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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen:

Having milked the cow dry on advice for using the rail, I am now ready to order some heat shrink for my Calstar 7465H rail rod, and could use some advice as to the material needed. After speaking with a sales rep at Heatshrink - Home I am tentatively considering the following: SCM 1.5 inch diameter (that will shrink down to .5 inch). This is a glue-based product that will provide water and abrasion resistance and some crush-resistance. It requires a heat source of 230 degrees Fahrenheit, which I can get from an industrial heat gun (what we used to call "Russian hair dryers". Linear shrinkage is less than 5 percent. The cost is $7.78 a foot with an 8 foot minimum order. It is alleged to be black and ugly as sin, but the better, even stronger, and prettier stuff goes for $25 bucks a foot with a 10 foot minimum. My questions are as follows:

1. Does anyone have any experience with this material?

2. Does anyone have a material that they prefer for this kind of application?

3. Any comments?

Thanks for any and all advice you may have.

Russ
 

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Russ,

I looked into this once upon a time and found the following options:

1. 3M Coldshrink: Seems alot of the westcoast guys like this option, it's tough as nails and wears well.

2. Swifty Rod Armor (X grip): Not nearly as tough as the Coldshrink, but looks and feels much better and is easy to cut off and replace if it wears out.

I have a St. Croix 2M79XXXHF that I'm building right now for tuna jigging. I installed "rail rod grips" (a type of ultra tough cork composite) on it fore and aft. These are available from various sources (and obviously this doesn't help your current situation). I just used them because I thought the material looked good and if I did have to lay the rod on the rail it would protect the blank.

Anyway, if you decide rail rodding is for you, I'd look into these materials for a fore-grip. Plus you can cover them w/ Rod Armor or Coldshrink if you want extra protection.

All that said, I don't really use the rail, just some ideas for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank, Crappie. A few months ago I bought a bunch of packs of stuff that looks like the old naughahyde we used on our car seats. It wraps around and makes the handle look like a tennis racket. I tried it last night for the first time and there is no freaking adhesive. Maybe I waited too long.

Anyway, the 3M sounds like a good option. I will research it and where I can find the stuff.

Russ
 

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Heat Shrink

I have seen tennis wrap used also...

They are your rods. Customize them as you desire. I have considered cutting the fore grips off some of my rods and replacing them with a triangular cross sectioned grip. I am considering slitting the grip so that I can replace the old without removing the guides and then use a wrap/shrink tube to cover my mods.

I have used the new skin on a surf rod as my bottom grip. I put it on the bare blank.
 

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Cold shrink, where can you buy this stuff? I've seen it applied, 1-1/2 minutes and that's preety quick and simple, it un-wraps from the inside and shrinks closed on the rod as the coil inside that is stretching the matl. open is unwound. I don't know how long it will last but maybe 3 years or so, if used on the rail catching heavy fish. !!!This will make the rod fatter for sure !!!, not the cheapest nor the most durable I'd say. But I don't know where to get this stuff, Anyone got some and from where please tell . Thanks!
 

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Uncle Russ-- Good thread. I have some old rods that I want to spruce up. For a source of shrink tube I am looking at www. mudhole.com. Found some good threads on the west coast forums on how to do it. You can get a heat gun from Harbor Freight for about $10.00. Also, when plannlng how long the shrink tube should be remember it will also shrink along the axis of the rod. There are alot or ways to contour the grip under the wrap. I really like the foregrips on the OTI rods and think I can form the grip with weather stripping under the wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, everybody. That is great info and this weekend I will have time to sort through and get something going. In the meantime (hijacking my own thread again but what's new?) I had a real disappointment tonight--the kind of thing that really hurts your confidence. I have three reels spooled up with JB hollow. I have 130 on the 50W, 100 on the ATD12, and 80 on the 665W. I took the reels out in the garage specifically to test the 7-turn surgeons loops that JB recommends for lazy folks like me who don't want to mess with braided loops. I figured if I could get 80 percent out of them, pulling straight off the reel, that would be fine.

On the 130, I got to 65 (50 percent) and quit, just because I didn't want to fall back on my ass and ruin my steel garage shelving with my head. On the 80 pound, I didn't want to pull it off the (to me) delicate 665, so i wound it around the handle of a claw hammer and pulled 60 with that--no problem.

But then... when I began pulling the 100 pound line, disaster struck. The surgeon's loop was fine--every time. But the line itself kept breaking--well below nominal strength. Once it broke at around 50, between the reel and the knot--well before the knot. I stripped off about 15 feet of line, re-tied the loop...and it broke at 35. I examined the reel for any burrs or irregularities. Nothing. Twice more, and each time it broke between 35 and 50. So all confidence is lost in that batch of line. I will call Chark tomorrow and see what they will do--I'm sure it will be fine. But I am either going to have to spool it with 130 (maybe 400 yards?) or 105 YKG Ultra Jigman that I currently have on the SR30. I can't fish with line that repeatedly fails.

