Product Reviews


by James Castwell

When I'm right, I'm right; and when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. This time I was both, right and wrong. For a few years, a long time ago, I would rub the ferrule of the cheap cane fly rod I had on the side of my nose. Supposed to put a film of wax, or oil or something on it. That was to make it go together better and come apart only when I wanted it to. Found out that puts some salt on them and causes corrosion. Bad idea.

When the new graphite sticks arrived, I, like most, simply stuck them together. Wrong again. They can slide apart when casting and can become stuck tight under some conditions. Another bad idea.

I found that a major rod company was using paraffin on their rod joints. A slight twist on assembly and they not only stayed together, but would come apart when desired. Neat, I finally had found the right answer. You guessed it, wrong again. Well, wrong to some degree anyhow. It does what I said. Keeps them from coming apart and does make it easier to take down at the end of the day.

Now this is the critical section. If you are already using paraffin and are happy doing so, STOP NOW. READ NO FURTHER.

For once information is entered into your noggin, it can not be removed. Fair warning, here goes. Do not use it any more. After reading this you likely will never dare using it again.

During a chance phone call with Ralph O'Quinn at Trondak on another subject the ferrule topic came up. So, now I am the owner of U-40 Ferrule Lube. This is stuff (liquid) you put on the male and into the female sections of your fly rods. I have started using it. I say, 'started' because I have many rods yet to clean the paraffin from and replace with this product.

Ferrule Lube

It works. It works better than anything I have used. Here is one startling result that happened to me. Before I applied it I needed to clean off the paraffin. Usually I simply add a swipe or two to the ferrules a couple times a year. This time I cleaned it with heptane right down to the bare finish. There was a scratch over a quarter of an inch long on the male end of the butt section. The paraffin had concealed it. Paraffin can hold tiny grains and can actually cause scratches. This is my pet nine foot, six weight fly rod. Now, everytime I cast it I will know it has a potential flaw. Scratching graphite is like scratching glass. It makes it break.

That alone is enough reason for me to never again use paraffin. Also, it enlarges the diameter which is not good either. That can make a rod break from stress. Needless to say, I applied the U-40 Ferrule Lube to the rod. I found it easy to apply, took little time, did not increase the diameter, had a solid feel when assembled and came apart when it was supposed to. They recommend dressing about twice a year. I will do that at least. It's $9.95 for a one-ounce a bottle (includes shipping) - which will last many years. My opinion of it? I like it. A lot. I will continue to use it. JC

Trondak, Inc.
17631 147th St. SE., #7
Monroe, WA 98272
Ph. (360) 794-8250
Fax: (360) 794-9857

P.S. Now I have the pleasure of re-doing all my fly rods, very enjoyable pastime. By the way, Trondak makes and sells other great products too, like Aqua-Seal, Dura-Gloss, etc. ~ James Castwell

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