Fiberglass Ferrules

Bob Hallowell’s instruction on making fiberglass ferrules. This appeared as an article in Power Fibers and was a presentation at the 2019 Rodmakers Gathering.

I have been experimenting with fiberglass ferrules, with a lot of discussion and excess material from my friend Mike McFarland. I finally settled on this method as it works well for the quads and hexes I make. I am sure it will work for other strip configurations.

The basic ferrule is cut from a thin walled shallow tapered blank or a vintage scrap rod. In this arti- cle I used a new white glass blank with ferrule stock. If you don’t have access to ferrule stock make sure you double wall (a piece inside) your spigot.
I cut the male .875” long, this gives me .5” for the spigot to be glued in and .375” to be glued on to the cane.  For smaller ferrules like this one I made the female 1.375”, this leaves 1” for the female to receive the spigot and .375” to be glued to the cane. The spigot on this rod extends 1” from the male with a designed ferrule gap of 3/16”. Depending on the size of ferrule being made the spigot length and female length can be adjusted.
I round .375” of the cane and glue the spigot in as I glue the ferrule on to the cane. I use JB weld but any high temperature epoxy will work. Be careful when using thin walled blanks, if you force them on the cane or force the spigot the fiberglass can crack.

Once the epoxy is cured I cut a piece of prepreg that is .375” wider than the ferrule, then I wrap it around the ferrule three times. I wrap the prepreg from the end of the ferrule to .375 on to the cane. It adheres extremely well to the cane and takes shape of the cane. I like to put a little bit of spray ad- hesive on the ferrule for the prepreg to stick to as I start to wrap. It sticks to itself once the wrap overlaps. Once this process is complete I wrap on the shrink tape, starting on the cane to the end of the ferrule and back on to the cane. Plug the end of female and wrap the spigot with masking tape as some of the resin will leave the prepreg.

You are now ready to bake your ferrules. I have done this with a heat gun jig I made but now I use a mica strip oven. The method does not matter as long as you can hold the temperature between 250-275 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. After baking you can remove the shrink tape, file and sand smooth.

Lastly the finishing, I like to use honey amber TransTint dye that is readily available. I brush on and wipe off the spigot just to add some color. The rest of the ferrule gets a coat that does not get wiped back off, this gives you the dark tobacco glass look. I stick it on my rod dryer to dry. Once dry I wrap both ends of the ferrules, in this case colored silk on the cane transition end and natural silk for a clear look on the other end. The ferrule now gets a thin coat of epoxy and it is complete.

Material Resources:
Fiberglass prepreg- any woven prepreg with a thickness around .005 should work.
Shrink tape
Fiberglass stock I have used both vintage rods scraps and new blanks. Here is a link to one: