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Do you remember, a couple of years ago there was a post with pictures of a PHY rod collection...? I believe they still are on Darrell Lee's web site. Anyway, there was a couple of rods with a "ventilated" grip. I've been thinking of trying one since I  saw it. I have finally made a Para 14 and made such a grip on it. I've not cast the rod, only wiggled it, but it feels so good. I couldn't imagine cork could be that stiff. Now the rod is really flexing low into the cork.  (Danny Twang)

    The ventilated grip is pretty common on PHY rods, and rods by Bob Lancaster (who builds what are essentially copies of Young rods and tapers).

    I was told that Bob uses spacers cut from plastic milk jugs between the corks when gluing up.  It provides the correct distance and the glues can't stick to it.  The friend who collects Young rods, and told me about Bob's method, said he then "opens up" the space a little with sand paper.

    I think the idea of plastic shims is a great one to get a nice uniformly spaced grip (you can still use a cork press gently).  (Chris Obuchowski)

      The Method I use is sheet cork and cut out with a hole punch with a center hole. Mount the discs on a threaded rod and sand a slope on the cork discs. The sheet cork is available in different thickness.   (Hal Bacon)


I'm posting this to the list, ALTHOUGH I have NEVER tried this and I don't know if it works.  In other words, just because this got posted, don't take it for gospel (sorry, Harry, best word I could think of!). This is just something I heard from someone, sometime, somewhere (it may have even been here on the list) about making those grips.

To create a ventilated grip, similar to the Young grips, use your normal cork rings.  Between each ring, place a round piece of one of those heavy wax paper type milk cartons with a hole punched in it to fit the butt of the rod.  Clamp it down LIGHTLY, insuring that there is plenty of glue on each ring to hold it to the shaft, let it dry, then shape the grip on the rod.  I was told that the glue will not stick to the wax coated milk carton material, so you can tear it out after you've shaped the grip and then you have perfectly spaced rings.

Now, my concern over doing this.  It would seem to me that in order for it to work you would have to somehow seal the butt section of the rod before you put the rings on... I don't know, varnish, impregnate, whatever... you are going to have exposed rod between the rings, so it will have to be protected in some way.  I don't know about anyone else, but the reel seat, reel and grip on my rod get a trouts eye view of water world pretty often, so I'd figure it would need to be protected in some way.

A thought... instead of using small bore rings... what do you think if you were to use a larger bore ring, say 1/2" bore, over a 1/2" straight grip?  In other words, take your worst cork, glue it on the rod like the normal grip would be, turn it down to 1/2" OD then use the wax carton rings and cork rings glued on top of that.  The thin sheet of cork would definitely hold the cork rings well, and it would protect the rod from moisture.  Another thought might be to glue a cork sheet on the rod (wrapped around the grip area using Titebond or some other water resistant glue) then bore your cork rings and carton rings to fit over that.

Anyway... just a thought or two and if you decide to try it, let me know how it comes out.  (Bob Nunley)

    I've done something similar for an altogether  different purpose. Use a tubular cutter to cut out 1/2" rings, glue them up and put them on a mandrel that is  a light press fit  (no glue). Chuck the mandrel up in the lathe, and put an Exacto knife in the tool post with the blade upside down. Think of it as a parting tool. Just part off small slices and glue them up as part of your finished grip.

    Disclaimer: Exacto blades are sharp and unforgiving. They are not really designed to be used this way. I, of course, have no personal knowledge of this, but am passing along what I've heard from other people.  (Larry Blan)

    I've never made one either, but did recently have the occasion to handle an original PHY Perfectionist complete with said grip. As I recall, the spacing between the cork pieces was around 1/8 of an inch. The rod actually felt nice to handle, and the spacing allowed for the rod to really be felt in the grip as it loaded.

    It would be a relatively simple matter to make some polyethylene spacers for this.  (Martin-Darrell)

    One suggestion, Bob.  When you cut out your pieces of milk carton, test with some of the glue to make sure it won't hold.  A  lot   of   milk   cartons   these  days  are  plastic-coated,  not wax-coated.  Also, cut two slits from the center hole out close to the outer edge of the piece of milk carton, stopping before you reach the edge so it isn't cut all the way through.  Then, after your glue has dried on the cork, you can cut the slit the rest of the way through on both sides, and then easily slip the milk carton pieces out of the cork.  Without the slit, you take a chance of tearing off just enough of the milk carton that you can see it down in the crack, but you can't reach it to get  it out.  (Claude Freaner)

      Make your spacers from plastic milk cartons, not the paper ones. No glue will bind to that plastic. Make the spacer C shaped so you can pull them out after the glue has set.  You can reuse them all you want.

      Bob Lancaster, who makes a lot of Young style ventilated grips, chamfers the edges of the cork rings slightly with sandpaper (gives a better feel in the hand, and protects the corners of the cork).  (Chris Obuchowski)

    Well, to each his own, personally, I think the Young ventilated grips are only slightly less ghastly than the Comficient grips South Bend was so fond of. I had to remake one of those and I thought the easiest way to go about it was to glue up a normal grip, then use a file with teeth on the narrow edge to grind out the grooves. Why anyone would  actually want to feel the rod bend under their hand escapes me, I make Para's with a swelled butt just to avoid that very thing.  (John Channer)

      I think the ventilated grip was more of a way to reduce weight, from the reading that is available PHY was supposedly a freak about reducing rod weight at the grip and below.  (Kyle Druey)

        What about using a lathe cut off tool? Might chip out, I guess.  (Bob Maulucci)

          One could rig a rotary  tool in the tool rest and use a small cut off disk to cut the grooves.  (Steve Weiss)

          Do you use a lathe cutting tool to shape your grips?

          I started doing this last year and it really helps to get the rough shape for  the grip, then just smooth it out with sand paper to finish.  (Kyle Druey)

        You won't save any weight by simply spacing out the cork rings a little.  What it does do is reduce the apparent  stiffness through the handle (the rings don't buttress each other), and you'll feel the rod wiggle down to your pinky with each cast. It's a little unnerving; folks either love the grip or hate it (personally I don't care for it, and I'm a big Paul Young fan).  (Chris Obuchowski)


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