understand from Adam Vigil however, that his Gorilla Glue did not foam like mine, so there may be some variations in the formula from batch to batch coming from the factory.
  • PL had a significantly longer working time than Gorilla.  The glue was applied at 7 pm and remained sticky until past my bed time.  The glue was set hard in the morning.
  • I don't know the reason why, but PL seemed to be a lot less messy in the binder and seemed easier to clean up.  Perhaps the longer working time had something to do with this.
  • The strips glued up nice and tight with no visible glue lines or dry joints and this morning the sections were good and stiff.  Temps last night were in the Low 70's.

So far,  I'm fairly impressed.  I'll pull the string off tonight and see how it scrapes and sands. 

Any comments on PL out there?  (Jim Harris)

    I use Gorilla glue (and the Titebond PU) for everything around the house (including gluing loose bricks on the stairs and a cement birdbath that broke in half - still holding water, as new, after 1 year).  I do not see the instant foaming you report with either.  I bind my rods by hand and have plenty of time, though I assume it takes me longer than the binder gizmo guys.

    It seems that even mediocre quality control would prevent the batch-to-batch variation notion, but would expect different working times across formulations.  I love the stuff.  (David Smith)


I've seen some discussion that use of PU glues increases diameter of rods by 10 thousandths.  I would assume that means glue lines 5 thousandths thick?  Lots of work into splitting, straightening (short nodes a must!) planing and then glue lines?  Or is this 10 thousandths an "internal measurement?  (Chris Raine)

    You're correct, Chris.  An outside diameter increase of 0.010 would be a glue thickness of 0.005 between any two adjacent strips.  From the geometry, a glue thickness of "x" amount will cause a flat to flat increase of "2x".  (Claude Freaner)

      Thinking about the geometry of a cross section of a hex rod, we have 3 glue lines contributing to an increase in diameter. One glue line does contribute fully to the increase in diameter, 90 degrees to the thickness being measured, but the other two are at 60 degree angles and contribute less of it's total thickness to the increase in diameter, but they do contribute some. Personally I can't see how a glue line of 5 thousandths would give an increase of 10 thousandths, unless the contribution of the two glue lines at 60 degrees to the direction of measurement is half of the glue lines thickness. But to do that I would think that the glue lines would have to be at 45 degrees.

      After all that - Titebond is a water based glue and I think the increase in diameter is due to the water in the Titebond and it will  shrink as the  Titebond cures and dries out.  (Darryl Hayashida)

        If you put any material, glue or shim or what ever between two pieces of any material, you change the measurement of the two combined thicknesses.  (Patrick Coffey)

        I use Titebond II Extend and I have no visible glue lines.  My measurements do not grow after glue-up either.  I do not have a binder, so I bind by hand.  It is possible that the binding pressure that I use in hand binding may solve these problems.  It does contribute to bends in the tips, though.   (Hal Manas)

          The only way you can be accurate in the amount the glue line adds to the overall dimension of the glued up blank is by binding the splines without glue, measure it and then proceed with the glue up. File just the glue off and measure again. I have a feeling the glue is being blamed for splines that are not exactly 60 degrees.  (Marty DeSapio)

    I'm wondering if the glue didn't start setting up so fast that maybe the strips never got fully  compressed?  (Jerry Madigan)

      Would increasing the tension on the binder help compress the strips to reduce or eliminate this?  (Pete Lawrence)

      How much working time do you guys get with PU at normal room temps?  (Mark Wendt)

        I get no visible glue lines and have not seen a measurable difference in dimension when gluing with PU (ProBond).  Because the glue is catalyzed by moisture, it doesn't seem to be affected by temperature and you get 2-3 hour working time.  I squeeze out enough into a little plastic medicine cup to glue up an entire rod and take my time.  I've never had any problem with it.  After about 16 hr you can take the string off and easily scrape the glue off the outside of the blanks because the glue is still slightly plastic.  It really takes a couple of days to fully set up.  (Robert Kope)

          I'm not sure at what point glue lines become visible, but to me a .001 gap is visible. Not being able to see a glue line must mean it is much smaller than .001. I would venture to say that glue lines shouldn't increase rod diameter at all. Or at the most .001.  (Darryl Hayashida)

          I use the Elmer's ProBond. The instructions say that you can wait 15 minutes before clamping. I bind by hand and have time to straighten a couple of times before I hang the sections up to dry. They are cured enough to take down in 12 hours but they stiffen up considerably in the next couple of days. I use the natural moisture in the air and in the cane to cure the glue. I do not mist the strips. I wipe off the squeeze-out with isopropanol and I see very little foaming. The blank does not show measurable flat to flat dimension increase and the only glue lines are my fault because sometimes I get some chipping at the nodes. This may in part be because I use 61.5 degree strips. I really like the stuff.  (Doug Easton)


I just wanted to hear some opinions on using Gorilla Glue or ProBond to glue strips together, by people that have actually used one or both of the glues.  (Joe Esther)

    Gorilla Glue works fine. I have a few rods over 5 years old glued with it, and they are good as ever. I feel the downfall is the horrible mess the glue makes. I only use it in a jam nowadays for demo rods and such. but the glue is a decent one, just not very user friendly when it foams and goos all over. You can have a fit sanding it off.  (Bob Maulucci)

      I have made several rods using polyurethane glues, about seven or eight of them with Elmer's ProBond.

      We are not able to get ProBond here, but  Robert Kope kindly sent me some to try.

      It was a very nice glue to use, though for someone like me who had only really used epoxies the foaming took a little getting used to.  The convenience of a one pack glue is hard to beat, and the results are excellent.

      Also, I find the smell of some epoxies quite unpleasant, and the ProBond has no smell that I can detect, at least.

      I found it useful to keep a dish of alcohol near the bench during binding, as I am a pretty slow worker, and toward the end my gloves had a bit of a tendency to stick to the job, but a quick dunk in the alcs freed them up nicely.  As an unexpected bonus, the rinsing effect markedly reduced the cleanup process and made removal of the string a breeze.

      The rods I made with the ProBond are good rods, and they get a lot of work.  Some I have myself, some I have sold to people who fish them hard,  and they are sound units.

      I tried several of the locally available PU's, and none was as good as ProBond, for various reasons, mainly associated with convenience of using them.  I am now again using epoxy, though Andrew Chan recently got a couple of bottles of a glue called ProBond which is available in New Zealand and he let me have a bottle, which I will try soon.

      If it is as good as the Elmer's  product I will  seriously have to think about going back to using it.

      I guess that Andrew has a few rods under his belt by now using this glue, so he may well be able to add something to what I say.

      Very nice glue, very convenient to use.  (Peter McKean)

        I've used ProBond on about 50 rods now without a problem.  It is easy to use, no smell and sands easily after it is dry.

        No complaints so far.  (John Kenealy)

          I know woodworkers like it, the dried glue is softer than the yellow stuff, so doesn't chip planer knives.  (Neil Savage)

            I use PU glue but European brands. I like it though things can get a bit sticky. Is there a shelf life? I used 'old'  glue once and the joints of my nodeless splines failed.  (Geert Poorteman)

              Yes there is a shelf life, and once it's opened it doesn't usually keep too long, maybe 3 to 6 months.  I think it's supposed to be good for a year from manufacture.   If  it's  getting  thick,  I'd  try  a test glue-up before using it on anything critical.  It's expensive, so I buy the smallest bottle I can as I don't use it all that often.  (Neil Savage)

                In my experience, Gorilla Glue foams up more than Elmer’s ProBond.  I've used both and I think less foam is better for rods.

