Wrapping the Stripper and First Few Snakes (plus extra tips!)

A couple weeks ago now I started wrapping the guides.  But let me back up first.


In following that my rod is a Wayne Cattanach taper (Sir D 7622), I found it appropriate to defer to him for guide spacing.  However, since the tip IS rather fine, I felt it best to support it with a couple extra guides.  Wayne’s formula (per his book) is simply to add 9/16” to each successive distance, so I started in close at 3” and went from there. 


With this spacing, I taped guides on and lined ‘er up with a GPX DT2.  Holy smokes is she sweet.  Almost overlined with that heavier line.  I think long-term I’ll want a Sylk or XPS on it.  Maybe even a good 1 weight, which isn’t entirely out of the question!


Anyway, this gave me a LOT of guides and actually too few  on the butt, so I opted for Tom Morgan’s 8’ 3wt spacing packed in to the same spacing as a 7’6” 3wt.  Now I have 3 guides on the butt section with the stripper 24” from the butt end.  It looks a little close but actually works out really well.  So I went with it, and using this new spacing I started wrapping.  I figure wrapping and gluing the stripper in place would fix my choice in spacing beyond any further questioning.


Thoughts and observations on wrapping: it’s not as hard as people make it out to be but it IS a major pain!    I opted for white wraps with a purple-wine colored accent wrap sandwiched over the middle of the guide foot, with white wraps on either side of it.  4 wraps of accent color, 8mm total wrap length.  I’ve always had a thing for invisible wraps so of course I wanted to do that one my own rod.


The wrapping went fine.  Trimming tag ends, however, presented a challenge due to the light tension on the thread (to help prevent shimmering in the white).  I did try burning the ends down with a lighter as per how it has always been done with nylon thread, but it resulted in marring the thread (gave it a gray cast) and I did put a very slight burn mark on my rod blank.  Not much, it looks like a pale olive-gray watermark in the cane by one of the stripper feet.  Oops.  Won’t be doing that again. I re-wrapped it, using a fresh razor to trip the thread tags after the wraps were otherwise finished (leaving the tags lets me keep tension on the wraps when moving them around right up til the glue-up point).


I added the FC Lite in perfect 1:1 with some acetone added to thin it out, maybe making it 1:1:0.6 or 0.7 parts acetone.  It wasn’t terribly thin but still flowed really well.  However, not quite well enough.  I had a little trouble with fine bubbles getting trapped in the thread though no issue with bubbles along the guide feet. 

Important side note: I do think pre-wetting the thread with denatured alcohol or acetone would help alleviate wetting issues with the thicker epoxy.  As of today I have another guide wrapped (closest to ferrule on the butt) and aim to finish most of it this weekend – I’ll play with a couple of these ideas and see how they work out. 


Anyway, about those extra tips…


Jerry had said he was going to make me an extra tip, however I found out later he was making me a FOURTH tip as well!  Lloyd delivered them to me up north here in my new locale on his way to Michigan a couple weeks ago, I had 3 male slides and 2 complete tips in the package.  Now I might just make a FIFTH tip, but I asked about getting another female ferrule for a new butt.  I want to shave down the butt section of the 7622 and make it more parabolic, possibly making it a good 1 weight or really light 2.  A true brookie rod.  This also means I will have a bunch of guides to order in again… but at least I have my guide spacing figured out!