Graphite is a fragile material; therefore, spinning rods break not so rarely. The form can be critically overloaded when hastily retrieving a trophy or broken by negligence during transportation in a boat or car. There are many reasons, the result is one: a ruined favorite instrument and a spoiled mood. By the way, this fate often befell the upper knee. If the stick is expensive, from a well-known brand, you can order a new tip from the dealer, but it will take a lot of time and the shipping cost will cost at least half the cost of a new spinning rod. You can contact the company workshop, there, too, they will take a lot of money for repairs, and this service is available only to residents of several megacities. But you can try to restore the form yourself. How to do it at home? This will be discussed.
Only a bandage!
You can glue everything, graphite blank too. But how will it work then? The task is to restore the integrity of the form, while maintaining its elastic properties and power and minimally changing the weight, system and sensitivity. Most anglers, trying to glue the broken spinning on their own, make the same mistake: they make and paste the insert inside the hollow form, wrapping it on the outside with threads or fiberglass on epoxy glue. At the same time, a significant portion of the blank falls out of work during bending, the weight increases significantly and the structure of the stick changes significantly. After such a repair, the once resounding spinning is only suitable for use as a light feeder.
In order for the glued form not to lose its original qualities, it must remain hollow. Under load, the blank bends, while its circular cross section approaches the oval. This happens evenly along the length of the loaded area. If an insert is present in this section, then this place falls out of the bending zone, does not work, and critical strain loads arise at its ends. Therefore, fracture repair should be carried out only with the help of an external bandage, and such a bandage should consist of graphite, the fibers of which have the same orientation with the fibers of the blank itself. Only this will allow the bandage material to correctly participate in the bending of the blank under load, minimize the weight of the blank and keep the sensitivity “in hand” at the same level.
Where to get it
Where to get graphite material for bandage? Specially it is not sold anywhere, but, for example, in aircraft modeling, a completely different type of graphite material with cross-laying of fibers is used. At one time, this question strongly baffled me, but in fact, the material you are looking for is always at hand. Just need a suitable "donor". I have an old Volzhanka composite telescope (or rather, its butt knee). In general, any piece of unnecessary graphite fishing rod or spinning will do. From it we cut off the workpiece of the required length – the width of the future bandage. Then, holding it with tweezers, gently anneal on the fire of a gas stove. The epoxy burns out, and we get a clean graphite fabric with a substrate of very thin fiberglass between the layers. After cooling, carefully disassemble the “fire victims”. We are interested in a tape of parallel graphite fibers stitched with individual transverse threads. The thickness of such a fabric is usually 0.2-0.3 mm. If the tissue breaks up into fragments, it can be slightly moistened with a spray gun.
Now we prepare the form for gluing. If a flow ring is installed near the fracture line — and this happens most often when the destruction occurred due to overloading the form — it must be carefully removed. After repair, the ring must be installed on the fracture line. After that, varnish and decorative coating are removed from the blank at the repair site to a clean gray graphite fabric. This is best done with a diamond file and fine sandpaper. The next step is gluing the blank. He needs to return the original geometry, so the edges of the fracture at both ends should coincide, and the form should be perfectly straight. Here you can not do without an internal insert, which will play the role of a guide. Such an insert is made of rolled up thick tissue paper into a tube. The insert comes in a couple of centimeters on either side of the fracture and weighs almost nothing.
Now glue the blank with any five-minute epoxy. Before gluing, it is necessary to measure the thickness of the wall of the form – this is necessary to calculate the thickness of the repair brace. When the form is glued, we remove the excess glue and the remnants of the lacquer coating over the entire working area with a file. With a simple fracture, its length is equal to eight blank diameters at the fracture site. If there are linear cracks – plus one centimeter to both sides of their end. The boundaries of the plot are marked on the form with pieces of masking tape. It remains to impose a repair bandage. Its width is equal to six blank diameters at the fracture site, and the thickness is 30-50% greater than the blank wall thickness. For example, if the wall thickness of the blank in the fracture zone is 1.5 mm and its diameter is 8 mm, then the width of the bandage will be 44-50 mm and its thickness 2 mm. You can make the bandage obviously thicker – it’s more convenient to work with, and then just remove the excess material with a file.
The next stage is the imposition of a repair bandage. A strip of carbon fabric is lubricated with epoxy resin and wound around the repair area in several turns. On top of it we impose a thin plastic wrap. We take a small segment of round rubber like an airplane model and with a simple knot we fix it in the middle of the bandage. Then, pulling the rubber, tightly wrap it to wrap it from the middle to the edges and fix it with knots. In this case, all excess resin is squeezed out of the gluing zone and the graphite fibers of the bandage are compacted. As a result, not a single gram of excess weight will be in the repair zone, and the bandage in terms of resin content will be as close as possible to the material of the form itself and will have maximum elasticity.
When the epoxy has almost completely “risen”, remove the rubber and plastic film and use a rag moistened with acetone to remove excess glue that has not yet hardened. We give the form to dry completely during the day. Then we bring the bandage thickness to the required file and round its ends – for aesthetic reasons.
It remains to install a through ring on the fracture line. We fix his foot in the right position with a drop of “second” glue or a rubber ring worn on the blank in advance and carefully wrapped around the blank with a thin synthetic thread. Most of all, a thread for knitting flies is suitable for this, but you can also replace it with a piece of thin braid, having previously removed a layer of weak paint from it with a solvent. If the installation of the ring is not planned, the bandage still needs to be strengthened by winding the thread in the area equal to the four diameters of the blank at the place of repair. On top of the winding and stripped sections of the form are covered with a thin layer of epoxy varnish. That's all. Repair is over. The weight of the form increased by only a few grams, the system and sensitivity “in hand” were preserved. The thickening of the spinning rod at the repair site, if a through ring is installed on it, is noticeable only during a meticulous inspection.
And about the pitch
It does not make any sense to use domestic-made epoxy for repairing the bandage: it is afraid of water and sunlight – under their influence it becomes cloudy and softens. Five-minute imported resins are also not suitable: such resins cure very quickly and the graphite fibers do not have time to soak with it. Resin is required with a “formation” time of at least 40 minutes and is resistant to water and light. For these purposes, epoxy glue and varnish, which are used by spinning collectors – rod builders, are ideally suited. I use resin and varnish company Flex Coa1, bought in a fishing store (200 rubles for 200 g of perfect resin quality). There are also analogues from other manufacturers for sale. In the way I have described in recent years, more than a dozen broken spinning rods have been restored. According to comrades, the repaired forms in the work are practically no different from the new ones.
author Igor GOLISHCHENKO
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