                The color of PU glue matches the cane, making glue lines less visible than, say, Resorcinol.

                It seems to have more heat resistance than PVA glues like Titebond.

                After having a couple of nodeless rods break at the splices, I'm in agreement with Tony Young that only the strongest glue should be used for nodeless splices, and that glue is Resorcinol. Gluing the strips together is much less critical, strength-wise.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

      I've used both because they are the same formulation. No glue lines unless your planing is faulty. Gorilla Glue does what the ads say it does.  (Lee Koeser)

      I have used a PU from Lee Valley called Excel One.  It is a European formulation and the distributor is out of Louisiana.  He seems to be a good guy.  I called to ask a question about shelf life and the owner of the company called me back and we spent about an hour on the phone.  I think this is when my wife really determined I was crazy.

      Anyway, he explained how the glue works, its properties, shelf life etc.  It has a 14 month shelf life from the date of packaging.  All PU glues have a shelf life.  This is the reason they sell it in such small quantities.  I would check with ProBond or Gorilla for their shelf lives and it's good until date.

      The stuff is cheap, I just bought a bottle yesterday for $4.95 Can for 50 ml.  On my last rod I used it for everything including cork and mounting ferrules.   It does not foam much,  and sands of like a dream.  I did however get a slight separation at the very tip of one section that I repaired.  I chalk this up to dryness in the house, that was the one section that I did not wipe down with water before I applied the glue and the fact that I was at 14 months. It even had good resistance to heat.  Go to Lee Valley's web site and they have the instructions for it, properties etc. 

      The reason I tried it was because of so many people on the list that said they tried it.  I am quite impressed and will definitely use it on my next rod.  I found it to be much easier than the epoxy, cleaner than the resorcinol and longer open time than URAC.    (Mark Babiy)

      I use the ProBond for the ferrules also, I like it, it works for me.  (Kyle Druey)

    I've been using ProBond for years and really like the stuff.  I've used it to glue up strips and to glue up cork for grips.  I just heard from Ray Gould that he's tried it as a replacement for Urethane Bond for gluing on ferrules, grips, and tiptops with no problems.

    In my experience, it only foams where the glue is thick.  So you get a few foamy spots on the outside of blanks, but it's still pliable after 24 hr and it's easy to scrape it off before it fully cures.  I like the tendency to foam when you glue up grips, because the glue will expand to fill any voids.

    I always wear disposable latex exam gloves when I glue with it so cleanup is not a problem either.  If you get it on your skin, I've heard that it will turn black and you will be wearing it until it wears off, but I've had no personal experience with that.

    I get about a year out of a bottle before it starts to thicken up.  But it's only about $8 for an 8 oz bottle, and for the convenience of no mixing and at least 2 hr open time, that's really a good deal.   I believe that you could make a finished rod using ProBond as the only adhesive.  I'll probably do that someday just to prove a point, but I still like to use epoxy for ferrules and tiptops because you may need to remove them some day, and I'm not sure that you can remove ProBond.  (Robert Kope)


I glued up a tip section with the Elmer's PU glue (labeled Ultimate) and it worked perfectly.  I did not experience the problems with the glue rapidly setting up like the Titebond version and the foaming was considerably less.  After a half an hour the Elmer's was still wet and workable.  Some people might like glues that set up quickly but the Titebond PU was almost unusable as it began to set up immediately.

Have to give the Titebond PU a big thumbs down.  (Lee Orr)

    Given the reported failures with Gorilla PU what is the likelihood that they will also occur with Elmer's and Titebond PUs? Has anyone used them prior to the 4-year period mentioned with these failures? In other words how similar are the various PU glues in this respect? Also, does anyone know when they were introduced? If they've only been out 4-5 years then maybe we are just starting to see the leading edge of a series of failures. Or maybe they have been improved  since they were first released. At any rate I think I'll stick with the tried and true until these have been proven by the more adventuresome.  (Larry Puckett)

    You guys are discouraging the crap out of me, my first rods are all glued with Gorilla glue. So what I'm reading is they will all be crap in a couple more years.  (Pete Van Schaack)

      Fear not, experience with PU glues here in Denmark goes back at least 10 years - no reports of failing glue.  (Carsten Jorgensen)

      I'm not complaining about the durability of PU glue.  I really don't think that will be an issue.  I was pointing out that the Titebond version of the stuff just about glued my  blank to  the binder.  (Lee Orr)

    I used Elmer’s PU ultimate glue on my last glue-up and it was easy to work with. I had plenty of time for binding and straightening. I let it hang for two hours and removed the string and scraped off the foam out and checked for straightness, it was perfectly straight. I then ran it through the binder again and hung it for 24 hours. I am very pleased with the results. In the area that is under the handle is a 1/4 in "glue line", after sanding if you didn’t know where to look you couldn't find it.

    I am very satisfied with the glue, however "like others" I'm concerned about it life span.  (David Matthews)

    I used Excel, one of the first types of PU glue out, about 8 years ago. I haven't had any failures on those rods yet. I've been using Elmer's PU glue (not exclusively - I also use Titebond II Extend on my own personal rods) for two years and nobody has complained yet. I haven't had any problems with the Titebond II either.  (Darryl Hayashida)


I keep getting more intrigued with Gorilla Glue and Titebond compared to epoxy and traditional adhesives/glues. They are readily available and with Titebond you get water cleanup.  Gorilla Glue seems to have a better working time relative to Titebond (15 minutes compared to 10) and also seems good in other specs. However I was wondering about its expansion characteristics (expands 3-4 times as it sets up). Does this create a problem when binding the splines together? Does it lead to more open joints? Anyone know the heat stability of Gorilla Glue relative to Titebond which seems to release at about 180?  For anyone who has used Gorilla Glue what has your experience with it been and any tips.  (Larry Puckett)

    I've used Gorilla Glue and like it, the expansion fills the glue lines real well and on a blonde rod it's about the perfect color. Haven't had a problem with working time, just messy as hell. I have unbound after 3 hours and no longer tacky and scrapped the excess off. Found if you let it go too long gets tough to get off.  (Pete Van Schaack)

      Mike Brooks' testing is very interesting -- makes you wonder whether or not he's trying to build rods to Milispecs! Gorilla Glue sounds very good except for the messy as hell part. Sure would be nice to be able to wipe it down with a wet rag and then move on. Their comment that the best way to remove it after it sets up is with a chisel also gives some concern.  (Larry Puckett)

        You can wipe down the blanks glued with Gorilla Glue while the glue is still wet with denatured alcohol.  I have used Gorilla Glue for several rods.  I will never use anything but at this point.  (David Smith)

          I let mine sit for a week before I take the string off.  I just sand it off with 220 grit.  No problem, just have to be careful not to round the edges.  That being said, I also use upholstery thread not glace cotton, so the string comes off in one piece.  It would probably be easier if you whipped it down.  I think the issues with getting the glue off is far outweighed by the availability, cost, and no mixing.  (Lee Orr)

    I use Elmer's Ultimate Glue.  It has a working time of forever.  It will still be tacky after an hour.  Titebond II sets up way to quickly for me.  I also used Titebond's PU and almost glued a blank to my binder.  (Lee Orr)

    I have made several rods with Titebond II, some of them are going on 9 to 10 years old. No problems yet, but I doubt any of those rods have been heated above 180 F. I don't really take extraordinary care of my rods, but due to theft concerns I don't leave my cane rods exposed inside a car. That's the only place I can think of that one of my rods might encounter temps in that range. In any case I don't think a Titebond glued rod would delaminate even if it was heated to that temp. Heated and flexed, maybe. I should make a few small sections and heat them in an oven to see if this concern is valid. I remember one lister writing in and saying that he had a mishap where he burnt a Titebond glued blank in his oven and the glue didn't let go.

