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By Ron Mc
Picked up an MH jigging rod to match a 20-lb (400 yds) reel, also to use for back-up trolling, casting and jigging
The rod I picked is rated 15-40 lbs, and 1-4-oz lures
(this heavier same model rod shows the style)
ImageIt's a nice spiral wrap rod, with the guides ending underneath the rod tip.
The power, line weight and price came in just right on this rod, but it has an EVA butt cap where it needs a gimbal, so the reel will stay upright with the rod in the gimbal on a Scotty rocket launcher, and the guides will also be oriented to keep the braid off the bent rod blank.
Same maker sells a rod, not quite as good line weight, a little lighter power, that comes with a gimbal cap, but it's also twice the price. I thought about spending more, but this is really the rod I want - I can do the gimbal...
There aren't too many gimbal options out there for a half-inch rod butt, especially in stock.
The closest I found was 5/8" I.D. (16mm), so I bought a foot of Delrin bushing stock that makes the perfect shim, used Rod Bond flexible epoxy to glue the gimbal cap to it, cut it to length and dressed it for my rod.
Bought a spare gimbal cap in case I muffed up the first one.
I also wanted to keep this pretty red ring
cast and curing, with the weight of the reel helping to compress the joint
It's also stronger than I expected - I took the cut rubber stub rod-bonded to the long piece of delrin, and cured 24 hours, and tried to drive it off - no chance - the two joints in the connection each have twice that surface area glued. It's going to cure completely in the summer garage heat...

Happy with the result, looks like it's meant to be here
and here's the point, reels up, rods easy to get to
the rocket launchers will also be adjusted up about 20-degrees - they're in garage position now
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By Ron Mc
thank you
After a long wait for Thailand delivery, replaced the steel Tica power handle, which weighs as much as a reel, with a weightless carbon handle,
making this an extremely lightweight BTB rig for its power
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By Ron Mc
Decided I couldn't stand the skinny EVA foregrip on this rod, and could improve it with polyolefin heat-shrink X-grip.
Many new rods come with this grip, and a lot of people use them for covering beat cork - they also come in a range of colors.

Sorry my focus isn't perfect with these, I was working with the camera propped up really high, and did my best to auto-focus on the shrink tube in every photo (should have focused on the winding check).
Here's the skinny EVA foregrip I thought was way too delicate - the rear grip is ok, it flares out pretty wide at the top, and if I'm lifting fish, will be holding the foregrip.
Max diameter on the skinny foregrip was 0.9 inch, and min at the front was 0.75 inch.
I took a gamble and picked 30mm dia shrink tube, because I wanted to get maximum thickness.
It's supposed to shrink to 17mm, and the big diameter is really easy to slide over the spiral-wrapped casting guides.
cut to length, I ended up trimming off another 1/8 inch.
I began with a blow drier, not having a good heat gun and shaped it enough to stay in place.
After that, I took my rod roller (idler prop) inside, set up over the sink, and poured boiling water over the X-shrink.
Instant and perfect result, and I was very happy - it increased the max diameter to 1.3 inch, and the min dia to 1.0 inch (twice the 2.2 mm thickness it's supposed to add).
It also feels grippy, more comfortable, and feels cleaner than the EVA - it stuck solid, and shrank everywhere I needed.
Here we go, I used a cardboard backdrop to hide the clutter - still a narrow grip, but much better than before.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
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By Ron Mc
Thanks - I cheated and googled heat-shrink boiling water.
That gave me several links to forums for this specific application- it worked instantly and beautifully.

I was first thinking about Winn tape wrap, but I also googled that and found on many rod websites that the X-shrink works better on EVA than Winn tape, and the Winn tape is no thicker.
It feels really nice, and compared to EVA, it feels clean - can't think of a better way to describe it.

ps - also used it over the splitting spongy foam grip on my 10-y-o stake-out pole -
- I was afraid it might squeeze the life out of the foam, but there was enough air in there, it still feels spongy
- it's great I was able to catch and repair this before the foam grip split away from the glass pole.
now finding myself checking foam grips on tripod, and looking around for other places to use more of the leftover from the 40" shrink tube.

We've talked about paddles before, how the purpose of bent-shaft is an index to put your hands in the most efficient place.
I have a straight-shaft paddle with Yak grips, but don't like the way they slide around when they're wet. I have an idea for fixing a pair of indexed grips on the straight-shaft using thin closed-cell foam, which I have a good-size scrap piece around, and 45mm X-shrink - may pursue this over the winter...
Imagedon't laugh at this photo - it won me a $250 gift certificate at Moosejaw, which I used for a Thermorest cot tent.
https://www.moosejaw.com/product/astral ... e_10355599
the Astral Hiyak boots, btw are imo the best kayak shoes currently available and they're on sale right now, 25% off

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