How to paint rod blanks

Updated February 21, 2017

A rod plank is a pole that makes up the core of a fly fishing rod. If you would like to paint a rod blank, you will need to consider a few things. Because rod blanks are made of graphite, they are ill-suited for adhesion. You must condition the rod blank to accept paint, or it will ultimately shed its new finish. In addition, you must choose the proper type of paint and sealer, or you may be forced to refinish the pole after a short period of time.

Remove the fishing line form the pole.

Wash the rod blank with a water-based degreaser, using a coarse plastic brush. Rinse the rod blank with wet rags. Dry the blank with towels.

Promote adhesion by abrading the rod blank with steel wool. Scour the blank until it feels slightly coarse.

Cover portions of the blank you do not want painted with professional painter's tape.

Place the rod blank on a fabric dust sheet.

Coat the abraded rod blank with Krylon fusion spray paint. Hold the can 8 inches from the blank as you apply. Wait six hours for the painted blank to dry.

Coat the painted rod blank with clear coat spray sealer. Wait a full 24 hours before using the fishing rod.


Never paint an unsanded rod blank, or the paint will peel. Don't use ordinary acrylic latex or oil-based paints on a rod blank, or the finish may fail.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based degreaser
  • Coarse plastic brush
  • Rags
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheet
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Steel wool
  • Krylon fusion spray paint
  • Clear coat spray sealer
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.