    Polyurethane glues are excellent for rod making, I have used a few brands, but not Gorilla Glue specifically. The expansion and foaming has never been a problem when gluing splines, the glue doesn't get trapped inside and force the splines apart, it does ooze out a bit, but a properly bound blank doesn't show more glue lines glued with PU glues than any other type of glue. PU glues are somewhat of a problem when used to glue handles and reel seats on. Glue foam oozes out from under the handle and reel seat for quite a long time and you have to be constantly wiping it off, but on the other hand all the voids under the handle and in the reel seat are filled.

    PU glue or Titebond II (Titebond III is out now) - in my mind it's a tossup. I glue my own rods with Titebond and don't have any qualms about it, but some of my friends didn't trust it and wanted me to glue their rods with PU glue.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    I have had some bad experiences with gorilla glue, and I have had some good experiences with it.  I have used it in the past to glue on reel seats and even some ferrules.  I have had two ferrules fail.  I am now using a product (epoxy) that will not fail.

    Another downside to the gorilla and any other glue of it's type (IE: ProBond, etc.) is the foaming.  You have to sit with it and keep it clean with mineral spirits.  (Joe Byrd)

    I have not used Gorilla Glue, but use Elmer's ProBond woodworking glue (AKA Ultimate Glue) almost exclusively now.  From what I've heard, it sounds like it foams a little less than Gorilla Glue, but other than that it should be pretty similar.  The expansion of these glues is due to foaming, and it does not lead to open joints at all.  In fact, I can't measure any increase in rod dimensions when I glue up. The glue will not foam at all unless it's thick enough.  In a tight joint, it's invisible. However, if you have any gaps, the glue will foam and this will be visible.  In addition, I suspect that the glue joint will be substantially weakened by the foam, because if it foams, there's a bunch of air in the joint.

    I have also been using it to glue on ferrules.  It has exactly the same composition as Bohning's Power Bond, which is used by archers for gluing nocks and points on arrows.  Before I started using it for ferrules, I contacted Bohning and Elmer's about the heat stability of both glues.  Bohning said that Power Bond will soften at temperatures over 350 degrees, but they would not recommend using heat to remove it from bamboo.  Elmer's Technical services said that heating ProBond to temperatures over 400 degrees could damage the glue joint and may result in joint failure.   That's good enough for me.  (Robert Kope)

      These are exactly my observations. Jeff Wagner uses power bond for ferrules and he also pins them. One nice thing about removing the string and excess glue is that the clamping time for ProBond is about 6 hours. It is safe then to remove the string. It unwinds easily since the glue is still a bit sticky. Then you can remove any excess glue by judicious scraping before it completely hardens. After that I leave it alone for another 6 hours before I sand with 220. I do not wet the joints except when I glue on ferrules. The excess moisture promotes foaming. One thing  that I notice is that under these conditions for gluing  the rod sections get stiffer with time. It takes about 1-2 weeks before full stiffness is gained. It is OK, however to put finish over the rod before then.  (Doug Easton)


I have just started to use Pro Bond Poly to glue up my blanks and it seems that it expands the section a few thousandths after it dries.

Has anyone else noticed this expansion using the Pro Bond Poly glue?  (Tom Peters)

    I had that problem, until I stopped spraying the strip with water before gluing. There is enough moisture in the cane.

    That stopped most of the foaming and expansion problems for me.  (Doug Sandberg)

    Yes, don't use any water and bind firmly. No problems. Also, the blank will continue firm up over the next week but it's OK to unbind in 6-8 hours.  (Doug Easton)

      When I first started using ProBond I followed the directions and sprayed the strips with water, applied the ProBond, bound, wiped the section down with acetone, straighten and hung to cure. My routine then was to remove the binding after about 4 hours, wipe down the section again with acetone, rebind and hang to cure for another day. No problems.

      However, once I forgot to spray the strips with water & didn't realize it till I removed the binding at the 4 hour mark and noticed the ProBond was not setup as much as usual. Having nothing to lose I wiped the section down with acetone, rebound, sprayed it with water and hung to cure. For the next several days I sprayed it with water when ever I thought of it. Turned out to be my favorite rod.

      ProBond will foam if you apply to much. All you need is enough to wet the surfaces and wipe off the squeeze out. I've found it will add about .004" to the "d" of the section.  (Don Schneider)


Here's one for the Aussies:  Is there anywhere you have found Gorilla Glue. It looks good for attaching cork preformed handles to the blank. It is a gap filler. I also read that once set up it's more or less for ever, so needs careful cleanup. Or do you have a comparable product idea from Oz.  (Sean McSharry)

    I've not come across the Gorilla Glue. I've been using a 2 part epoxy with a very high viscosity - sort of a paste like Vaseline, for grips and seats. Very good as it doesn't drip or run. It was marketed under the name "Megapoxy", where I bought it in Geraldton (from a fiberglass shop). I think there are similar products around from most fiberglass suppliers.  (Nick Taransky)

    Robert Kope, some years ago, sent me a bottle of Elmer’s Pro Bond,  and I made several rods with it, and thought it was great stuff.  But, like Gorilla Glue, it is not locally available.  I tracked down a local company called AVSyntec which makes and markets  a pretty good PU glue, which you can find on their web site.

    I used PU's for quite a while, because they don't smell as bad as Epoxies (the one I was using at least), and because of the obvious advantage of having a one-part glue.  In fact, Andrew Chan located some PU called Pro Bond in New Zealand, and procured a bottle for me.

    By the time I got it I had started to use the Epon I get from Adhesive Engineering there in Sydney again, and have kept on with it.  Either the current batch doesn't smell as bad as the previous batches, or else the previous batches have clagged out my sense of smell.

    What I use for cork handles these days is plain old Selleys Urethane Bond. Expensive as buggery, but for the purpose for which I use it, it lasts a long time.  The critical  thing with all these PU glues is simply to have the tube full right up to the almost overflowing point when you put on the cap.. They are moisture-cured, and will last well if you don't have a lot of atmosphere in the tube with the glue.

    I think you could glue the corks on with just about any old thing and certainly I know one bloke who uses Aquadhere with excellent results.

    How does the rod look?  (Peter McKean)

      Well, I thank you and Nick and in advance others. I note Adhesive Engineering as a local alternative to Bingham for Epon.

      Selleys is easily available and probably the way to go. Any old thing worries me a bit if potentially brittle.

