Ideas for DIY handle on seiryu rod

I was wondering if anybody has done this before or if anybody has ideas on how best to accomplish this. I have a Daiwa seiryu X-45 and id like to make a foam handle for it so it fits my hand a bit better.

Ive seen it on a few Japanese youtube videos and found an old link to an article in Japanese with photos of a foam handle being installed on an older Daiwa Rinfu rod. Since the Seiryu X is the Rinfu’s successor it should be a fairly similar process. The problem is based off the photos I’m not quite sure what the process is!

I dont fully understand what he is doing with the rope wrapping, it appears another material is underneath the rope as well. I also cant tell if its closed cell foam or eva foam. Id imagine eva foam is too stiff to stretch over the wider handle base?

Also I have no rod building tools or experience. I built an 8-wt fly rod in a shop in Alaska when I was 13 but that was 30 years ago so doesn’t count.

So basically in the brain storming phase right now and am interested in any suggestions or experiences in doing this.

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It is somewhat common for anglers in Japan to wrap with tennis racket tape. Easy to do, weatherproof, can be removed and replaced, inexpensive. I have it on my Nissin Hakubai because the grip was almost pencil thin.

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Thanks James. The tennis wrap is the plan B if I cant get a handle solution. I’ve also got the Hakubai but its so light that i’m ok with it as is. Its such a cool little rod. The seiryu x is light but at close to 15’ its a lot of torque on that skinny handle.

Not sure if you’ve seen this post from @tvdavisid, but he talks about some foam handles you can buy for a rod hack he did. Might be that the same vendor has some that would fit your rod.

Would you be able to install a foam handle like they do building a conventional rod?

Thanks! This is along the lines of what I was looking for. Im familiar with the company and the reamers should make it feasible to do this. Plus it’ll be cheap! I appreciate the link.

This should work. It’ll be tricky due to how tapered the handle is but Im on the right track I think. Thanks for posting this!

Not exactly sure either. Maybe the cord wraps are just leveling the taper and providing an anchor for the adhesive and outer foam grip to stick well to the smooth blank. I have no clue. If all else fails there’s always tennis racquet grip tape.

I’m thinking of solutions to building a thicker rod handle and I see a difference in making one with a density that pleases you and what skill level plus the necessary tools with which to achieve your goal.

I.E, the EVA handle in photos is tubular; do you have access to a lathe to shape the foam–and I’m not sure it can be sanded.

But if you merely want to increase the diameter and have a hard outer shell without a substantial weight increase, I think that I may be able to offer a solution.

1st, you will need th make a silicone mold of the finished handle. The material from which this is made is of no consequence so it can be anything from a broken rod to a shaped dowel or even a dowel wrapped in layers of cord, (which may result in a pleasantly textured finish.) The dowel will also allow for shaping the bore hole to slide over the existing rod and with a mold, if you are not pleased with the result, you can try again.

There are many You Tube video showing this and for inexpensive silicone you can use the large tubes sold for caulking kitchen sinks.

You could also wrap the Seiryu x handle with long strips of Ethafoam, That’s the white foam that is almost ubiquitous in shipping refrigerators, furniture and appliances. Amazon sells it as does Walmart but it’s so common that it can be easily found.

2nd, As for the material with which to fill the mold: Tear old foam boxes which formerly contained eggs or the bottom “pan” of poultry or meat from the grocery into small pieces. Do not use old styrofoam cups. Whizz these plus water in a kitchen blender until they are “fluff.” Spread the fluff on a pan to dry.

3rd, Pack molds with epoxy wetted fluff and let them harden for two or three days. For a smoother texture, lightly sand the handle surface and coat with epoxy.

This is a “additive” solution with the weight given primary consideration. For an “additive” process and which will be the easiest to do, Amazon sells a product called, “Delta-Lite Plus” fiberglass cast tape. This used by Orthopedic doctors to build a cast over broken bones. To use, the tape is wetted with water and wrapped around a limb, or in this use, your rod.

Barry Kustin


Thank you Barry that is a lot of great info. The silicone mold idea seems like it has potential.

Thanks Thomas i’ll check that out. In the meantime (and since its all I have on hand) ive made an experimental handle out of electrical tape and cloth athletic tape. I did a layer of electrical, layers of athletic tape for bulk then electrical over that. It’s allowed me to easily get the diameter/shape that im after. Plus its easy to remove without leaving any adhesive residue. Another thing its done is increased the weight of the rod from 2.2 oz to over 5. This increase in weight in the butt section has really improved the over feel and balance of the rod. I wasn’t expecting the change to be as drastic as it is but man does it feel sweet now.


Things to consider are added weight.

That said you can build up the form and use shrink tube for grip and to smooth things out.

Thanks Gressak, that tubing looks like a great idea and I think i’m going to give it a try. Looks like a cheap and effective option with a lot of variety. Again as far as weight im actually really enjoying the added weight in the handle, it makes the rod feel lighter in hand.

Cool. Xflock might be good way to go. Find online instructions and be careful with the heatgun, too much heat will damage the blank.

One of the things you may have to consider besides the added weight is the sensitivity you are loosing by adding insulating materials to the rod grip, which you can largely overcome by placing your first finger on top of the rod blank while casting and fishing, which may cause the butt of the rod to become Too Heavy…Karl.