Monday, February 21, 2011

A balanced approach

I prefer my lure rods to be tip heavy, but some anglers like theirs to balance in their hand when the reel is fitted so the outfit feels almost weightless. There are a number of ways of achieving this, from unsightly lumps of lead taped to the handle through counterbalancing butt caps to internal weight. As I was asked to balance a rod for a customer I thought I'd illustrate how I went abut it.

The first job was to push a flexible plug into the blank. I used a scrap of Duplon. It needs to be flexible to allow it to be pushed further in as weight is added. Years ago I bought a tub of lead shot from a gun shop. I bought it to weight lures and have never managed to use it all up. It is ideal for balancing rods.

With the plug in place it was a matter of trial and error to add the shot to achieve the required balance. Some shot was added, the butt cap pushed in and the balance tested. As more shot was added so the butt cap pushed it all further into the blank. The Duplon allowing this far more easily than a cork plug would have done. Once satisfied with the balance the butt cap was removed and the shot tipped out.

Then some epoxy was mixed and the shot stirred into it.

To get the mix into the slim Fooler blank I used a plastic spatula that comes with the Araldite Rapid I use for fitting tip rings. I was using a slower setting epoxy for this job as I wasn't sure how much working time would be required, and it's cheaper!

With all the shot in place the butt cap was pushed in and the rod propped up vertically so all the weight and glue would settle towards the cap. Job done.