*I had planned to finish up the series on the RodMaker facility here in North Carolina, but todayâ€™s rain precluded taking any good outdoor photos. So weâ€™ll take a break and talk about thread coatings for the time being. I’ll return to the previous series, tomorrow, weather permitting.
10 months back aÂ heavy package showed up here at the RodMaker offices. Inside were two 1-gallon containers filled with epoxy resin and hardener. Both of them were absolutely clear as a bell. Water clear, in fact.
Just a few days prior to the arrival of that package, I had gotten a call from a salesman at one of the largest furniture coatings companies in the world. He asked me if I would take a look at an epoxy which his firm believed would be perfect for finishing thread wraps on fishing rods. I told him Iâ€™d be glad to do so, but went on to warn him that thread epoxies are a dime a dozen these days. Everybody has one and many more are repackaging existing products under a variety of names. In short, I explained to him that what he seemed to think was such a lucrative market, really isnâ€™t. Just too many players involved nowadays. But he would not be deterred and shipped me a 2-gallon kit that afternoon.
So how is it?Â Well, itâ€™s probably the best epoxy Iâ€™ve ever worked with. Itâ€™s certainly the very clearest Iâ€™ve ever seen. After something like 4 months in direct sunlight it has yet to amber or yellow the least bit. Itâ€™s still perfectly water clear. I mean that – perfectly water clear. Every rod builder through the doors these past few months has seen it and commented on just how water clear it really is. All want to know where they can get some.
Of course, Iâ€™ve seen other epoxies that were clear (although not this clear) and then suddenly went south almost overnight after sufficient UV exposure. So even though this product seems promising, Iâ€™m not about to tell them to bet the farm on it. Particularly since the cost per ounce is predicted to be about 1/3rd more than any other thread epoxy currently out there. (They do plan to be in High Point for the Expo!)
A couple years back, Ralph Oâ€™Quinn, who knows a few things about exterior coatings, told me that there was a product being used in the aerospace industry that would function perfectly as both a thread color preserver and top coating all in one step. He also said that it would remain water white clear forever and that you couldnâ€™t scratch it, dent it or make it check or crack. Ralph claimed it would be the ultimate coating for thread, blanks, etc. But according to him, it would never make a go in the rod building industry due to its $18 per ounce wholesale price.
Sometimes the products we want are, in fact available, but their price keeps them off the market. It’s a shame, but the limited size of our craft and the willingness of only a few participants to pay for the very best means that at least a few top notch products will never trickle down to us.