Repair a Rod’s Cork Grip in Four Easy Steps

Breathe new life into an old pole with these cork grip repair tips—and keep on fishing

diy repair cork grip fishing rod
Patch Job: Make your grips look new with a wine cork and wood glue.Spencer Jones

Rod’s cork handles deteriorate with use. After repeated soakings and dryings, the cork weakens and chips, creating holes. If these holes go untreated, the surrounding cork grows even weaker and may break. This quick patch job will extend the life of your grip.

1. Take a clean, dry wine cork and sand it with 220- to 240-grit sandpaper to make a fine cork dust. You will need to collect about 1⁄2 teaspoon to fill a 1-centimeter hole.

2. Mix the powder with wood glue. Add sufficient adhesive to create a smooth and dry consistency, like that of cookie dough. Your patching material should not be fluid, or it'll run out of the holes and gaps.

3. Use a sharp, pointed tool to clean out pitted areas. Fill them with your patch material. The filler will shrink when it dries, so you must repeat the process to get the holes flush with the good parts of your grip.

4. When the filler has dried, buff with 220-grit sandpaper, wash with water and dish soap, and dry. Seal the cork with gunstock finish or a splash of U-40 Cork Seal.