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  1. #1


    I aquired a Sealy Octofloat 11ft split cane rod n pretty poor conditions.

    All ferrules are loose, a few eyes are badly corroded, and the tip section has a split down 2 of the the glue lines which run about 1/2 way down the section.

    I want to try to repair the rod.

    1. how to i clean off the existing varnish
    2. how do i reglue the tip sections where the glue has presumiably failed, what do i use to glue it
    3. what type of varnish do i use when i revarnish
    4. any other advice (other than bin it) would be appreciated


  2. #2
    Cakey Guest


    I saw a book the other day about rod repairs but I cant remaber what its title or who its by, so have a google

  3. #3
    John Howard Guest


    Use a Stanley knife or similar to scrape off the varnish. Finish with fine sand paper.

    Use a waterproof wood glue. After coating the cane bind the section with thick cotton or similar have the turns .5 - 1inch apart.

    A good quality polyurethane varnish. Dont brush this on except for under the rings, use the end of a finger dipped in the varnish. This helps to get very thin coats of varnish applied. Apply at least 4/5 coats.

    All whippings need to be sealed and doped before applying varnish. Use either a cellulose varnish or an epoxy based varnish.

    To restore the cork butt scrub with vim/ajax if you can get it. Or use jif. Toothpaste can also be used.

    Always whip uphill and if you have a grinder, gently grind the end of the ring feet to get a better angle so there isnt a big step up from the blank.

  4. #4
    Wolfman Woody Guest


    In addition to what John has written -

    Prepare the Stanley knife blade by stroking it at a right angle across a wetstone. This will cause a burr on one side, use that burr and keep the blade at just over 90 to the wood to remove the varnish. It will be similar to a cabinetmaker's scraper, which was a piece of saw steel with burrs on both sides of the edge. Careful with the sandpaper, you don't want to round the edges of the cane.

    For glue you want something that will give as the rod bends. Gorilla glue is good or any polyurethane glue (I think mine is called Titebond), but it will foam up. Remove the foam with the Stanley blade as described above.

    You can prime your whippings by using PVA glue well watered down, 50/50 maybe. Try it on a sample whipping first.

    You can coat them using epoxy resin, used to be available from Hopkins and Holloway (Google it). However, you would need to varnish the cane, I think. You could phone H&H and ask them. They can supply many other items you may need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    In God's County: Wiltshire
    Blog Entries



    Jeff isn't the Philistine that he makes out to be when it comes to 'proper' rods!


    The Octofloat is a 'classic' and once lovingly restored should give you many hours of great pleasure.

    Go for it.

    Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.

    Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary. ~

    Patrick F. McManus

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005



    I recently acquired an 'Octospin' rod (v.well restored) on eBay for 25. Really looking forward to a bit of chub/perch spinning on the Upper Thames Sept/Oct time.

    I'm not one to wallow in nostalgia, but it seems far too many of these old rods just get tarted up to be hung on walls as ornaments, when a great many of them still have years of life left, given a bit of TLC.

    Some, of course will snap like a carrot, but that is a surely a far better end than hung up gathering dust.
    Still not sure what's going on

  7. #7


    for the record guys, i will certainly be using the octofloat once restored, i have a couple of cane rods which i regularly use, split is 50 / 50 at the moment between modern / vintage gear.

    This is the first restoration of a cane rod that i have attempted, fingers crossed it doesn't snap like a carrot after all the work i am likely to put in.

    keep the advice coming it is a tremendous help to a complete restoration novice like me.

    anyone know if there are any 'high street' stores that stock titebond / gorilla glue ?

  8. #8


    Some, of course will snap like a carrot

    Is that why they are called ''split'' cane? My only experience of cane was the one I used to get regularly when I was a boy.

  9. #9
    Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA) Guest


    Beware old split cane. It can dry out and become very brittle. I had a Sharpes Scotty fly rod and used in in the Drakensberg for a week ca 1970. It smashed as I struck against a nice trout.

    Split cane or built cane goes back a long way. However the first hexagonal cane was manufactured by the Orvis Company in Manchester, Vermont USA ca 1860. Hardys started doing it after that put I think a patent was involved.

    Large diameter Chinese tonking cane is used for making split cane. Six planed tapered triangular sections are glued together to make the blank, the hard skin going on the outside.

    It reminds me of an old friend who happened to be in Dick Walker's workshop. In a box at the back were numerous rod sections in split cane, including a Mk IV. Dick told him to help himself to anything he fancied in there as it was no good to him as he used carbon fibre these days.

    Mind you, old split cane sections can be put to good use by growing runner beans up them!

  10. #10
    ED (The ORIGINAL and REAL one) Guest


    Ron ,
    What happened about the rods made from carrots you were 'perving' about a few months ago -- they really seem to have taken off don't they?

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