The only other time I had problems like this was with a spool full of 65 pound Power Pro. That's when I went to JB.

What's a Mother to do?????

Russ
 

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UR, does your Calstar have hypalon as the foregrip? If so, I would consider doing nothing unless it starts tearing. An overwrap will add weight. I have also had shrink wrap slide on a foregrip by about 3/4 of an inch fighting a nice fish. Putting a cover on the grip before it goes bad is like putting a cover over the leather seats in a mercedes. Wait until they are worn out, IMO.

That is interesting about the JB. Was the 100 solid or hollow?
 

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You might try caling Jerry directly @ 541.855.7127. He is one of the best in the industry and I'm sure he'll make it right.

km

But then... when I began pulling the 100 pound line, disaster struck. The surgeon's loop was fine--every time. But the line itself kept breaking--well below nominal strength. Once it broke at around 50, between the reel and the knot--well before the knot. I stripped off about 15 feet of line, re-tied the loop...and it broke at 35. I examined the reel for any burrs or irregularities. Nothing. Twice more, and each time it broke between 35 and 50. So all confidence is lost in that batch of line. I will call Chark tomorrow and see what they will do--I'm sure it will be fine. But I am either going to have to spool it with 130 (maybe 400 yards?) or 105 YKG Ultra Jigman that I currently have on the SR30. I can't fish with line that repeatedly fails.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bellyups: I am ashamed to admit I don't know what the grip is made of. The whole series of rods was made for Accurate by Calstar and it is a firm, uniformly textured black substance. The hypalon I am used to is on rafts and appears to have no outer porousness in the texture, whereas this does. I'm pretty sure it is hypalon, and I can probably find out. I may just take your advice and wait. In any case, I am definitely talked out of the glue-based heat shrink because I now realize it will permanently bond to the original material--and I definitely don't think I want that.

This was hollow 100.

Kevin: I appreciate that advice and will follow it. I got to thinking that I should have called somebody before dissing a product on this board, so in that regard, let me add that I have tested and fished with several reels with JB hollow and solid and had NO problems other than this. JB is one of my heros!

Russ
 

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What's a Mother to do?????

Russ

Test every knot you make before you fish it... You'll know that you tied a good knot. It will be properly seated and cinched. You will have confidence when you are fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You said it Gull. I am a fanatic on that. It's when the line breaks where it isn't knotted that freaks you out. But then, that simply means we need to periodically test our lines as well as testing each and every knot.

Last night, I was re-reading some posts from TJ and Tom and some of the guys who did the GEM back in 2005 (OK so I don't have much of a life) and someone (not sure who) said that he takes along a device made of 200 pound mono that he loops around a post or other part of the boat to attach to and cinch down his knots. That is a really good idea--I have always honked down on them with a gloved hand, but that is a better solution.

I sent an email to Charkbait and will call JB as soon as I can get to it today.

Russ
 

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Russ, I have all my rail rods using the 3M cold shrink tubing. Unlike heat shrink, cold shrink actually expands in lenght when shrunk. The more it shrinks, the longer is gets. 50% shrinkage is pushing it so get the size needed for the grips you use. I am 95% sure that if the rod is a calstar, it has hypalon for grips. I have bought the cold shrink on ebay but have not seen any recently. The id is about 1.90" diameter and that will shrink down to just about any salt water grip. 12 inch is the minimum lenght I would go with and I usually use the 18 inch lenght. Note, that since it rarely shrinks to the maximum, the lenght will be less than advertised. That 18" lenght will cover my 16" foregrips with a little not covered.

Btw, I paid full retail once on the 18 " lenght and it was over $30. On Ebay, I bought a box full for about $7 each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Jureal. I'm looking for the stuff as we speak. A couple of general questions:

1. If I use too long a piece and it is hanging off the end after shrinkage, can I just trim it with scissors, assuming I don't care too much how it looks?

2. Although I realize it will come with instructions, what is the process, once in place, for shrinking it?

Russ
 

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Russ. I always estimate the lenght I need and if I need to cut it, I cut it before I install it. The cold shrink has an inner core that is actually make of plastic. You place the end that will shrink first towards the reel seat and then you pull on the tab of plastic that protrudes from the opposite end. As you pull this tab, the plastic core at the other end will begin to unravel as you pull. The inner core will pull out in the form of one very long and thin piece of plastic. What you will have in you hands after the inner core is all out is a springy looking slinky.... remember those slinky toys? The cold shrink will elongate as it compresses so if you get the 12" size, it will only measure about 9-10" and will elongate to 12 " if it compresses to the maximum....which will generally not happen as most grips are thicker than 1". The 1.94" can compress down to about .97" and will fully elongate at that compression. BTW, this stuff is tuff... I have yet to wear one down whereas that heat shrink stuff will only last a few trips. Check your pm
 
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