Here is a way to customize a tenkara rod using same-kawa.
Same –kawa is commonly used for the tsuka of Japanese swords. It’s a nice material an it resist perfectly to water and moisture . This material has a lot of small beads that will provide a good grip for your tenkara rod . https://www.google.fr/search?q=same-kawa&client=firefox-b&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj8j6G46ajZAhXB0qQKHVdgBCkQ_AUICygC&biw=1680&bih=936
The first step is to drink a bottle of wine . The best the wine, the best the corks will be.
I know there are a few connoisseurs around ( Todoroki-san told me he has tasted ALL the French wines) For tenkara I don’t hesitate to open a few bottles.
Then I drill the cork and after removing the plastic handle of my cheap rod, the corks are glued with epoxy
I can use a lathe but you can achieve the same result grinding slowly with sandpaper. There is a thread about re shaping a new handle here : Re-shaping handles
Then you have to cut the Same-kawa, it’s a bit difficult to cut it straight with a knife or a saw , I obtained the best result with an abrasive disc .
Then you have to adjust the length of the piece of same-kawa to the circumference of the cork handle. For removing small amounts of material I use a belt grinder.
The same-kawa is then glued around the cork with epoxy and wraped with tape while the epoxy dries. You can smooth the handle with sandpaper if needed., that’s matter of taste.
Your rod is ready for fishing without slipping when you have wet hands ; and it has now a gorgeous touch