      The rod. I have had the attention of the Rev Harry for straightening the tips. Whatever happened with the cleaning down and resetting of those tips in the forms made interesting sweeps! I'm imagining goblins and horrors of night. I mean, these sweeps creep back in the dark.  (Sean McSharry)


I picked up a bottle of Elmer's ProBond recently after hearing about it on the list. I like this stuff a lot. It is pretty nice not to have to mix epoxy all the time, and I like the fact that it foams up ever so slightly. I did some ferrules the other night, and if there was any space between the ferrule and the cane,  it was definitely filled. In fact, on one of the rods it oozed out and the ferrule tabs were covered. After 24 hours, I found that I could cut off the excess with a razor blade, and I used a soft wire brush on a Dremel to clean up any remaining glue. You can even wire brush the cane if you are careful. seal my blanks immediately after sanding with a wipe on varnish. The wire brush took the finish off, but did not scratch the cane (at least not visibly using a flip focal). Time will tell how it holds up, but so far so good. Another thing about ProBond - I had two bottles of Gorilla Glue, and both solidified before I used even 1/4 of each bottle. This does not see m to happen with ProBond.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    Yeah, the ProBond is good, all right.

    If you bind down your tabs on the ferrule with soft wire - I use fuse wire - you will find that pretty much all of the slop comes away with the wire.  (Peter McKean)

    Move to Louisiana.  The humidity here will set up a bottle of ProBond in no time flat.  I buy the smallest bottles I can find and simply throw them away when they get too thick to use.  I mostly use it for gluing cork rings to the rod and to each other.  The foaming helps fill any voids in the cork.  (Harry Boyd)

      Since PU glues set due to moisture, squeezing the bottle until the air is almost all eliminated helps a lot.  I have a bottle that's going on 2 years old & still good.  (Neil Savage)


Speaking of PU glues,

While I use them regularly on cork grips and have glued a coupla blanks together with PU glues, I have a problem with storage.  I've been buying the small bottles simply because I usually throw away 75% of what's there.  Have any of you found a solution to keep them from thickening and eventually skimming over in the bottle?   (Harry Boyd)

    I buy the small bottles.  I thought I'd get a bargain and buy the big honkin' bottle of Elmer’s PU.  Ended up wasting a bunch of it.  You also can only pour out the stuff some many timed before the bottle opening starts getting all buggered up.  Getting a chunk of old glue in the blank also makes me nervous.  (Lee Orr)

    I use the "Ultimate Glue" for about everything except cork to cork bonds. There is one "sort of" solution. You can put a spring clamp on the bottle to squeeze it so that the air space is reduced. This seems to help. I agree that it is a problem for me, but except for a couple of months in the summer the air is probably a lot less humid  in Western New York than where you live.  Its the water vapor that kicks it.  (Doug Easton)

    If you find one, please let us all know.  I like PU for cord grips too and even the small bottles last longer than their shelf life.  (I guess we just don't build enough rods, Harry.)  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

      The problem with  PU Glues  (I use Gorilla Glue)  in the south  is the humidity that kicks the glue...

      Even here in Colorado we have the same problem but to a lesser extent...

      I have had great success with the cans of compressed gas used in computer dusters...

      It's heavier then air and moisture free, spray some  in and  tightly cap...

      I still buy the small 4 oz bottles, enough to do 4 rods or hundreds of cork grips.  (Dave Collyer)

    Try expressing as much air as possible from the bottles before capping them and then store in the refrigerator.  (Larry Puckett)


I haven't used any of the polyurethane, I use the Epon/Versamid from Bingham's and heat set, but you got my curiosity up. Do you wet the strips to activate the glue before application. I guess what I'm asking is how do you use the PU to  glue strips.   (Floyd Burkett)

    I mist the strips and let them soak up  the moisture for about 5 minutes, then apply the PU with a toothbrush. I'll do one section at a time, in case I run into trouble during the binding, so it takes three toothbrushes to complete a rod. This method has worked very well for me.  (Larry Fraysier)


I use Elmers Polyurethane Probond/Ultimate Glue, and was wondering if there are any precautions I should take with hollowed sections. I normally moisten the strips, apply it liberally, and then wipe the excess off after binding. My concern is that the cavities will fill with excess glue or the foamy substance that this glue creates, potentially adding weight and defeating the purpose of hollow building.

This will be my first hollow rod.  Any advice would  be much appreciated.  (Tom Bowden)

    I've never used Probond on a hollow built rod.   I always use Epon.  My worry with any of the PU glues and hollow building isn't so much that the foaming glue would fill the hollow center.  I'm afraid that the foamy stuff might break loose inside, and actually rattle!!  Clicking ferrules are aplenty worrisome.  Don't know what I'd do if the rod shaft itself clicked. (Harry Boyd)


For those that use Power Bond Instructions say to  "lightly moisten." I assume that means with water. Is that correct?   (Tony Spezio)

    Yes, they mean water. I simply mist mine with a sprayer while holding the strips vertically,  taped and ready for gluing (peeled open in order to wet the pith side). I then use an air gun to blow away any large droplets and let it air dry for 15 minutes before applying glue.

    Also, realize that although you can remove the string within 8 to 10 hours and scrape the glue the glue will continue to cure for a week or more. I once delaminated a butt section after two days cure by heating and removing a twist. The glue was visually unset in the center.  (Steve Shelton)

    I use denatured alcohol to clean the strips. This leaves them moistened.  (Lee Koeser)


I'm really sick of sanding dried gorilla glue.  I can get the string off OK, but working it with 360 grit sandpaper is a drag, and I don't want to go more course.  Have used the stuff on a few rods, and like the action it gives the rod and the look of the glue, or the fact that it hides glue lines, since I don't ever see any. I also really like using a one part glue that has enough working time to glue up and bind three sections if I have everything ready and work fast.

I seem to remember someone having a tip about when to remove the string and clean the blank, and then re-bind for the full cure time.  I couldn't find the email or the tip on the tips site, so any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.  I'd like to know when I can remove the string without risking a delam, and what to use to clean up tacky PU glue.  I can probably figure out the rebind part on my own, I'm pretty sure.  (Jason Swan)

    I have made several rods with Gorilla Glue and find that you can safely remove the string after 6 hours. I usually glue up in the early evening and remove it early the next morning. I then scrape the glue with a paint scraper with a carbide blade. After scraping I have found that very little glue remains for sanding chores. Wash the blank in the string for 1-2 hours after binding with denatured alcohol to remove most of the squeeze out before it sets up. I did not see any benefit to rebinding after cleaning up the blank. The stuff should be cured enough by this point.

    The trick is to find that period where the clamping time is met  (4 hours per instructions)  and before  the glue really  sets up hard.  If the glue squeeze out is semi-soft the scraper will work very well. Big advantage here is you are doing without the toxic sanding dust. If you wait until it has set fairly hard the scraper will chatter and damage the blank. At this stage about the only way you can get the glue off the blank is with sandpaper.

    I usually do not attempt straightening with heat for 48 hours. Gorilla Glue will continue to harden and cure for a week or more. In talking to the people at Gorilla they informed me that the glue will not let go until approximately 450 degrees (or 650 degrees sticks in my mind for some reason). Regardless, either temperature will kill a blank before the glue lets go.

    All that said, I have recently switched to resorcinol.  (Steve Shelton)

      I usually start cleaning things up at about 6 to 8 hours, then let the blank sit for another day or so.  I'd like to try cleaning it before it cures because I don't want to risk screwing things up with a scraper.  By this time I don't get near the things with anything sharp or hard!  Just aware of the odds...

      Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions.  I've got some more strips soaking, so should be ready to glue up another rod in a week or so.

      BTW, anyone use PU on nodeless rods?  I might try one this winter.  Should I go back to Titebond?  (Jason Swan)

        I did many nodeless rod a few years ago. On my testing of PU glue they failed in testing and Titebond II worked the best for splices.

        While the nodeless rods are beautiful and cast well my imaginary need for making nodeless rods faded away when I learned to heat treat the entire culm with a torch and how to properly prepare a node with a soaked strip. Thanks to Jim Reams.  (Adam Vigil)

        I doubt that, having got to the stage of removing glue, you are likely to damage your sections.

        A scraper is very good for this job.  I used to use my Lie-Nielsen 212 but that started to seem like overkill, and I started to use a cabinet scraper until I got sick of turning the edge.

        I have always on my bench, amid the chaos, a couple of blades from various planes which are either too soft for real planing or have worn down so short with constant sharpening that they are of very limited usefulness, and it is these that I presently use for glue removal - I simply lay the section down on the flat wooden benchtop, clamp  the fat end with a spring clamp, and go at it with the side of the blade, held and used as a scraper. the rigidity of the blade is a big help in keeping the flats flat, and it is not very sharp, so you are very unlikely to damage your cane. When they get too radiused for the job, you can reset them in a couple of minutes on a coarse stone.  I am really anal about sharp blades, and I find it really therapeutic to be able to do something where the  blade can be as shitty as you like!

        The benefit is almost no sanding.  Almost no sanding is always worth shooting for, IMHO.  (Peter McKean)

          I do the same, scraping the rod to get rid of the glue. I use a paper cutter, and its great. If the edge is dull, snap a piece of the blade.

          Here, cabinet makers use a piece of glass as scraper, which has a sharp and hard edge.  (Geert Poorteman)

    I use PU for all my rods and I always make nodeless. I also like PU glue for the qualities you mentioned. One thing is it sticks to hands and fingers with a rarely seen stubbornness. What I do here is either wear this gloves, or rub my hands with an oily lotion and then, after gluing up, wash with alcohol and apply a generous dousing of talcum powder. The second method leaves glue on my hands for two or three days... The first one hurts and is uncomfortable...

    I remove the string when the glue is still slightly elastic, and I use a paper cutter. You know, those office paper cutters you break the tip off when it gets dull. I got a heavy duty version from a famous British brand. Its one of my most used tools. If the glue is hard, its just a little harder to remove, but only takes a  couple of minutes anyway. It also leaves your blank very smooth, smoother than with sandpaper... (Geert Poorteman)

    I use a narrow Craftsman scraper. I find that it removes the glue quickly and will leave the surface ready for dipping. Care must be taken to insure that too much bamboo is removed, but I learned how too do it from my Dad who  was a woodworker par excellence. The corners end up very sharp also.  (Lee Koeser)

    Being the heavy handed soul that I am, I just use 220 grit.  I am very careful not to round corners.  Downside is that takes a long time.  (Lee Orr)

    Try a smooth mill file instead of sandpaper.  It works pretty well and is more controllable than sandpaper.   Just keep your wire brush handy for cleaning.  (Larry Swearingen)


Have any of you ever glued a blank using Gorilla Glue. I'm almost to the point where I will be gluing my first and am afraid Titebond's quick set time will not give me the enough time in case I screw up.  (Tom Key)

    Titebond's quick set time is the reason I switched  to Gorilla glue.  Gorilla Glue may be a bit messy, but gives me the time I  need.  I'm slow.  (Ed Berg)

    Not with Gorilla Glue, but Robert Kope some years ago sent me a bottle of Elmer’s Pro Bond, which is also a foaming PU glue, and I made a lot of rods both with that glue and subsequently with a locally available PU made by AV-Syntec.

    The foaming seems to be an open-air phenomenon, and sectioning of glued sections shows no gaps due to glue. 

    In order to minimize the chore in getting off the string after set-up, I used keep a bowl of ethanol on the bench while gluing up and use it (a) to keep my hands from sticking to the rod section, and (b) to swab the excess glue from the section prior to hanging.

    I thought it was great stuff, and stopped using it mainly because of the kind of tenuous local availability, and because I didn't fancy using a different glue every time I had to buy a new lot.

    You don't have to bind any tighter than you would with an epoxy (non-foaming), remembering that you should ALWAYS bind pretty tight no matter what.  (Peter McKean)

      I have also used Gorilla Glue on about 4 of my last rods.  The working time is very good and I had the same problem with Titebond III of not having much working time and was scared that I would have some delaminated sections.  The only problem that I had with Gorilla Glue was using it on the grip check that goes into the cork grip.  In the drying process the glue foamed out and over the grip check and the reel seat that I had installed earlier.  The foam was hard to get off the reel seat and I ended up having to sand down and refinish the reel seat.  Since that time I have only used epoxy to glue the grip check.  (Tom Peters)

        I have used Gorilla glue on several rods and I agree it is practical, but I do not like to have brown hands since I am a blond white guy.  I think the stuff is messy and I don't like to fuss with it.  I have glued dozens of rods with Titebond II and I have never had any problems.  I do work rapidly, but I am no flash I feel that if I can glue straight sticks with TBII anyone should be able to.  Just my feeble opinion. (Ralph Moon)

          I've glued lots of woodworking projects with Titebond and it works just GREAT - but my WIFE prefers the Epon, since there's SOOoooo much less swearing going on while I'm using it! Being Type A, double+, the stress gets me a bit too wound up with the TB.  (Art Port)

          Don't use Gorilla glue.  Do a dry run just to get formalize with the process, Titebond III the best rod glue in the WORLD.  (Gary Nicholson)

            If anybody ever figures out a formula to make resorcinol cure the color of bamboo instead of purple all other glues will be obsolete when it comes to rodmaking.  (Will Price)

              In the latest issue of Garrison's book, the one I recently let go, there was written something about some addition to the glue to remove the purple. Not being interested I don't remember much about it. Whoever has the book might look it up.  (Tony Spezio)

                That would be interesting Tony. I haven't heard anything about that yet. The only reason I not using resorcinol on the nodeless I'm working on is due to the glue lines. I could live with the lines on the edges as long as they were frpm glue penetration and not because of poor fit(gaps) but the thought of diagonal lines from all the splices would tend to make the rod look like a patchwork quilt.  (Will Price)

                  I used URAC for many years, had the system down to a science with no problems, then one day out of the blue I had a glued up section come apart right out of the oven! So I thought I would once again try Titebond only this time Titebond III which is waterproof as opposed to weather resistant. I thin it down 5% with water when I get it and then use it as such. I think any glue that will hold enough so that the wood on either edge gives before the glue does is just fine.

                  Last but not least it is good enough for the Joe E. Arguello rod company lifetime warranty.

