Hi all -

I know there's probably been a ton of repetitive questions here regarding "newbies" refinishing a cane rod and I HAVE researched some of my questions but I apologize if I'm rehashing the same old same old...

Like many others I recently decided to play around with refinishing a cane rod so I picked up a South Bend 359-9 for a pretty cheap price. I just received it and actually am impressed it's in such good condition. No spare tip but the 3 pieces seem functionally sound and I could probably fish with it right now. But being that I picked this thing up to learn from here's what I've noticed and want to do to it.

1. Thread wraps while intact are UGLY. Each guide has a different wrap pattern which consist of separate 18" bands of different color threads i.e. 1/8" blue, 1/8" red, 1/8" yellow, etc. But there's nothing consistent. Also, only 6 guides on the rod and no stripper guide - actually no guide at all on the butt section of the rod; and no hookkeeper. I can't believe this is how the rod was mfg so I'm guessing it's been re-wrapped.

2. Handle is the 'comficient' model (I think) - it's gooved and has the thumb depression. No chunks of cork missing but it's sorta ugly. Not sure if could be cleaned. Reel seat seems decent albeit not very impressive looking.

2. Tip section has a slight "set" pointing to one side.

3. "click" when I flex the rod at the butt-2-middle ferrule. I think the joint is loose.

Since I want to learn here I'm thinking I want to take the rod completely down to bare cane and refinish from scratch. I've got a couple books ordered (haven't arrived yet) but here are the questions I have:

1. I'd like some recommendations where to go for parts ie guides, handle, reel seats, etc. I know there are many sponsors here but not exactly sure how specialized this all is so I want to get the right stuff. I'd like to get a pre-made handle rather than turning my own. As I want to fish this stick I'm planning on adding some additional guides and have found placement measurements here. I seem to remember reading about brass vs. chrome guides.

2. thread - I've been told that I should wrap with silk but I want to make sure the thread doesn't disappear when I apply the finish. I'm thinking a pretty traditional red or green thread wrap - not sure how fancy I want to get. Suggestions on thread?

3. Where's a good place to see pics of finished bamboo rods so I can get some ideas as to colors, layout, hardware options, etc? I'd especially like to see what this rod looked like from the factory.

4. do most people use the same 5-minute epoxy for the handle/reel seat that's used on graphite rods or is there something special to use here?

5. Varnishing - What's the best way to apply varnish to the rod if I don't want to build a dip tube? Would you suggest hanging the sections vertically and brushing on the coats of varnish? What about the spray versions? Is Varnish and Spar Varnish the same thing?

Thanks SO MUCH in advance for any replies. I'm looking forward to all this. Sorry this post is so long.