It seems that vendors of rod building supplies don't offer us much in the way
of good looking butt caps for heavier weight rods like 7 weight and up.
In the process of figuring out a way to make a cork
lathe for shaping cork rod handles, I came up with a way to make a butt
cap from a rubber furniture leg cap. What it takes is a way to hold an electric
drill as described in the lathe article, the leg cap for a 1"
leg, a bolt 10-24 by 1" long, a nut for it and two size 10 fender washers.
These are large washers the same diameter as the inside of the cap.
Bore a hole for the bolt as well centered as you can in the bottom
the cap, and assemble the cap with the nut, bolt, and washers so that
the bottom of the cap is clamped between the washers as shown in the
The next step is to mount it in the drill/lathe and cut it to length
with an Exacto knife. Use light pressure with the knife and let the
drill do the work. The cap is to be mounted by gluing if over a 1/2"
thick cork ring, so the inside length should be 1/2".
After cutting it to length sand the cap to desired size and shape. I
found that 60 grit sandpaper is about right for the rough shaping and
100 and 220 grit work for finishing. The somewhat grayish tone of the
finished cap can be blackened with black liquid shoe polish.
The cork ring it is to be mounted on needs to be sanded down to the
inside diameter of the cap. This is easily done by clamping it between
the two washers, taking care to center it, and sanding it flush with
the edges of the washers. This ring is glued on last in the stack of
rings that is glued on the rod.
When shaping the handle the back end of the ring in front of
mounting ring is sanded to a diameter to meet the front diameter of the
cap. If things were not perfectly placed on the rod, the end of the rod
out past the cork. It is easily removed by sanding it away. Finally the
cap is glued in place, taking care to plug the hole the bolt passed