                  Which is: "If you break my rod I'll kill You" !!!!!!!!!! :>) Oh s!@*# I'm sure I'll pay for this. :>)  (Joe Arguello)

                    I like your warranty policy, do you mind if I use it, too?  (John Channer)

                    Kind of goes hand in hand with the knife making then huh Joe?  (Will Price)

                  Guys, the stuff you're talking about is Titanium Dioxide (a pigment made by DuPont), a white paste that changes the color. However, Tom Smithwick has said in the past that the color eventually goes back to a pinkish in appearance, so its a less than perfect solution, I'm afraid.  (Bill Walters)

                I think he recommended titanium white. . .but it doesn't matter what it was, since it doesn't work (Hoagy and I have discussed this eventual failure, as has anyone who has tried to color it.  Eventually, the purple creeps back).  (Chris Obuchowski)

                  Resorcinol can be made colorless by the addition of the paint pigment 'Tioxide'. The Tioxide factory happens to be here in Teesside and about 12 miles from our house. This observation was originally made by Hoagy B. (I think it was him?)  (Paul Blakley)

                  I use Titebond III. I like it due to the low toxicity, water clean up, no smell. I haven't had a delamination using any of the Titebond products in the 13 years I have been making bamboo rods. I used Titebond II on the third rod I made.

                  I would continue to use Titebond III even if resorcinol was bamboo colored.  (Darryl Hayashida)

                    I have to agree with Darryl. I switched to Titebond lll a couple of years ago and swear by it. I've discussed my past glue problems on this site last year so I won't rehash them. Till something better comes along I feel Titebond is the best glue for the rodbuilder.  (Mark Heskett)

                      What do you see as advantages of Titebond III over Titebond II. Does Titebond III have a longer working time?  I agree, with whoever said resorcinol was the perfect glue you can order it browner toned, less purple, but resorcinol and me are severing our relationship, forever, I think.  (Timothy Troester)

                        Its waterproof not water resistant as was Titebond II.  (Gary Nicholson)

                          That's what varnish is for.  (Mark Heskett)

                      Talking to the Titbond people, I understood them to say that Titbond III has a longer working time than Titbond II extended.  They also said you could extend the working time by adding no more than 10% water by volume.  

                      I decided to just  "fitz" my section before binding.  So far no problems.   (Terry Kirkpatrick)

                        Does adding water make the TBlll foam like the gorilla glue or does it still act like it does normally. I've only used the Titebond lll on the PMQ I built and on the splice joints of the nodeless I'm currently building. All of the hex rods I've built were glued with Epon.  (Will Price)

                          Adding moisture is supposed to extend the set time.  I said 10% but I'd better check, it might be 5%!   They say don't go over that amount or you might weaken the bond.

                          Anyhow I'm not sure about TBIII having a longer working time than TBII extend.  I was using that, and liked it, even though working time can be a problem.

                          They also said that TB would become pliable if heated, then return to it's dry state as it cooled, so I guess you could heat straighten after glue up?  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

                            When I checked on Titebond II, I was told no more than 5%.  Someone recently mentioned a great tip.  do your thinning when you first get the glue.  Then no worry at glue up time.  (If you keep the lid on)  (Ralph Moon)

                              I did speak in error, and I like the idea of adding the 5% at the start -- but -- the bottle's full when I get it.  I don't think there's room for 5%.   I'm sure misting the section with water won't harm anything.  I don't think misting will drive it over 5%.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

                                When I get the new bottle of TB III what I do is put about an ounce in the last bottle I was using, (use this for gluing cork handles) then I simply add about this much to the new bottle and shake it up. I think if you do the math 5% of 16 ounces is .8 of an ounce I'll bet one ounce wouldn't hurt. You can use your favorite shot glass to measure this out just don't forget to wash it out or the next drunk might 'stick' with you longer :>) sorry cabin fever you know.  (Joe Arguello)

                                  Plus, the St. Petersburg times just went to a smaller format. (Easier to read, they say?? The amount of copy dropped but the adds stayed the same...)  I've got a roll that I've used for various things. (base for much, to keep the weeds down, etc.) I'll have to try some.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

                            Okay, I am not an authority on glues, and I can only verbalize my personal experience with Titebond products. I built cabinets for 17 years, and here are somethings we did in the shop with Titebond I, II, and III. We used to thin it out with water when we worked with mitered joints. The stuff right out of the bottle was way too thick for delicate miter work. This allowed for the glue to nicely squeeze out, and only leave what was necessary. If left thick, it almost always kept joints open even under clamping pressures. In other words, it would be a lot easier to push water through a syringe than molasses. The only failures I ever came upon were never glue related. The wood failed before the bond ever did. Now.........when the glue was thinned, it seemed to me that it tacked up quite a bit faster, but I believe that had to do with the glue layer being thinner in dimension than the thicker stuff. This was the case with all the Titebonds. Also, cold temps make the glue chalk up and not bond, and the warmer temps make it set really fast!!

                            Another thread mentioned Titebond and heat treating, which had me thinking of another process we used. Before we had a vacuum press, for veneers we would roll a thin layer of glue onto both the substrate and veneer, let it totally dry, then line the pieces up and use an iron to melt the glues and bond the pieces together. Titebond is a resin and when dry is basically a plastic (If I remember correctly). So I think heat treating would be okay although if heated too much, it could break that bond. It seems though that the cane would burn before the glue would melt. But gentle heat could soften it enough to allow for straightening, then it would solidify back to normal.

                            Another side note.......we built a lot of exterior millwork (Windows doors etc) and although we used Weldwood, Resorcinol, and a couple of urea formaldehyde products, we kept going back to the Titebond products. The others were great products just temperamental for the guys in the shop!!  (Paul McRoberts)

                        Look if you haven't tried this glue just get some its not going to brake the banks. Once you have used it you can thank all the guys on this site for moving you over to Titebond III. Its the best glue I have used for rodmaking and I started making bamboo rods in 1986. It brushes on like white PVA and washes of your hands with soap and water, It’s waterproof when set and non toxic. Why would anyone use anything else.  (Gary Nicholson)

                        Reading your post carefully, I think you're using a different glue and for a different purpose than the rest of us! I'd be interested in knowing why you need to glue them babies - doesn't Frederick's of Holywood have something for that??  (Art Port)

                        Open time for Titebond III is about 10 minutes. I don't know if you seen the  thread last year about Titebond III, but I'll briefly rehash what I stated. With Titebond III I squirt it right out of the bottle onto the splines then take a acid brush and spread the glue, close the splines and go to the binder and bind the sections. Total time less than 10 minutes.  Straighten the section and hang in the cabinet. Then I go to the next section and repeat. The beautiful thing about using Titebond is you close the bottle between gluing sections and no worries about pot time. I think as rodbuilders, we sometimes get mucked up with adhering to traditional methods and get stubborn about accepting something different. I'm not saying we won't try it, but embracing it is another matter.  I think if modern glues such as Titebond were available to the past masters they would be the path they would have taken. Just my 2 cents.  (Mark Heskett)

                          I've found that the temperature in my shop will make a significant difference in Titebond III open time.  At around 70- degrees I get closer to 12 minutes.  At 80+ degrees I get closer to 8 minutes or less.  I know that doesn't sound like much of a difference compared to slow setting glues, but every minute counts with Titebond III.  Love it anyway.

