Restoring the Rudgocet

Just built or restored a cane rod or need some advise then let us know in here.
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SeanM
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Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by SeanM » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:02 pm

Well that was a tough one!

Back in July I picked up an AE Rudge rod from the auction site. It didn't look very appealing in the pictures, but I took a risk and picked it up for not a lot of money. When it arrived I found that the tip was around 4 inches short and delaminated. I had a tip from a Geo Wilkins match rod which was a good match for the dark colour of the Rudge cane which would do nicely for a new tip section. The tip has a "twin taper" which looked to have come into general use for a while when Milwards folded.

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The "interesting" standard of restoration as bought

I started stripping the rod with the whole cane butt and found that the varnish had been darkened to match the split cane sections:

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This didn't worry me particularly until I reached the top of the butt:

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The cane above the node is much darker

I would have to colour the cane to get a consistent colour along the section. This turned out to be a difficult and quite expensive task! Firstly I bought some external wood dye from B&Q. No matter what I tried I couldn't get it to "take" on the cane. Next I bought a tin of Rustins wood dye - the same problem. Hmm.... I remembered seeing some (expensive) Colouron Refined wood dye in B&Q so I went back and read the back of the tin. It talked about using multiple coats to get a deeper colour. I gritted my teeth and bought a tin. It worked! Three coats later I had a butt section that was all the same colour.

The rest of the strip was plain sailing. After some test whippings I decided to whip the rod in what was close to a reverse of the original colours: a pale tan (Fish Hawk Tan) for the ring, ferrule and node whippings and mid brown (Gudebrod Chestnut) for the inters and tippings. Both A grade. Big mistake! The Fish Hawk thread was slightly see through even after sealing and any discolouration showed through. I stuck at it and eventually got a finish I was happy with.

I completed the whippings, sealing them with 3 coats of shrinking dope as usual. Luckily I decided to complete the varnishing of the butt before completing the other sections. All went well and after 3 coats I brushed on a final coat over the tan whippings:

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Arrghhhh!!

It only happened on the ring whippings and only on the fourth coat. What I think has happened is that when I brushed on the final coat I worked it in quite hard. I think the varnish causes the thread to relax slightly, exposing a little more of the "tunnel" to the varnish and causing it to go translucent. I decided to leave it well alone as to rectify it would require a complete strip including the dying of the cane.

I gave the whippings on the joint a few more coats of sealer and applied the varnish. Still slight bleed, but much better. I gave the tip section whips a further 5 coats of sealer (8 in all!) and the varnish is almost perfect with only a tiny amount of bleed.

Life is too short - I'll use the rod and buy some Pac Bay NCP thread in Tan to rebuild it at some point.

Here is the finished rod:

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11ft 4in long, whole cane butt, split cane joint and tip

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Note that the bleed only occurs on the ring whippings. Partly caused by a change in tension over the foot?

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The sheet cork handle is in good condition. The mix of brass and alloy fittings appears to be standard on Rudge rods.

The rod feels lovely in the hand and I'm looking forward to catching some chub on it over the next few weeks.
Quot homines, tot sententiae. (And now we are 6!)

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Jeremy Croxall
Arctic Char
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by Jeremy Croxall » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:23 pm

Well I think that's a very nice Job indeed, the cane colour looks lovely and the colour bleed doesn't seem to be much of an issue to me. It certainly wont affect its fish catching capability!!

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Stef
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by Stef » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:28 am

SeanM wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:02 pm
Life is too short - I'll use the rod and buy some Pac Bay NCP thread in Tan to rebuild it at some point.
I had a similar issue on the butt ring although using NCP thread (Pac Bay Yellow A Grade) which I did not seal before applying varnish, thought that it wouldn't be nessessary which was a mistake . Next time I'll apply a few coats of colour preserver first.

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Wallys-Cast
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by Wallys-Cast » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:30 am

That's a lovely job Sean and a very nice rod. The bit of bleed through gives it a lightly used look and very in keeping with the age of the rod.

I have noticed some bleeding actually vanishes as the varnish full cures but it can take years sometimes. I stripped a broken ring off a rod last week which was restored three years ago and the varnish was still tacky underneath the ring.

Wal.

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SeanM
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by SeanM » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:38 pm

Thanks chaps!

Yes Wal I'm sort of hoping that it disappears with time. I must watch out in future. I use the "sponge" technique for the main varnishing, usually giving the rod 2 or 3 coats (I don't like the thick varnish look). I then use a brush to finish off the whippings and it was this coat that caused the bleed. As you can see, the "tunnel" is fine but the varnish has somehow penetrated under the whipping at the edge of the "tunnel".
Quot homines, tot sententiae. (And now we are 6!)

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Lovatt
Rudd
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by Lovatt » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:44 pm

Nice looking rod, how does it feel in the hand is it ballenced or a little tip heavy ?

Trevor

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SeanM
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by SeanM » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:57 pm

It's not bad at all in the hand Trevor. I've been using it for general chub fishing and it works well for trotting and has handled chub to over 5lb without any problems. I have a similar rod, a Wizard copy made by WA Allcock which also has a long (23 inch) handle. This last rod is a better trotting rod, but it's 4 inches shorter and slightly less powerful.
Quot homines, tot sententiae. (And now we are 6!)

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MaggotDrowner
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by MaggotDrowner » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:51 am

Nice job, Sean. You’ve inspired me to start on my Mkiv Avon. I want to get it done for spring. Not looking forward to all those inters!!

Your rod looks lovely. I’m sure the chub will be happy to fall to such a rod.
"I'd rather be fishing!"

MD

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SeanM
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by SeanM » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:29 pm

Thanks Jack! I've had a couple over 4lb on it already and it handled them very well.
Quot homines, tot sententiae. (And now we are 6!)

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MaggotDrowner
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Re: Restoring the Rudgocet

Post by MaggotDrowner » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:35 pm

SeanM wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:29 pm
Thanks Jack! I've had a couple over 4lb on it already and it handled them very well.
And were they happy? :Chuckle:

How is it fishing up there, Sean? I keep thinking about taking a rod when I go up that way to see friends in Leeds and when I went for two job interviews in York recently. I bet it will be hard next week!
"I'd rather be fishing!"

MD

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