Skip to main content

6 Steps For Holographic Tiger Wraps that WOW

6 Steps For Holographic Tiger Wraps that WOW

Find out how to wrap a custom 3D tiger wrap in just 6 simple steps, so you can add the professional level decorations that customers go crazy for!

Mud Hole Live: Thread Wrapping Tips & Tricks

Want to wrap your own guides or even tackle your own tiger wrap, but don’t know where to begin?

Look no further than here because the rod builders from Mud Hole Live are back to teach you how to wrap guides, add trim bands, and more advanced decorative thread wrapping techniques!

As always, if you have questions for us… We have answers for you.


Let’s Get Started: Decorative Thread Wraps

3-D tiger thread wraps can range from bold to subtle in design, but one thing is for sure, tiger wraps are one of the most unique patterns in rod building. Although doing your own tiger wrap may seem intimidating, with the help of Mud Hole’s resources, it’s actually easier than ever!


Just follow this instructional blog and tune in for the next Mud Hole Live to easily learn about tiger wraps, cross wraps, and more in no time.

1. Select Threads and Prepare Tools

In rod building, especially when it comes to threadwork, preparation is key. From choosing the right thread color and size, to assembling the necessary tools and supplies for the job, organization beforehand is important for the best resulting tiger wrap.

For our demonstration and for you at home, we recommend using six size A threads to complete your own 3-D tiger wrap. Although size D thread works, many rod builder’s suggest size A because it tends to be more pleasing to the eye once complete.

Done in two layers, this tiger wrap uses three different colored threads in the first base layer, while the outer layer starts with the same three before removing two as sacrificial threads. Because the 3-D tiger wrap requires so many colors, test some options to see what will look best together before moving forward to work on the wrap.




//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/ProWrap-Color-Fast-Rod-Winding-Threads.jpg

For example, since July 4th is quickly approaching, we used red, white, and blue ProWrap Winding Thread with Color Fast to celebrate the occasion. Once your threads are picked out, make sure you have all the right tools and supplies handy.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Tools-for-the-3D-Tiger-Wrap.jpg

To complete your tiger wrap, you will need: a thread wrapping system, a burnishing tool, a two-part epoxy like ProKöte, a mixing cup, a stirring stick, an aluminum dish, a razor blade, a heat gun (or a hair dryer) and some masking tape.

2. Wrap Base Thread Pattern

To start the tiger wrap’s base layer, select one color and wrapping to the right, continue roughly 1/8 of an inch up the blank. Next, tuck the two additional base inlay threads under the beginning running thread.


Going directly from the spools into the last turn of the running thread, wrap the running thread a few more turns to secure the two base inlay threads in place. Then, hold the running thread and inlay threads together with the inlays to the right of the running thread and begin wrapping all three simultaneously.

Note: Make sure the threads never cross over, back wind, or tangle up as you wrap them up the blank.

As you reach the desired length for your wrap, you will end the base layer the same as when you started. Secure the two inlay threads under the running thread and wrap only the running thread until you have mirrored the wrap’s beginning.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Wrap-the-Tiger%27s-Base-Layer.jpg

With wrap secured, trim off the excess thread by laying the razor blade down flat against the wrap with the sharp edge facing the threads and sever each one flush by pulling the thread over the blade.

3. Burnish and Epoxy Base Thread Wrap

With the wrap in place, take your burnishing tool and run it back and forth over the base layer. Burnish the thread in shorter strokes from various angles to break up the uniform stripes.

Remember as you burnish the thread from different directions, the more you shift the original base layer, the more intense the final tiger wrap will appear. After you are satisfied with your burnishing, move on to epoxying the base layer of the tiger wrap.

The amount of epoxy directly determines the impact of the tiger wrap’s infamous 3-D appearance. So, for a more pronounced 3-D effect, use one to two thick coats of epoxy, but for a subtler effect, use a lighter coat of epoxy over the base layer.

With this in mind, mix and apply your epoxy according to manufacturer instructions.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/epoxy-the-base-layer.jpg

Note: It’s important to give the epoxy a full 24 hours of curing time before moving on and wrapping over the finished base layer.

4. Wrap and Burnish Outer Wrap

Since the epoxy has cured completely, you can now wrap the outer layer without pressing the threads into the previous epoxied wrap. Wrapping the outer layer is similar to the base layer, however, one striking difference is that the outer layer is wrapped to the left rather than the right.

For instance, if you wrapped the base layer to the right starting from the butt, start the outer layer from the opposite end and wrap to the left. Repeat the thread wrapping process from step 2 except wrapping to the left, you will continue until the outer layer is completely covering the base layer.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Wrap-the-Outer-Layer-on-Top-of-Base-Threads.jpg

Secure the threads but trim only running thread flush and leave roughly six inches of the sacrificial inlay threads hanging out. Then, burnish the outer threads as you did with the base layer.