                          Does adding 5% water extend the open time for Titebond III?  I think someone already asked that question but I didn't see an answer.  Sorry if I overlooked it.  (David Bolin)

                            I have found that if I glue up one section at a time and bind it the short open time isn't an issue. I get everything ready put some newspaper on my bench with some masking tape smear the glue on with a toothbrush, bind the section, then wad the newspaper up clean up my mess and get ready to start over nice and clean on the next section. Works for me. (Should work for a Cave man.) Oh sh#& I suppose they will make a TV commercial out of this with a gecko and all :>)  (Joe Arguello)

                        I'm not sure exactly what it is, something to do with the glue strength, but Titebond III has a higher PSI rating than Titebond II. According to their web site, Titebond II has a 5 minute tack time, Titebond II Extend has a 15 minute tack time, and Titebond III  has a  10 minute  tack time.  Take a  look  at  (Darryl Hayashida)

                    Has anyone ever put together a table of all the glues commonly used, their working times, drying times, and any heat treatments needed? Seems we keep getting the same questions on this topic asked and it would seem useful to have a ready resource available.  (Larry Puckett)

                      Could someone please tell me what sort of glue Titebond III is, exactly.

                      Is it an acid-catalysed polyvinyl acetate, or a water-catalysed PVA, a urea-formaldehyde, casein based, or a melamine product?   (Peter McKean)

                        Their web site says it is  a cross linking polyvinyl acetate.  (Darryl Hayashida)

                          I copied the last information from Titebond II. Titebond III is an Advanced Proprietary Polymer according to their web site.  (Darryl Hayashida)

                      John Zimny is the rodmakers authority when it comes to adhesives and finishes.   He has spent countless hours talking directly to the various chemists & PhD's at the companies regarding the properties of said compounds.

                      Below are the manuscripts he some years ago put up for all on the rodmakers page (under tips, faqs & DIY tools, adhesive updates by John Zimny).  (Chris Obuchowski)

                  If you are going to make the best rod possible shouldn't you also use the best material in its construction? That includes the adhesive used to bond the strips of the blank.  I think we are pretty much in agreement that resorcinol is the best glue to use to make bamboo rods from a structural standpoint. Glue lines will be minimal if your fit between strips is good.

                  I personally find some of the cosmetics requirements put on rod makers by customers and collectors is unrealistic. Yes, I can make a rod that is nearly flawless and I am going to charge you for that extra time that is put into these  cosmetic requirements. We need to remember that we are making fishing rods. As a fishing rod it needs to perform without compromise.

                  My rod making philosophy is to use the best material I can and the best construction techniques available to me. Function first. A glue line that  results from using a purple glue just don't upset me. It is just the consequence of using the best adhesive available. 

                  I use Nyatex but, a spey rod project I am working on will be glued with resorcinol glue lines be danged.  (Jerry Drake)

                    I kinda have to agree with that all.  I haven't done any planing yet. But have some blanks that I have built up and they were built with Resorcinol.  I happened to do the ammonia treatment to browntone pretty deeply and the little glue lines are not easy to notice at all.  I have to say my Resorcinol rods seem to be my favorite.  Something interesting.  You know you see a lot of things in production that have see through coverings  (computer towers are clear so you can see inside what makes it work, watches where you can see the mechanism working, the Buell motorcycle was the first to make a see through windscreen and airbox covers, etc, etc...   It's a personal opinion it's all OK by me.  What the rest of the world thinks and whether or not everyone will or needs to adopt the same perspective still remains.  I'm a resorcinol fan.  I've got a rod that's make with URAC - two of them actually - I won't mention any names of the builder but they're my worst rods by far, I'm really not happy with them one bit.   

                    Glue lines?  No biggie.  It's like I don't mind freckles on a good looking girl either, Other guys just can't handle it.  (John Silveira)

          I find the rods I glued up with Titebond II are nice but and strong but I think Gorilla Glue makes a mildly stiffer rod.

          What have you found?  (Adam Vigil)

      I have used GG for all the rods I have made - 7 rods.

      Moisten the strips, I use a tooth brush, then I go down the section squirting it on in a squiggly line, with the same tooth brush as the water start spreading the glue only working from the thick end on down making sure it's all covered then bind.

      It takes about 4-6 hours before it is no longer tacky to the touch, at this point  remove the string and then with an old plane iron held about parallel to the blank with the angle up I start to scrape the glue - It's much easier at this point, let it set for 24 hours and it is tough to get off.

      As mentioned the foaming is a great gap filler. I find the working time to be adequate with a fresh bottle.  (Pete Van Schaack)

    I've glued several rods with Gorilla Glue or its Elmer's counterpart and have had no problems at all.  Wipe the blank down well with mineral spirits after you get things bound together.  Wipe again a coupla times during the first hour or two.

    DO, I repeat DO wear Vinyl or nitrile gloves while using or your hands will be deep brown for a week.  (Harry Boyd)

      I agree with your gloves comment.  My hands were quite brown after helping my oldest boy build a trebuchet last spring.  (Alan Grombacher)

    Much has been made of the foaming of the polyurethane glues and in my opinion it is way over the top. The problem you describe with your grip check certainly sounds close to a disaster. God knows I have had my disasters with it as well. However, I have learned that when I do a few things it is a great glue with good results. The foaming is mostly a combination of two things - too much moisture and too much glue. When gluing up a blank or other object mist it with a atomizer but do not glue up the project until after all visible signs of moisture have disappeared. Then add the glue, but do it sparingly. In my earlier period of using it I probably used twice as much as I should have. A little goes a long way with this stuff. The last thing I do is monitor the foaming until it no longer foams. I check it every 10-15 minutes for at least an hour and sometimes two. A rag with denatured alcohol will easily and completely remove the foam as it exits the joint.  If you allow it to harden it certainly is difficult to remove. By planning to stay with your project until the foaming process stops there is little or no pain in the cleanup.

    I suspect that most of us initially approach Gorilla Glue as just another glue and are surprised when it does not act like Titebond II or any other glue we have used.   (Steve Shelton)

    I've used the Gorilla glue type for my grips.  Even when I'm careful,  I sometimes get voids between the cork and the bamboo.  This can lead to problems later, so I use what ever Gorilla Glue wanna-be my local hardware store is selling that week, to fill in any voids. 

    It can get out of hand, if you're not careful with it. 

    I have to buy small quantities, because I'm in the humid south.   (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    GG, Love it. One of the up sides is it won't give you cancer. It sets up a rod and has a similar feel to URAC on rod action. Use gloves as stated by others. White vinegar, mineral spirits can help in clean up. If you get the stuff on your hands don't worry you can sand it off with sand paper. That is what I do.  (Adam Vigil)

    I've used Gorilla Glue (or Probond) on 20 rods and find it most satisfactory.  (Lee Koeser)

    I always thought it was called Gorilla because of how it made your palms look.  I use GG to glue cork, but because it foams on in the presence moisture, would hesitate to use it on sections.  Although we can see the foaming after a few minutes, I wonder about what I couldn't see.  The foam has almost no structural value,  and since its kind of bamboo in color, would hide a "smile".  I'm "sticking" with URAC.  (Leonard Baker)

    It all comes down to personal preference.   Titebond III, GG, URAC or all works.  (David Gerich)

    I was catching up on all the glue lines from the last few days.

