Ferrule Shrinking: Avoiding a Ridge

Jim is a rod builder/repairer in Australia who recently described his use of the ferrule shrinking tool.

“I bought one of your tools quite some time ago and have used it often over the years to fix old rods I’ve done up, or just heavily used later builds belonging to myself and friends. One bugbear I used to have was repositioning the tool over a longer female and producing the ridge you describe in one of your earlier articles (if the repositioning didn’t quite overlap where the ‘first pass ended). Worse still was doing a third pass over the ridge (big mistake) which produced a ridge inside the female which is very difficult to remove.
More recently I’ve been using the tool slightly differently and that seems to have completely overcome those problems. First, I mark the maximum depth the male slide will reach inside the female and mark just short of that point (ie just beyond the moisture dam) on the outside of the female with a fine permanent marker. I then insert the female vertically into the tool from the bottom up and tighten the two tension screws evenly with the mark just showing beyond the lower edge of one of the bearings. I then wear a leather glove on my left hand to protect the side of my hand from friction, grip the shaft of the rod with a closed fist and turn the rod and tool sideways. I have found that spinning the tool quickly with my right index finger against the tension screws for leverage WHILE also applying sideways pressure with my gloved hand gripping the rod shaft, will gradually spin the tool the full length of the female – but ensuring I end just shy of the reinforcement ring. The result appears to apply even pressure over the whole length of the female, so overall the ferrule fit is more even. If several passes are required with slightly more tension each time, the mark is still there, so it is just a case of going over the process.
By the way, I’ve never had to tighten the tensioning screws beyond finger tightness on any ferrule I’ve worked on to date.
I also bought one of your lovely little reels and that is still going strong – the patina on the bronze is superb after several years.

“The only things I might add is that the ‘gloved method’ does feel a little awkward at times to get that sideways pressure, but it is worthwhile persisting. Also, subtle, even, incremental tightening is important to ensure each pass moves up the female without binding in one spot. I did one for an acquaintance a year or so ago where I got distracted with too much fishing talk and either overtightened, or tightened unevenly and the tool got hung up straight away, which was bad news! However, that is the only fail so far using this method.”

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