We all have a favorite fishing rod that has been with us through thick and thin. It's the rod in that picture with you and your personal record catch, but it was also there when you spent all day at the lake and the only thing you came home with was a picture of the sunset. After all those years of casting and catching, that once new rod is probably sporting a handle that has seen better days. Whether your favorite rod has brittle cork, torn EVA, or just needs a little tender loving care, there is now a product that can give your old fishing rod handle a second chance. Winn has come out with rod overwrap grip tape that can be applied to your rod to get it back out there catching fish. Some of you may already be familiar with Winn Fishing Grips. Here at Bald Guy Fishing® we have used their stand-alone grip options on several of our previous builds. Some examples of rods built utilizing Winn grips are in our handle assembly gallery and can be viewed by clicking here.
So what exactly is Winn rod overwrap grip tape? Rod overwrap grip tape utilizes the same "non-slip polymer technology" as other fishing grips designed by Winn. It is designed to be used as an overwrap for an existing handle, or as the sole grip on a fishing rod. Just like Winn's signature fishing rod grips, the overwrap grip tape provides tacky, non-slip performance in a variety of weather conditions. What this means is anglers will have the benefits of sure-grip security, all-day comfort and improved control, no matter if it is wet and rainy or cold and snowy. The varied textures on the overwrap grip tape provide comfort and support for the angler's grip where it is needed most. Winn rod overwrap grip tape is available in either 44" or 96" lengths and comes in one of 18 total color options. The price typically ranges from $9.99 to $18.99, depending on what length you purchase. You can purchase Winn rod overwrap grip tape at Academy Sports, Mudhole Custom Tackle, Get Bit Outdoors and Tackle Warehouse, just to name a few. To learn more about Winn, visit their website at www.winngripsfishing.com.
For this post, I have chosen one of our earlier builds from here in the shop and will apply Winn rod overwrap grip tape to show how simply it is installed. Notice how it can bring new life to an old handle or give any handle a custom look. It's easy and you don't need to be a custom rod builder to do it. I have provided step-by-step instructions with pictures so you can get started today.
1) Prepare handle for the tape by sanding and/or cleaning the surface prior to installation.
(See Figure 1)
2) Establish the circumference of the handle where the tape is to be installed. This can be done by wrapping the tape around the handle for one turn until the tape meets itself. (See Figure 2)
3) Make a mark at the meeting point. (See Figure 3)
4) Using a straight edge, make a line from the mark you just made to the opposite corner of the tape.
(See Figure 4)
5) Cut along the line with scissors. The cut edge will be the bottom of your grip. (See Figure 5) The cut doesn't have to be perfectly straight because this edge will be covered with finishing tape.
6) Remove enough of the backing from the tape to start wrapping the handle (approximately six inches). The sticky side of the tape will be the side that makes contact with the handle. (See Figure 6)
7) Starting with your cut edge begin wrapping the handle with a spiral wrap. (See Figure 7)
8) As you are spiral wrapping the handle be sure to line up the "traction edges" and continue wrapping to the desired length. (See Figure 8) Not using the "traction edges" will negatively effect the wrap.
9) Repeat steps 2-5. This time the cut edge will be the top of your grip.
10) To complete your wrap, apply a layer of finishing tape to both the top and bottom of the wrap. (See Figure 9) If you damage or lose the provided finishing tape, electrical tape can be used as a substitute.
May your lines be tight and your rods bent,
The Bald Guy