: Big Poblem
02-25-2003, 10:01 AM
Finally got around to putting the Flex Coat on my Spey Rod that I have been working on and off on for about a year. Needless to say things went bad in a hurry!! The flex coat started to thicken uo in just 10 minutes!!!!! ?????????? Never had this happen before. Needless to say 3 guides came out like $%#!. Trying to feverishly heat the flex coat to get it to flow again proved fruitless and wound up actually burning the and bubbling the flex coat.
My question being can the rod be salvaged? or is it destined to be a Tomato plant stake?
Someone please help!
ALWAYS, ALWAYS use fresh epoxies, glues and solvents - much of it has a "shelf life", especially if they have been opened previously!
As for the rod, I would have to see it to say if it's salvageable. (I would HOPE so - depends on how much heat it saw). One easy experiment - remember how you tested for "spine"? Well, retest it. The spine shouldn't have changed, and the flex should be a uniform curve with no weak spots or flat spots.
Try putting some line on, and attach to a chair or other weight. Check the curve of the rod under load, as well. That will tell you more than any conjecture here on the web site.
I hope it is OK - you should have stopped, and used the appropriate solvent, removed the guide, clean it and the rod, polishing if required, and start over - this time using FRESH coating material.
02-25-2003, 10:33 AM
Its quite a disappointment to mess up on the last step of building a rod. My gut feel is that to get a perfect looking rod you need to strip the guide & epoxy off then rewind and recoat. In my case it was the second coat and I hadn't heated the rod so I decided to just fish the ugly looking rod. What I learned after doing it was to heat only the resin then add the hardener.
02-25-2003, 11:29 AM
I will try cutting the guides off tonight. I think it should be ok. If not the first fish will let me know for sure. I would rather break the rod to a fish than have to junk it.
I jave all titanium guides and reel seat on it so I think no matter what I will see this beast to completion.
02-25-2003, 11:33 AM
The flex coat was never used. Fresh out of the box. Its not that old either. It was fine for five to ten minutes than all of a sudded it started to get very hot and started to thicken.
I was sure to mix it properly from the start. Perhaps I just got a bad batch?
I'm a retired chemist. If you mix too much hardener (the bad smelling stuff) in a batch, it will go wild, and REALLY get hot and cure in a hurry. Problem is, it will "boil" the solvents inside, and really make a mess. That sounds exactly like the problem you encountered.
02-25-2003, 01:00 PM
I used the Flex Coat that comes in a Syringe and used both parts equally ( used all of it ). The margin of error should be none. I dont know what happened. Now I have to cutt off the guides.
Be sure to mix your epoxy very carefully. I'm no expert but here is what I do.
Prior to mixing, warm the epoxy so that it flow easily. I've read that nuking it in a microwave will bring back old hardener, I have not tried it and would like to hear some positive feedback before someone tries it. I just put the bottles near where the heat rises behind my fly bench and leave them for a 1/2 hour.
Measure very carefully, I use those syringes for rod finish.
Mix slowly and don't remove the stirrer until done mixing - 3-4 minutes of mixing should do it. I mix in one of those 3 oz plastic cups and hold it over a light bulb to help everything flow. When you first start mixing the epoxy will get cloudy, keep mixing until it's clear. Remember to mix slowly so you don't introduce air bubbles.
I've found I get a longer pot life if the epoxy is pored onto tin foil and left in a thin layer. I have no idea why, but Smitty told me to do it this way so I do. It works great.
I would make a dry run with the existing epoxy on something other than the rod before you take another crack at it. Hope it all works out for you, sounds like a sweet rod.
02-25-2003, 04:30 PM
Rod is a dream!!! All titanium guides and real seat. Diamond Back Blank... 14ft for 8-9wt. Just bought a Bill Ballan Large Arbor reel for it. After a long string of foul language and a minor nervous breakdown I thought I was going to cry.
Will start the cutting of the guides tonight. Say a little prayer that I can undue the mess.
Thanks for all those who shared their wisdom on the matter.
02-25-2003, 04:52 PM
One bit of wisdom from using syringes to dispense adhesives at work. Make sure that the syringes used to measure the coating do not have air bubbles in them. Viscous fluids (resin) are more likely to entrain air bubbles when being filled than the hardner which is less viscous with the epoxies I've worked with.
02-25-2003, 10:17 PM
It sounds like you either got a bad batch of Flex-Coat or you mixed it wrong. Syringes must be at least 1/4 full for a small batch (any smaller and you run the risk of uncertain drying time or incomplete drying) . Syringe tips must also be wiped, and all bubbles squeezed out as per earlier posts-- mixture must be exactly 50/50, no ifs ands or buts.
Getting the old off and the new on ain't no big thing because you'll just be covering up the funky part with new thread/new Flex-Coat. Cut off thread over the guide feet with an exacto blade. Once the guides and the old thread wrappings have been taken off, take FINE-GRADE sand paper and gently sand down the Flex Coat. I would make a strip no wider then the thread "foot-print" so you don't inadvertently sand the rod finish beyond the flex-coat. I'd put the sanding strip around the rod (like you'd buff-shine the tips of a pair of shoes) That way you're only sanding off the Flex-Coat not damaging the rod finish.
When wrapping the new thread, you can always overlap on any scratched part of the rod finish. At this stage, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT THE FLEX-COAT, GET A NEW BATCH!
Last words of advice: on your next rod, get the U-40 rod products. My favorite is Dura Gloss LS Supreme. I've built over 20 double-handers and this stuff is the goods. No doubt! I typically build 16 foot rods with lots of guides so I can't afford to do them twice. Try the Dura Gloss; you'll be thrilled at the results.
02-26-2003, 03:32 AM
When using previously opened rod finish, if the resin and/or hardener are thick, I microwave them 4-5 minuts on "low" and they flow fine. I avoid plastic cups or stir-sticks; some say that plastic can cause erratic reactions. If the pair of plungers are still sticky from previous use, I like to use a little stainless steel measuring spoon, and a little aluminum mixing cup.
Finishes are one of the remaining dark arts of rod-building, although the makers do their best to give complete instructions.:confused:
02-26-2003, 07:43 AM
So long as you don't cut the blank AT ALL, you can remove guides and epoxy by very carefully cutting into the wraps and peeling the eopxy away; it's quite simple, but very delicate. Best of luck!
02-26-2003, 09:57 AM
Well I took the guides off last night and managed to get a good 90% of the the Flex coat off. I was fortunate that on the "bad" section that the Flex Coat did not flow out on to the blank too much and stayed mostly on the wraps. Whew! But I did managed to nick the blank a few times. Under close examination it looks as if its only cosmetic and will be covered with thread and Epoxy anyway although there was one decent nick that went slightly past the finish but I dont think it will pose a problem. The first few casts and an the first decent fish will be the test. In my lifetime I have dinged, scratched and gouged many o' rod and have yet to actually break one where it was damaged. So hopefully with all your help the rod will bring me years of enjoyment.
Many thanks to all of you for your helps and advice.