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I've broken down and decided to pin my next set of ferrules.  I've purchased what I think is the proper tools and materials.  Can anyone give me some suggestions on a process that works.  I am a true novice on this aspect. I have never seen pinned ferrules.  From what I gather, one sets location of a hole with a punch, drills through, then pushes a wire through. I think at least.

1) Where do you put the pin?
2) Do you glue the wire?
3) Do you drill all the way through, or attempt to drill 2 holes and hope they match?

Also has anyone seen the bamboo cutting boards sold on line and in kitchen stores? Looks like a nice alternative for leftover culms.  (Taylor Hogan)

    I pin my ferrules and will attempt answers.  I pin the male through the slide area, before the male is fitted to the female.  Doing so hides the pin.  On the female, I pin in the "shoulder" area, the section just about the serrations.

    I set up my cheap-o Craftsman drill press with a "V-block" in a drill press vice on the table.  The block is wiggled around till the drill bit hits it directly in the center.  Next I use a small scribe to "punch" a very slight indention in the ferrule so the drill bit will grab.  Then the previously glued-on ferrule is placed on the block and drilled all the way through both sides with a .039" drill bit.  The block keeps things centered.

    I pin with .040" nickel silver wire, and that extra .001" requires that the wire is tapped through with a tiny ball peen hammer.  Cut about a 1" long piece of wire, and sharpen one end with a file or on a grinder.  Since the pins are driven through the ferrule itself and the bamboo, they don't require any glue.  With wire cutters, I cut the pin as closely as possible on both ends.

    Then I peen the ends of the pin.  I place the end of the pin on a small steel block, and give the other end a few light taps with the same small ball been hammer.  Peening actually causes the wire to form a tiny head and fill the hole almost completely.

    I use a needle file to carefully, slowly, gradually file away all the pin which protrudes above the ferrule surface, rocking and rolling the ferrule as I go to round the end of the pin.  On the females,  once the file barely touches the area surrounding the pin, I change to 400g sandpaper for a very few, very light strokes.  I follow the 400g paper with 800g, 2000g, 4/0 steel wool and 3M Perfect-it II.  If I've done a good job, the pin is invisible with the naked eye.  If the job is just barely acceptable, my wife can find it after looking a little while. With the male ferrules, I stop after the file.   Fitting the male to the female hides the pin quite nicely.

    I'm not saying this is the best way, and it certainly isn't the only way.  But it works for me.  I hope others will respond with suggestions to both you and me on how this process can be improved.  (Harry Boyd)


I have a little dilemma that  occurred while I was fitting a #10 male ferrule to the tip section  of a new rod (metal to wood) .  I need some opinions on how to proceed.  the fit is loose on the first half of the ferrule (slides on with no friction) but tightens up very snugly on the last third of the fitting. I can detect no wiggling at the male end but there's bound to be a little extra space somewhere along the fitting.   Should I proceed to glue on the ferrule and leave it alone or pin it?  I have already fitted the ferrules metal to metal which isn't good in case I do pin.  Does one always have to pin in the slide area for the males? (Rich Teeter)

    I did the same thing a couple of years ago - took off a bit too much bamboo & ended up with a loose ferrule fit. I tried all sorts of "short cuts" & different glues, and was never satisfied. The ferrule would click on the cast, or come loose. I ended up gluing bamboo shavings to the ferrule station to build it back up (I used Probond PU), then sanded it down until I got a tight fit on the ferrule. Took a bit longer, but it worked well & I felt good about doing it right.

    I've never pinned a ferrule. I would think that this would help keep the ferrule from coming loose, but I'm not sure it would prevent that annoying "click."  (Tom Bowden)

    You can just glue it on with epoxy.

    Epoxy is less compressible than bamboo and has good gap filling properties.  In fact, I've often wondered if a realy tight fit between  the bamboo  and the  ferrule  wouldn't  result  in  a glue-starved joint.   I've had loose fitting ferrules and glued them on with Devcon 2-ton without have any come loose yet.  I've also had to remove several ferrules.  As I've mentioned several times on the list,  when Devcon is heated and then cooled, the ferrules just slide off the bamboo with little or no resistance.  I've had ferrules that were initially a very tight fit, but I had to remove the butt female on a 3-pc to install a winding check. After heating and cooling, the ferrule would just slide off (and back on) with no resistance.  However, I've glued these back on with epoxy and have not had a failure yet either.  (Robert Kope)

    You can pin at the high end of the tabs (not the pointy ends)  (Mike Shay)


I've glued on my ferrules and now I would like to pin them, and the cap on the reel seat.  How do I do this?  There is varied and incomplete information in the archives, so I have a few questions:

  • should the pin be located where the wrap is so that it doesn't show?
  • should the hole be drilled through both sides of the ferrule?
  • how is the pinning wire inserted?
  • what is a good pin location for the reel  seat cap?   (Kyle Druey)

To answer in order:

    • Location - no! female halfway up the bamboo bore, male through the slide
    • Both Sides -  yes! only cheapo rods were pinned through one side
    • How -  sharpen the end of the wire with a Swiss file and use a pair of electronic pliers
    • Cap - at a 90 degree angle to the reel slot at the midpoint of the cap  (AJ Thramer)


I have not had a ferrule depart one of my rods in several years but none the less have decided to pin them. I have the appropriate nickel silver wire and drill bits from Golden Witch, made a "V" block to center and drilled the hole, my question is how much wire should I leave exposed on each side before peening? And is there any thing else I should know?  (Don Green)

    If you go to Adam Trahan’s web site You will find a great how to, step by step tutorial with pictures on how to pin ferrules by that canoe beer swilling [;^)] list member from Arizona. Seriously though, Mike Shay explains it as simply and completely as is possible. (Will Price)

