This Is Why Fishing Rods Have Cork Handles

Ever wondered why fishing rods have cork handles? For everything that’s happening – from the things that we can see and not – they have a purpose. Just like cork handles on fishing rods, they also play an essential role in helping every angler become more efficient in catching fish. So, if you’ve been asking the same question, this is the answer to why fishing rods have cork handles.

First of all, some fishing rods have cork handles because they are much lighter to use compared to foam. Also, cork handles can maintain residual heat even in colder temperatures. These features are essential in preventing any accidental slips while providing more friction between the handle and your hand. Moreover, they make the handle warmer to touch even on a cold fishing day. Finally, cork handles have a low damping capacity – the reason why they can transmit vibrations quickly.

Fishing rods that have cork handles offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. There are many reasons why you should choose fishing rods that have cork handles. Consider this article as your mini-guide in learning specific information about cork handles in fishing rods.

How Do You Maintain a Cork Handle on a Fishing Rod?

The best way to maintain a cork handle on a fishing rod is to use some warm water with a bar of light soap, and a sponge. Rub the cork handle using the sponge. Apply more pressure, depending on the degree of problem in some areas. Then, make sure to wash all soapy residual off the cork handle. Let the material dry completely. As much possible, expose it under the heat of the sun.

Some anglers use Mr. Clean eraser pads in cleaning their fishing rod. Start with making the pillows a little wet. Then, gently rub it on the cork handle with more emphasis and attention to the dirtier areas. Let it dry, and you can apply cork sealant afterward. This method should make your cork handle look new and even more useful.

Cork Handles vs. EVA Handles – Which is Better to Use?

Fishing rod handles come in two primary materials, which are cork and EVA foams. Each element has its unique sets of advantages and disadvantages, but which is better over the other? As mentioned, cork handles are lighter in weight compared to EVA foams. They can also maintain residual heat even in colder temperatures for a better and warmer grip on a cold fishing day.

Cork handles also have lower damping capacity, which makes them better at transmitting vibration every time a fish bites your bait. Cork handles have a rough built, so they are less slippery even when wet. Plus, compared to EVA foams, cork handles are less slippery because they don’t compress too much.

On the other hand, EVA foam handles are cheaper and more durable. EVA foam handles remain intact regardless of the condition, which is essential if you’re going to hold onto your fishing rod for extended periods. Finally, EVA foams are easier to clean and maintain by scrubbing its surface with detergent to remove accumulated slime, protein, and fish oil.

Hence, EVA Foam handles for fishing rods are one of the best choices in any fishing rod. Overall, the material is denser, durable, and very comfortable whenever you hold it. These grips are suitable for replacing old worn out rod handles and for building new custom fishing rods.

So, what is better between these two fishing rod handles? Well, cork is the best choice if you want more sensitivity and feel. They will give you an improved fishing sensitivity that you can find in most high-quality fishing rods. Meanwhile, EVA foams are an excellent choice if you will use your fishing rods with bait or place it often in a rod holder.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Cork Handles

Cork handles are much lighter to use.Cork handles are more prone to dirt and molds.
Cork handles can maintain residual heat even in colder temperatures that prevent any accidental slips.Cord handles tend to crack easily, or it may already have contained cracks as you purchase them.
Cork handles offer a warmer grip even on cold temperatures.It’s hard to find smooth cork handles.
Cork handles provide low damping capacity, which makes it three times more sensitive.Cork handles are less durable and have less longevity compared to EVA foams.
Cork handles have a rough built, so they are less slippery even when wet. Cork handles are a little bit too expensive for some beginners.

How to Repair a Cork Handle?

As mentioned, cork handles are more prone to getting dirty. Aside from that, they can also dry out and crack after a prolonged time of use. You can easily clean cork handles of your fishing rods using water, soap, or Mr. Clean pads. However, what if it has small holes in its body? In this situation, you should try using a carpenter’s wood filler to fill and cover those cracks.

Regardless of the type and shape of your cork grip, you can use pads for repairing and reconditioning. Applying a carpenter’s wood filler will help you sand the broken area easily and have a smooth finish. Plus, it can resist shrinking and cracking in the long run. So, to give you a better idea, here are some simple ways that you can do to repair your cork handle.

  • Prepare Your Cork Handle. Make sure to clean and dry its surface. The room temperature should be above 40°F.
  • Start Filling. Start applying cork pits and groove using a spatula, putty knife, or any other similar tool that you may have. Some deep holes and repairs may require two layers of fillings.
  • Smooth the Surface. Sanding is the best process to smoothen any surface. Once your putty gets dry, start sanding the dried glue or fillers. Remember to use medium grit sandpaper.
  • Apply a Cork Sealant. It will help you seal the surface of the cork handle. It helps in preventing the penetration of soils and other foreign matter transferred to the grip. Plus, the cork sealant also enhances the “feel” of the cork handle. 


Can You Replace the Cork Handle on a Fishing Rod?

You can certainly replace the cork handle on a fishing rod. It’s because manufacturers know that cork handles can get dirty, dry, and get cracks over time. Plus, cork handles are also vulnerable to developing tiny holes in the area where there’s a chip off. 

How Do You Clean a Fishing Pole?

Make sure to wash the entire fishing rod with light soap and pure water. Rinse it and dry it thoroughly. It would be better if you can clean your fishing rod after every fishing trip to ensure that there are no dirt residue build-up. Then, check if the ferrules are clean. If not, wipe it and apply a small amount of grease or candle wax. Finally, examine for any scratches and store your fishing rod properly.

Are Longer Fishing Rods Better?

Longer fishing rods are not always better, because it still depends on the fish species that you’re trying to catch. Generally, smaller fishing rods can cast shorter distances and vice Versa. However, there are some situations in fishing wherein it requires close combat casting. Therefore, in these cases, you need a shorter fishing rod. 

Final Words

Some fishing rods have cork handles because they are much lighter to use compared to foam. Aside from that, they also offer various advantages for every angler. For example, it can maintain residual heat even in colder temperatures that help in preventing accidental slips. The residual heat also helps in making the handle warmer to touch even on a cold fishing day. Best of all, cork handles offer higher sensitivity because they have lower damping capacities.

However, cork handles may be more prone to damage and dirt. So, knowledge of maintaining cork handles is a must. Remember, the best way to do it is to use some warm water with a bar of light soap and a sponge. Focus on the damaged areas, and make sure to dry your cork handle completely. You can also use Mr. Clean eraser pads and apply cork sealant after cleaning. These methods should make your cork handle look new and even more useful.

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