Refurbishing an antique fishing rod

We are frequently asked if we do fishing rod restorations or repair. The answer is yes. There are many great reasons to have a rod restored. The rod may have sentimental value, such as being your fathers or grand-fathers fishing rod. Or you may just like the look, of a specific rod.

In this article we are going to provide an overview of a recent restoration project we undertook.

We wanted to restore an offshore rod specifically for light trolling and bottom fishing. In looking for a project for this demonstration, we came across an antique fiberglass fishing rod in sad shape. The composition of the rod included a teak rear grip, and foam front grip, with traditional boat guides. Which was perfect. This would allow us to demonstrate not only the restoration of solid wood grips, but also the replacement of EVA foam, restoration of the rod itself, and the replacement of guides.

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[The above picture shows the condition of the original teak handle and missing butt cap.  you can also see the old stainless reel seat.

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[These images show the condition of the original guides and tip, as you can see, they were in pretty bad shape]

As a gift for taking the rod, we even got a Penn 60 Reel for free. Admittedly, it was nothing more that a zip lock bag containing about 90% of the parts, but we accepted the reel anyway.

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The first thing to do was to remove all the old guides, document the size and locations, and clean up the rod. We have a deflection machine that allows to “load” rods for the proper placement of guides, but we wanted to use the original locations as a reference. We would fine tune the final placement.

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[pic of removed guide]

Once we started removing the guides you could see that the rods full brilliant white color was present under the previous wrapping. Once the guides were removed, we removed the foam fore grip and at that time decided to remove and update the reel seat as well.

The teak rear handle was cleaned and refinished. We even found a antique butt cap to put on the end of the rear grip. The rod was stripped, cleaned, and refinished with a UV protected clear coat. New stainelss guides, of the same type were ordered and installed, along with a new machined aluminum reel seat.

This is the finished product. We even restored the Penn Reel.

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Rod restorations are in many cases time consuming and therefor not cheap. But if you have a rod that you want to consider as an heirloom, this is a great possibility. In the case of this rod that was manufactured in the 1960’s, we not only saved the rod from the landfill, but we extended the life for many more years to come.

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