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Broken Thomas and Thomas repair help...

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  • Broken Thomas and Thomas repair help...

    So I contacted T&T, they are of no help other than $150 plus shipping...The rod is broken right behind the 3rd guide from the tip , under the wrap...After reading much on the "interweb", I've decided to try to repair it myself....First, I found an Allen wrench that fit perfectly, cut to about 3"....Started thinking about flex points and the possibility of breakage again at the ends of the stent....Then I remembered that a friend had brought me a tube with 5 "new old stock" Shakespeare fiberglass (Wonderrod !) fly rod ends that he found at a garage sale.....So I cut a stent to fit , seems it's going to work and flex pretty well....My question is what kind of glue / epoxy should I use for this ? I have some of the clear Gorilla glue, used it on a cheap 4 wt. last year, and it sets so fast there's virtually no way to put things together and line it up correctly unless you get it EXACTLY right the first time..I'm looking for something that'll give me at least a minute or 2 to make sure everything aligns properly... What would yall use ???? THANKS in advance

  • #2
    I repaired a fenwick with a fiberglass stent like your talking about.
    My rod was broken at about the same place as yours.
    I used five minute epoxy and after it cured i wrapped over the repaired
    section with size a nylon thread and coated that.
    That was years and a bunch of fish and abuse ago.
    Still in good shape.

    That is a fiberglass flyrod i repaired, i would guess you could do a graphite
    rod the same way.


    • #3
      Thanks, Swamp...What Brand ???

      What was the name of the brand epoxy ? That's exactly what I'm looking to do....Thanks !


      • #4
        Hey Ed,
        The epoxy i used was nothing special.
        You can buy it a lowes or wal-mart or any hardware or auto parts store.
        50/50 MIX five minute epoxy. 5 bucks or so.
        I know their is some super dooper ,just the right flexible stuff out there,
        but you dont need it.


        • #5
          I've built a few rods but am no expert on the subject. I would shoot Runner or Mog a PM with your situation. Being the tip section of your rod the diameter will be pretty small, thus a good bit of flex even in such a short span. While the 50/50 epoxy is used more in the butt section of the rod I don't think it would be ideal in a tip section. I also would not use it to cover the wraps as mentioned for the same reason. I used a product called Flexcoat to cover my thread wraps. There are also other brands out there. Again I would shoot these other guys a PM and I'm sure they will steer you the proper direction.


          • #6
            Thanks Gpounder !

            I'll see about contacting them in a bit....Just a note about the 2 types of stents I have fashioned --- The metal Allen wrench shaft ( I know that I had it too long, but I believe in cutting everything too long, you can't add it back !) had just a slight arc too it, any way that I turned it internally, the rod ended up with a slight bend....I'm sure I could straighten it, or get another and start again...But when tested, the "break" area stayed together, the fibers meshing well..But no flex at the break or to the ends of the stent.... With the fiberglass one, and at the point of cutting it off to fit as a stent , the rod is basically a solid ( maybe not truly, but apparently) piece that is tapered and doesn't quite "fill the space" through most of it's length, but enough room for some epoxy or glue...And when bent it flexes enough to let the actual break separate at the top of the junction....I'm hoping that a good epoxy will eliminate that...

            Oh, back to my initial post about T&T help....They really were very cordial and informative....Just wouldn't budge on their $150 repair / replace part price..The rod had never been registered by my distant uncle, so no help with that ...But they did say that if it was a more current rod, maybe they could work something out....


            • #7
              And Swamp, Thanks !

              I've had some experience lately with 2-part epoxy...Seems my lawnmower and my mom's lamp post had some differences, the lawnmower won...I used JB Weld 2-part in the dispenser and tin can parts to rebuild the base of the lamp...A couple of things I learned----Patience, when they say 24 hrs. to full cure, believe 'em.....Don't mess with it to "see if it's dry" and hard yet....And don't let any get somewhere you don't want it to be....I can be cleaned off if done soon after the "deposit", but's a bear afterwords...It can be sanded, filed , and drilled, but none of those are things we want to do to a fly rod....And it seems somewhat brittle if under too much stress....But that was the colored type, I'm looking at some now that's clear , maybe a bit flexible, but again don't want that separation at the union of the pieces I described in my last post...
              Another note in reading instructions on repairing on the 'net, size matters !!! The stent needs to be not too short, not too long, just right to allow the rod to flex properly....


              • #8
                Sorry Ed,
                Didnt mean to mislead you on coating the thread.
                Groundpounder is right about not using the epoxy glue
                to coat the wrap.
                If the rod is broken under or near the guide,you might can remove the guide
                and make the repair and place the guide over or near the repair and it won't be
                so noticeable.
                I would find a coating that would match up in thickness with the other wraps.
                Some of them are very thick and might look out of place.
                I'm no expert either ,but I've built several rods for my on use.
                If you use a fiberglass rod section ,be sure and scrape
                the finish off of it so you can get a good glue joint.
                One of the local pro's might repair it for you.
                They already have all the materials that you have to buy,correct thread and coating.
                A rod turner to get a good finish.
                Might not cost much more to get a professional job on a nice rod
                Last edited by swamp; 08-06-18, 09:16 PM. Reason: Clarify


                • #9
                  You can do an external stent or an internal (assuming the ferrule is hollow on the upstream end). An external stent can be scavenged from another rod piece of the right size. Try to match the wall thickness as near as possible but obviously it will be a slightly larger diameter than the blank diameter at the point of break. Because the stent is exterior to the blank it should be stronger than the original rod and you can use most any source material.
                  With an internal stent I recommend using a fiberglass stent (or graft) because of its toughness. I've used cheap solid FG ice fishing rod blanks when repairing the tip section. The internal stent is smaller in diameter than the rod in which it sits and therefore is probably not as strong depending on the source of stent material (some may be tougher than the rod being repaired).
                  Remove the guide if necessary and use a Dremel or some type of cutoff tool to make both sides square (make sure there is no splintering running up/down the fiber). Do the repair and replace the guide. You can use this kit which has both a glue for the repair and thread finish. They're both 2 part flexible epoxies but different viscosities. Use the glue for the repair and the finish for the thread wraps.
                  I don't recommend the solid rigid metal repair method for a fly rod. You have a high stress point at each end of the stent. I suppose it can work but its likely to fail when you put a big load on it (i.e. the big fish you've been working on all year). I have heard of using piano wire as internal stent (strong and flexible) but I have no idea how to size it. I suppose there is a chart somewhere.
                  These brook trout will strike any fly you present, provided you don't get close enough to present it.
                  -- Dick Blalock


                  • #10
                    THANKS Mog !!!!

                    That's EXACTLY what I was looking for !....I think I'm going to try the internal stent as I've already cut one of those tip ends I mentioned...But before I do , I'm going to look through another big "pile" of the old fiberglass rods that I've accumulated in 45+ years of collecting "old fishing gear" and see if maybe there's a piece that might be just a bit less flexible than the Wonderrod section I've cut....But not too stiff....

                    One thought I had on the metal stent after reading so much and pondering over this....If I cut it to a correct small size and then file down both ends a good bit, maybe there wouldn't be a "pressure point" at each end to cause an area that might break again....Just a thought....


                    • #11
                      Exactly, you got it. Soften (by sanding) the angle on each end of the stent to minimize that pressure point. You don't need to remove much material because everything will be anchored in the epoxy.
                      These brook trout will strike any fly you present, provided you don't get close enough to present it.
                      -- Dick Blalock


                      • #12
                        Thanks Mog !..Which would you do ???

                        Need yall's thoughts, I'm only going to get one shot at this one...So , the shorter stiffer filed down ends metal stent or the longer more flexible fiberglass stent ?

                        I'm leaning towards a metal stent, it'll leave a small "flat spot" in the flex of the tip end, but I think it'll support the repair better...The fiberglass piece that I have cut from a Shakespeare Wonderrod is just too "soft" and flexes quite a bit, maybe with enough epoxy in the rod shaft it might "stiffen" enough to not give at the top of the junction...And a good wrap ( which I haven't done in 20+ years !) will also help...

                        So what would yall do ????


                        • #13
                          Why does the fiberglass stent have to be so much longer? I would still go fiberglass over metal. Those metal ends are going to make a hard stop for the flex arc of the rod. Your joint would be strong but the rod at the end of the stent will be much weaker. I would prefer to see the ability of the repair to flex with the arc of the rod. Even if slightly more stiff than the original rod.


                          • #14
                            I would use the fiberglass. You're only down at the 3rd guide so you need flex anyway. Also, it'll be made more rigid with the glue and the thread wrap epoxy. It's not going to be as flexible as it is now.
                            All that being said, understand that it is never going to be exactly the same as before the break; it can't be. Done right though you'll never be able to tell.
                            These brook trout will strike any fly you present, provided you don't get close enough to present it.
                            -- Dick Blalock


                            • #15
                              I wouldn't know what...

                              it felt like before, so just to get it back to "usable" is my hope ! A distant Aunt let one of her Grandson's "use" it, he brought it back 6 months later...I was helping her go through her husband's things ...Gave it a fair "look over", put it together, and gave it a shake and it just fell apart !!! He'd apparently broken it and put it back together carefully, then back in the sock and tube... And it sat for a couple of more years before Kathy decided it's time to let Walt's things go....Now it's mine, along with several other nicer rods and some reels...I've never owned , nor would have paid for, a rod of this quality.... I've always used cheaper rods just for this reason, I'm just as likely to break 'em..That's how I know the clear "Gorilla Glue" sets so fast !!!...And actually, the fish that I catch don't care ! So any advice is GREATLY APPRECIATED !!! I'll probably offer up a couple of the others and some of the reels after I get through and am satisfied with this project....

                              Oh, I might need somebody to do the guide wrap...I just don't have a lot of confidence in my abilities...I'll practice a bit before I try it...