    Not many other glued-up devices get flexed like a fly rod tip. What I'd like to see is a scientific study of how well these various glues hold up after several years of hard fishing.  Not anecdotal evidence, but something done by a professional in a lab.  My intuition is, while a rod may not actually delaminate, the glue must suffer some degradation after a thousand hours of casting, and maybe the stiffness of the rod is affected too.   I'm sure glue engineers have  technology to investigate things like this.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

      Epon/Versamid is used in Bow making as it's made to flex. I wonder if archery companies have done any of the type of testing your talking about. That would come about as close as anything to the flex while casting.  Thoughts?   (Wayne Kifer)

        Most rodmakers probably by their Epon rodmaking kits from Bingham Archery. I know I did and that is the web site I see mentioned when anybody on the list asks about Epon. I have a Browning compound bow that I bought from Bingham Archery in 1975. I used that bow for hunting deer until 2005. I practiced with that bow an average of 4 days a week every year from March until September taking a minimum of a dozen shots to 30-40 maximum during each practice session. Then hunted with the bow from mid September until the end of January each year. The bow is still going strong, but in 2006 I bought a new bow that flings arrows twice as fast and with a flatter trajectory. The point I'm trying to make is that although fly rod tips are MUCH smaller and probably flexed more often than the limbs on that bow, the limbs go through a lot more torque and violence when pulled back and then again when released to thrust the arrow. Point number 2, the bow was glued with Epon to laminate the wood and fiberglass that the limbs are made of. Epon MUST be some pretty strong stuff.  (Will Price)

    So I see that there is a great need for countless hours of testing various rods glued up using different glues under different conditions and by different makers. So what I propose is that everyone send me his favorite rod and a check so that we can finance this R&D. I will then fish these rods under as many conditions and places as possible for the next several years so as to come up with some good reliable data. Please bear in mind that I will have to quite my job so that I can devote the necessary time and effort needed.  Therefore make sure you are plenty generous with the financing.  (Joe E. Arguello)

      Let me short cut that for you a bit. Send Bill Fink a note and ask him how his '60's vintage Epon glued rods are doing...  (Larry Blan)


I saw this on the news this morning. I hope nobody interprets this as a slam against PU glues - I can't imagine that other glues we use would be any safer. It's a good reminder for us to think about safety and health in our shops.   (Tom Bowden)

Dog OK after swallowing Gorilla Glue

By Associated Press

FREMONT, Ohio -- A black Labrador retriever is expected to fully recover following surgery to escape a sticky situation, swallowing a quarter of a bottle of Gorilla Glue.

The dog named Reggie swallowed the glue two weeks ago, said Dr. Mark Reineck, a veterinarian at Fremont Animal Hospital. The heavy-duty polyurethane adhesive can be used to bond wood, stone, metal and brick.

Reineck played phone tag for a while with the dog's owners, who had called when the dog first vomited, before being able to tell them to bring it in for treatment. The owners declined to be identified.

X-rays showed two large masses in the dog's abdomen. Reineck said the glue turned into foam in its stomach that expanded when it mixed with food and fluid, then hardened.

Reineck operated on Friday and removed two stiff globs, one the size of an orange and the other as big as a head of cauliflower.

"The dog is now doing great and we expect a full recovery," Reineck said. "But it was just too bad that he had to go through this major operation."

Reineck - who has had to remove a raincoat, a stuffed animal's head and the bottom third of a Christmas tree with glass ornaments from other dogs - said people need to be aware that household items can be attractive but dangerous for both pets and children.

Fremont is about 35 miles southeast of Toledo.


On my last rod, a nodeless penta, I used Gorilla glue on the scarf joints and I liked it. Since then the rod has had a good workout and seems just fine. Gorilla may be a cut above Titebond II for scarfs.

I've been finding a lot of applications for Gorilla around the shop and a few outstanding successes that were beyond the call of duty. I've been buying the little 2 oz squeeze bottles and discarding them when they thicken to the point of being very slow to flow, which seems to happen fairly quickly. But I found that if you store them upside down, they flow quickly regardless and give longer shelf life.

I'd like to know more about cleanup of Gorilla glue. The bottles state that the info is on the inside panel which I can't find. Any help out there?

Interesting that it's made in Denmark. We don't make much of anything in the US anymore, do we?  (Bill Fink)

    Check their web site.  (Dennis Haftel)

    Clean-up is tough if you let it cure. You can remove the uncured glue with a solvent, let it almost cure and cut/pull it off, or cut/sand it off once it has cured. I did notice a "new" adhesive remover in the hardware store last week that claimed to work on the poly glues.  (Larry Blan)

    My nodeless splices made with pu glue did not hold up indefinitely, despite adding moisture and careful clamping.  The splices that ultimately fail are those that really get the workout, about 10-20 inches from the tip.

    I think Bob Milward (p. 128) is correct: the ideal glue for nodeless splices has yet to be identified.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

    Pick the corner of the back label with a finger nail, it's hidden there!!

    I find no easy clean up, but, when I glue up a section I remove the string after about four hours, when it's no longer tacky and foaming and still a little soft. I scrape with a plane blade bevel up and gently guided down the flat, it peels off.  (Pete Van Schaack)


Being located a long way from the consumer markets of the USA I often have difficulty accessing many of the brands discussed on this group. That said I used a locally sourced epoxy glue for many years and then switched to Gorilla glue about 3 years ago as it was available in the local hardware shop. The local sourced epoxy was fine to work with , but I had one failure over about 50 rods so switched to Gorilla  and have had  no trouble for a dozen or so rods.

It has always  seemed to me that a glue that does not require mixing eliminates one possible source of error and therefore like Gorilla glue, and it is available in small amounts from the local hardware shop.

However a fellow NZ rodmaker who learnt rodmaking in Europe swears by polyurthane glues, and brings back a box of them when he visits his former home. I have now come across a local source of Titebond products. Having seen the recent discussions on the relative merits of Titebond traditional verses Titebond 11 and Titebond III  I would prefer to stay with Gorilla glue.

I did notice however that Titebond polyurthane is available. Given that its characteristics seem ideal for rodmaking I was wondering if anyone has experience with this product, or other polyurthane glues?  (Ian Kearney)

    To the best of my knowledge, both Gorilla Glue and Titebond Polyurethane glue are humidity-catalyzed polyurethane glues.  I have used both (for projects other than rodbuilding) and found them to be similar.  In other words, why switch if Gorilla Glue is readily available and you are pleased with its results.  (Tim Anderson)

    I used polyurethane for many rods, and had some failures. I believe it was because the PU glue was getting too old. It foamed less than fresh from the shop. The rods made with fresh glue are fine. I used European brands like Bison kit and I think Patex.

    They're a mess to clean, so, since I hand bind, I used surgical gloves to bind.  (Geert Poorteman)


Does anyone have any tips or tricks they use to preserve the longevity of the polyurethane glues? It seems like I open the darn stuff and use it a couple of times only to come back later and find the bottle as hard as a rock!! Maybe it is just the nature of the beast! I have entertained dispensing it into smaller 1 oz bottles and adding Bloxygen, but I fear I will just end up with a small hard as a rock!!  (Paul McRoberts)

    I used to have the same problem until I started buying the little 2 oz bottles. When you are done using the glue point it in an upward direction and squeeze as much air out of the bottle as you can before putting the cap back on. As you know PU glue requires moisture to activate it, by getting the air out you also get out the majority of the moisture that was in the air.  (Don Green)

    I used it for a while, and always stored it in a flexible plastic squeeze bottle sort of container.  I used just squeeze out all the air before capping, cap it tightly and store it upside down.

    I don't know whether it was my storage, the brands of glue or sheer luck, but I never had any trouble.  (Peter McKean)

      That is the way that it says to do it on the side of the Gorilla Glue bottles.  (Greg Reeves)


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