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What's the minimum length of time you let wraps dry before using a rod after you have applied the last coat of varnish on them? I'm using MOW varnish and this is an impregnated rod so won't be doing any overcoats. Will giving them a final coat of varnish/Japan Drier kick the set enough to significantly reduce the wait? I'm headed out on a fishing trip on the 12th and need to know whether this rod is going along.  (Larry Puckett)

    I've fished 24 hour old varnish with no problem BUT, the varnish is really  just skin at that point. If you're varnishing today I would guess that it  shouldn't be a problem by the 12th.  (Mike Shay)

    Wait and put your final coat on after you get back. take the rod fishing.   (Timothy Troester)

    I’ve fished a two week old varnish job with no difficulties.  However, I used Minwax urethane spar.  It might dry quicker.  If you try to dent the varnish with your fingernail in an unobtrusive spot and there is very little to no indentation, you good to go.  (Al Baldauski)

    The only problem I can see by doing this is if you use a line cleaner that contains silicone. Silicone isn't as bad as some might lead you to believe, but if you do have some on your rod and you try to varnish it you will get areas where the varnish will not stick. I find that a thorough wash with warm water and a degreasing dishwashing detergent like Dawn (brand name in the U.S.), will get silicone off completely.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    Well, if you did them tonight and the rod is curing in a warm environment, they will be fine by the 12th. I just did a dipped rod with Valspar, and it was fished 5 days later. I DID cure it at 90 F.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

Rule

A newbie question: I'm having trouble with varnish on the guide and ferrules wraps. It seems that the varnish just won't dry. After 3 days it's still quite sticky and gummy. Any solutions or will I need to remove the thread, rewrap and re-varnish? (Jim Sabella)

    We really need to know what was on the wraps before you varnished them, what kind of varnish, the conditions it was applied under and cured under, as well as the age of the varnish. Lots of things can go wrong. The varnish can probably be removed from the wraps with lacquer thinner without having to redo them, but that also depends on what you have used.  (Larry Lohkamp)

      Thanks for the responses,

      I'm living in the Czech Republic and so the product is a bit different than in the USA. Can't find the normal spar or quick dry. I'm using something called wood boat varnish. Supposed to dry hard yet flexible, weather and UV resistant. Newly opened can. I thinned it 50/50 with the recommended thinner. Applied to nylon size A wraps. Room cool (65F) but not cold. I'll try your suggestion to remove the varnish with lacquer thinner, if not, start re-wrap. It's good practice.  (Jim Sabella)

        Your varnish may have a lot of tung oil in it and that can take a long time to dry. One trick to make it set up is to add some Japan Driers to some varnish and apply it over the unset varnish. This will kick it fast. I use it to kick set walnut oil and amber varnish over my wraps.  (Larry Puckett)

          Where can one purchase Japan Dryer these days.  Not sure about the US but in Canada we can't get it in the art stores any longer so I guess my question is, what can one use in its place as a substitute?  (Ron Elder)

            I saw it at Menards, Home Depot and Lowes recently.  All big box home improvement stores.  (Scott Grady)

            Fortunately we can still get it down here in art supply stores -- at least we could 3-4 years ago when I bought my last bottle. A little goes a long way -- Mike Brooks told me to use 1 tsp of Drier to 1 oz of spar. Then apply that over the walnut oil and amber coated wraps and it's always worked fine. The stuff I use contains soluble cobalt in petroleum distillates. You might check around various art supply stores to see if they have anything similar and experiment. Also you might Google the web for advice on how to make Japan Drier using cobalt salts and spirits.  (Larry Puckett)

            I bought a pint of the Japan Drier several years ago at the local hardware store that is Klean Strip brand. I just checked and its sold at Amazon for $9.99 a pint.  (Floyd Burkett)

          I believe you're right. I looked at the contents list and it has tung oil in it. I'll see if I can get some Japan Dryer at the art store and give it a try.  (Jim Sabella)

    A real no-brainer that worked for me on my first rod was quick dry poly right out of the can from Home Depot. Very easy to use don't even need to thin it.

    I suspect in your case if the varnish isn't drying a re-do would be better than leaving it as is, that's the base layer that connects the thread to your rod.  Will leave it to others with more experience to give you other ideas.

    If you do have to redo it consider yourself lucky on the scale of mess-ups that is a minor one compared to some of the ones I've pulled off.  (John Rupp)

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