    The precise amount to leave proud is "a tad."  (Mike Shay)

      I thought it was a "smidge" over a tad.  Technically speaking of course.  (Mark Wendt)


How many people pin their ferrules and do you do it before or after test casting? I'm not consistent with that practice as most of my rods are in the family.  (Jim Tefft)

    I do not pin on most rods.  Exception would be anything longer than 8' and those I pin after test casting in case I have to make changes.  (Scott Grady)

    I do, said the hen!  The sequence is: lap slide-steeple tabs-lap tabs-turn station-glue ferrules with Powerbond and wrap w/ binding cord-remove cord-and excess glue-drill 0.039" holes thru ferrule and blank with ferrule resting in V block on Dremel drill press-tap in 0.040" nickel silver wire-turn blank in lathe and reduce pin stubs w/ small triangular file, then #4 Grobet, then #6 Grobet, then 4/0 steel wool.  Et, Voila!

    Had 2 sections of a 3-piece break around pin 'cause I overdid the heat treating.  Otherwise . . . Non!  (Steve Yasgur)

      I pin all my ferrules also, and my procedures pretty much follow Steve's, except I use U-40 Rod Bond as the adhesive, and I use a #4, #6, and then a #8 Grobet before the 4/0 steel wool.  And I drill the holes on my milling machine vs the drill press, but either way it'll work.  (Mark Wendt)

    I don't pin. I use Pliobond cement on ferrules. All pinning does is let you procrastinate repairing a loose ferrule when the ferrule glue fails. (Jerry Drake)

      Perhaps, but it also keeps the hardware handy, instead of flying off into the river on that “one last cast” about the time your adhesive fails — not that there’s anything wrong  with  Pliobond!  (Steve Yasgur)


Is there any true advantage to pinning a ferrule?  That is besides not having the ferrule come off on the water and ending your day of fishing.  Is it considered a professional touch that sets one rod apart from another?  (Pete Emmel)

    I pin all my ferrules.  Since I sell rods and loose ferrules will kill a reputation, I can't afford for ferrules to come off.  (Harry Boyd)

    Any hole drilled transversely through the bamboo rod, reduces the cross sectional area, ergo reduces the 'strength' of the material at that location.  (Vince Brannick)

      Surely if that point is buried inside the ferrule the section is unlikely to break right there? I’d be interested to know if anyone has seen a break inside a ferrule or as a direct result of pinning.

      I now pin ferrules too having pulled my first one off the other day. It had to happen because I said it hadn’t.

      Pinning is actually a very satisfying process and it somehow feels a whole lot better to have one in there. Thanks to Mike Shay’s article in Power Fibers. (Steve Dugmore)

      Cross pinning ferrules never stops them from coming loose, it merely makes it more difficult to reset them. Some epoxies shrink a little on curing, the otherwise excellent  UHU Endfest 300 being a case in point. Use Blue Araldite, or, probably Golfsmith epoxy.  (Robin Haywood)

    I don't pin, and I've only ever had one ferrule fail (near freezing temps, glued with epoxy).  Since then I've only used Pliobond, though the last four rods I've done with U40 Rodbond and they seem to be real solid  (tested with one seriously stuck ferrule) so I'll probably keep using it too.  (Chris Obuchowski)

    “besides not having the ferrule come off on the water” certainly IS an advantage and one you shouldn’t lightly dismiss.

    It is of course more likely to pull off after being on the water when you dissemble your rod.  (Steve Dugmore)

      And if it didn't pull off, due to the pin, you have what??  (Vince Brannick)


I'm in need of a bit of NS wire for pinning ferrules, etc. Was hoping someone out there might sell me two or 3 feet.  (Wayne Kifer)

    Golden Witch sells it, $8.95 for 8 feet and $9.95 for 10 feet. Go here and type in "nickel silver wire" in there search  box.  (Don Green)

    Wagner sells 10' for $6.  (Ron Delesky)

    I'm pretty happy with the Ring Lord.  A couple of years ago I got a lifetime supply of nickel silver hook keepers (rings and wire for straps) for  less than $20.  (Robert Kope)

    I don't have any but can direct you to 2 different sources. According to my AWG wire gauge charts, you are looking for 18 gauge, which measures 0.0403 inches in diameter. Both Jewelry Resource Supply of Seattle has it (their site is temporarily down so I can't quote prices, but they are VERY reasonable) and Jewelry Supply Company also has it; 20 feet for $4.25.  (Frank Schlicht)

    The stuff is cheap.  I think I got 100 ft for like 12 bucks. Small Parts on the web has 1 lb rolls of 18 gauge N/S wire approximately .039-.040 diameter, believe it is about $32.00 or so.  (James (JED) Dempsey)


After turning significant amounts of bar stock into scrap, I have finally managed to produce a usable set of ferrules and reel seat hardware out of Duronze.  Now I come to the question of what kind of wire does one use to pin this material?  I am concerned that brass would show a  color difference as it weathers and I don't know if bronze would peen acceptably.  Maybe I should just use nickel silver wire and feature the difference?  I am sure someone has been down this road already.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  (Rick Hodges)

    Or do a very good job of prepping the inside of the ferrule and the cane and use a good glue. That way you don't need to pin.

    The smallest diameter Duronze I've seen is 1/8".  (Mark Wendt)

    My thoughts are if you are set on pinning, use NS wire.  It would look pretty cool in my opinion if the pinning stood out a bit.  It shows workmanship in my opinion.  (Scott Bahn)

      The pins could also serve as witness marks.  (Henry Mitchell)


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