Trim bands are a unique type of thread work that although serve no structural purpose, do add a personal and decorative touch to your custom build.
Most of the time metallic thread or other contrasting colors of nylon are used to help the trim band really pop. For example, if you are using a black nylon wrap then you can use a red or silver metallic trim band for contrast.
In regards to size of the thread used in a trim band, most are either matching the size of the thread used in the guide wrap or one size smaller. This is not something that is set in stone and typically when custom rod builders step outside the box, they do their best work.
Supplies and Tools Needed
Before beginning a trim band here are a few tools to make it go smoother, and are pictured below with the thread.
Thin Diameter Tube — a coffee straw or even a tooth pick is perfect for this.
Masking Tape — use the tape to place the coffee straw to the blank
Burnishing Tool — to finish off the trim bands and pack them tight against the guide wrap.
Contrasting Thread — typically you want to find a color or a metallic that will contrast the nylon guide wrap.
Get everything you need with the Trim Band Creation Kit from Mud Hole Custom Tackle.
Step 1: Choose your Thread
Your thread can be either a nylon or metallic as it is purely decorative and does not maintain any load or force on the blank. A builder can go from mild to wild based on the theme of the rod; there really is no right or wrong choices here.
Step 2 Cut a piece of Thread
The thread length will be determined by the diameter of the blank and how many wraps will be in the trim band. We recommend going a little longer so you do not get half way through the wrap and find out you do not have enough thread. Using between 10 and 20 inches would do most of the trim bands on most rod building projects. Once the length is cut you can do a quick test run to see if you have cut correctly.
Step 3 Setup for Trim Band
Very little prep goes into setting up for a trim band but we like to use a small stir straw or round mixing stick. The straw will be taped down to the blank about an inch from where the trim band will be placed. You can use the masking tape you have to tape down the stir straw, if the straw is too long you can cut it to fit in between grips, reel seat or any other component on the fishing rod.
Step 4 Wrapping the Trim Band
Once the straw is in place you can begin to wrap your thread around the blank as well as over the straw. You will need to figure out what direction you are comfortable wrapping as one hand needs to hold one tag end of the thread to the blank as the other hand completes the wraps.
Step 5A Securing the Wrap
Once you have completed the amount of desired thread wraps, you will need to secure the wraps so they do not unravel. To secure, take one tag end and thread it underneath the thread wraps through the cavity created by wrapping over the straw.
Step 5B Securing the Wrap
Once you have one end threaded underneath, do the same with the other end going the opposite direction of the first.
Step 6A Placing the Trim Band
Grasp both tag ends of the trim band together with one hand, keeping tension upward.
Step 6B Placing the Trim Band
You will then be able to slide the trim band off of the stir straw and into place next to a guide wrap or against a grip.
Step 7A Securing the Trim Band
Once your trim band has been moved into place, use each tag end to pull and tighten the band around the blank.
Step 7B Securing the Trim Band
Be sure to not pull too hard and break one of the tag ends or your band will unravel.
Step 8 Finish the Trim Band
Once the band is tightened around the blank you can use the thread burnishing tool to smooth the band and make sure it is pushed snugly against the thread wrap or grip.€¨
Step 9 Trim the Tag Ends
Once the trim band is secure and in place, take your razor blade or cutters and trim the tag ends as close to the band as possible.
The Finished Trim Band Insert
Congratulations - You Are Done! Now just finish up the rest of your guide and accent areas, and you are ready to epoxy!
Once you have this technique down, you can add as many different trim bands and colors as you want. You can use this technique for trim bands for up to 10 wraps, after that we recommend using the hand/power wrapper for the trim bands.
You can also check out the Trim Band Creation Kit from Mud Hole Custom Tackle. It is a really easy way to get everything you need to start wrapping your own trim bands!