I'm new to all of this, so I was wanting to varnish some test wraps of various colors to judge what the final color of the wrapping thread would look like. Instead of varnish though, I used nail polish. It dries quickly, it must be somewhat flexible, and it smells like airplane dope (which I have seen others on the forum using to seal wraps)  Anybody have any knowledge of whether this would be a reasonable way to treat wraps? (Ray Wright)

Different products will produce different colors on your test.  (Dave Norling)

I don't know if they've implemented the "hazardous material" laws down under, but here in the states it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a varnish or urethane that has the same characteristics even of a few years ago. I just went through hell finding the perfect mix of spar varnish and drying agents that allow a decent finish and will eventually DRY!!! Several of us have had wrap finishes that took days to become "dry to the touch"... let alone a hard finish. I'm for anything that works as long as it looks good on the finished product.

If I could get the same formulation of spar urethane that I used to get... I definitely would!  (Mike St. Clair)

I’ve used it on all my rods and it seems to work just fine.  I thin 50% with acetone and apply at least 4 coats, sanding lightly to even it out before varnishing.  I know of other professional rodmakers who swear by it as well.  I let it dry for a day before applying another coat as well.  (Brian Morrow)

I too have been thinking that the Sally Hansen products might be worth a try on wraps. I have never tried it but I use this stuff as head cement when tying flies.  It dries hard and clear.  (Bill Bixler)

OK, silly old fart time, I guess, but why the heck would you even WANT to use nail polish.  You are devoting 40-60 hours of highly skilled work to the production of a state of the art rod, you are adding lord knows how many dollars in reel seats, ferrules, guides, flor corks etc.

There are heaps of proven spar-type varnishes the characteristics of which are well known, proven, and, in most cases, warranted .  Presumably you are going to use one of these to varnish the rod itself.

So why the devil would you buggerize about putting damn NAIL VARNISH on the wraps?

We are a funny species!  (Peter McKean)

…”because it’s there”, it comes in a convenient size bottle (with applicator), it stores well, dries quickly and, if it works, why not?

…. The reason not to, is I don’t think it will give a really good finish…. But why not try?  (Steve Dugmore)

I read somewhere that Gary Howells used nail polish as a color preserver.  Can't remember where.  (Rich Margiotta)

Most nail polish is just some formulation of lacquer which was commonly used as a color preserver in the old days. (Larry Swearingen)

It may dry too hard but then again I have used lacquer on the wraps before & I believe Leonard did too.  There may be an issue with oils in HAN's though that may not be compatible with your varnish.   My suggestion is don't do it.  (Bret Reiter)

I tried it on an old production rod, replacing a guide. The polish ran off the wrap onto the rod finish, (this was before I started making rods), and the varnish started bubbling up like I used paint/varnish remover on it! I won't use it again! I found a few colors of silk that I like with the same finish that I use on the rod blank.  (David Dziadosz)

I think nail polish is basically a lacquer product, isn't it? Lacquer and oil-based varnishes usually are not compatible.  (Bill Harms)

Varnish (think soft) over lacquer (hard) can work.

Lacquer over varnish doesn't.

The lacquer will make the soft under coat varnish separate and crack.

But why use a color preserver at all?  I like the looks of a translucent wrap.  And there isn't any problem with drying out and failing wraps.  (Larry Swearingen)

I think it might work if you wrap first and then varnish.  Acetone makes a pretty fair paint/varnish remover (don't ask how I know this).  (Neil Savage)


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