Burl Cork certainly may have the swirled grain lines and extreme pattern variation that woodworkers associate with natural burls, however, in the case of cork, “burl” is the moniker we apply to amalgamated cork. The resins used to bind the cork particles together can be dyed, as can the cork itself in the case of our three options with “Espresso” in the label. These rings offer rodmakers a wonderful opportunity to enhance their grips with subtle traces of color – or not-so-subtle splashes – while retaining the comfort of cork under the angler’s hand. Use the rings to echo a wrap color, or perhaps a blank color. Slice and re-glue the rings to create custom rings – the pattern possibilities are infinite. Use the slim burl rings to mimic the distinctive turns of a signature wrap within the grip. Space two slim rings exactly 6” apart within a longer grip and you can quickly and accurately estimate the length of your quarry. If you want to “pop” the colors of your burl cork, simply apply a thin layer of Cork Seal, or Tru-Oil, to the finished grip…both alter the feel of the grip just a bit, so please experiment before using either of these grip finishes on a client’s rod. And if your children are bored, see what they can make with a hundred or so rings of burl cork. In the gallery is one image of the tower Drake stacked up as a prop for his guide photos on Instagram.
- Brown – the traditional burl cork
- Blue – subtle hints of azure & deep lapis lazuli
- Green – traces of sap, myrtle, & emerald
- Red – veins of persimmon & scarlet
- Espresso – A brown so deep, it is often mislabeled “black”
- Espresso & Natural – a dark ring, with an infusion of natural, pale, cork
- Natural & Espresso – a pale ring, infused with espresso
A Note on Photos:
Special thanks to Zeb Tonkavich, the rod maven behind Snowman Custom Rod Works, for sharing photos of his grips crafted from burl cork rings!
To fairly display these rings, photos are included showing both the duller, out-of-the-bag color, as well as comparable rings which have had the thinnest application of Tru-Oil applied to their surface with a rag to bring out their more vivid essence, as you could typically expect to experience them on a finished rod. Just as when you’re purchasing silk threads, having an experienced, finisher’s eye, allows you to envision the final state of raw materials once you have bent them to your awe.
A Note on Pricing:
Keen mathematicians who have matriculated beyond kindergarten into the numbered grades will notice a seeming disparity in the pricing of the rings relative to their width, and hence to the mass of material purchased. Good eye. When arranging to import these rings, that caught our attention, too. But there’s a reasonable explanation: labor. It takes an identical amount of machine and operator time to punch out discs of cork, regardless of whether the cork sheet is ½” or ¼” thick. If you want to save funds, purchase the ½” rings and re-saw them yourself on a bandsaw – use a slicing jig and work safely. The catch, of course, is that your labor is now invested, raising the cost of the re-sawn rings. We offer both thicknesses because some rodmakers will appreciate the ease of purchasing a slimmer ring. Whether or not the slimmer rings represent a good value is for you to decide.