Again, the more you burnish and interrupt the aligned stripes, the more intense the final tiger wrap will appear.

5. Heat Outer Threads and Remove Sacrificial Thread

With the outer layer burnished to your liking, use a heat gun or hair dryer to apply a steady heat over the outer threads. This heat will act to set the outer wrap softly into the epoxied base layer, but without penetrating too deep into it.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Heat-the-Outer-Thread-Layer.jpg

Note: Do not apply too much heat or the thread will cut too deep into the finished base layer.

With the threads just warm to the touch, let the rod and threads settle for 45 minutes to an hour before moving on. The heat allows the threads to set so that your outer pattern isn’t lost when it comes time to remove the sacrificial threads.

Next, cautiously slide the two inlay threads or sacrificial threads from under the secured running thread. Slowly unwind these two inlay threads until only the outer running thread remains over the base layer and carefully untuck the inlay threads from under the secured running thread.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Complete-Epoxied-Tiger-Wrap.jpg

6. Epoxy Wrap and Flame Finish

With the sacrificial threads removed, you can now mix and apply your final epoxy finish.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Remove-Sacrificial-Threads-of-Outer-Wrap.jpg

Epoxy the entire outer layer and as you do, look for small bubbles to grab onto the spaces between the single running thread. Getting rid of these bothersome finish bubbles is easy, just take your alcohol burner and use the flame finish technique to release each bubble.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Flame-Finish-the-Outer-Wrap.jpg

The flame finish technique is simply lighting the alcohol burner and gently waft it under the areas where bubbles are trapped.

Let it cure for a full 24 hours and well, that’s all folks!

You now have your very own 3D tiger wrap and you’re on your way to building one awesome custom fishing rod.

Stock up on ProWrap ColorFast Thread to get started yourself…

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Shop-ProWrap-ColorFast-Thread-Now.jpg
Watch Live: Wrapping Tips & Tricks

Stay tuned for Mud Hole’s next Facebook Live to see more wrapping tips and tricks from our rod building profession

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Mud-Hole-Live-Wrapping-Tips-Tricks-2.jpg

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Channel Cats on Ice

Channel Cats on Ice

The In-Fisherman staff reveals some of the hottest action of the winter season, as they show how to ice 20-pound channel catfish.

The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet

The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet

“If that engine starts without my kill switch on, I ain't the one driving it,” Blake Broussard says after ejection video goes viral.

Lake Superior Whitefish on Ice

Lake Superior Whitefish on Ice

Doug Stange joins Capt. Aron Kastern on Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin where they go after whitefish on ice.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Little is known about the effects of softbait ingestion on bass.Effects of Softbait Ingestion on Bass Bass

Effects of Softbait Ingestion on Bass

Gabe Gries - August 11, 2020

Little is known about the effects of softbait ingestion on bass.

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - February 05, 2021

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

Patience is key for the Delta blue cat game.Double-Digit Delta Blues Catfish

Double-Digit Delta Blues

David A. Brown - October 16, 2020

Patience is key for the Delta blue cat game.

Lunar followers often check moon phases as well as timing of minors and majors.The Effects of Solunar Forces on Bass Fishing Bass

The Effects of Solunar Forces on Bass Fishing

Steve Quinn - June 22, 2020

Lunar followers often check moon phases as well as timing of minors and majors.

See More Trending Articles

More Custom Rods

See what fishing rod components Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Brandon Lester has to have on his custom built rods.Bassmaster Pro Picks 3 Favorite Rod Components Custom Rods

Bassmaster Pro Picks 3 Favorite Rod Components

MudHole Staff - February 11, 2019

See what fishing rod components Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Brandon Lester has to have on his...

Find out how to wrap a custom 3D tiger wrap in just 6 simple steps.6 Steps For Holographic Tiger Wraps that WOW Custom Rods

6 Steps For Holographic Tiger Wraps that WOW

Mud Hole Staff - July 22, 2019

Find out how to wrap a custom 3D tiger wrap in just 6 simple steps.

Knowing the difference will help you stand out from the crowd.The Difference Between ColorFast and Nylon Thread Wraps Custom Rods

The Difference Between ColorFast and Nylon Thread Wraps

MudHole Staff - February 13, 2019

Knowing the difference will help you stand out from the crowd.

Find out which rods MLF Pro Bradley Roy is using to chase 1st place on every stage of the Bass Pro Tour.Talking MHX Bass Rods with MLF Pro Bradley Roy Custom Rods

Talking MHX Bass Rods with MLF Pro Bradley Roy

Mud Hole Staff

Find out which rods MLF Pro Bradley Roy is using to chase 1st place on every stage of the Bass...

See More Custom Rods

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now